On Tuesday I got up somewhat early, to arrive in Leicestershire for sunrise, where I met up with my friend James Burman. We planned to have a full day to locate, observe and film (or photograph in James’s case) his local Kingfishers, which frequent a river in the middle of a fairly busy town.
On 28th March (2018) I was out walking with my mum, when I spotted a couple of Nuthatches on the edge of a wood where we were just about to walk through, and I happened to notice that one of them was putting mud around a hole in a tree, as its nest is in the cavity of the tree.
My mum and I was delighted to witness this and were both surprised at how close to the path it was. Recently I purchased my latest video camera – my first semi-professional one – a Canon XF300 and decided I would return on a day with better weather and test it out on the Nuthatches.
On 5th April (2018), the conditions were perfect, so I went to where I observed said behaviour and thankfully the construction was continuing and below is what I filmed:
Wildlife Monthly – my seasonal video guide to British wildlife – is back! 😃
It has been 5 whole years since my first ever episode! There were two series in total, which Reader’s Digest Magazine featured on their website, with the last episodes being uploaded at the end of May 2012. Each month I produced 3 videos around a minute or more, detailing flora and fauna (mainly fauna) for you to look out for; be it in your garden, local park/reserve or further afield.
The idea this year, if all goes to plan, is to produce a single video per month, following that same criteria. Episode 1 of 2016’s Wildlife Monthly is in support of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, in which I made some pink bird food. It was filmed at Moseley Old Hall – National Trust, which is in located on the boarder of South Staffordshire and Wolverhampton – where for the day, I was Lord of the Manor. 😉
Red Fat Balls and Lard Cake Recipe:
250g Lard (I used dripping, it’s fine to use suet and vegetable fat)
150g Sunflower Hearts
100g Crushed Peanuts
50g Porridge Oats
1 Red Gel Food Colour (Dr. Oetker)
Doubtless you’ll be doing yours in a kitchen!
Crush the Peanuts with a pestle and mortar, or put them between a tea-towel and whack them with a rolling-pin.
You don’t want to deep-fry the food, so just melt your chosen fat on a low-to-medium heat/flame.
(Add everything to the lard and mix together) Turn your heat right down. When everything is mixed together, line a small cuboid container with either grease-proof paper or clingfilm, fill it with the mixture halfway and pop it into the fridge – to set for an hour – creating your Lard Cake.
Pop the rest of the mixture into the fridge for approx. 45 minutes, stirring every few minutes initially, so when it comes to making the mixture into balls it’s at the right consistency.
Roll the mixture into fatballs – you should get approx. 6 in total.
The rest is self-explantory/can be gathered from my video above…
The breeding population of Goldfinches has risen by approx. 91% in recent years, and in Ireland the increase was around 158%! The British Trust for Ornithology has launched a survey to determine what is attracting these fabulous finches to our gardens. — BTO.org/Goldfinch-Survey
It’s estimated that since the 70’s we have lost 6 million House Sparrows! However, I’m proud to write; in Birmingham they are in good numbers! Along with Devon and Dorset, bucking the trend. 😊
To catch up on pervious episodes of Wildlife Monthly, click here.