30 Days Wild in June 2019

“Try 30 Random Acts of Wildness in 30 Days! I’d love people to connect with the wildlife around them – I think lots of people don’t know how to do it… this is the perfect way to start and discover how you can make a difference. Where will your wild adventure take you?”
Gillian Burke, TV presenter, biologist and Springwatch presenter

You can join in here and I will hopefully post some of the Random Acts of Wildness I get up to with my son.

The pack you get when you sign up for #30dayswild

Big Garden Birdwatch Results 2019 – The RSPB

In my own Big Garden Birdwatch the house sparrow dropped from top spot, mainly down to the hedgerow being removed at the end of last year by Taylor Wimpey. Instead it was the starling at the top, followed by the sparrow, blue tit, long tailed tit and wood pigeons.

Since we have planted three new trees at the rear of the garden to go some way to replacing the lost hedgerow habitat, we have seen a few more sparrows plus a regular pair of blackbirds, a wagtail and even Jenny wren has been back to sample the delights of the bug hotel I made with my son last autumn.

Top spots

We can now reveal 2019’s results. Once again, the house sparrow has hit the top spot. At number two is the starling, closely followed by the blue tit and the blackbird.

The woodpigeon flies in at number five, followed by the goldfinch, great tit, and robin at number 8. The top eight remain the same as last year, so it’s a battle for numbers nine and 10. The chaffinch has seen off the long-tailed tit to be at number 9, and the magpie has crept in at number 10.
Read more here

The Big Garden Birdwatch is almost here

Share what you do with #BigGardenBirdWatch
From bird-box makers to bird-cake bakers, the Birdwatch is a chance to get crafty and creative. Will you be inspired by what our stars have been up to?  We’d love you to tell us what you do!

How will you #BigGardenBirdWatch? 

Nicky is a keen knitter and likes to knit the birds she sees: “The Big Garden Birdwatch gives me a chance to enjoy the birds in my garden. I can watch them and turn them into knitted versions.”   Get pattern
What was top in 2018? Last year’s most sighted
Find out which birds made the top ten in last year’s Big Garden Birdwatch. Will it be the same in 2019?   See results

Bug hotel open for business :)

You can find more on how to make your won bug hotel on the RSPB website

It is not to hard to make (even for a DIY challenged dad like me!), I simply sawed up an old pallet we had taking up space and then my son designed & filled the hotel. It includes leaves, conifer, cardboard & an egg box with straw and sand on the ground floor and a felt roof, covered in soil. Aiming to spread a few wildflower seeds on top next year. Hopefully it will welcome its first guests soon!

More hedgerow disappears in Didcot…

Taylor Wimpey destroying more hedgerow. During the past couple of years since moving here it has been host to lots of birdlife including sparrows, starlings, wood pigeons, robin, dunnock, wren, blue & coal tits and magpies. The wood pigeons and magpies did nest here and in a nearby tree, also removed by the developers.

d1

There is still a little bit of hedgerow left, although not much cover left for the smaller birds and nesting sites hasve gone. Having a bit of hedgerow at the bottom of a new home should be a good selling point? I guess it doesn’t fit the neat new home plots they wish to create, which makes a mockery of their supposed environmentally focussed development plans.

d2

Only a small piece of hedgerow granted, however it won’t be replaced and it has dispersed local birdlife and wildlife, which is being replicated daily throughout the GWP development. I don’t disagree new homes are needed, however brownfield sites such as the power station and an overall plan as part of the Didcot Garden Town plan should be adhered to, not just greedy developers building and be damned to the consequences on local wildlife and infrastructure.

The current allotment plan you can comment on until this Friday 9th November 2018 by visiting here

It sounds good, new allotments with parking, however as always the devil is in the detail and if approved it will see spoil from elsewhere on GWP used to raise the level of allotments; a busy footpath to West Hagbourne closed (one nearby has been closed since December 2017 until 2020!); high trees planted blocking views of the nearby countryside and increase in flooding risk.

#birdlife #savethecountryside #didcot #taylorwimpey

Save Hagbourne Fields

hfTaylor Wimpeys application is now open for comment at on SODC’s website. Comments have to be submitted by the 23rd May and please visit the Facebook page for ideas on your comments over the proposed plans.

The plan is for 900+ houses to be built on fields between Didcot and East Hagbourne village which would destroy fields and natural habitats further, plus increase the risk of flooding and more transport congestion, pressure on local services, etc. There is already a Didcot Garden Town plan in place and this proposal is not part of this.

RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch 2018

The house sparrow was the most popular bird seen on this year’s RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch (BGBW) and that was the top spot when me and my son did our bit for the BGBW. Not far behind though were blue tits and long-tailed tits in numbers spotted.

Interesting article on how to help encourage wildlife in your garden here.