The Mating Game kicks off on BBC1 tonight with scenes of courting and companionship (Sunday 3rd October 2021) and Sir David Attenborough narrates. A species very survival depends on them being able to breed, so this is a critical topic.
As many species are threatened by habitat loss, poaching, a lack of food and water, pollution and climate change, it is essential that species can reproduce. This is harder for some animals than others – you’ll see that amongst the episode there’s one called Against All Odds.
There are five episodes covering:
Grasslands (that’s on Sunday 3rd October)
Against All Odds – this one features animals who really have the odds stacked against them so they have had to develop extraordinary strategies to breed and survive
The programme comes to us from the makers of A Perfect Planet. Here’s its website – there are some truly stunning videos and photographs so do take a look.
Don’t miss: BBC2 on Saturday 18 September 2021 at 8:00pm.
Natural World are focusing on giraffes, and in particular the work of conservationist Dr Julian Fennessy who aims to round up 20 giraffes – the world’s rarest – and take them across the huge Nile River.
The programme is from 2016-2017 but is well worth a watch, and the BBC has clips you can see on their website.
Dr Fennessy is the Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. The charity say that giraffe numbers have declined by almost 30% in just over 30 years; there are now about 117,000 in the wild
The Foundation includes 19 people from 16 countries and 4 continents, all striving to help secure the giraffe a future.
And it has a new initiative to increase giraffe field conservation and management actions right across Africa! It’s called the Giraffe Action Fund and it identifies and supports field conservation campaigns and actions which protect and promote giraffe conservation.
For example, it helps action to
Increase giraffe numbers, distribution and habitat
Help with conservation education and awareness to safe giraffe and minimise the largest threats
Set in the stunning of Yorkshire, in the beautiful Dales, the series is about the vet, James Herriot. As a newly qualified vet played by Nicholas Ralph, he takes up a post working for Siegfried Farnon (played by Samuel West).
Farnon can’t take pet seriously at all – he says that dogs need to work.
And when a dog causes trouble with a neighbour’s sheep, there are consequences for James.
He also has to think about whether he stay in the Dales…. Or head back to Glasgow.
This is a wonderful series with a cosy feeling, a warmth and an insight into social history and life in the Dales.
The Wildlife Trusts are challenging us all to do something WILD every day! That will be 30 fun, exciting Random Acts of Wildness.
There’s a free pack of goodies to help you plan your month, and your Wildlife Trust have lots of ideas to help. You’ll get emails too from your Wildlife Trust, and a chance to get involved on social media.
The first thing to do is to sign up and get your FREE 30 Days Wild Pack. It’s got a wallchart, a poster, an interactive booklet and some stickers to help you GO WILD!
There are many benefits of having contact with nature, whether you spend time in the garden looking at the sky or growing flowers and planting vegetables, or go on a walk through woods or up hills, or have a weekend glamping or forest bathing!
Those lovely folk Garden Wildlife Direct are dedicated to making caring for wildlife an affordable interest for everyone.
They've got a big selection of foods, feeders and habitats at great prices, so they are particularly great if you are just starting out on feeding our feathered friends.
They've got straight, seed mixed and suet foods; as well as a range of accessories and wildlife related products that will be sure to bring any garden to life.
Starting out...keep it simple
Now before I go any further, I will say that when we started out on feeding our feathered friends, we didn't make all this complicated at all. (I don't do complicated.)
We just gave our birds wild bird seed to start with, and now we've added fat balls (which they love) and peanuts. Oh, and they've got a couple of bird baths dotted about the garden. Nothing grand, nothing fancy, but they absolutely love it!
From feathered friends to hedgehogs...
Our German Shepherd (who sadly is no longer with us) brought us a hedgehog one night. His find inspired us, and so within 48 hours, we'd installed a hedgehog house (we call it the Hedgehog Hilton), a water bowl (the Hedgehog Bar, please note you just need to give them water, not milk) and now we've put in a very small pond with slopes so that the wildlife can get out easily. We call it the Hedgehog Leisure Centre.
We get lots of pleasure from watching our feathered friends in the garden - it's like having your own nature show but you can get away from the ipad, TV, laptop, computer, phone etc etc etc - and just enjoy watching them out of the window. Our garden isn't big, you don't need acres and acres to look after our feathered friends. Only this morning, I woke up and lay in bed listening to the tweet, tweet, tweet out of the window. It was lovely - the birds sounded so cheerful!
