Unlike most Wildlife Explorer meetings our last outdoor meeting of the 2016/17 season required some special equipment: sun hats and suntan cream. It was a glorious, sunny day and very, very hot Armed with binoculars, bird books and a couple of birdwatching experts we walked along the River Bollin looking and listening for the largest number of bird species possible. We were hopeful of seeing dipper and even kingfisher and although they didn’t feature on our final bird list we did see a really good selection of different species and had great views of grey heron sunbathing with their … Click here for more information…..
Wildlife Explorers and their families undertook a long and sometimes winding journey to the Welsh coastal town of Borth. The weekend started proper with Explorers meeting early on Saturday morning at Ynyslas National Nature Reserve. As well as the beach and remarkable sand dunes of Ynyslas the reserve also includes Cors Fochno, an internationally important peat bog and the Dyfi Estuary, an internationally important feeding ground for thousands of wading birds. There was an exceptionally high tide so those who parked on the beach made sure that they were as high up as possible! We assembled at the Visitor … Click here for more information…..
Wildlife Explorer families gathered for a Treasure Hunt in glorious spring sunshine at Tittesworth Water, a Severn Trent Water site near Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands. As well as the fabulous vista of the reservoir itself there were many incredible views of the nearby Roaches. Leaders had secreted clues in a series of natural locations, each identified with a cleverly rhyming riddle. Explorers hunted out the clues and, with only a few hints, found all of them. Finally the treasure itself was located, our very own Treasure(r), Tim Wilson, who treated everyone to a … Click here for more information…..
Enthusiastic conservation volunteers from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers joined Cheshire East Countryside Ranger Ed Pilkington on the Middlewood Way to help on a water management project to create and maintain important wildlife habitats. Armed with a variety of tools the group raked drainage ditches clear of choking weed. Wooden planks were used to strengthen the banks and form dams so that areas with deeper water were created. The group were delighted to see that frogs were already gathering and spawning in some of the ditches, meaning that the improvements that were made would have an immediate effect providing safe places … Click here for more information…..
Our indoor meeting for February took place on a night of pouring rain – appropriate for a meeting about lots of water! At the start of this very creative meeting Wildlife Explorers used their imagination to create a fabulous array of acrostic poems – all based on nature and wildlife. Leader Martin made sure he was wearing the correct safety equipment – a wet suit, fins and face mask! – to talk to the group about the different layers in the ocean. He explained how changes in light and importantly pressure alter the communities of organisms at different depths. The … Click here for more information…..
Volunteer Leaders from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers helped to run a special bird-themed day for home educators at Jodrell Bank Arboretum. The session focussed on taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, The RSPB’s national citizen science project and the biggest wildlife survey in the world. The group learned about the work of the RSPB, the methodology for the bird survey, how to identify some common wild birds and how to use binoculars safely. Armed with binoculars, telescopes and identification sheets families explored the Arboretum in gorgeous spring sunshine. After one hour the bird list comprised 18 species including … Click here for more information…..
The weather forecast did not bode well for our Big Garden Birdwatch at West Park in Macclesfield and when the leaders arrived to get setup we wondered if anyone would brave the cold wet weather. We should have had more faith as several brave Wildlife Explorer families joined soon after to take part in the worlds biggest wildlife survey. The Big Garden Birdwatch Survey has been running since 1979 and last year over 519,000 people took part counting 8,262,662 birds. The bank of 35 years worth of data helps us to monitor trends in numbers and understand how birds … Click here for more information…..
Some of the youngest birdwatchers we have seen in 2017 took part in the Rainow Pre-School Big Garden Birdwatch. At the start of the session children learned how we identify birds by listening to their calls and looking at their colours. Everyone wrapped up warm to go outside. Some of the children had brought their own binoculars from home. The whole group learned how to use binoculars safely and to be especially careful not to look at directly at the sun or walk along when looking through them. Despite the cold weather it was very bright and … Click here for more information…..
There have been sunny birdwatches. There have been rainy and even snowy birdwatches but we think our 2017 Big School Birdwatch at Puss Bank Primary School was the coldest yet! The temperatures were down to minus two degrees! Working with a partner, birdwatchers from Reception, Year 1 and Year2 used binoculars and identification sheets to help them take part in the survey. Children got great views of bullfinch and chaffinch. Blackheaded gulls flew overhead looking very white against the grey sky. Year two pupils really got the hang of spotting the birds and pointed out … Click here for more information…..
Our afternoon Birdwatch at Kettleshulme St. James Primary School this year was conducted in bright winter sunshine. It was cold and blustery too so students wrapped up well with gloves, coats and some fantastic hats. All three classes learned about the ways birdwatchers use their senses to help identify birds. Class three even identified some famous birdwatchers (from Albert Einstein to Cameron Diaz!). Volunteer Leaders were very impressed at how well all the children remembered the safety rules for using binoculars from last year’s survey– ‘Never look at the sun with binoculars’ was especially important due … Click here for more information…..