Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Tree O'Clock

I have heard the "Tree O'Clock" world record attempt mentioned on Autumnwatch a few times, and at a local wildlife meeting I went to recently. The aim is to "plant your very own tree as part of a Guinness World Record attempt" It's happening all over the UK on the 5th of December from 11am-12noon. 1 million trees need to be planted in order to beat the record. To find out where you could do this check out the website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/breathingplaces/treeoclock/
If you plant a tree please let me know, it would be great to hear your experience from it. I will be taking part and planting a tree with WildDerby at Allestree Park.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Seals Donna Nook

I visited Donna Nook yesterday to see the seal colony. Seals are one of my favourite animals. There were seals giving birth all the time but unfortunately the nearest I got to this was watching one having contractions.





video

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

WWF "Vote Earth!" campaign

Due to recently starting University I have been very busy, so I haven't had a lot of time to get outdoors and therefore update my blog.
In one of my lectures recently I came across a campaign on the WWF website called "Vote Earth!" For my information about this please follow the link, and then sign the petition if you agree with it: http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/campaigning/vote_earth___for_a_global_climate_deal/

Monday, 21 September 2009

Little poser!

I went to my local bird club yesterday evening, unfortunately I didn't see the Osprey again. There wasn't much about, but this crow was posing, so I spent quite a while photographing it:




Fur Free

Derby Ecofest was on this weekend and I spent both days there. There were some very interesting stalls, but the Respect for Wildlife stand stuck out to me. This stand was trying to tell people about the fur trade. I disagree with the fur trade, it's horrible. It is really upsetting so I am going to let you read about it here then you can decide if you would like to sign the petition at the bottom of the page: http://www.respectforanimals.co.uk/home.php/furfree/more/sign_up_to_our_fur_free_petition/

Friday, 18 September 2009

Two Shrikes in a day!

I had read a lot about Spurn Head and fellow bird watchers told me it's one of the best sites for bird watching. On Wednesday evening I went to my local bird club and I got talking to another member, and he said Spurn was a fantastic at the moment, so me and my dad went home and prepared food and equipment to go the following day.

So yesterday off we went, just before entering the reserve we stopped off to have a look what was about. There were Golden Plovers, Ringed Plovers, Redshanks, Dunlin, Turnstones, Shelducks, Blackbirds, Robins, Sedge Warbler, Mistle Thrush and Starlings.

The day on the reserve started off a little slow, but by late morning we heard there was a Red-backed Shrike at the point, 2 bird watchers were going to look as well, so we went and had a look together. It was a great success, the shrike appeared and we had great views. There were 2 Restarts and a Spotted Flycatcher as well. The 2 people who were with us said there was a Woodchat Shrike at Sammys' point, I had wanted to see one of these for a few years. We didn't know the area so the 2 people we had made friends with showed us the way, and yet again we had a good view, it flew off but when leaving the car park it was in a tree next to the car, so the view was fantastic.





We went back to Spurn to watch one of the best wildlife spectacles there. We were next to the Bird Observatory it watch the numbers of Knot build up on a sand bank a little way up the spit. One of the bird ringers said we could get closer because there was a bird hide in front of the bank, so off we went as quick as possible. We waited for about half an hour, the numbers of Knot buildling and buildling on the bank, among the Knot were, Sanderlings, Dunlin and Grey Plover. There must have been over 20,000 Knot. It was fantastic.

I had two new life species at Spurn, but I will be going back in a few weeks.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Buzzard and Hen Harrier deaths

I found two threads this morning on Birdforum, both of which shocked me.

The first of which is about a Buzzard that was found dead at Holkham Hall in North Norfolk. It is believed to have been shot quite far away from where it died, possibly Sandringham. The estate is offering a reward of £500 to anyone with any information. To read further into this, here is the link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/8257551.stm

The second thread was about a Hen Harrier that was destroyed in Lancashire last week. This story is sickening and a lot of people like me are very, very angry. No one is sure at the moment if the birds were predated or not. To read further into this story follow this link: http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/?p=588

Monday, 14 September 2009

Willow Warbler in my garden

Last Thursday I was very fortunate to have a Willow Warbler in my garden. It spent about half an hour eating greenfly, but I haven't seen it since. I have never had a Willow Warbler in my garden so I was quite thrilled. I had a Garden Warbler visit a few years ago but it only stayed for a few minutes.



