A bit of a belated post as I’ve been busy lately (see next post!), but I headed back to my old local park to walk my mothers dogs (on 23rd March), and while I was there I though I’d do my first twitching challenge in a while. Here are the results of round 4…
- Woodpigeon (sound, sight) – 2 points.
- Coal tit (sight) – 1 point.
- Magpie (sight, sound) – 2 points.
- Green woodpecker (sight, sound) – 2 points.
- Carrion crow (sight, sound) – 2 points.
- Great tit (sound) – 1 point.
- Chaffinch (sight, sound) – 2 points.
- Ring-necked parakeet (sight, sound) – 2 points.
- House sparrow (sight) – 1 point.
- Robin (sight, sound) – 2 points.
- Wren (sight) – 1 point.
- Blackbird (sight) – 1 point.
- Greenfinch (sound) – 1 point.
- Great spotted woodpecker (seen, heard) – 2 points.
Total: 21 points. Not bad for an hour while walking the dogs, and not having been to Nonsuch park in a while. Although it is spring and there were a lot of birds around – I heard a lot more, but there are still a lot of bird calls I don’t know, so I guess its a sign I should be trying to learn more! Until next time…
It’s the New Year, and a while since I’ve had the time to write a blog post. But I’ve had good reason – 20,000 words to hand in and 2 film projects to edit over the Christmas period didn’t leave me much time for anything else. I’m in the process of writing something a bit more substantial, but in the mean time I thought I’d post the videos I’ve edited from last term. The first one was an action sequence project testing how well we could put together a sequence of something happening (rather than just a montage), and the second was an interview project, testing how well we could film an interview.
Enjoy, and thanks very much to my flatmates Olly and Maks, and my mother Pauline for agreeing to let me film them.
Saw this stunning damselfly while walking in Nonsuch park the other day. It looks like the head has been mostly bitten off by a predator, which is unfortunate (for me as well as the damselfly) as I’d love to have seen it flying with those beautiful, iridescent wings. From looking at a few common species of damselfly I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a male beautiful demoiselle, which is a little puzzling seeing as their habitat (according to the British Dragonfly Society website) is usually the bankside vegetation of rivers and streams, and the place where I found it was fair from either. Given its state of “post decapitation”, I wonder if a bird could have predated it elsewhere and brought it back to the park, discarding it after eating the nutritious head. Nevertheless, I’ll keep an eye out for one that hasn’t shuffled off it’s mortal coil, as it were.
So last week I heard back from UWE about the results of my MA interview and… I was successful! There’s not much else that I can say at this point apart from the fact that I’m obviously really excited, and if you want to hear more about how the course is you’ll have to stick around and try not to get bored of my blog before I start the course in October!
Other than that, last week was my training for my new job fundraising for the RSPB down in Hove – a fun 3 days learning about some of the fantastic work the RSPB do, practising trying to persuade members of the public to sign up, and finishing with a visit to Pulborough Brooks to see some of the resultsof successful conservation. Pulborough Brooks is a reserve down in East Sussex, and it has some really nice wetland, woodland and heathland habitat bursting with life – the sounds of nightingales (amongst a chorus of other birds) followed us down the path, and a young rabbit sat grazing not 2 metres from us as we walked by a clearing in the woods. By far the best thing about our visit in my opinion though, was a large pool in the middle of the wetland area of the reserve, alive with a diversity of bird species using the water in different ways. Mallards and shelducks bobbed along the surface, house martens swooped down to catch insects flying above the water, Canada geese sat in the surrounding foliage, a lapwing waded in the shallows; all centred around a small island where a solitary spoonbill stood preening itself, occastionally stumbling down the banks to feed – walking awkwardly as it moved its head from side to side.
Now until recently I’ve never really been much of a bird watcher, but I’ve been getting into it a lot more and I’d like to get better at identifying different birds. So, starting next week I’m going to set myself a challenge: every fortnight I’m going to go down to Nonsuch Park and identify as many birds as I can by both sight and sound, trying each time to identify more than the time before. Hopefully this will motivate me to improve my bird identification skills, as well as learn some of the bird calls and songs I don’t know. So far, apart from the obvious pigeons and crows, I only really know the robin (because I see them so often), the chiff-chaff (its call is its name), and the great tit (sounds like its saying “teacher”), so I’ll have to get listening to more BBC Radio 4 Tweet of The Day to expand my knowledge of the aviary lexicon, as it were.