January, 2011

Our work

Our work
You might be surprised to read that our work is far broader than nature reserves and Big Garden Birdwatch. Read more about what else we do.

Bugs, Birds and Beasts in the East

All of our up to date fun and frolics in the East from office antics to great conservation stories and those magical connections with nature.
  • Identity Crisis

    So the keen and observant ones amongst you would have spotted our slight change to our blog group title. The blondes in question have not been turned into bugs you will be pleased to know. The proliferation of non-blondes in the team meant that it was time for a change. I still consider myself a blonde and do even have "blonde moments" but as winter limps along my winter plummage changes to its more dull appearance.

    More and more at the RSPB we like to look at all the UK wildlife found in our countryside. This includes some of my favourites, the bugs and beetles of which I have an inordinate fondness.

     

  • Pimp my Heron

    Blogger: Becky Ingham, Face to Face Team Manager

    "How is H (the cleverly named Heron) doing?", the masses ask. He is now on his way to the repainting clinic, to have a lick of new feathers, some go-faster stripes and potentially a built in stereo, ready for his annual exciting excursion to eastern Englands largest heronry in St Albans. Each year, H plays an important part in this Date with Nature, standing next to toddlers to show them how tall he is, being carried around by enthusiastic volunteers and eliciting the call of 'Oy - you lookin at my bird?' at frequent intervals.

    This year H requires a lick of new gloss to keep him ship shape. As you can see, his trip started well - strapped into his 'harnser harness' and heading for some heron-aid! Bizarrely, my 8-year old daughter came running back into the house last night shouting 'Mum - there's a HERON in the car!'

     Question is, will I be able to keep two small enthusiastic heron 'first aiders' under control, or will H end up psychedelic? We'll keep you posted!

  • Thoughts of home

    I bumped in to an old primary school friend the other day. I hadn’t seen her for 17 years but she seemed just as lovely as she had been back then. She reminded me

    of playtime at my childhood home. Us building rafts together to float on the lake and my mum making us chicken kievs – Lucy’s favourite for tea time. The sky would turn Prussian blue outside the kitchen window as the blackbirds hurried to and fro, making clack-clack clacking calls as the sun went down.

     It’s funny the things that remind you of a certain home. I always remember the wildlife. When I think back to Gunton, the house I was born in and lived until I went off to university, it’s those blackbirds, and the nuthatches that would run headlong down our peanut feeders, looking like the bandits of the bird world with their bright white eyestripe that I remember most vividly. Gunton also reminds me of the woodpigeons outside my mum’s bedroom, patrolling the long limbs of the bright orange beech trees in autumn. And the rooks in spring, shouting from their treetop village, seemingly oblivious to anyone or anything other than nest building.

     University brought it’s own wildlife to watch. Black-headed gulls circling the playing fields beneath my bedroom window would entertain me with their squabbles and leisurely pursuits as I attempted to study for my exams. And my mum’s new house has it’s own birds too. Goldfinches flicking from silver birch to silver birch fluting their liquid metal song and the pearly heart of a barn owls face peering from it’s attic-space hidey-hole. Southrepps, the village Simon and I lived in when I was huge and pregnant, was alive with house sparrows and we would watch squadrons of them in the garden. When I hear the twittering of sparrows now it takes me right back to those heavy summer days up until Robin was born. One wakeful night we even had a tawny owl land silently on top of our bird table. We peered out in to the darkness to watch for a good twenty minutes before it took flight.

     Even though I thought I might never love a house as much as I loved Gunton, the little cottage we live in now certainly matches it. Woodpeckers drum, buzzards circle and in spring we are woken by twit-twoo’ing. I sat out on the garden’s swinging chair in summer and saw a tree creeper flat against the roof of the shed, wings spread, sunbathing in the warmth of the sun. 

     When you picture your home what wildlife do you see? It is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend. Why not build on the memories you have of your home and tell us what’s happening in your back garden.