Get Your Boots On – Book Launch

This week saw the Book Launch for my debut book Get Your Boots On.

It has been the most hectic, nerve-wracking but fun week ever.

Hugh Warwick very kindly hosted the evening to just over 100 people.

A huge thank you to everyone who came and everyone who has bought a book so far.

Get Your Boots On is available from

https://divedup.com/shop/get-your-boots-on/

or you can ask for it in your local bookshop

or online, such as Amazon.

We asked all the guests to bring something for a nature table.

nature table

Thanks to my Grampy and Adam for the photos.

Posted in Animals, Badgers, birds, Blogging, Books, Environment, Every child wild, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, nature, Nature reserve, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, Stay Wild, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Letters from Young Naturalists

This week I went to visit a class of young naturalists in a Primary school in Oxford.

They were an amazing group of children full of enthusiasm and knowledge.

Each one either brought in an object for the Nature Table or had a question about wildlife for me.

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Yesterday I received some lovely letters from the individual children

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I wanted to say to all the children – Thank you for having me and I really enjoyed spending time with you all.

Hopefully here are the answers to some of your questions

1. How are you so good at this sort of thing at such a young age?
Lots of practice, getting outside as much as possible and lots of encouragement and help from other people

2. Will you come back and visit us?
Yes, I would love to come back, we could have a go with some cameras.

3. Are there any top tips you can give me?
Start in your garden or on the way to school. If you look carefully you will see lots of amazing stuff, you can then start taking photos of it.

4. Do you protect nature?
Everyone can do something to protect nature, even little things can help such as leaving water out during a hot weather, not mowing the lawn as much and leaving habitats for insects, putting a hedgehog hole in your fence and just being aware and considerate of the wildlife that you share your space with.

5. What is the rarest animal you have ever seen?
In the UK, the rarest animal I have seen in the wild is a Water Vole. Unfortunately, it is the UK’s fastest declining mammal.

6. What made you want to be a wildlife guy?
It is something I have always been interested in but now I am particularly keen on sharing my passion with other people

7. What is your favourite thing about wildlife?
My favourite thing is never knowing what I’m going to come across next. It could be an amazing sunset or a fascinating insect.

8. Can you share two local spots for wildlife?
I would recommend Shotover Country Park and Iffley Meadows, but don’t forget about the wildlife in your school grounds.

9. What is your favourite animal?
That is easy, the badger

10. What is your favourite bird?
Owls, and probably the Barn Owl

11. Have you seen lions?
Yes, I saw lions in South Africa, here is a photo for you.

Lion in sunlight

Thank you all for sharing your passion with me, I love that fact that you all want to pick up a camera, learn more about nature and protect wildlife.

Nature and wildlife will have a fighting chance with all of you on its side.

Hopefully see you all again soon.

Alex

Posted in 30 Days Wild, Badgers, Blogging, Environment, Every child wild, garden, Local patch, nature, Nature reserve, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, Stay Wild, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 4 – 30 Days Wild, discovery

As soon as I got home after this mornings English Language GCSE paper, I went for a walk to get some fresh air and clear my head before sitting down to revise for tomorrows Geography paper.

Just to the edge of the footpath I noticed a Bee orchid.

I’ve never seen them in this place before, I normal go to see them in another village each June.

An old name for a Bee Orchid is ‘Dumble dor’

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Posted in 30 Days Wild, Environment, nature, Stay Wild, Uncategorized, Wildflowers, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Day 3 – 30 Days Wild, Lesser Stag beetle

While revising for English Language GCSE in the garden today I spotted this Lesser Stag Beetle resting on the wall in the sun.

Its jaws were covered in cobwebs and fluff so I gently cleaned off as much as I could.

Lesser stag beetle are fairly common and are seen in woodland, hedgerows and sometimes gardens. Eggs are laid on decaying wood and the larvae then feed on the decaying wood of Apple and Ash.

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Day 2 – 30 Days Wild, Roe deer kids

During the past week or so this female deer has spent quite a bit of time resting in the meadow.

Mainly because she was heavily pregnant.

In the past couple of days she has had her kid. I caught a glimpse of them together this morning. No photos, as I’d rather not have a photo than disturb her.

Roe deer usually have twins, but sometimes one or even three kids. While I only saw one this morning, there might have been another hidden in the long grass, their dabbled coat helps to camouflage them.

The young are born from the middle of May to the middle of June and start to suckle within a few hours.

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Posted in 30 Days Wild, Animals, Blogging, Environment, Local patch, mammals, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 1 – 30 Days Wild, garden

Today is the first day of #30dayswild The Wildlife Trust annual campaign to encourage people to do something wild everyday.   https://action.wildlifetrusts.org/page/40705/petition/1

I spent today helping out on Oxon badger groups’ stall at the Wild Fair in Oxford

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In one of my previous posts I said that we were taking part in No Mow May run by Plantlife.

It’s now the end of May and our front garden is looking amazing.

I spent some time yesterday looking at some of the insects that the flowers have attracted.

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FREE signed professional print of my Kingfisher photo with every copy of my forthcoming book Get Your Boots On (released 3 July) pre-ordered during June! This offer is available exclusively from DivedUp.com – place your orders now!

https://divedup.com/2019/06/01/free-photo-print-promotion-june/

Get-Your-Boots-On-PHOTO PROMO 2-square

Posted in 30 Days Wild, Blogging, Books, Environment, Every child wild, garden, Get Your Boots On, insects, Local patch, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ermine moth caterpillar webs

There are 8 types of ermine moths in the UK

I think this one is the Orchard Ermine, (Yponomeuta padella) because I saw it on Hawthorn and the larvae of the Orchard Ermine feed on blackthorn, hawthorn and cherry.

The moth’s larvae, which are about 2.5 cm long, make large communal webs for protection.

They  feast on the surrounding leaves.

This was the first time I’ve seen one of these webs, but now I’ve seen a few in the last couple of weeks.

This one was quite a small web compared with some webs that are reported in the news.

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Posted in Animals, Blogging, Books, Environment, hedgerows, insects, Local patch, nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments