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Showing posts from 2015

Have a wonderfully wild Christmas and a Happy New Year..

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Sorry I haven't got round to posting over the last couple of weeks however I hope to get out birding after Christmas. The other day I was very pleased to find out that that I got Highly commended in the junior category of the BBC Wildlife blogger awards. I would also like to say a big well done to Zach (@nerdboy386) for winning the category with his brilliant blog!

A Focus On Nature Advent Series Blog

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A Focus On Nature (a network full of inspiring conservationists, wildlife photographers and bloggers)  has kindly posted my blog today that I wrote for the advent series along the theme of 'what nature gives to you.'

You can see my post 'The Best Gift I Could Ask For' here: www.afocusonnature.org/advent-calendar/the-best-gift-i-could-ask-for-mya-bambrick/#more-7819



RSPB Pulborough Brooks

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It was a very cold, winter day at RSPB Pulborough Brooks yesterday. Whilst walking out onto the reserve there was a group of birders with scopes at a viewpoint that looks over the reserve. They told me they had seen a Dartford Warbler perched on one of the posts in front of them around half an hour ago. However the last they had seen of it had flew into the gorse. I waited for 10 minutes but it never showed. :(
When I reached the hide the lake and grassland in front of me was alive with Wigeon and Teal. Electric calls of tumbling Lapwing and honking Canada and Greylag Geese was what I could hear. Quite a few Fieldfare were around as well, they were bathing in outer ponds, or puddles in fact, that surrounded the lake. Starlings were flitting to and from the lake, feeding with the ducks and then flying off in extremely small 'murmurations'.
There were also 2 Pied Wagtails bobbing around the edges of the water.
Whilst visiting Netleys hide I saw that everyone had there scopes an…

Letter to Nicky Morgan MP

Today I sent a letter to my local MP and Nicky Morgan MP, the Secretary of State for Education, about how I, and many other young people like me, would like to see the environment and wildlife included in our education in Primary and Secondary schools in the UK. I thought I would post this to hopefully inspire others to write a letter to MPs, as the more people we can get to write letters, the better chance we have in getting nature included in our education. 

Dear Secretary of State for Education - Nicky Morgan MP I am writing to you to express my concern about the lack of environmental issues covered in Primary and Secondary schools across the UK.
My name is Mya Bambrick and I am a 13 year old from Crawley, West Sussex. I am a wildlife enthusiast and conservationist who has loved and cared about nature ever since I can remember.In schools there is not enough education relating to nature and that is a fact. In my school I have not been taught anything that covers the environment such as…

A Frosty day at Warnham Local Nature

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On Sunday I visited my local patch, Warnham Local Nature Reserve. As I haven't been for a couple of weeks it was nice to see winter approaching slowly. When I arrived the grass was covered in frost and small parts of the lake were frozen.


There were 12 Tufted Ducks, 10 Teal and a Grey Heron on the lake. Also 5 Cormorants were perched on a tree on the other side of the lake. I think they were drying their wings.

There were quite a few Robins around and I managed to get a couple of photos:



Along with the Robins there were the usual Chaffinches, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Nuthatch with a surprise visit from a Great Spotted Woodpecker, which I haven't seen for quite a while. 
Whilst in the Heron hide, which looks over the lake, a female Roe Deer appeared out of the undergrowth. You can it is a Roe Deer by its brown fur and black nose. 

To finish off my visit a the beautiful blue and orange colours of a Kingfisher dashed past me and landed on a tree right next to the hide. W…

Ringing

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I went ringing up at Leith Hill for an hour a half today (due to cold and wet conditions we had to stop)

I ringed my first Fieldfare as well as Lesser Redpoll. We also caught and ringed many Coal Tits and a few continental Chaffinches.


What Is The Badger Cull?

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This is the second post of the series I am currently doing about questions relating to the recent topics of the wildlife world.

What is the badger cull?
The Badger Cull (destruction or killing of Badgers) which has been enforced by the Government, is carried out due to the problem of TB, a disease of cattle that can be spread by Badgers. This has been a very relevant problem over the last few years, with campaigners and well known wildlife organisations against the cull and making their views heard.

