Tuesday 29th January 2019: Mottram St Andrew Primary Academy

Volunteers and young birdwatchers faced more wintry weather for the Big Schools Birdwatch at Mottram St. Andrew Primary Academy. After a smattering of overnight snow had turned to ice the ground was very slippery and the trainee ornithologists from the Reception and Nursery classes also had to contend with driving sleet. Despite conditions being far from ideal for a bit of birdwatching children had great fun using their binoculars. We listened out for robins, blackbirds and blue tits and we also heard crows and wood pigeons calling. As well as good views of jackdaws the children and adults were all … Click here for more information…..

Monday 28th January 2019: Terra Nova Reception and Nursery Classes

Leaders Mark, Abercrombie, Susan and Tina visited Terra Nova for a cold but very sunny morning completing the Big School Birdwatch. After learning a little bit about about garden birds – how to identify some of them and what they sound like – children wrapped up warm with hats and scarves to head out on a birdwatching walk around the school grounds. The school regularly feeds the birds (although they have recently been competing with local squirrels for the best treats!) and a soon as the groups were outside we could hear birds singing. The best views during the morning … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 26th January 2019: Big Garden Birdwatch – West Park, Macclesfield

Wildlife Explorers were lucky with the weather for their 2019 Big Garden Birdwatch (last year there was torrential rain!). Keen families of birdwatchers gathered near the café in West Park armed with binoculars and bird ID sheets. After a quick recap of the Top 10 garden birds for Cheshire in 2018 and some safety tips for using binoculars we set off to look and listen for the birds in the park. With so many eager birdwatchers it wasn’t surprising that we spotted a good range of species, however, we did manage to see some really special birds. We got excellent … Click here for more information…..

Friday 25th January 2019: Rainow Pre-School

Rainow Preschool was our youngest group of birdwatchers this year- some of the children are just two years old, with the more mature members of the cohort being as old as four! The session started with children identifying pictures of garden birds and listening to their different songs. The great spotted woodpecker was a big favourite and everyone knew the barn owl. With their new bird identification skills it was time to wrap up warm with hats and scarves to head outside on a birdwatching walk. Everyone was equipped with a pair of binoculars and listened intently to the safety … Click here for more information…..

Thursday 24th January 2019: Prestbury CE Primary

Volunteers for Wildlife Explorers visited Prestbury CE Primary School to hep run their Big School Birdwatch. As well as an assembly explaining how taking part in the birdwatch (and the Big Garden Birdwatch) can help the conservation of wild birds several groups of children ventured outside with binoculars to record the birds in the school grounds. Children got excellent, close views of carrion crows, robins and blue tits. A couple magpies were spotted too. As well as looking for birds children listened out for calls – the very first bird they heard was a nuthatch. The team were really impressed … Click here for more information…..

Wednesday 23rd January 2019: Kettleshulme St James Primary

The Birdwatch at Kettleshulme St.James was set against one of the prettiest backdrops we have ever had at a Big Schools’ Birdwatch. The school grounds and surrounding countryside had a thick covering of snow, under bright blue skies and glorious sunshine. Perfect conditions to look for birds. After an introduction covering bird identification, survey methods and the safe use of binoculars each class spent time outside looking for and counting birds. The very first bird spotted was a starling – we got great views with the telescope – the sunshine highlighted the gorgeous green and purple tones of the bird’s … Click here for more information…..

Monday 21st January 2019:Looking Out For Our Garden Birds

The first meeting of 2019 was designed to prepare everyone for the biggest event in the RSPB’s year – the Big Garden Birdwatch. Leader Helen devised a fabulous craft – a garden bird collage featuring some feathered favourites – a blue tit and a robin. Children used postage stamps to make the bird’s plumage to great effect. After a quick talk about the importance of the garden birdwatch in monitoring bird populations (which also featured a light sabre and Leader Susan’s incredible transformation into Queen Elizabeth II) it was time for some practical birdwatching. Trainee Junior Leader Natasha took on … Click here for more information…..

Monday 21st May 2018: Birds of Prey – Predator Design Perfection

The penultimate indoor meeting of the season focussed on birds of prey and the incredible adaptations that make them formidable airborne hunters. Leader Martin explained that as well as sharp beaks and powerful talons (all perfected to deal with different prey) these birds have a whole host of mind-boggling special features to make them efficient and effective predators. In owls the facial disc channels sound precisely to allow hunting at night and their feathers have a soft edge facilitating silent flight, enough to surprise unsuspecting mice and voles. The fastest animal on earth, the peregrine falcon, can only achieve amazing … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 13th May 2018: Exploring Fletcher Moss, Didsbury – Birthplace of the RSPB

The Wildlife Explorers visit to Fletcher Moss Park and Parsonage Gardens took advantage of a glorious sunny day. There are two main buildings on the site, one of which, The Croft is famous as the birthplace of The RSPB. In 1890, Emily Williamson held a meeting at The Croft to discuss the exploitation of bird for their feathers. The Plumage League was formed and great work was done campaigning against the use of bird feathers in fashion, particularly millinery. Birds like the Great Crested Grebe were saved from the brink of extinction. On joining forces with Croydon’s Fur and feather … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 29th April 2018: Dawn Chorus and Barbecue Breakfast

It’s that time of year Wildlife Explorers set their alarm clocks for 5.00 am and head to a beauty spot close to Macclesfield to listen to the incredible sounds of the Dawn Chorus. 35 Wildlife Explorers gathered at the car park at the bottom of Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Leader Martin played a selection of bird songs so the group could start to familiarise themselves with the sounds filling the woods. Families learned how to identify Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Wood pigeon and the distinctive trill of the wren. There was a carpet of pretty, white wood sorrel flowers and the … Click here for more information…..