Early morning walk and science festival

Day 11 of 30 Days Wild started with an early morning walk.

I don’t often get chance to go out early in the morning as I’m normally rushing to get ready for school, but as we were going out to the Cheltenham Science Festival for the day everyone was up and about early.

We watched as this Kestrel swooped down and caught a small mammal and flew off with it behind the barns so I presume it has a nest somewhere nearby.

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Walking through the woods to do our daily check up on the badgers sett we were bombarded by the sound of alarm calls and tiny movements in the brambles. Six small fledgling wrens were hopping around branch to branch.

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At the side of our house a Great spotted woodpecker was feeding its single fledgling. (Unfortunately the fledgling stayed around the back of the post).

I can hear it outside as I write this blog.

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WARNING – DON’T LOOK FURTHER IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH

Cheltenham Science Festival is an amazing event with so many activities to take part in and talks to listen to.

During the day I listen to Charles Foster talk with Thomas Thwaites about becoming a animal. Charles Foster spent time living as a badger, a fox and a deer, learning to use smell, taste and touch rather than relying mainly on sight like humans normally do. Thomas Thwaites used prosthetic limbs to transform his body shape in to a goat, including adding a second stomach to experience living as a goat for 6 days.

Both stories were similar but different in their own ways. Both men learnt a lot about themselves as well as the animals.

One of the most interesting talks was about Whales by Luke Rendell, Sea Watch’s Peter Evans and whale strandings expert Rob Deaville. It was fascinating to learn a bit about why mass standings happen, how many whales there are around the UK and most interesting, the research by Luke Rendall on Sperm Whale communication using a series of clicks, and how each pod around the world has their own pattern of clicks called coda.

In the Town Hall I experienced what it feels like to have dementia through virtual reality, I learnt how different light rays are used in 3D films, about a project exploring the links between pain and weather. As well as a new computer program for searching information on animals called One Zoom. http://www.onezoom.org

Out in Imperial Square there were lots of tents to explore, including a live dissection of a cheetah by Ben Garrod and John Hutchinson. The cheetah was a zoo animal that had been euthanised due to illness.

It was intriguing to watch but also gross at the same time.

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TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_11

About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. I am a keen amateur photographer using a Canon SX60 HS. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild
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2 Responses to Early morning walk and science festival

  1. New Moons For Old says:

    You certainly had a packed day, Alex. It all sounds fascinating.
    I’m looking forward to reading Charles Foster’s book about his experiences of ‘Being a Beast’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Review of 2016 | Appleton Wildlife Diary by Alex White

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