Instead of the 5 minutes as instructed by Cambridge Natural History Society’s citizen science instructions, I’d set my recorder to go for an hour…. Bob Jarman of CNHS was willing to listen to identify the birds he heard, and patiently listened through the hour long recording twice. I found it very relaxing listening to the birds add to the song in the early hours. A shame about the rain, and racing cars, and road noise. After about 15 minutes many more birds join in. You could just be surprised though, you might get an hour of calm if you listen, as Bob did, twice.
Thank you very much indeed Bob for identifying them for us. These are the birds he heard:
Dunnock: 1 briefly towards end
Song Thrush: 1 briefly and distant towards end.
In last 10+ minutes a knocking I couldn’t identify – could be bird tapping on feeder but don’t think it’s vocal.
It’s Fledgeling Time Again
So far I’ve seen young Blue Tits, Great Tits, and Starlings coming to feed.
See these blog posts for more information on their wing fluttering behaviour, what to do if you’ve seen a fledgling you’re concerned about, and what to feed them. Don’t forget to break peanuts up to make them smaller and suitable for young birds before you put them out.
It was dawn chorus day on Sunday morning… here is how you can almost effortlessly contribute data to NatHistCam and enjoy the dawn chorus in your garden as well.
I have been experimenting with using a mobile phone to record the dawn chorus. This is recording the dawn chorus out of your bedroom window, so it involves no early morning expeditions into the wilds of Cambridge, merely placing a smart phone on an empty mug on your bedroom window sill and opening the window to let the wonderful sounds of the dawn chorus into your bedroom. Matched with your post code this will provide lots of bird data which will add to our knowledge of the song birds of the city.
This is the method I have tried and it seems to work very well.
1) If you haven’t got a sound/voice recorder on your phone download one from the ap store. There are lots of good free ones and they seem to work quite well. The one i have been using is voice recorder by quality aps. It gets a score of 4.8* on the google app store….so it’s pretty good. I am sure something similar is available for apple)
2) I set the app to record in mp3 in the settings (which is more compressed than most other formats and works very well)
3) I then place the phone on a mug (just something handy to raise it up a little) by an open window.
4) At between 4am and 5am (set your alarm) You start it recording and record typically 5 mins of the bird song. The phone should automatically adjust the recording volume to capture the relatively quiet sounds.
5) Email me the recording for analysis to a special email address for this firstname.lastname@example.org (A special email for this project…frosted orange is a rather gorgeous moth and has no other significance) please add to your email: your name and email address and post code of where recorded and the date and time of the recording
6) I will then put the mp3 you send me into audacity (which is a really good sound editing program) and adjust the volume of the recording
7) We (Me and I hope Bob Jarman will help) will listen to the recordings to identify the singing birds and work out what birds are singing where in Cambridge
8) You can do more than one recording as the species singing can change during the dawn chorus
9) If you cant do it on Sunday then any day the following week will do but please say which day you recorded it on.
I hope you will enjoy this easy way to enjoy the dawn chorus. You can go back to bed once its done!
Taken directly from the Associated Press website: “Nature is in more trouble now than at any other time in human history, with extinction looming over 1 million species of plants and animals, scientists said Monday in the United Nations’ first comprehensive report on biodiversity.
It’s all because of humans, but it’s not too late to fix the problem, the report said.
Species loss is accelerating to a rate tens or hundreds of times faster than in the past, the report said. More than half a million species on land “have insufficient habitat for long-term survival” and are likely to go extinct, many within decades, unless their habitats are restored. The oceans are not any better off.
Conservation scientists from around the world convened in Paris to issue the report, which exceeded 1,000 pages. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) included more than 450 researchers who used 15,000 scientific and government reports. The report’s summary was approved by representatives of all 109 nations.”
From the IPBES press release: “To increase the policy-relevance of the Report, the assessment’s authors have ranked, for the first time at this scale and based on a thorough analysis of the available evidence, the five direct drivers of change in nature with the largest relative global impacts so far. These culprits are, in descending order: (1) changes in land and sea use; (2) direct exploitation of organisms; (3) climate change; (4) pollution and (5) invasive alien species.
Despite progress to conserve nature and implement policies, the Report also finds that global goals for conserving and sustainably using nature and achieving sustainability cannot be met by current trajectories, and goals for 2030 and beyond may only be achieved through transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors.“
The following information has been adapted from the Eden Project Communities Network website and the Eden Project Communities Blog.
Join The Big Lunch Community Walk 2019 in Cambridge! #TheBigLunch
The Big Lunch community walk is just around the corner and the Eden Project Communities folks can’t wait to announce their amazing walkers this year.
From 17 May, four teams (one from each nation) will step out on four routes to shine a light on people who bring their communities closer together. They’re walking up an appetite for The Big Lunch and inviting everyone to join in on the Big Lunch during the first weekend in June.
Orchard Park Wildlife Project was very lucky to be able to go to an Eden Project Communities Camp a couple of years ago. We joined the folks from the 2017 Great Big Walk at the end of their day at in the south of Cambridge at Nightingale Gardens, and since then we’ve enjoyed and learned at a workshop at Birmingham Botanic Gardens, and during online workshops. Thank you so much Eden Project Communities for your support 😀🙏
Join in the Walk at Orchard Park
When: Thursday 30 May at 11.00am
Where: Multi Use Room at the Sports Ground on Ring Fort Road
The walkers will be reaching Cambridge on Thursday 30 May, and they’re going to visit Orchard Park at 11.00!Do join us. Orchard Park Wildlife Project and Orchard Park Community Council will welcome them at the Multi Use Room at the Sports Ground on Ring Fort Road and show them some of our wildlife habitats, and activities we’re doing to help make Orchard Park better for people and wildlife. We’ll provide drinks and Andrew Chan, Chair of Orchard Park Community Council will be making some of his delicious cakes.
They’re moving onto Empty Commons Community Garden (near Cambridge University Botanic Gardens) to be there for around 1pm and then walking from there to the Margaret Wright Community Orchard (off Newmarket Road near Coldhams Common) for a tea party potlock between 4-6pm. The idea is to connect our green projects and our communities, and people are welcomed and encouraged to join in on the walk through Cambridge. You can join us just at Orchard Park, walk throughout the day, or for a little of the day. It’s up to you how long you stay, but we hope you will join us.
Jo Brand, presiding over the opening ceremony for the walk last year, said “Last year there were so many negative things going on in the world, it was nice for three weeks to be able to shine a light on the incredibly determined walkers and the diverse communities all over the UK coming together to welcome them passing through. I urge anyone to consider stepping up for the challenge this year…if nothing else it’s the perfect excuse to eat cake all day as you potter along!”.
Over two weeks, the walkers will journey across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and will walk home just in time to bring out the chairs and hang the bunting for their own Big Lunch – that’s what they call dedication!
Every day on their travels, the walkers will be connecting people and communities across the UK and finding out how they are preparing for our biggest weekend of the year. Their teams will be reaching out to people along the way, spreading the word about The Big Lunch and encouraging everyone to join in, share food and have fun where they live.