Climate Strike March 2019

“Water is rising and so are we!” and “We are missing our lessons so we can teach you one” were just two of many banners that were on display at the Climate Strike in Oxford, Bonn Square on Friday. In Oxford there were around 1000 students who had made the decision to abandon lessons to protest for their future.

Oxford joined around 110 cities in the U.K and 1660 world-wide. Each small voice joining  together with over 1.5 million other voices.

One primary school student said “I may be small but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a difference.” This is what I felt Oxford appeared to be. Small but powerful.

It was amazing and heartwarming to see both older and younger generations, banners and all, come together to raise awareness of the threat of Climate change.

Climate change is a serious threat towards the survival of humanity. The Paris Agreement states that all developed countries need to hold the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels so that we can have a chance at reducing the risks and impacts of climate change, and yet here we are, school pupils having to miss lessons to gain the attention of decision makers who decide how much pollution is being released or if there was going to be a limit on how much fossil fuels the U.K would use.

Many people believe that these strikes are just ‘an easy way to skip lessons’ and even our Government thinks that we are a ‘disruption’, however I beg to differ as if students were just skipping lessons then why would we create banners, start petitions and make headlines around the country to try and gain your attention?

These protests seemed to be the only way our voices can be heard. I personally believe that these events are vital way to the highlight human race’s future because if nothing changes there may not be school to go to in the future.

Some students couldn’t make it to these protests either because the school wasn’t supportive of the idea of students missing lessons (which makes sense to me) or if they felt that it would be ‘uncool’ to take part in looking after the environment.

However there are multitudes of ways that you can help make a difference. Small things such as recycling or using canvas bags are brilliant, but if you want to aim bigger, you could do things such as choosing to be vegetarian or even vegan, reducing your air travel or conserving water and energy.

These ideas will help reduce your carbon footprint and they can also save lives of animals around the world.

If you wanted to take part in a future event then look out for any details on social media.

Stay Wild

Alex

Climate strike 2019 collage

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Hedgerows

This week there has been a lot in the media about netting covering hedgerows. Like the one in the photo below in a village near to near I live.

The hedges are covered to prevent birds nesting in them while development is taking place.

Nets like this can also trap mammals such as hedgehogs who run along the hedges and badgers that may try pushing through the netting.

On a more positive note the blackthorn hedges in the field next to my house are full of blossom. Even though the weather was cool and dull the hedge was full of bumblebees.

Hedgerow in blossom

blossom

Further down at the end of the hedge I came across a flock of Yellowhammers and Sparrows feeding on split grain.

Yellowhammer

Hedgerows certainly make a difference to wildlife. A couple of years ago we took down a wall that surrounded our front garden and replaced it with a hedge. Even though the hedge is still small I have seen increased number of birds, insects and butterflies in the front garden.

At the same time we added a small pond which is often used by the local foxes and even the badgers as a place to drink.

This morning, to my surprise, a male mallard duck was sat in it. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo.

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Posted in Animals, Blogging, Environment, garden, Local patch, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What is Wildlife blogging?

When I first started my wildlife blog in 2013 I never imagined that I would still be writing on a regular basis.

To me wildlife blogging is jotting down things I see, mostly on my local patch. To record the different animals and plants, the changing seasons, the ordinary and less ordinary through photos and words.

The photos and words don’t have to be anything special, just a way that you can look back and remember. The places don’t need to be far away. Back gardens or local parks can be amazing for wildlife. Whether it’s 10 words or 1000 words, blogging can be a way to share your wildlife encounters with others.

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Rabbit on the edge of a car park

I love being inspired by other wildlife blogs. Of different ways to look at things, places to go, books to read, and hints and tips on photography, as well as trail cameras.

I don’t write for anyone in particular and sometimes it can be quite frustrating when I’ve written a huge blog with what I think are quite good photos and only 10 people look at it, but if my blog inspires another 10 year old, the age I was when I started, to get outside and discover wildlife on their local patch then I don’t really mind.

Who would have guessed that my blog would have turned in to writing a book.

My debut book  Get Your Boots On  is out July 2019.

Get Your Boots On  is a combination of my blogs, a sort of diary. Together with general information, photographs and encouragement from expert contributors telling their wildlife stories.

king fisher book photo

Posted in Animals, Blogging, Books, Environment, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, mammals, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Layers of bird song

With revision done and my graphics project up to date I had enough time over the weekend to get outside to do some photography.

In the woods I’ve noticed a melanistic rabbit which I really want to get a decent photo of.

Sat up against a tree waiting for the rabbit to appear I began to notice the bird song around me.

Each bird seems to have a layer within the wood to sing.

