A Wildlife Catch-up!

Wow! The weeks are just accelerating past at a phenomenal rate… I cannot believe that we are well into November now! There is lots going on.. in fact, so much, my WildlifeKate blog has been somewhat neglected of late as there do not seem to be enough hours in the day… or week for that matter!!!

I have still been writing regular blog posts for WildLearning from Michael Drayton Junior and there is always lots going on at school, from clearing the last produce of our Grow Zone, ready for winter, to hunting for fungus in the Hayes and setting up our bird feeding stations ready for winter. You can check out my blog all about the work I do for WildLearning by clicking on the pictures below….

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I have also been doing work in other schools, especially setting up bird feeding stations and helping them to engage with their local wildlife. It is so vitally important that  pupils are encouraged to learn about and engage with the wildlife right on their doorsteps by getting outdoors and hands-on!  How can we expect children to be passionate about wildlife and want to conserve and protect it, if they have no connection with it?

My work at Yew View has also been exciting. You will have seen our badger sett project in my last blog post. The cameras have now been set up and installed into the pipes. These are not going to be connected until everything is finished and the soil piled back on top. That will be the last week in November, when we may have a film crew filming our progress as well!

Our Yew View Kingfishers have been hunting well in the wildlife pond and the female reappeared this week. She has not been on the scene for a month or so, so it was great to see her back and being so successful in her hunting. You can tell the female from the male by her orange lower mandible (beak), compare to the male who has black. I have a perch set up with my Bushnell trail cam and a 60cm lens. I captured some super shots from this perch and combined them together in the clips below… Make sure you click on the cog and opt to watch it in HD to see these stunning birds in their full glory!

I have also set up some more Bushnell projects this week at YewView. There are lots of redwings and fieldfares around and I would like to capture them on the cameras. I collected some windfall apples and spread them in an open area, with the trail cam up on this bounty!

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I set another collection up in an open space by the river….

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and this set of apples are viewable by the PTZ camera, so we have it trained on them this week to see what visitors we get!

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Let’s hope we get some good footage next week when I return!

Finally, I am also working on a very exciting project that has developed from my Bird ID Scheme that I have been running in schools for the last 2 years or so. My research and trialling has proven that if children learn to recognise a range of common species and that this is backed up with feeding stations in school (and home if possible!) then this can be the switch to get them engaged with what is right outside their door. Being able to recognise the species means that they look out for them, delight in seeing them and then want to see more…. it is tremendously exciting. I will be sharing more about the work that has been going on in the background at every available hour as soon as we are ready… until then… a few pics of kids involved who have helped inspire me to follow my dream of creating a resource that could really make a difference to young (and older) naturalists!! Watch this space!

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