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…..

Tuesday 22nd January 2019: Puss Bank Primary

Our morning at Puss Bank saw volunteers and enthusiastic pupils coping with a wide range of weather conditions. As well as snow showers, sleet and cold temperatures there were also moments of bright sunshine and some mist! The morning started with an assembly (indoors!) where we learned about some of the birds that we might see. Volunteer Leaders were really impressed by the bird identification skills on show as robin, blackbird, blue tit, house sparrow and starling were all identified with ease. After a quick talk on using binoculars safely it was time to venture outside in the wintry conditions. … 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 January 2019: Rainow Primary

Our first Big School Birdwatch of 2019 took place at Rainow Primary School. As usual Year 3 split into two groups to count the birds, taking it in turns to take part in the indoor and outdoor part of the survey. The outdoor group used binoculars to spot birds in the school wood and around the grounds, taking care to look around the edges of playing fields in the trees and bushes. The most exciting spots of the morning had to be a song thrush and a treecreeper, looking for food whilst moving carefully up the trunk of tree. The … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 2nd December 2018: Tree Dressing and Silly Hat Competition

Every year Wildlife Explorers head into the woods at the end of National Tree week to celebrate trees and their importance to wildlife, people and our culture. Trees are decorated with a mix of natural materials. Budding artists took inspiration from the festive season, the natural world, mythology and popular culture. All the materials used are biodegradable and leave minimal impact on the environment as they weather and degrade. This year’s tree dressers were extremely fortunate, enjoying a couple of hours of dry mild weather in what was otherwise a very wet weekend, perfect conditions for working outdoors with clay. … Click here for more information…..

Monday 19th November 2018:Nature’s Superheroes – Wildlife Super Powers

Our temporary home for the December Indoor meeting was Parkroyal school. We made the most of the lovely surroundings and access to the hall for our session on Nature’s Superheroes. To start off with everyone collated a booklet of nature puzzles and colouring.Leader Martin explained how some incredible creatures use ‘super powers’ to help them survive. We learned about the speed of cheetahs and peregrine falcons, the visual acuity of Buzzards, the strength of dung beetles and the design skills of decorator crabs! Martin also explained the arsenal of defensive and attack weapons of the box jelly and leopard sea … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 10th November 2018: Conservation Work – RSPB Coombes Valley

Wildlife Explorers headed to RSPB Coombes Valley Nature Reserve for a morning of practical conservation work in Bellpit Meadow, a short drive from the Visitor Centre. The weather gods looked kindly upon the group and we benefitted from yet another dry outdoor session, despite a dubious forecast earlier in the week. The first task was to plant around 100 hawthorn saplings around the edge of the meadow using a slit planting technique. Warden Paul Bennett demonstrated and then explained how to use the tools correctly.  As well as raking up bramble and nettle that had been cut earlier in the … Click here for more information…..