The Cull is where licensed shooters go out, mainly at night or dusk as Badgers are nocturnal and bait and shoot the Badgers or search over an area with a spotlight and rifle. To be humane the Badger as to be killed with one shot to insure a Badger is not left injured, this sometimes does not happen.

Why is the cull carried out?
The cull is carried out to stop the spread of the infectious disease Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) that affects Cows, presenting a big problem for the cattle industry whic…

Why Are Hedgehogs Declining?

Over the next few weeks I aim to blog about questions like why are hedgehogs declining? These questions will be about recent topics.

The Hedgehog, a small, spiny mammal that is in a lot of trouble. It lives in gardens and parks around Britain and mainly eats a varied diet of invertebrates from Worms to Millipedes.

However they have suffered a severe decline over the last decade due to a number of factors. I have listed a few here:
Like many wildlife, loss of habitat has played a big role in their decline. Many of our green spaces have been lost due to houses etc being built.Garden have become less accessible for the hedgehogs. With large fences in the way, they cannot travel between gardens to eat the right diet and find a safe place to hibernate. Roads. They kill many of our wildlife such as Deer, Badgers and Foxes. 15,000 Hedgehogs are killed each year, however they also act as barriers which can affect their local population. In the 1950s it was estimated that there were 36.5 millio…

Guest Blog: A Day in the life of a young bird ringer by Josie Hewitt

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Today, the fantastic Josie Hewitt has kindly written a guest blog for me. She is a 17 year old C permit bird ringer, birder and wildlife photographer. Please visit her website at: josiehewittphotography.co.uk (her photography is amazing :) )
A day in the life of a young bird ringer by Josie Hewitt
It's 5.30am and I'm suddenly awoken by my alarm beeping loudly from somewhere across my room so I drag myself out of bed and fumble around trying to switch it off before it wakes up the rest of my family. I packed all my ringing kit the night before so all I need to do now is get dressed and pack my sandwiches.
Once ready, I put all my stuff in the car and head to the ringing site which is just 10 minutes away. I arrive at about 6.00am and it's still pretty dark but the first few birds have started the dawn chorus. The air is perfectly still, it's fairly warm (for 6.00am anyway!) and there is a fair amount of cloud cover - perfect conditions for bird ringing. I unload all the st…

Nymans Woods

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I visited Nymans woods near Handcross, West Sussex today and it was foggy and autumnal!


As we walked into the entrance into the woods there was a huge group of Blue Tits, Great Tits and although I didn't see any I think there were some finches as I could hear them. It was very muddy and there was quite a lot of fungi around.


Autumn is really visible now with a variety of colours on the leaves ranging from deep red to bright yellow. They looked very cool reflected onto the lake:


There was not much bird life although I saw a few Robins, Goldcrest, Mallards and a Grey Heron.

The Rock Pipit

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The Rock Pipit, a medium sized bird that hangs around the rocky shorelines of the UK. With the Latin name of Anthus Petrosus it tends to perch on the top of large bolders and feed in between rocks. Streaky brown, the Rock Pipit is slightly bigger and duller than the Meadow Pipit. Here is a comparison:
 Rock Pipit:


       Meadow Pipit:


As seen here the Meadow Pipit is much lighter brown than the darker Rock Pipit. 
Facts about the Rock Pipit:
Some birds arrive from Norway to spend the winter hereThere are 36,000 breeding pairs in the UKTheir diet consists of insects, beetles, small fish, small shellfish and seedsThey are less common in the not so rocky coastlines of the north-west, east and south England coastlines. At the weekend I saw about 5 Rock Pipits (which were my first) at Seven Sisters Country Park. They kept on flying from where the river meets the sea over to the gigantic cliffs. What I noticed was that when they flew they almost sounded like wagtails with a joyful song!
Thanks f…

Seven Sisters Country Park

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Today I spent a very sunny and warm day at Seven Sisters Country Park in Seaford, East Sussex. This country park covers 280 hectares of Chalk cliffs, meandering river valley and open chalk grassland. It is well know due to its amazing chalk cliffs.



