Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Year

I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas, and I wish you all the best for the New Year.

I have to say I have had a fantastic year regarding wildlife. I've learnt so much this year, from so many lovely people. I have seen so many new species of birds.

For a number of years I have sent my bird sightings/records to Birdtrack, recently I have worked out Birdtrack can give you a year list and a life list for the total number of species. This year I have had a total of 157 species, 21 of these are new species. Which I have to say I was rather impressed with. As a life list, so far I have 186 species.

Hopefully I will have another fantastic year for 2009. I hope you do as well.

I wish you all the best.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Committee for Climate Change

I received an email today regarding the proposed plans for climate change. There are two major events on climate change taking place in the first week of December. Today the Committee for Climate Change are meeting with the UK Government to give advice on what its three carbon budgets should be. In march 2009 these will be set by the Government.

For the next two weeks (1st-14th December) world leaders are meeting in Poznan, Poland, to prepare for a international deal in Copenhagen, here global warming levels will be discussed and can hopefully be kept below 2°C, which can save humans and wildlife in years to come.

It's asked if people can spread the word in their local media, either by writing an article in the local paper, or speaking about it in a formal meeting.

For more information you can visit:

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Badger cull

Take a look at the following article, and if you wish, you can follow the links to the petition

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Ivory Trading

I’ll let you have a look at the following two pictures, to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

The ivory trade has declined over recent years, but a recent article, made me much ivory hunting still goes ahead. I think it is absolutely sickening to think animals deserve this. When I came across these photographs I physically felt ill, annoyed and appalled that anyone could actually want to do this. There’s a big problem with habitat destruction caused by deforestation, meaning the elephants have a shortage of food and have nowhere to hide if danger occurred.
Some people are extremely bothered about this matter and want to take action (like myself) other people think it’s a good idea, while other people do not show the slightest bit of interest. Some people say ivory hunting needs to be carried out to provide business for people, well.... I’ll leave you to make up your mind on that. Personally I think action needs to be taken, yet to make ivory hunting banned it has to be taken to a global scale!
There are numerous ways you can help save the elephants, including, donating money to elephant based organisations, adopt an elephant, or help stop the trading by visiting Africa and taking part in the ban.
I adopted an elephant a couple of years ago as part of the Born Free charity. It brings great joy every few months when you have updates on how your adopted elephant is doing. I chose to adopt Esprit because I wanted to support a fantastic charity and I wanted to help the animal itself by paying for its well being, and the research that will help her in the future.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Habitat destruction

After working all day today I went out with my mum for a short walk around the fields where I live. Over the road from where I live are two rather big fields, that over the years have become a fantastic habitat for wildlife. On the way back home after having a lovely walk, I walked past these two fields. There were a few Hawthorns with lovely red berries, I could hear a lot of bird activity within, so decided to see what was about, and to my surpise there were about half a dozen Redwings feasting on the berries. Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Greenfinch were also amongst the Redwings, they to were enjoying the good food source. It's amazing to think that a few Hawthorns next to a busy road are providing a good source of food for a wide variety of birds. I'm going to keep check on these Hawthorns over the next few days to see what other birds arrive, you never know what you'll get, maybe a Waxwing! There's apparently an influx of Waxwings this year.
After watching the Redwings for a good 15 minutes we walked back home along the two fields. Within one of these fields is a pond, which in the summer time provides a great habitat for dragonflies, damselflies and breeding birds. I felt really happy, until my mum said there were plans to re develop the local primary school onto one the fields (the one with the pond), this got me very, very annoyed. By buliding a school on this field all the wildlife will go, and could potentially ruin everything. I've thought for a long while about contacting the owner of these fields and asking them if they wanted to turn it into a breathing place, yet now I think it may be to late. Yet I'm going to do all I can to stop the building going ahead. These fields are the only decent wildlife spots in my village, if they are destroyed, well...... Something has to be done!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Blog action day - today!

A lot of people do not realise how well off they are until they look at 3rd world countries, and watch stories on the news about starving and dying people.

People around the world struggle to live, people are dying of illnesses that have no cure and are killing hundreds of people every year. A lot of people do not have jobs and the small number that do they are paid very little; barely enough money to feed a small family.

Most people own livestock and they couldn’t survive without them, they use the livestock to produce food, and as transport. Livestock (goats, donkeys etc) do not have an easy life either, not because of how they are treated but because the owners have very little money to treat the livestock well. Livestock such as donkeys are expected to carry a lot of weight each day. The owners have very little choice to do this because they can’t physically carry that much weight themselves. A lot of livestock becomes ill because of how much they carry each day, yet the owners can not afford to pay for medicine.

Just think of all the livestock suffering in the world because the owners can not afford the veterinary care that’s needed, by helping the people you are helped the livestock as well.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


I'm off to London on Friday, one of the places I'll hopefully be visiting is the RGS (Royal Geographical Society). I've been looking on their website and came across this:
it looks really, really interesting. For a long, long time now I have wanted to take part in one of these meetings basically so I can put my feelings across which I wouldn't normally do. So hopefully.....I'll be able to go. There are a lot of things going on in the world at the moment and I would just like to think maybe if I say something it would help.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Big Cat Live

If you missed Big Cat Live last night you can now watch it over the next 6 days on BBC iPlayer. I've just finished watching it on iPlayer and I admit I found it that moving I did actually have tears in my eyes. Africa is a place I have longed to go for most of my life, yet I have never managed to actually get there. A dream would be to get a degree at university and to go and live in Africa where I can have a job in the environment.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Radio 2 mention

Not long now until Autumnwatch, just one month, and I can't wait. It begins early November for a wonderful 2 weeks.

Autumnwatch was mentioned on Radio 2 a few weeks back and it sounds like it's going to be a good one. Radio 2 is a good radio station for both natural and Geographical documentaries, I listen to it an awful lot, mind you I don't like any other radio stations.

Have a look at the following link

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


I found this great video on Youtube featuring one of my favourite songs; Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros.

The music to the video you may well know as the theme to Planet Earth.

To me the images and film on this video show how special this planet is for its Geography and wildlife. What do you think?

Hoppipolla is well suited to the Planet Earth theme and I can see exactly why it was picked. Each little bit of the music means something, well to me it does. The accented drum beats give the feeling of movement/migraton for example.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Old Moor RSPB reserve

I've only been back at school three days and I already have a lot of work, so yesterday the weather was great so I went to Old Moor RSPB reserve for the day to have a break from everything. I have recently been given a new camera as it was time to have an upgrade from my old one, so going to Old Moor gave me a chance to experiment with it. I'm glad I did take it - the light was fantastic and there was a lot to photograph.
Birds seen: Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Mute Swans, Gadwall, Little Egret, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Little Grebes, Great Crested Grebe, Mallards, Moorhen, Coots, Lapwings, Black Tailed Godwits, Ruff, Common Snipe, Kingfisher, Collared Doves, Woodpigeons, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Blue Tits, Willow Tit, Chaffinch, Linnets and Tree Sparrows, .
Other wildlife seen: Common Darter, Common Blue Damselfly, Highland Cattle and Jacobs Sheep.

Canada Goose:
Mute Swan:

Green Sandpiper:



Golden Plover:

Pied Wagtail:

Common Darter:

Highland Cattle:

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Phobias, they don't just occur with people

A rather interesting story on the BBC website about an Arctic hooded seal which seems to dislike the cold environment. The seal swam from the arctic waters to the Canaries (over 1,000 miles) to be in a warmer environment. The seal named Sahara was taken to Cornwall Seal Sanctuary where it's facing its phobia and is now on the mend to recovery to living its life in the cold. To read more visit the BBC link here:

Friday, 1 August 2008

Little Owl

As you have probably gathered by the title this entry does involve a Little Owl. A couple of days back I tried again to see the Barn Owl at my local bird club. I arrived a little early so I went back to the tree where the Little Owls had been seen, again I managed to see them, yet this time I managed to get photographs which was excellent.

Little Owl:

After photographing the Little Owls I went to the hide. On the last blog entry I enclosed a photograph of a Moorhen on a nest, I went back to the exact same sight and again I saw the Moorhen on the nest, yet the nest had grown almost double the size since I last looked. I was amazed at how much the nest had grown in the space of a week.

Moorhen on nest:

I stopped off again to try and see the Barn Owl but I failed this time, yet I did hear a Tawny Owl.
Overall a fantastic day especially having the opportunity to photograph the Little Owl.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Two owls in a day

Yesterday afternoon I went to my local bird club for a couple of hours. A family of moorhen consisting of one adult and 4 young provided great entertainment for me. Here are the photographs of them. I also saw a Common Sandpiper and a Little Egret.

Moorhen feeding young:

Moorhen chick:

On the way back home down the lane from the bird club, I visited a site where a family of Little Owls had been seen, I could hear them calling to begin with and then finally I saw one, that was great as I had only ever seen a Little Owl once before.

That evening I went back to my local bird club in the hope to see a family of Barn Owls. I went to the hide to begin with where I saw a Green Sandpiper and a Moorhen on a nest. After taking the photographs I went off up the lane to see if I could see the Barn Owls, I met up with a couple of fellow bird watchers and we waited to see what we could see. Finally after about 15 minutes wait there it was, as soon as I had seen it, it was gone.

Moorhen on nest (different family from earlier on today):

What a great day I had, I'd seen a Barn Owl and a Little Owl, two Owls in a day, it isn't very often that happens is it?

Rutland Water insects

On Thursday I went to Rutland Water for the day. I was lucky enough to see the Osprey parents, not the young though as this pair of Ospreys have failed to raise young this year the reasons are unknown, there are a couple of possibilities but there is no real explanation for it at the moment, the wardens and rangers have to wait until the Ospreys have all migrated until they can check out the nest site.

Soldier Beetle:
Common Blue Damselfly:
Hover Fly:

Little Egret:

Green Sandpipers:

Grey Heron:

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Rizzo’s dolphin trapped in River Clyde

A Rizzo’s dolphin swam into the River Clyde in Glasgow. It has been said that there is a possibility that the is dolphin is depressed and has gone into the river to die, and is sending out distress signals. Yet another depressing and upsetting story. Read the article if you would like to know more.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Devastating effects of biofuels

In my opinion yet another disastrous proposal regarding the environment. The Kenyan government has decided that due to biofuels becoming low something needs to be done. They are hoping to destroy 80 square miles of the Tana River Delta, and replace it with sugarcane which can be used for biofuels. The consequences of doing this though could be astronomical for the wildlife. An article I have been looking at says:
"Conservationists and villagers living in the Delta, which provides refuge for 350 species of bird, lions, elephants, rare sharks and reptiles including the Tana writhing skink, believe the decision is illegal and are determined to block the development"
The word rare sticks out to me.

Read the article for yourself, and make your own opinion.

Natural Quarry - Book (David Boag)

Miss Ellis, my Geography teacher bought this book the other day, she thought I would love to have a look at it, and I did. We had great fun looking at the photographs. She was right when she said I thought I would love it. A lot of time was spent with us observing the photographs, some of them provided great entertainment. A fantastic book, with some absolutely cracking photographs.
Thanks for showing it me Miss Ellis. Where did you get it from? it's such a fantastic book.

Lathkill Dale

Last week I went on a trip with my Applied Science class to Lathkill Dale. In preparation for my A2 coursework, and what a great day it turned out to be. Lathkill Dale is known for Dippers, and strangely I didn't see one, every other time I have been to Lathkill Dale I have seen one, this time it was not the case. It is luck more than anything, and knowing the habitat of the bird. I did see Grey Wagtails, and a Tawny Owl though. I have never seen a Tawny Owl I have heard plenty of them, usually when I go to Norfolk camping, they are usually all around the campsite. I was so happy to have finally seen one. Yet another first for me.

Tawny Owl:

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Conwy RSPB

It has taken me so long to sort of my photos especially the ones from Norfolk, that's why these photos are being posted a little late, yet I am on top of it now, due to me having a lot more free time to sort them out.

At the beginning of the month I went on a trip to Conwy RSPB reserve in North Wales, with other bird watchers. It was a trip organised by a bird club near me. It was a fantastic day trip, I really enjoyed it. I met loads of really nice people, who I could share my interests, and observations with. A friend of mine from my local bird club went, which was really nice, because he is mad about bird watching. Going on the trip meant a really early start to the day, I had to be up at 5.30 to be at the pickup point for 6.15, very early, but was fantastic to watch and listen to the wildlife at an early time of the day.

A lot of good species seen, including, Dunlin, Curlew, Oystercatchers, Honey Buzzard (another 1st for me, sadly I didn't take any photographs because it was to far away, and also there was sun glare, so it wouldn't have been good anyway), Reed Warblers, and Wheatear.


