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This is the official blog for Phoenix, the RSPB's membership group for teenagers.
  • Drawing inspiration from nature

    My name is Shaheryar Chishty, I live in Sheffield and I am twelve years old, I am very passionate for my poetry. My favourite time of year is December, my reason for this is that the most splendour bird is often seen at this time of year, the king fisher. It manifests its pallet of harlequin colours however it is very difficult to catch a glimpse of it because of it’s speed.

    My most treasured wild life moment was when a blue mopho sat on me shining it most glistening wings at the butterfly park. When I am older I plan to be a neurosurgeon however I would like to do poetry as a hobby. My inspiration for my poetry comes from my father’s photography. My father’s art and my lyrics work together so well. For the coming season you should look out for some exquisite birds like the jay.

    One of the best places to go when you’re feeling stressed is the botanical garden, the reason for this is that the area has tranquil ambiance and you may enjoy your verdant surroundings. My technique for writing poetry is to look at the subject I intend to write about, if any ideas or phrases come to my mind I note them down in my book, if I rearrange the words they end up as a poem.

    Sweet Robin

    I like to frolic

    I like to leap

    To sing melodiously in the trees

    In the autumn I look for worms

    I perpetuate my journey in the sky

    Looking for different meals

    So my family can try

    I attract many birds

    Due to my pulchritude

    My brown marble eyes

    My breast is dipped In bronze

    Escaping from the commotion of the claret sky

    I rest on the apple tree, and watch people go by


    The blue morpho  

    I live a life of mirth  

    Fluttering, coming to rest on my verdant bed 

    My life is very short 

    Only a few weeks  

    But my wings lie 

    Inflating like bellows, taking a deep breath  

    I live my time to the fullest  

    Feeding on saccharine vivers  

    Making my satin wings coruscate  

    I clap through the air  

    Putting a magic enchantment on my lovers  

    To stop and glance at my lustrous colors  

    I wear a burnt sleeve on my wings  

    I rest my wings  

    A silky brown closed book 

    Until I take off again 

    I open this book and display the iridescent pages 

    A shade of indigo  

    A flickering light  

    I charm the flowers with all my might. 

    The life of the rocks 

    In the babbling  


    Bubbling stream 

    Rocks sit together  

    Blanketing themselves  

    In a viridescent green 

    The lemon waters 

    Are gushing all day long 

    Gurgling and cleansing  

    They sit firmly and strong  

    They endure the cold  

    And drink the morning breeze  

    The sun peaks dutifully  

    Shining through the windows of the trees  

    The oak trees cough gently  

    Releasing fluttering leaves  

    landing on the heads of the rocks 

     for it is their freedom to explore  

    It’s what they need  

    The rock remains squatting  

    Rooted to the ground  

    Serving nature responsibly  

    Sitting still not a sound  

    Sometimes it’s a retreat  

    For birds to drink and perch  

    To play with their friends  

    To take a bath and to chirp  

    The rocks have lived for many many years  

    They have witnessed all the laughter  

    And lived all the tears. 

    Joy in The Night

    Joy is the moon crescent smiling down at you with vivid, silver, lips

    Shining luminously as it watches over you, creating sprightly shadows that dance

    The trees revel at the spectacle of their own silhouette

    As they bounce buoyantly between the winds whistles,

    Slowly whistling sending the trees to sleep

    Cradled in the arms of the wind

    The dragon flies flutter with flavescent leaf wings

    Their bodies are varnished in a sapphire ink, illuminating the night sky

    Attached to the eyelashes of the fern lays still the dragonfly

    Waiting for the giant jacinth fire ball to be tossed in the horizon

    To start the new day.

    Woodland treasures

    The robin ceases its evening song

    The cricket holds its last croak

    For a bird, will come out

    The curtains have opened of the old oak

    Here it comes

    A bird with Smokey quartz feathers

    Eyes like glass beads

    One of woodlands greatest treasures

    It dawdles and it dives

    From high ascending trees

    Dodging dainty daisy’s

    Passing buzzing bees

    It’s often seen flying

    Traveling in a pair

    Chasing after each other, exuberantly

    Fluttering in the air

    He wears a dark brown blazer

    With a cerulean silk cuff

    A cream bowler hat

    A stripy fluffy puff

    The trees call for it to be perched on

    Shading the Jay with its leafy canopy

    The Jay shares his adventures to the tree

    And the tree speaks natures profundity.