Our knowledge of which bird is which has improved a lot, and I've started to draw birds from a bird book I bought as a little hobby. Some of the birds are even starting to look like birds, somewhat to my amazement.
International Dawn Chorus Day is on Sunday 2 May 2021
I woke up at 4:30 this morning and lay in bed listening to the birds as they sang outside the bedroom window and thought how wonderful it must be to have such a glorious chorus every day to be so happy!
Listening to birdsong is a great way to start the day!
In fact, I’ve been waking up a lot recently at about 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning, and I find I just love lying in bed, listening to the birdsong. It’s such a lovely start to the day! OK, sometimes I do drift off back to sleep, but the birdsong is both soothing and motivating at the same time – I let my mood take me where it feels. It’s a wonderful way to empty your head of everything and just listen to our feathered friends. I find it very therapeutic.
Sunday 2 May is International Dawn Chorus Day
Anyway, the first Sunday of May (the 2nd May in 2021) is International Dawn Chorus Day. Would you believe that the event started out in the 1980s in Birmingham and now, people in over 80 countries take part!
It’s a worldwide celebration of the dawn chorus and people all over the world will be waking up in time to put the kettle on and just listen to our beautiful birds, whilst sipping a cup of tea, or perhaps they’ll just lie in bed and listen.
Take part – just listen to birdsong!
All you have to do to take part is listen! Who might you hear? The song thrush, the blackbird, or robin or blackcap or chiffchaff?
The Wildlife Trusts have lots of birdsong on their website to help you identify who you’re listening to. You could hear the song beforehand so that you can work out which bird is singing which song as you’re lying in bed, or you could listen to it afterwards to try to identify which bird you heard.
It’s organised by the Tree Council, and it’s a time when people across the country get out into the woods, walk in a local park or simply appreciate a street lined with trees.
But of course this year, things are different.
Knowing that time in nature has never been so important to our wellbeing, and that nature can be found everywhere, the Tree Council are making this May “Walk Where You May” month.
Here’s how to get involved:
Visit and appreciate one tree on your daily exercise – this could include a hedgerow, a street tree, the trees in your local park or woodland.
Share it in a tweet, a photo or video using #WalkWhereYouMay to inspire others and share nature with others.
Tag three followers to encourage them to take part as well!
The Tree Council emphasise that we must all observe the latest government social distancing guidelines, even if/when lockdown starts to ease. #WalkWhereYouMay is subject to change based on the government health guidelines.
As they point out, not all green spaces are open at the moment so check before you go and don’t travel by transport to visit green spaces. Go on foot to visit your tree.
By the way, the Tree Council are always looking for Tree Wardens! A tree warden is a volunteer who plants, looks after and stands up for trees in their patch! It's a great way to get your hands in the earth and plant trees, to raise awareness in your local community and be the eyes, ears and voice for the trees in your street!
Wildlife Tunnels are tunnels built under our roads so that amphibians and reptiles can cross the roads safely. They are invaluable in linking up important wildlife habitats and lessening the negative impacts our demands for infrastructure are having on British wildlife. Join Froglife's campaign for Wildlife Tunnels.
It doesn’t need to be enormous or complicated – take a look at this PDF from Froglife! Ponds are really important to wildlife – and it’s estimated that over a third of ponds have vanished in the last 30 years or so which has had a terrible effect on wildlife and especially amphibians.Frogs, toads and needs need ponds to breed – so if there are no ponds, there will be no frogs, toads and newts. And there’s nothing like enjoying the sight of your pond, however big or small it is.
When you’re out and about, spot wildlife and let Froglife know what you’ve seen! Froglife has the Dragon Finder App – a free app for Android and iPhone, with a mobile website version for other devices. You can identify amphibians and reptiles in the field and record what you see by letting Froglife know about your sightings whilst you’re out and about. They’ve got an online free guide to the sorts of animals you might see here.
The information collected will help the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust find out more about the reptiles and amphibians we all find in our gardens, and the habitats that they like. In turn, this will help ARC with its conservation work.
Volunteer for the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust - they have many reserves around the UK and it’s a great way to get out and about and to meet like-minded people whilst helping conservation at the same time! Help on their nature reserves or on specific projects.