You will find out about all the exciting stuff going on with the RSPB in the east of the UK. We cover our sites in the following counties: Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, and some of our great Lincolnshire ones. So if you are if you have never heard of the Strumpshaws and Snettishams or Stour Estuary or Sutton Fens here is you chance.
Love Nature Week: Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June
Spring Watch Monday 30 May to Thursday 16 June
Make your Nature Count Saturday 4 June to Sunday 12 June
Home of Spring Watch 2011, Ynys-hir woodland canopy hide, Ynys-hir RSPB reserve. Photo Credit: Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Blogger: Gena Correale-Wardle, Community Fundraising Officer
Last weekend I visited Titchwell Marsh reserve for the first time in about 18 months. I was hoping to spy some of the ‘star species’ that the North Norfolk coast has to offer, including marsh harrier, bittern and bearded tit. Before I started work at the RSPB I had never heard of, let alone seen any of these birds, but it’s strange how they so easily become a part of your world and you expect to see these new-found-friends every time you visit their home. So along I went, dragging my boyfriend with me in an attempt to introduce him to these magnificent avian allies of mine.
Unless you’ve been living under a very sheltered rock you’ll remember that last weekend was very blustery and birds aren’t particularly fond of the wind. Titchwell definitely seemed to be feeling the effects of the strong winds, the skies were almost clear except for a few hardy gulls battling against the gusts and summer swifts swirling above our heads.
I couldn’t help but be disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to use my birdie knowledge to educate my teacher boyfriend on the delights of North Norfolk’s nature, although he seemed to be more interested in enjoying the delights of Titchwell’s tea room anyway! Nevertheless we ventured to the new Parrinder hide (so cool!) to look out over the quiet lagoon. No marsh harriers dancing but plenty of mallards with their ducklings, greylag geese with their goslings and avocets with their fluffy, straight-beaked chicks. Oh so cute.
Then we saw our ‘star spot’ for the day. A courageous coot was walking along the bank of the lagoon being blown about by the wind, his feathers in total disarray, making me feel a lot better about my own windswept ‘do! My man was so blown away by this little guy going about his daily business, I was glad that the ‘star species’ of Titchwell were hiding for the day. I’m sure if there had been bitterns booming and beardies pinging we would’ve overlooked our coot friend, but it was nice to see this ‘ordinary’ species bringing such joy to someone who has never really been interested in birds before. Oh so coot.
Birding is a little bit like celeb spotting sometimes, brilliant to see the most famous rarities in the flesh, although they never stay long, preferring to get back to their exclusive lifestyles. Watching our coot was more like seeing one of your mates in a flap trying his best to scrape together a yummy lunch despite the adverse weather and the wind blown barnet. We can all relate to that!
Coot. Photo Credit: Jodie Randall (rspb-images.com)
Blogger: Kim Matthews, Campaigns Intern
My best friend knows me so well. Gifts in recent years have included home-made hedgerow jam (yum!), tickets to see the Foo Fighters (woohoo!), a sponsored acre of eucalyptus forest in Australia to help koalas, a hedgehog box built by her own hands to Hedgehog Preservation Society standards and finally a bug box for my garden.
The bug box arrived on my birthday four or five years ago now and I put it up in the garden straight away, in eager anticipation of all the insects that would soon arrive and take up residence.
It has been a very long wait! Until last week that is, when I noticed something flying around near my water butts. Several somethings in fact. On closer inspection it turned out to be bees and they were busy exploring the bamboo tubes of my bug house, which was hung nearby. Some of the tubes were already sealed up with mud. Apparently they store pollen in there and then lay an egg on top!
So I am now the proud landlady of a colony of red mason bees. It’s so nice to see that nature has finally put its stamp of approval on one of my wildlife home offerings. Fingers crossed it will be the hedgehog box next!
You can join in and help stepping up for nature by visiting our shop online and finding all your own wildlife homes http://shopping.rspb.org.uk/c/Wildlife.htm