Walking along the river their were many Cormorants (11), 2 Grey Heron and 2 Little Egret as well as a group of 14 Little Grebes. Singing on the wire there was a lovely Meadow Pipit. I heard it singing all the time I was there!

As we walked towards the beach a group of 40 Curlew (my first Curlews) flew over. They were singing loudly as they went over and their curved beaks really made them stand out.

I also saw my first Rock Pipits, there were about 5 of them flying all around the park! One landed right in front of me and I managed to snap a photo.


There were also many Greenfinches in the bushes as well as a pair of Stonechats. After arriving at the beach and eating our lunch, my Mum, my dog Willow and I managed to walk up to the top of the …

Fungi Hunt

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Today I went on a successful Fungi Hunt at Buchan Country Park.
Firstly I thought that I would visit the spot where I saw the famous Fly Agaric last year. When we got there (under a pine tree by the pond) I did not see any but then sure enough behind the tree was a perfect example of a Fly Agaric. For more of my photos take a look at my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/135794693@N08
I also saw the weird Candlesnuff Fungi for the first time. There were quite a few groups of them mainly on dead wood or amongst the moss:
There were also many fungi that I did not recognise but this one was quite unusual with its gills showing very well. Would anyone be able to identify this for me?

As well as the striking colours of the Fly Agaric I saw this Common Earthball which is poisonous. These were very interesting as there were quite a few of them in a group together.
Thanks For Reading!

WWT Arundel

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On Sunday I spent a few hours at WWT Arundel.
Arriving at 10:15 it was cold but surprisingly sunny for once! As we walked out there were about 150 Crows circling above the cliffs behind me. (I think they were dive-bombing a Peregrine Falcon). We first walked around the reedbed loop boardwalk where I saw nothing until towards the end. A bird caught my eye in the trees, looking through my binoculars it was my first Redpoll of the year! Next we went into the Sand Martin Hide; there was a single Widgeon as well as a Grey Heron, 1 Pheasant across the lake and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. As we were about to leave about 30 Lapwing acrobatically flew over.
As we walked to the last two hides I saw a Cormorant sunbathing over where the boat rides were. I think it is a Juvenile as it had a whitish front.
 In the last hide there were over 20 Teal, 10 Gadwall and a few Shoveler.
Surprisingly a Male Kingfisher perched for 10 minutes on a twig to the left of me. It dived but was unsuccessful and ca…

Bird Ringing

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This morning I went bird ringing at Leith Hill.
It was very foggy and you could see many spiders webs where the dew had settled on them. There were so many! As I arrived I was quite surprised to see a very late Whitethroat had been caught and was being ringed by another trainee!

A few Grey Wagtails were calling throughout the time I spent there although none were caught unfortunately. We caught many Goldcrest as well as a few Siskin. I ringed quite a few Chiffchaffs as they are still migrating through Leith Hill at the moment. 
I also ringed a couple of Finches, first was a Greenfinch then a young Goldfinch.
Sightings and caught birds were: Green Woodpecker, Meadow Pipit, Robin, 5 House Martin, Pheasant, Coal Tit, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Wren


Warnham Nature Reserve

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Today I went to Warnham Nature Reserve to try out my new lens.
First of all I went into the Woodpecker Hide (the feeders). There were much more birds than there was last time, as it is coming towards winter and getting colder. Species I saw were the usual Blue, Great and 1 Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Robin, Wren and 2 Nuthatch. The Nuthatch kept on squabbling with the Chaffinches over the food!


 Then we went to the Heron Hide and unsurprisingly I saw 3 Grey Herons. One came right at the right time to get a photo!

Then the sound of the Kingfisher echoed around the lake and we were treated to the Kingfisher perching and diving in front of us. 2 in fact were circling around the lake.


A Great Crested Grebe and its very noisy chick were also on the lake as well as 2 Mute Swan. Whilst waiting for the Kingfisher I saw what looked like a frog in the corner of my eye. Looking through my camera, coming out from the weed was a Grass Snake!! This was the first time I had seen one on the water so I was …