At the bottom the Wren hops from fern to fern chirping. Slightly above that is the Goldcrest’s high pitch call. Next the Robin about a metre off the ground and probably level with my head, it does a little squeak each time it hops from a branch down to the floor.

Slightly above that, around the height of the brambles is the Blackbird, who at 3pm is quiet except when disturbed, then it shouts loudly as it disappears in to the undergrowth.

Flitting around on the top layers of the smaller trees, the Blue tits never stop singing. Together with the Great Tits their song fills most of the wood.

In the corner of the wood I can hear the Jackdaws arguing and the soft cooing of distant Stock Doves.

Through the constant noise suddenly comes the loud call of a Green Woodpecker.

The drumming of the Great Spotted Woodpecker travels in from different directions where various males are marking their territories.

In the top most branches the trill song belonging to the flock of Goldfinches drifts down.

Lastly, high overhead the Buzzards and Red Kites call as they soar on the warm thermals, so unusual for February.

While I’m sat listening to the bird song I can feel I’m being watched by a Roe deer and in the end I only managed to catch a glimpse of the black rabbit.

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Moth on the tree I was leaning on

Posted in Animals, Blogging, Environment, mammals, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Youth Strike 4 Climate

Last Friday I joined thousands of school children around the UK, who joined thousands upon thousands of school children around the world in taking a few hours off school in strike action for climate change.

Last August Greta Thunberg from Sweden started sitting outside the Swedish Parliament during school hours with her sign Skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for the climate) and demanded that the Swedish government reduced carbon emissions as stated in the Paris Agreement.

Since then Greta has inspired students around the world not only to join in with her strikes, but to start the conversation about climate change with their friends, their parents and teachers, to start looking at the way we live, what we consume and how we can change for a better future.

During a TED Talk in November Greta stated

‘We already have the facts and solutions, we need to do something now.’

‘We need hope but more than that we need action’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2QxFM9y0tY&feature=youtu.be

The atmosphere in Oxford on Friday was unbelievable. I was surprised at the turnout. Children from Primary schools joined University students in a common goal, to raise awareness and to show adults that young people do care and we are the ones who will have to bare the consequences.

The posters and banners displayed a mixture of anger, criticism and disappointment but also showed hope, wit and a determination to change the future.

If these strikes only do one thing, I hope it will be to make the Government realise that while every single person can make changes that will help, it is changes in Government policies and large corporations that will make a real impact.

 

Posted in Blogging, Climate, Environment, nature, Oxfordshire, science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Raven

Raven (Corvus corax)

Each day around 4pm a raven passes over my house. Occasionally it stops on top of the nearby pylon and calls. Its deep, kraa call means I can hear it coming, long before I see it.

Today it passed over just as the sun was setting.

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Raven overhead

A few facts about Raven’s.

  • Ravens mate for life and live in pairs in a territory.
  • Young raven’s live together in flocks, until they mate and pair off.
  • The Raven’s lifespan is between 25 and 30 years
  • In the UK there are breeding 7,400 pairs
  • Ravens raise only one brood a year, between three and seven young
  • The collective noun for a group of raven’s is a CONSPIRACY of Raven’s
  • Raven’s are able to solve problems, with the same ability as dolphins or chimpanzees.
  • Raven’s can imitate sounds such as car engines, they can also imitate other animal sounds such as foxes.
  • Raven’s make a “comfort sound”, this is a soft warbling sound a mating pair will make to each other.
  • Raven’s protect the Tower of London – Should the ravens ever leave, the tower and the monarchy would fall.
  • Raven’s can hold a grudge. When researchers gave raven’s food the raven preferred the researcher who had previously shown themselves to be fair in their interactions over a researcher who had cheated them in the past
  • Simone Pika discovered that wild raven’s use their beaks to gesture to each other. They use their beaks similar to hands to show and offer objects such as moss, stones and twigs
Posted in birds, Blogging, Environment, Local patch, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Snow day 2019

Yesterday we had a snowday. School was cancelled, mainly because my school is on a hill and the buses are unable to get up the hill when it snows.

Getting out in the snow it was interesting to see which animals had been out and where they had been.

How many footprints do you recognise?

If you click on the photos, the caption tells you.

This morning the sunrise was amazing. As the suns rays crept across the field the few birds and animals that were out enjoyed a brief few hours of warmth.

Sunrise

Red kiteDunnock in the snowSnowy Robin

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Not really wildlife, but I couldn’t resist putting in a photo of my dog enjoying the snow.

My dog in the garden

Posted in Animals, Badgers, birds, Blogging, Environment, Local patch, mammals, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife photography, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments