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 email@example.com (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!
Map of Cambridge Wildlife groups, by Cambridge Wild
Cambridge Wild at Earth Optimism
We had lots of visitors to the Cambridge Wild stall on Saturday with many interesting conversations concerning such matters as the best locations for bug hotels, how to grow your own tomatoes and where and how to volunteer for wildlife activities. Importantly, we asked people to make a pledge to help wildlife and the environment. We hope everyone got their pledge passports stamped and counted at reception in the David Attenborough Building, and look forward to hearing how many positive actions were promised. The slogan for the event was: BECOME INSPIRED, LEAVE EMPOWERED Please do as you pledged
Orchard Park Wildlife Project enjoyed being there as part of Cambridge Wild, along with Cambridge Natural History Society; many thanks to Rebecca Jones and Monica Frisch from the respective organisations for setting up a great stall and inviting us along.
Would you be interested in having your garden surveyed? Cambridge Natural History Society are looking for people who’d be happy to have a survey team identify the animals and plants living there. By taking part you’d be contributing to a Cambridge wide project mapping our local fauna and flora.
From the Cambridge Natural History Society website:
“Urban domestic gardens occupy a substantial proportion of the area of British towns – about 20-25% according to a study in Sheffield. They are a notable resource for wildlife and full of interesting plants. In summer 2016 we developed a protocol for recording species in gardens and tried it out in four. We are looking for gardens in as many Cambridge monads (1-km squares) as possible. We are trying to spread the gardens out so that we have only one in each monad.
In each garden we note the plant species, and ask the owner to tell us of the vertebrates that they have seen in the past two years. We also record what we find when we go there. We ask the owner for information about management, in particular pest control and wildlife management. Then we go and make records of (1) Vascular plants (summer), (2) Small mammals (autumn) and (3) Bryophytes (winter). As part of the plant recording we take soil samples and note the weeds in two squares of size 1 m² placed in flower beds.”
They’re also interested to see what we’ve found at the Wildlife Area, so we’ll provide our records.
Please let us know if you’d like to take part if you’re in Orchard Park by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org we’ll pass your details on to Cambridge Natural History Society and we can provide some assistance to identify what’s living on your doorstep 🙂 If you’re outside Orchard Park and/or you have ID skills and are willing to help with surveys, please contact NatHistCam@gmail.com