Friday, 21 August 2009

Birdfair 2009

I am sure most of you will be aware that the Birdfair at Rutland Water began today and runs until this Sunday (23rd). In 2006 and 2007 the funds went to "Saving the World's Critically Endangered Birds", the Birdwatching Fair is going to continue with that this year, to read more about the projects click on this link: http://www.birdfair.org.uk/pp/gold/viewGold.asp?IDType=Page&ID=15223, for general Birdfair information click on the picture below.

Norfolk ladybird invasion

About a month back I went to North Norfolk for a weeks bird watching. It was about the time I went when the ladybird invasion began. On the 3rd of August an article was published in North Norfolk News: http://www.northnorfolknews.co.uk/content/northnorfolknews/news/story.aspx?brand=NNNOnline&category=news&tBrand=NNNOnline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED03%20Aug%202009%2015%3A55%3A02%3A420
The ladybird invasion is predicted to last until the end of September which is having its toll on tourism on the North Norfolk coast.

Throughout my week in Norfolk I counted a total of 18 different species of butterflies including White Admirals at Holkham Hall, A Dark Green Fritillary and Small Coppers at Weeting Heath, and of course the common visitors; Comma, Red Admirals, Peacocks etc. It was a fantastic week for butterflies and the few months.
Burnet moth:
Painted Lady:
White Admiral:

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Garden Moths Count

Unfortunately I've only just found the information for the Garden Moths Count survey. The survey began on the 20th of June and runs until the 28th, so there are still 5 days left to take part.

The Garden Moths Count is a "nationwide survey to discover which amazing moths live in our gardens".
To find out how to take part in this survey click on the picture below.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

RSPB Naturecount

During the week of 8-14 June the RSPB are asking people to spend one hour counting the number of birds and other wildlife in their gardens. It's not just birds they want you to observe like the Big Garden Birdwatch, but anything that "crawls, hops, flutters and flies". The main aim of this survey is build up a database of the wildlife that visits gardens in the summer.

For further details on the rules that apply etc simply click on the picture below:

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Dirty Weekend - Springwatch

http://www.bbc.co.uk/breathingplaces/dirtyweekend/

Have a look what's going on in your area over the weekend! There are sites all over the country that you can go and visit and get "dirty". Let me know what you all get up to.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

A break from Coursework

Last week I went to my local bird club to have a break from coursework. It was a good few hours out, and I had a great view of a Common Snipe.

Grey Heron:



Grey Squirrel:



Common Snipe:

Blacktoft Sands breeding season

About 2 weeks back I went to Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve, and it was a fantastic day out, with a few rare birds (Garganey and Spotted Redshank) and great photographing opportunities. A lot of the birds were in breeding plumage and there were a lot of courtship displays.

Black Headed Gull:






Garganey:


Spotted Redshank:


Avocets:





Sunday, 15 March 2009

Oil Spill

A recent news report has claimed that the previous report of 20-30 tonnes of oil that leaked onto Australias coastline was wrong, in fact it was 230 tonnes. The spill is 10x worse the previously thought, the oil is said to be "carcinogenic" and is threatening a lot of wildlife. There has been a big clean up operation over the weekend, but there is still a lot more work to do.
To view more recent headlines visit this link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7943392.stm

Friday, 13 March 2009

Australia oil spill

An oil spill stretching across 40 miles of Queensland, Australia is causing a lot of worry for the wildlife. The ship which was holding 30 tonnes of oil was hit by severe weather conditions and all the oil was pushed by high winds to Morton Island off Brisbane. Straight away volunteers and environmental officers got to work to rescue as much wildlife in the area as possible, turtle eggs and pelicans were two of these. There is a big worry at the moment for a pod of dolphins which feed at Tangalooma beach on Moreton Island every night. It's not yet known how and if they are affected.

A video can be found on the BBC website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7941489.stm



Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Waxwing Influx

I went and photographed a flock of approx. 25 Waxwings in a village near me about a week and a half ago. I went again on Saturday and Sunday, yet this time a further increase of 20, bringing the total to 45. I have seen Waxwings before, but never in such high numbers, and such a short distance away.