Saturday 24th March 2018: Conservation Work Party – Danes Moss

Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers assembled a group of enthusiastic volunteers for a morning of conservation work at Danes Moss. This Cheshire Wildlife Trust reserve near Macclesfield is Cheshire’s largest and highest lowland raised bog, one of the scarcest and most threatened habitats in Britain. The open areas of the bog are covered with plants like cotton grass and cross-leaved heath and at least six species of sphagnum moss. In recent years the Trust has undertaken work to expand the reserve and recently contractors have been busy working on site to help clear large tree saplings from the bog. Bunds of … Click here for more information…..

Monday 19th March 2018: Magnificent Meadows – The Importance of Wild Flowers in the Countryside

Since the 1930s we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows in Britain. Changes in traditional farming practices mean that this important wildlife habitat has become increasingly rare, along with the species of birds, insects and wildflowers that it supports – some have even become extinct. At the most recent Wildlife Explorer meeting our members learned about the plants that grow in meadows and creatures that make their home there. To get everyone in the room ‘meadow-ready’ (and to help everyone defrost from the recent cold weather) we all spent a few minutes lying on the floor with our eyes … Click here for more information…..

BTO Project Owl

The BTO is launching a project to expand their knowledge of our various Owl species, starting with the Tawny Owl. This project will build connections with local groups to survey their local breeding population to see how the owls are faring. The BTO will also provide volunteer ringers with new skills to monitor owls, such as tagging technologies. The project will be designed so that as many people as possible can take part and will look at the annual breeding success of the owls and advance our knowledge of how Tawny Owls use their foraging areas and what aspects of … Click here for more information…..

29th and 30th January 2018: Macclesfield Children’s Centres at Ash Grove and Broken Cross Big Schools Birdwatch

You are never too young to start learning about nature in your immediate environment – and the tiny children visiting Macclesfield Children’s Centres this week were no exception. Families were introduced to a selection of toy singing birds so that they could learn how to identify some of our most familiar garden visitors. There was also an opportunity for even the youngest birdwatchers to get hands-on using binoculars. Unfortunately torrential rain at the Ash Grove session meant that we couldn’t complete a birdwatch but a cold, crisp bright morning at Broken Cross meant that we a really good list of … Click here for more information…..

Monday 12th February 2018: Prehistoric Wildlife – Discovering Dinosaurs and Fossils

The Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers February indoor meeting involved some time travel as we focussed our attention on the origins of modern birds! Both age groups headed back millions of years to the age of the dinosaurs for all of our crafts, games and activities. The dinosaur name game at the start of the meeting got everyone scratching their heads as they worked out the origins of those amazing dinosaur species names and even created some of their own! Then it was time to dig out Leader Martin’s trusty geological timeline scarf to help to work out when, in the … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 11th February 2018: Martin Mere – Day Visit

Another chilly winters day for the February Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers outdoor meeting to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) Martin Mere Wetland Centre near Ormskirk. In 2002 a wildlife survey recorded well over 2,000 different species of birds, mammals, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mini-beasts living in and around the mere which gives the site its name. There are over 100 species of international water-birds plus an otter enclosure, eco-garden and a world record breaking minibeast hotel! The group arrived just as the reserve was opening and met up with a volunteer guide from WWT who gave us an … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 27th January 2018: Big Garden Birdwatch, West Park, Macclesfield

With a wet, cold, dreary day for our Big Garden Birdwatch event we didn’t hold out much hope for many attendees or many birds. What a surprise we had! With a team of around 20 eager birdwatchers we set off to record the bird life at West Park in the centre of Macclesfield. In the end we were very lucky with the weather and the hour of our birdwatch was perhaps the best of the morning. We saw lots of blackbirds in the play area, including two having quite a scrap. Smaller birds were flitting in the trees – including … Click here for more information…..

26th January 2018: Hurdsfield Primary Big Schools Birdwatch

The sunniest morning of the Birdwatch so far was our morning at Hurdsfield Primary School. It was also the first Birdwatch that we have ever done based in an amphitheatre! The morning began with an assembly – Leaders ‘built’ a Wildlife Explorer (we are getting good at that!) – complete with T-shirt, binoculars, dipping net and magnifying class. In preparation for the sessions outside the children also learned the method to count birds for the survey and the safety rules for using binoculars. Groups of children based on the school year groups made their way out onto the field in … Click here for more information…..

24th January 2018: Kettleshulme Big Schools Birdwatch

The whole school at Kettleshulme St. James took part in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch. Each class started with an introduction session that covered garden bird identification skills and the safe use of binoculars. Leaders were extremely impressed by how well everyone remembered their binocular safety rules! The children soon got the hang of using their binoculars when the groups got outside. The young birdwatchers were very patient. On many occasions birds remained hidden in the thick, twiggy hedges, even though we could hear lots of birdsong clearly. When the birds finally broke cover – often spotted when a sudden movement … Click here for more information…..

25th January 2018: Prestbury School Big Schools Birdwatch

Leaders enjoyed the birdwatch at Prestbury CE Primary School, with new species or increased numbers of birds seen with every group that took part. In a whole school assembly Leaders ‘built’ a Wildlife Explorer – complete with T-shirt, binoculars, dipping net and magnifying class. Volunteers also helped demonstrate the sorts of activities that Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers get involved with, from conservation work to art projects and environmental games. The children also identified the Top 10 Cheshire Garden Birds from the Big Garden Birdwatch 2017 results. Small groups of children took it in turns to do their section of the … Click here for more information…..