Garden Bioblitz this weekend 31 May-1st June

A garden bioblitz is a list of all the wildlife found in your garden over a 24 hour period. Don’t worry, you don’t need to Blitz non-stop for 24 hours or have any special wildlife skills! Just go out at different times of the day, take lots of photos and upload what you have seen. They’ll even help you identify what you find. Click on the link below for more info.

http://www.gardenbioblitz.org/

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Two wildlife competitions launched!

wildlife photography

sunflower competition

Yesterday we launched two competitions, it’s not too late to join the sunflower growing competition, if you plant this weekend and we get some sun, then there’s plenty of time. We also look forward to seeing the entries to the Orchard Park wildlife photography competition.

It’s not too late to join in. If you can’t get to a garden centre, please contact me for sunflower seeds, compost and biodegradable plant pots….

Pictures from the ‘Habitats’ event yesterday

Making and decorating biodegradable plant pots

Making and decorating biodegradable plant pots

Decorating water dishes

Decorating water dishes

making plant pots

Making plant pots

planted sunflowers

Planted sunflowers

kate and kids Choosing wildlife stickers[/caption]       

We had a fun morning making biodegradable plant pots, planting sunflower seeds, and decorating water dishes for birds. Habitats is simple, food, shelter, and water, the events yesterday will provide food and water. I’m sure we’ll cover shelter at another event.

Next event

poster 27 May 2014 ver5We’ll be decorating water dishes for birds and potting sunflowers seeds which you can plant out in your garden. They’re bright and sunny plants, they attract wildlife, and provide seed for birds. There’ll be a prize for the tallest sunflower, come along to find out more information. Please note children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Tuesday 27 May, 10-12am, The Orchard Community Centre, Central Ave, Cambridge, CB4 2EZ.

Finally, a good picture of a goldfinch

good goldfinch

Although this is a good picture because it’s the first I’ve been able to take outside and not through my streaky windows, I’m not sure all is well with this bird. All of the other goldfinches I’ve tried to photograph are very alert and fly away at the first sign of me going outside to try to take a picture. This one has been at the feeder a couple of times that I’ve noticed today, and it is not as aware of its surroundings and is not as skittish as the others. I hope it’s OK and that readily available food might be helpful to it, if it’s unwell.

Sadly I found the bird dead under the feeder on Monday 😦 I’ve cleaned all my feeders in a very very mild bleach solution with a dash of environmentally friendly washing up liquid, then rinsed everything several times in clear cold water to ensure all traces of chemicals were removed. Bacteria and viruses can spread in areas where a lot of birds congregate.

In readiness for our next activity on 27th May….

IMG_1654Orchard Park Wildlife Project’s next two activities will be based on habitats. The most important things about habitat in a wildlife garden are: food, shelter, and water. Take a look at the RSPB website, it’s an A to Z of wildlife gardening for ideas on food, shelter, and water that you can add to your garden. http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/wildlifegarden/habitats.aspx

Male Zebra Spider with Fangs!

IMG_1659

I just found this little character on the wall next to my bed, it’s less than a centimetre long. It’s a male zebra spider (Salticus scenicus), the males have fangs which point forward, and they’re clearly visible on this photo. I’ve just seen another one on the ceiling, it’s a good job I’m not scared of spiders. More information can be found at: http://www.uksafari.com/zebraspiders.htm