This frog in my garden pond let me get really close to photograph it. It remained completely still, watching me carefully. A small pond can be a great wildlife haven, perhaps the best way to attract animals and birds into your garden so you can see them at close quarters.
Perfect day to cycle to the local plant nursery for a few plants for the pots on my front doorstep. It gave me the idea of using some things from the recycled bin such as boxes, cans and tins (take off the label on a baked bean can, use an empty golden syrup tin) as these would make lovely plant containers and brighten up any window sill or patio. Have a go at making fun planters with your children and send us some photos!
Yesterday my daughter and I rounded a bend in the road and there standing infront of us looking at us with it’s huge angelic eyes was a fluffy tawny owl chick. It must have fallen out of it’s nest onto the road and was looking a little dazed.
Neither of us were owl experts but we knew that we should not just pick the owl up and assume it is abandoned. Many owl chicks are rescued un-necessarily by well meaning people such as ourselves when in fact if old enough and un-harmed by their fall, are able to climb back up the tree using their talons and the help of their parents. This owl however was still pretty young and was in great danger as it was on the road, and in the time it took for us to park up safely and get out of the car a Red Kite (large bird of prey common to the chilterns) swooped down hoping for an easy dinner. It was not going to survive for much longer!
Quickly my daughter took off her shirt and covered the baby owl which allowed her to bundle it into the car (she is much braver than me! I saw its talons!). This owl was very lucky because Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital at Haddenham in Buckinghamshire, was only a short drive away and within minutes the baby tawny owl was delivered to expert volunteers who were able to administer fluids vital to its survival. It has now joined a group of about 6 other rescued tawny owl babies and will be reared and then released back into the wild!
If you want to have a look at the wonderful work they are doing at Tiggywinkles go to www.tiggywinkles.com The public are not able to view the owl babies but they do have a lot of long term residents such as Red Kites, badgers, foxes, and of course orphaned baby hedgehogs, plus a visitor centre and museum where you can learn about british wildlife care. You can also donate or become a member and subscribe to their regular newsletters to hear about all their amazing work.
Where ever you live why don’t you go for a walk and see if you can see any birds nesting, look for the adult birds and watch them delivering food to their young. Be very careful to watch at a distance so as not to disturb them.
Look out for us at Dun Coillich community nature reserve near Coshieville in Perthshire on the 23rd June where we will be making things out of sticks, telling stories and discovering wildflowers. It will also be a chance to meet some local authors! This family event will start at 2pm. Email us for further details – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Sunday we had a magical time at Hartfield’s first ever Children’s Book festival. The rain stopped, the sun came out and Going Wild introduced their new book The Stick Book to 40 children and their families. Off they were sent to find a very special stick and with the help of a little bit of clay and some other natural materials they let their imaginations run wild and an exciting bunch of weird and wonderful characters were created! We had fire bats and tree trolls with rocket boosters, beautiful bird queens that lived on chocolate with pet fish and then the storytelling began….!
The Stick Book – loads of things you can make or do with a stick The Stick Book @ www.franceslincoln.co.uk
Different from our other books, it s written for children to share with their parents or teachers rather than the other way round! It is a handy size for taking outdoors and retails at £9.99. Build a large pterodactyl, a fairies wand, make a crown and have your face painted… just some of the many adventures you could get up to, all inspired by a simple stick!