Bee Orchid:


Monday, 23 June 2008

Norfolk birding holiday - 6th June (final day)

Well this was the final day, and it was not a very nice day at all, there was quite a strong horizontal wind, with rain as well. Yet I wasn't going to let this stop me going to Titchwell RSPB on the way home.

Not a lot of wading birds there, but there didn't seem to have been anywhere in Norfolk, very strange, I wonder why. Plenty of calling Sedge, and Reed Warblers, the odd Cettis Warbler, and a lot of Reed Buntings. I did see plenty of Avocet and Black Headed Gull families. Avocet chicks are so sweet. I did manage to witness the change over on one of the Avocet nests which was nice.
I did manage to see Bearded Tits, from a very far distance, but I did see some.

Bearded Tit:
Seeing the Avocets, and Bearded Tits made me very happy, as they are two of my favourite birds.
So what a fantastic couple of days in Norfolk. Highlights had to have been seeing Bill and Kate, the Bittern "booming", seeing the Nightjars, and the Elephant Hawk Moth. When I saw the moth trap, it inspired me to study moths in a lot more detail than I am doing at the moment, so guess what I have..........yes, you guessed right.........a moth trap!

Norfolk birding holiday - 5th June

Up very early this morning, it was going to be a hectic day, yet I had the feeling it would be a fantastic day. I was off to Pensthorpe Nature reserve at Fakenham, the host of Springwatch, and where it was being filmed from. I admit the prospect of seeing Kate Humble and Bill Oddie, made me eager to go. I arrived and saw the film crew having a meeting, there were miles and miles worth of cables, all over the reserve, a good start to the day to see all the goings on of the production team. When you visit places where there is a large scale filming operation involved you really do appreciate how much work goes into producing the program......believe me it is an awful lot.

I spent a lot of time photographing the foreign birds and the birds which are involved with the captive breeding programme. I went back to the car for lunch, and went back to cover the other half of the reserve, which I had not yet had chance to explore. On the way round, guess who I saw.....yes, Bill Oddie, I was so happy. I carried on walking and then saw Kate Humble, I have to say I was very shocked, I never thought I would see them. I was lucky enough to watch them filming as well, and having a joke with the producers, and film makers. The way I was going round the reserve, they went, they stopped at a location to observe a filming sight, and there was a lot of discussion over it. Bill Oddies manager gave me a two signed postcards one from Bill the other from Kate. I never got to see Simon King, but that was because he was in Scotland, in the Cairngorm mountains filming Wild Cats, and Pine Martins.... so lucky, I wish I had his job. Simon King is a wildlife camera man, he travels around, studying nature, being out in the glorious natural world, being out in all weathers and studying how the wildlife copes with weather changes. I would love his job, it would be great, filming the wildlife, brave all weathers, it would be my idea of absolute heaven.

I have been lucky to see Simon King. I entered a competition 2 years back, the prize was to go to the Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water, and go for a walk with Simon and to have lunch with him. When I arrived I was very shocked to finally meet him, I was almost in tears. Little did I realise until I got there that I had also won a pair of Zeiss binoculars, which he presented to me. He was such a nice man, and such an inspiration, I learnt such a lot from him. It was the best day of my life, and one I will never ever forget. I was happy to win the binoculars, but seeing and meeting Simon King, was the absolute highlight.

Throughout the day at Pensthorpe I seemed to attract the local geese, they wouldn't leave me alone, they were constantly following me, I don't know what it was that I had that attracted them, but something surely did.

There are so many photographs, I will name them all, the first lot of photographs will be of the foreign birds.

Red Brested Goose:

White Stork:


Bald Ibis:

Black Winged Stilt:

Black Stork:

Marabou Stork:

Male Smew:
(the Smew is a winter visitor to the UK, but I am not classing it as a wild species, as it is captive bred here)

Now for the native British species that can leave the reserve whenever they want.


Banded Demoiselle:

Common Blue Damselfly:
Juvenile Coot:




Greylag Goose family:
Barnacle Goose:
What a fantastic day, the highlight had to be seeing Bill Oddie and Kate Humble. I know a lot of people find Bill Oddie annoying, but he is very passionate about wildlife and the environment, and he has helped so many young people to become interested in wildlife, which is great. We are the people who hopefully in the future will be able to help. The more young people that become interested the better, Bill Oddie has helped do this, give credit to him.