Posts Tagged ‘Birds’

This afternoon the Wildscreen Media Team joined Paul House to learn all about how ornithologists catch wild birds in order to ring them and monitor populations.

Paul and his team have set up a number of mist nets around the Kings Weston site so that we can discover the variety of bird species found here. Mist nets are an important tool for scientists as they help to monitor the diversity as well as the number and populations of bird species within a within a given area.

Find out all about it in Kathryn’s interview with Paul:

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It’s cold out there! And as you sit toasting your feet by the fire, snuggling deep into a duvet or layering yourself up with your collection of novelty wooly jumpers, spare a thought for our furry, feathery, scaley and crawly friends out bearing the brunt of the weather.

So what can you do to help your garden wildlife this winter?

TIP 1: Feed the birds

Flying takes a lot of energy and birds need to eat a lot to let them keep active during the winter. Lots of species fly south to avoid the worst of the frists but lots of species stick around all year and some even visit us just for the winter – flying in from even colder climes!

There are lots of comercial bird feeders and foods out there but for an afternoons fun and an energy packed birdy snack, why not make your own bird cakes?!?



  • Lard
  • Porridge oats
  • Bird seed
  • Peanuts (unsalted, crushed)
  • Mealworms*
  • Dried fruit*
  • Plastic cup or bowl to use as a mould

*optional extras

Melt the lard in a large pan and allow to cool but not set then add the other ingredients until the mixture is thick but still pourable.

Pour the mixture into your moulds and push the stick, with string attached, into the centre of the mixture so that it acts as an anchor. Then put in the fridge to set. Once set, you can pop the mixture out of the mould and hang it near to some cover (such as a bush or tree).

It may take the birds a couple of days to notice your bird cakes so its usually best to put out just one at first to avoid waste, but as soon as they catch on your garden will become the most popular cafe in town! All you need to do is sit back and watch and you can identify the birds you attract using a field guide – a great pressie for the budding birdwatcher!

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Its a fresh and frosty afternoon in Bristol and a mad summer of BioBlitzes seems like an age away. As Bristol gears up to Christmas we’ve joined the Bristol Green Capital Blogfest to join the city’s finest environmentally minded organisations to help you have green, wildlife friendly festivities this year!

First out of the blocks was Wildscreen with a blog on Green Christmas Trees!

ImageWatch this space for some tips for sustaining your garden wildlife this winter and we’ll be dispelling some wintery wildlife myths! But first, who can identify this berry munching winter visitor?

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While many of you were sound asleep in your beds a few of us lucky enthusiasts enjoyed the most beautiful sunrise on the dawn chorus walk.

Dawn chorus walk

Dawn chorus walk

The walk started at 4.30am with an intense chorus of birds greeting us in the car park where we met Ed Drewitt who provided us with his great knowledge of bird song. Notable vocals heard during the walk included gold crests, blackbirds, chiff chaffs, great tits, tawny owls and many more.  As the sun gradually rose higher in the sky the bird song intensity decreased as if someone had turned the volume down.

We also saw some hares, a first for Tyntesfield, roe deer, squirrels and rabbits, well worth getting out of bed for! Look out for the video coming soon…

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This afternoon we witnessed the slightly harsher side to nature after stopping to listen to the panicked alarm calls of a female black cap that flitted in and out of the shrubbery. After watching her for a while to try to identify the cause of her distress, a jay suddenly flew up out of the undergrowth.

The black cap tried her very best to distract the jay from where she clearly had a nest full of chicks but unfortunately it was to no avail, and the jay appeared with a fledgling wedged in its beak. A tasty meal for the jay and a very sad day for the black cap mother. I guess that’s just nature taking it’s course, but I can’t help feeling sorry for the mother who now has a much depleted brood.

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