Last year (2019) a cool and vibrant book became available to purchase from your favourite bookstore and for your Ebook devices, written by an inspirational social media friend and fellow naturalist, Alex White! Published by Dived Up.
First off, what I really like is howcolourfuland cleverly graphically designed it is. Alex’s pictures are great and used superbly throughout the publication. Each page grabs your attention; what is said / written and each animal featured is captioned / labelled with its scientific name.
The tone of the book is encouraging, it balances out negativity and positivity. It is realistic, well humoured and in no way are you patronised or made to feel bad. As Chris Packham says, it’s heartening.
It is packed full of tips and hints. There is a brilliant quote on page 20 and on page 41 Alex details a magical encounter. I must admit; I found it hard to put this book down, it’s a real page turner.
Wildlife on your doorstep, locally and further afield is promoted, plus it covers what to see each month (bang in the middle of the book) and discusses Social Media, Local Groups and Clubs, which is really good.
Throughout there are contributions from familiar faces, people on Social Media, TV, Radio and in Magazines. In the section entitled Next Generation, I have a few pages detailing my career path (page 130-132).
Alex’s writing style is engaging, insightful, honest and down to earth. Get Your Boots On is excellent! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Made in October 2011 [VIDEOS], three great things to look out for this month: acorn crazy Jays, Rutting Fallow Deer & fun looking Fungi!
🥜 🦌 🍄
Apologies for the inaccuracies in the Fungi video; pronunciation of hallucinogenic and apparently you can eat Amethyst Deceivers – but it is better to be safe than sorry! (No matter how good a recipe sounds!)
Wednesday last week (09/01/2019) I spent a day at Pitsford Water in Northamptonshire, with James Burman. We were there to track down one, if not both, of the Great Northern Divers (GND) a.k.a Common Loon, which are currently wintering there.
On our long walk around this vast body of water (starting at the Dam), we saw the usual suspects, along with approx four Goldeneye (drake & hen), two Great White Egrets (on the other side of the Causeway) and two lovely Stonechat (male & female at the Causeway entrance) on some flowering Gorse.
After getting a good look at the Stonechat pair and a quick scan of the water, we were going to walk speedily to where the sailing club part is, as there had been an update on the reports of them and one had been seen there, and James says: “Adam, I’ve seen something that definitely isn’t a Cormorant! It has just dived.” So we stopped with our binoculars at the ready and James pointed it out when it resurfaced, I didn’t need my bins to confirm it was what we were looking for! As it was by the waters edge and I recognised it instantly! I exclaimed: “That’s it! That’s the Great Northern Diver!” 😁 ⬇️ My video ⬇️
Recently I read that British GNDs mainly winter in the Mediterranean, and the ones that winter in the UK are usually from Iceland.
Six years ago it was a similar mild and wet December, I happened to be looking on Twitter when I saw a tweet announcing that there was a large flock of Waxwings, at the Midlands best garden centre, Webbs of Wychbold in north Worcestershire.
It had been several years since the last irruption of Waxwings and it wasn’t a bird many people had seen, I had never seen any before and so like many people from all over the West Midlands region (and maybe further afield), I descended on Webbs of Wychbold.
Of course I took my trusty video camera along with me, it would have been madness not to get footage of these beautiful birds! Journalists at the local BBC Studios in Birmingham got wind of ‘something going on’ and so I decided to inform them of what it was and sent them a copy of the video I made (below).
BBC Birmingham loved my video, so I met up with Environment Correspondent, Dr David Gregory-Kumar and his lovely producer and cameraman, to be part of a news package on the Waxwing irruption (below).
Today I found out the collective noun for Waxwings is a museum or an earful. 😆
Despite Snowmageddon, the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, some animals will still be going about their business as usual, if you can believe it! The videos below are of what you may see if you venture out, if not, then you got to enjoy these species in detail in the comfort of your home, and maybe would have learnt a thing or two about them as well!
As I mentioned in my last blog post – a few years ago I made a series of short videos which were featured on the Reader’s Digest Magazine website, entitled Wildlife Monthly.
Each video is around a minute or more, detailing flora and fauna (mainly fauna) for you to look out for; below I have included one video from my June 2012 edition and three from my 2011 June edition – each with a coastal theme.
For 2017, what I would like is Nature Conservation to be taken more seriously by Councils and the Government. They need to properly see it as a Universal Problem. It is not an issue only for a certain class system, region, gender, sexuality, age or level of education – we all share this country, and caring for nature and our natural environment is everybody’s responsibility. Hopefully Planet Earth II was a wake up call for those that work for a Town / City Council or as an MP who have not signed the Greener UK pledge.
I also hope it has encouraged people to support their local nature conservation charities.
Hearing about woodland / greenbelt being decimated for housing developments (or HS2) angers me – it is disgusting and very ill considered, as there are plenty of derelict buildings and brownfield sites that should be used instead! Urbanisation is not progression, it’s alienation. There is less crime in places with woodland / greenbelt and it reduces stress in people of all ages. They are great for escapism, as they’re somewhere to walk your dog or get fresh air alone or with your partner or friend(s). Such places boost children’s will to learn and they are often more imaginative and creative – it’s somewhere for these children to explore and find wildlife too! It also improves house sales – people want to live near areas surrounded by greenery, because, let’s face it, it is pleasant! Trees, hedgerows and grasses filter impurities from the air and also help lower temperatures during heat-waves. Trees reduce erosion of soil, which finds its way into our waterways during periods of heavy rainfall. This then has the knock on effect of creating flooding because of the build up of silt – due to the lack of trees in the first place. They are also a much needed habitat for nature; plants and animals need somewhere to live and have safe connecting passages between urban sprawls.
Re-wilding our Towns and Cities needs to happen, all over, they should be made greener than they already are, for example Birmingham, it is already a surprisingly green city, but being greener will make it better. I champion Matt Collis and the Avon Wildlife Trust for making Bristol even greener! As you know, more trees are needed to helping fight Climate Change, as they reduce the Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere. More trees will increase oxygen and with increased oxygen levels, the health of people and wildlife will benefit. More oxygen in the air can stabilise unknown and potential pulmonary hypertension (raised blood pressure within the pulmonary arteries) and irregular heart rhythms caused by the lack of oxygen in the air. Plus more oxygen to the brain relieves depression and fatigue. Many diseases including cancer, thrive in an oxygen depleted body.
What would I like for myself this New Year? Well, I am currently on a City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Conservation, Countryside & The Environment – ideally I would like to complete my qualification at overall Distinction and would then like to work for a NGO specialising in Re-wilding, therefore assisting in restoring Britain (in urban and rural places too) to its natural glory!
In the past I have achieved several Media Production qualifications, my highest being a Level 5 Higher National Diploma. I have considered a Masters, but Academia isn’t really for me, I would rather be out there getting on with it, or even teaching it! Around 6 years ago I combined my passion for wildlife and filmmaking, and have recently been co-presenting / co-producing a series with Jamie Wyver, about nature conservation for Cambridge TV (now called That’s Cambridge).
The series is entitled The Wild Side and it was broadcast to the city and has been put online for everyone to watch. It would be brilliant if I get the opportunity to present a series with another TV station or even for a channel that broadcasts nationally. I love how imaginative and creative ideas can come to life on screen, to entertain and inform an audience.