I travelled near enough 4 hours from the West Midlands to Suffolk, so I could visit RSPB Minsmere, and also be in the BBC Springwatch Unsprung audience! Some of you will know, it’s a reserve right on the East Coast of England! And is a host to a variety of habits, wildlife and of course, BBC Springwatch! 😃 I came over on the Wednesday night and stayed in near by Leiston, at the Field End Guest House.
I often wax-lyrical (to friends and family) about reserves that have a variety of habitats, I absolutely love them, because they are so enriching to explore and will be home to many different species of wildlife, which is fantastic to observe and have encounters with.
RSPB Minsmere certainly deserves it’s national recognition! I will definitely be visiting again in the near future! I arrived on the reserve at 10.30AM.
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.
If you saw my last entry in June, then you know I spent a week in the amazing Lake District! This post is for the last 4 days of 30 Days Wild/June. For those who don’t know – I stayed in a place called Little Langdale with 4 of my friends, who are some of the best people and I’m truly thankful for knowing them 😀 I’m sharing with you iPhone pictures of my wild-and-natural highlights.
We looked and ambled around one of our nearest towns, Ambleside – before heading to our home for the week! It had all the shops we would need 🙂
We had to walk up a pathway to get to our Little Langdale cottage, we had our very own tarn and everything! 😀
We awoke to a downpour… Despite the rain we decided to explore and visit our tarn first! 🙂 Later we found out tarn meant something completely different to our friend Mary (the redheaded lass), in Barnsley it means town! 😛
On the way over to our very local lake, we came across a variety of nature. My friend Scott (the blonde chap) is excellent at spotting small members of the animal kingdom, and allowing me time to document his finds! 🙂
We didn’t quite expect to find our selves in boggy conditions, and couldn’t make it down to the Little Langdale Tarn! So we decided to change course, move away from the tarn and get our exploration of Little Langdale underway!
We were getting closer to a known part of Little Langdale, Slater’s Bridge! Which relatively, is a short walk from High Hallgarth.
We passed over Slater’s Bridge.
We’ve walked a fair distance now 🙂
We’ve walked over Slater’s Bridge again, for another walk! 🙂
Derwentwater is near Keswick. It was funny feeling like I was in a film and then disembarking to a recently arrived Film Crew! They were setting up for a remake of Swallows and Amazons, I hear it’s a BBC Films production.
I’m going to the Lake District on Saturday (Day 27) for a week. I shall be staying in a National Trust Cottage in Little Longdale near Coniston 🙂 So I made sure I was all organised for my trip to Cumbria! I’m pleased I will be spending the last few days of 30 Days Wild in a stunning part of the UK!
Day 26 – “Save a life”
I’ve allowed what I believe to be a Thistle (and a wee Doc plant) grow in my plant pot; which also contains a baby Pineapple plant (the original inhabitant) on my windowsill at my house-share. I shall consider this as saving a life 😉
I chose the mystery location for yesterdays’ video, because I grew up a short walk away from it and was inspired by an episode of Countryfile where Anita Rani showcases rural Bradford 😛 Incase you’ve not seen the video, I’ll not ruin the ‘surprise’ with naming it. It’s where I cut my teeth as a child and naturalist, so to speak and over the years I’ve seen loads of wildlife there, a few firsts, which includes the time I saw my first Weasel as a child! Yesterday my friend Gary and I observed a Kestrel and Jay up there.
In the second shot of the intro to my video, I’m on the top of Rubery Hill/Cock Hill, with the Frankley countryside and suburb in the background, there are more great views from up there; the Lickey Hills, Rubery and Bromsgrove in the distance – plus the country park I reveal in my video 😉
When we were filming near Frankley Beeches wood, we heard and saw a beautiful male Yellowhammer – it’s the second time I’ve seen one in Frankley, (I’ve mainly distantly heard their song now and again) so I decided to record and feature this Yellowhammers’ song as the soundtrack for the video. We could also hear the beautiful song of the Skylark in the distance, down near Lower Hill Farm. On New Street, near the Greenbelt just before Frankley Hill Lane (which leads up to the Frankley Beeches Wood) I saw a partly Leucistic male Blackbird collecting worms, I almost mistook it for a Ring Ouzel!
Today I chose to admire the setting sun. I had been at work, plus a couple things didn’t go to plan – so it was a nice relaxed way to end the day. I took these pictures from my friend’s flat (again, with my mobile).
I then went up Rubery Hill a.k.a Cock Hill or the Quarry, to take the last of my photos.
A more elaborate activity for today’s 30 Days Wild 🙂
What I like about the 30 Days Wild campaign is that we have the freedom to do anything wildlife related (preferably outdoors) that we can think of. You don’t have to stick with what is in the booklet, as it’s a guide/suggestion on what we could do – to make it easier for us to do all 30 days.
This morning I had an impromptu tour of some lovely gardens at a National Trust property in rural Wolverhampton – Moseley Old Hall! A modest but beautiful place, with a very homely feel – I highly recommend that you visit 😀 My friend Gary is the gardener there, and he kindly allowed me to borrow a few things from his shed to help with today’s Random Act of Wildness.
Today I’ve done something that isn’t in the booklet, it was inspired by a Springwatch Unsprung episode – the #2MinuteBeachClean! The beach I chose to do it on has a high footfall, plus it is the nearest one to where I live, the West Midlands – so it seemed right I did it there. My trusty friend Gary was at hand to assist me again in making the video!