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A wildlife-filled weekend!

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Unfortunately its the end of the holidays and this weekend I made the most of the nice weather and went bird ringing as well as visiting RSPB Pulborough Brooks.
It was a 4:45 start on Saturday, arriving at Cissbury Ring as the sun was rising on the horizon. On the walk down past the fields a male yellowhammer sang loudly from the top of the hedgerow and numerous skylarks blurted out their song all around me. The thick fog magically seemed to clear as I arrived at the ringing site.

It was quiet bird wise, catching only 20 birds, including chiffchaffs, blackcaps, wrens, bullfinch and a willow warbler which was nice as I hadn't seen one yet this year. 

After hearing 8 ring ouzels had been reported at cissbury ring I decided to have a quick look on the walk back to the car. Luckily enough within 5 minutes I spotted 4 of them close together, hopping around and reappearing above the mounds as they were feeding. Surprisingly I had never seen a ring ouzel before so it was a lifer!

This m…

Spring birding

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On Saturday I was finally able to get out and do some birding! The weather didn't look very promising but I decided to go down to Pagham Harbour anyway. We started off by walking down to the left side of the habour, stopping to have a look at the feeders that were just outside the vistor centre. A brightly coloured chaffinch, house sparrows and a female blackcap were making the most of the seed that had been put out. 
Walking down the path I spotted a chiffchaff skulking around the vegetation and a dunnock singing very loudly. We then were at the start of the mudflats, which the majority of had been covered by the high tide. All of the waders were crammed on to the remaining land, which included redshanks, curlew and lots of snipe which were hiding in among the grasses. There were also lots of black-headed gulls which were flying around and being extremely noisy! We then drove down to Church Norton and walked to the beach. Looking out to sea with my scope I could just about see a…

In search of hawfinch!

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Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to take advantage of the recent 'invasion' and see a Hawfinch for the first time. These birds are normally difficult to see as they are quite elusive and tend to be seen in only a few sites around the UK, with the Forest of Dean being one of their strongholds.

On New Years Day I visited RSPB Pulborough Brooks, in hope of seeing one as they had been reported there nearly every day. Braving the heavy rain, I headed out to the reserve. After hearing someone say "hawfinch!" behind me I had a look but by the time I had got my scope set up the small dot in the distance had flown off! After waiting for about 10 minutes to see if they reappeared I carried on walking around the reserve, ticking off 26 species whilst doing so. In the west mead hide I managed to see whooper swan, a lifer, through my scope in the distance. I also saw barnacle goose, lapwing, canada goose, teal, starling, wigeon and pied wagtail.




So with seeing 2 s…

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! A summary of 2017...

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With Christmas being only a day away and 2017 drawing to a close its time to reflect on what I've done and achieved this year.

January
I was pleased to have been able to write an article in New Nature, a newly founded magazine which  is written by young naturalists. I also finally managed to see Waxwings, a beautiful bird that breeds in Scandinavia.



February
My favourite photo this year was taken in February, of a robin in a snow flurry at RSPB Pulborough Brooks. This month I managed to go birding a lot, seeing barnacle and white-fronted geese for the first time at Cuckmere Haven.



March
In March I saw a drake goldeneye, which was a lifer! I also was lucky enough to write another article in New Nature magazine, called 'why is birdwatching uncool?' and I wrote a blog for Wildlife Watch (Junior branch of the Wildlife Trusts) on finding nature in urban areas.




April
I launched my photography website thanks to Zenfolio and visited Old Lodge Nature Reserve where I saw redstart, woodl…

Take part in our bright future campaign!

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Being a young person who has a strong interest in wildlife and the environment I believe it is so important for other young people to be interested as well. Not only does it benefit wildlife and the environment but it has its benefits for us as well. Just being outdoors in nature has been proved to be good for you. Therefore I am glad to be supporting the 'Our Bright Future' campaign. Here's some more information about it:

'Our Bright Future is an ambitious and innovative partnership led by The Wildlife Trusts which brings together the youth and environmental sectors. This £33 million programme funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund is formed of 31 projects across the UK. Each project is helping young people aged 11-24 gain vital skills and experience and improve their wellbeing. At the same time, they act as catalysts for delivering change for their local environment and community; whilst contributing to a greener economy.' Recently they launch…

A rather cold morning at Old Lodge

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A chill in the air and the crunch of frost under foot, it was a beautiful morning at Old Lodge Nature Reserve in Ashdown Forest.


Walking on the main path of the reserve, the first bird I noticed was a Raven. This massive member of the crow family flew past me, its deep, croaking call echoing throughout the woods. Among the trees were a few coal tits flying from twig to twig, feeding on the conifer seeds. A couple of goldcrests joined them, also feeding on the trees's seeds.

The cold weather had brought the robins out, with one perched very festively on some holly. Walking through the now rather dull looking heather, a pair of stonechat were perched on top of a surprisingly flowering gorse bush. When you stop and listen, you can really hear how the stonechat's call sounds like two stones being knocked together!



Further round the reserve I heard the harsh call of the skulking dartford warbler, the same place I saw one last time! It perched on top of some gorse and at one point w…