    By: Shaheryar A. Chishty 

  • My Local Patch - Alexandra Palace Park, London

    Just over 150 years ago, Alexandra Palace Park was opened as a Victorian leisure park, with 196 acres of woodland, open grassland, formal gardens and a boating lake. The 'Peoples Palace' sits up high in north London and has spectacular panoramic views of the city and its incredible skyline. I know that it might appear strange, to some, that we get some great bird watching opportunities but trust me, we get some 'megas!'

    Since the age of 9, I've been very lucky to be part of a local birders group, who, excuse the pun, took me under their wing. Over the years, they have shared their knowledge, experience and passion of birding and in return have used my younger eyes & ears to spot for them. 

    One of my most memorable times was when I was off school, recovering from an appendectomy. Feeling kind of miserable for myself, I sat up in bed, gazing out of the window. I'm rather lucky that I have a good view of the boating lake and my mood was quickly lifted when I thought I saw something rather special. I grabbed my binoculars, checked what I thought I had seen and then yelled to my mum to come quickly. I swiftly put on my clothes and we sped off to get close to the lake. Were my eyes deceiving me? "Quick Mum, call Dom, I've got a smew!'


    Within moments, word was out that I'd found this rare winter visitor and birders from all around excitedly arrived. It was simply brilliant and with cameras clicking furiously, we all captured the female duck as it repeatedly dipped in and out of the lake, diving for fish.  

    The Ali Pali birders

    On another occasion, I was out with a couple what are affectionately known as, the 'birding blokes'. We were near to the cricket ground, surveying the scrubland close by. Then miraculously something caught our attention. A small sparrow like bird was on the ground. We focussed our binoculars and were amazed to see that it was infact a wryneck, sitting on the grass. At first there was some doubt, as the grey colouring with brown mottling are common in many birds. It was only when we could clearly see the dark band of brown, running down from the back of the head, that our hopes were confirmed.


    In my garden, which is adjacent to the park, I get some terrific birds. These have included; fire crest, yellow browed warbler and even a peregrine falcon. My favourite of all though, has to be the bird that, in 2010, made my Christmas Day complete...the redpoll. The freezing conditions were ideal and with niger seed feeders full, at one point I counted 23 fabulous finches, including both lesser and mealy varieties.


    So next time you're in this wonderful part of the country, please take a moment to look up, down and all never know what you might see! 


  • UNbelieveable - UN climate talks

    With the current UN climate change talks upon us, what has actually been achieved since the Paris talks last year? Well considering it has only been a year - and in political time that is very little and in geological time it is nothing at all - we have made some good starting points. As we can all agree climate change is not going to go away and we need to tackle it head to save our planet.

    From 6-17 November the UN nations are meeting again in Bonn to discuss and carry on what they started in Paris. However America and more precisely Donald Trump have backed out of the agreement which is a big step back for the climate as America is one of the largest producers of greenhouse gas. On the positive side of things major producers like China are still in and are surging ahead with plans for a greener future.

    Image Andy Hay

    From these talks me and many others would like to see many things done to better our planet. However maybe some things are more pressing than others. 70% of the atmospheres oxygen comes from the sea, it is produced by marine plants like phytoplankton. However the ocean currently has about 10 million tons of plastic in it. 10 million tons. That's equal to 1.5 million adult African elephants in our oceans. 

    Our oceans are under a constant hail of pollution, with over fishing, oil spills and all the rubbish that goes in there. In a hundred years time if nothing changes then going to the beach will not be a leisurely experience as you will have to wear and full body bio hazard suit. The sad thing is that the world has enough resources to empty the seas of rubbish and prevent there to be any further build up. It would cost less than the United States defence budget for one year. So here's a thought how about we stop threatening to blow each other up and actually spend all of this money to making the world great again. 

    In the coming years there will be lots of tension within the environmental sector as growing countries want to produce the more and more goods to boost their economies and get themselves into the upper echelon ring of "superior" countries. This continual economic growth will undoubtedly put out a lot more greenhouse gas into our atmosphere and will therefore contribute to climate change. These developing countries will never agree to stop production however we must find ways to reduce their carbon footprint or to reach a compromise otherwise our planet will surely face its demise.     

    William Walsh