Hedgehog

Little tell tale signs that our visitor is back have been appearing in the front garden.

It wasn’t going close enough to our permanent Birdsy camera to trigger it, but a handful of hedgehog food and a second camera confirmed that we have a hedgehog visiting again.

Posted in Animals, Birdsy, Blogging, Books, garden, Get Your Boots On, Hedgehogs, Local patch, mammals, nature, trail camera | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Snowdon – Yr Wyddfa

Not so much wildlife but landscape.

Last week 3 generations of our family climbed Snowdon or Yr Wyddfa in Welsh.

We had been planning it a while and had booked an Air B and B in Snowdonia National Park.

Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and England being 1,085 metre (3,560 feet) at the peak.

We decided that as it was the first time we have climbed Snowdon we would go up the Llanberis Path which is the easiest, but longest of the six main paths

Distance: 9 miles (there and back)
Total Climb: 975m (3,199 ft)
Time: Approx 6 hours (there and back)

We started in one of the car parks in Llanberis village

As we started walking we couldn’t see the summit due to the low cloud.

After stopping for food at The Halfway House around 542m we carried on walking.

Another rest and time for some photos at Clogwyn station around 732m

The strangest thing was queuing to have our photo taken at the summit.

And as you can see the weather changed a lot the higher we climbed

Beautiful views coming back down as we came out of the clouds.

I would certainly like to climb Snowdon again, maybe using a different path next time.

Posted in Adventure, Snowdon, Uncategorized, Wales | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interesting little visitor

A few weeks ago I noticed a strange bird call in the garden. I didn’t think much more about it, other than I thought I didn’t recognise it. That’s not saying much as I’m not that good at bird calls.

On this particular evening I spotted a bird out of our loft window, sitting on the top of the kitchen roof.

I grabbed a couple of quick photos of it as it hopped up the roof and up out of sight.

After a few google searches and confirming it with a few birding people we know, it looks like it was a Star finch. Probably an escaped pet.

We posted it on our local Facebook groups but nobody came forward as having lost a bird and I never saw it again.

Star finches are from Northern Australia but are often kept in aviaries as pets.

Posted in Animals, Australia, birds, Blogging, Books, Every child wild, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Butterfly Count 2021

It’s time for the Big Butterfly Count.

This citizen science UK wide survey started on the 16th July and runs to the 8th August.

You can find out more details here https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/

Here are a few photos I took on mine.

Posted in Animals, Butterfly, Citizen science, Environment, Get Your Boots On, insects, Local patch, nature, outdoors, photography, Stay Wild, survey, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Yearly visit by a hedgehog

Around once a year we get a hedgehog in the garden.

While watching a Muntjac deer on the Birdsy camera footage this morning I noticed something in the back ground that’s not normally there.

On the next clip, once the deer has gone, you can see the hedgehog feeding.

I’m hoping it will stick around longer than just one visit.

Posted in Animals, Birdsy, garden, Get Your Boots On, Hedgehogs, Local patch, mammals, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, Stay Wild, trail camera, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Peregrines and badgers

One bird I love seeing on my local patch is the Peregrine falcon. It’s not often I get a glimpse of any, but last week there was one being bothered by a Buzzard.

Pigeons make up the main part of a peregrine falcon’s diet, something there is plenty of on my local patch. Although I’m hoping the pair of wood pigeons nesting in the tree outside my window stay safe.

Today it’s finally been raining a decent amount. Not great for taking photos which I was hoping to do as I’ve spotted three hares that are spending time close to me, but great for the wildlife.

When it’s been dry for a while we get a couple of badgers visiting to take a drink. This one always seems to chatter to itself.

Posted in Animals, Badgers, Birdsy, Local patch, mammals, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The Bee is not afraid of me – Book review

With the important aim of inspiring the younger generation to look more closely and appreciate the fascinating world of insects this book is packed full of insect poems edited by Fran Long and Isabel Galleymore.

I met Fran (Mrs Long) back when her son, who is the same age as me, was writing a blog about insects. Through other mutual connections we have shared a few wildlife safaris including a day photographing water voles.

As Fran mentions in the introduction, she worked at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, which is an amazing place to visit if you ever get the chance.

At this time I was interviewed by Fran and got to help out at one of her summer school classes

I couldn’t think of a better person to be putting together a poem collection about insects.

The Bee is Not Afraid of Me is not just about the poems which vary from those that meander their way across the pages to informative ones to funny ones and those that give us in insight to an insect’s life, the book is more than just the poems. Each page has drawings and fascinating insect facts, like ants can lift 6000 times their body weight or butterfly wings were the inspiration behind anti-glare mobile phone screens.

On top of this there is an interview with an entomologist, a guide to writing your own insect poem, project ideas and lots of links to interesting websites.

The Bee is Not Afraid of Me was launch online on Friday 5th March with readings from some of the poets involved. What was great about the launch was getting to hear the poems read out loud especially the two by Anneliese Emmans Dean

The book launch is available to watch again on Facebook and the book is available from The Emma Press

Approximate reading age: aimed at children aged 8+

£8.99

Posted in Books, Butterfly, creepy crawlies, Environment, insects, Museum, Nature Books, Uncategorized, Wildlife, wildlife books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Otter

A week or so ago a few signs appeared locally that indicated an otter had been visiting.

On the river bank there were a couple of piles of fish scales and on a branch that overhung the river was a pile of spraint.

Otter spraint (poo) contains fish scales, bones and other undigested food. It apparently smells of Jasmin tea but also quite fishy.

As otters are protected as a European protected species (EPS) and are also protected under sections 9 and 11 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to capture, kill, disturb or injure otters (on purpose or by not taking enough care), or to
damage or destroy a breeding or resting place (deliberately or by not taking enough care) I thought the best way to confirm the presence of an otter was to use a trail camera.

Otters can have territories or ranges that can vary between 2km and 20 km depending on the availability of food so it was fingers crossed that the otter was going to appear on camera.

After a couple of tries I was really pleased to find the trail camera caught an otter passing by.

You can find out more about my photography and my local patch in Get Your Boots On

Available from Amazon

Posted in Animals, Blogging, Bushnell, Environment, mammals, nature, outdoors, trail camera, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Busy garden during the cold weather

With the past few weeks of very cold weather the garden has become quite busy with animals looking for food and water.

Most birds and small mammals live very close to the edge during the winter months and a few days without food in very cold weather can mean the difference between life and death.

Even for large mammals it can become difficult to find food if the ground is frozen, covered with snow or their prey if less active.

These are just some of the visitors

Not in my garden but over the years I have been blogging I have heard from people about sightings of otters on my local patch so I was glad to see recent signs of them.

Now the weather has changed and become a bit warmer the birds are enjoying the birdbath again.

Posted in Badgers, birds, Birdsy, Blogging, fox, garden, Get Your Boots On, mammals, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

RSPB Big Garden Bird watch 2021

Normally I do the Big garden Bird Watch first thing in the morning, but this year I waited until the afternoon.

I’m not sure if it made any difference as the species of birds that visited were pretty similar.

23 House sparrows, this number has been increasing over the past few years.

5 Wood Pigeons

4 Blue tits

Plus jackdaws, collared doves, blackbirds, dunnocks, magpies, robins and a chaffinch.

Nothing out of the ordinary, except it is quite unusual nowadays to see a chaffinch in our garden.

Posted in Animals, birds, Citizen science, Environment, garden, Local patch, nature, RSPB, survey, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment