About Me

Just a (very) short one, to say:  Finally!  I have an ‘About Me‘ page! 😀  I’ve decided I will be gradually turning my WordPress into my website, so it becomes more than just a blog!

In the past I used Webs, I believe my website there was looking ‘dated’ and I no longer do anything branded Nature On Screen – so I stopped using that site.  Eventually Canned Wildlife will look great!

Thanks for visiting. 🙂

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Video

Wildlife in August

A lot of birds are quieting down now, but Yellowhammers 🐤 are continuing to sing away!  Plus this is another great month for seeing some beautiful Butterflies! 🦋 

(The videos below were made a few years ago)

Thanks for visiting! 😊

Video

Day 14 – 30 Days Wild

“Tweet for the wild” 

14/06/16

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_14

Today I tweeted a link to the video below – which I made last year – about my favourite local patch and why it matters to me:

The poem I mentioned in the video:  Ode to a Secret River

Thanks 😀

Video

Day 3 – 30 Days Wild

Nature Highlights at Minsmere

03/06/16

Hello 😊

For day three, I caught up on Springwatch and UNSPRUNG episodes that I’ve missed, plus I’ve put together a short video of my highlights at RSPB Minsmere (below) featuring:  TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_03

  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Otter
  • Nightingale (Song)
  • Chaffinches
  • Sand Martins
  • Stone-Curlew
  • Barnacle Goose
  • Avocet
  • Redshank
  • Black-Headed Gull Chicks

Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting. 👍🏻

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Day 2 – 30 Days Wild

“Explore somewhere wild” 

02/06/16

I travelled near enough 4 hours from the West Midlands to Suffolk, so I could visit RSPB Minsmere, and also be in the BBC Springwatch Unsprung audience!  Some of you will know, it’s a reserve right on the East Coast of England!  And is a host to a variety of habits, wildlife and of course, BBC Springwatch!  😃  I came over on the Wednesday night and stayed in near by Leiston, at the  Field End Guest House.TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_02

I often wax-lyrical (to friends and family) about reserves that have a variety of habitats, I absolutely love them, because they are so enriching to explore and will be home to many different species of wildlife, which is fantastic to observe and have encounters with.

RSPB Minsmere certainly deserves it’s national recognition!  I will definitely be visiting again in the near future!  I arrived on the reserve at 10.30AM.

 

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I was very happy to be there!

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I love a good Log Pile and what an amazing extensive one this is!

Top Nature of the Day:

 

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That’s the Bittern Hide in the distance


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said Orchid


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Observing the Stone-Curlew (in the distance)


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Sand Martin colony


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Sea Thrift

At 5.00PM it was time to load the car up and get ready for Springwatch UNSPRUNG!

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Cueing up for Unsprung with Gary


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Waiting to be let into the Studio! 


On_UNSRUNG_2016

To see me on UNSPRUNG click here!

 

Thanks for reading. 😄

Video

Wildlife Monthly and Big Garden Birdwatch!

Wildlife Monthly – my seasonal video guide to British wildlife – is back!  😃

It has been 5 whole years since my first ever episode!  There were two series in total, which Reader’s Digest Magazine featured on their website, with the last episodes being uploaded at the end of May 2012.  Each month I produced 3 videos around a minute or more, detailing flora and fauna (mainly fauna) for you to look out for; be it in your garden, local park/reserve or further afield.

The idea this year, if all goes to plan, is to produce a single video per month, following that same criteria.  Episode 1 of 2016’s Wildlife Monthly is in support of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, in which I made some pink bird food.  It was filmed at Moseley Old Hall – National Trust, which is in located on the boarder of South Staffordshire and Wolverhampton – where for the day, I was Lord of the Manor.  😉 

Red Fat Balls and Lard Cake Recipe: 

  • 250g Lard (I used dripping, it’s fine to use suet and vegetable fat)
  • 150g Sunflower Hearts
  • 100g Crushed Peanuts
  • 50g Porridge Oats
  • 1 Red Gel Food Colour (Dr. Oetker)

Doubtless you’ll be doing yours in a kitchen!

  1. Crush the Peanuts with a pestle and mortar, or put them between a tea-towel and whack them with a rolling-pin.
  2. You don’t want to deep-fry the food, so just melt your chosen fat on a low-to-medium heat/flame.
  3. (Add everything to the lard and mix together) Turn your heat right down.  When everything is mixed together, line a small cuboid container with either grease-proof paper or clingfilm, fill it with the mixture halfway and pop it into the fridge – to set for an hour – creating your Lard Cake.
  4. Pop the rest of the mixture into the fridge for approx. 45 minutes, stirring every few minutes initially, so when it comes to making the mixture into balls it’s at the right consistency.
  5. Roll the mixture into fatballs – you should get approx. 6 in total.
  6. The rest is self-explantory/can be gathered from my video above…

RSPB.org.uk/Birdwatch

BTO.org/GardenBirdWatch

The breeding population of Goldfinches has risen by approx. 91% in recent years, and in Ireland the increase was around 158%!  The British Trust for Ornithology has launched a survey to determine what is attracting these fabulous finches to our gardens.  — BTO.org/Goldfinch-Survey

It’s estimated that since the 70’s we have lost 6 million House Sparrows!   However, I’m proud to write; in Birmingham they are in good numbers!  Along with Devon and Dorset, bucking the trend.  😊

UPDATE:

BGBWJan16

These are the results from my Garden Birdwatch (31/01/2016)

To catch up on pervious episodes of Wildlife Monthlyclick here.  

Thanks and all the best!  😀

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The Last of #30DaysWild in The Lakes!

This is a well overdue blog post…

If you saw my last entry in June, then you know I spent a week in the amazing Lake District!  This post is for the last 4 days of 30 Days Wild/June.  For those who don’t know – I stayed in a place called Little Langdale with 4 of my friends, who are some of the best people and I’m truly thankful for knowing them 😀  I’m sharing with you iPhone pictures of my wild-and-natural highlights.

Day 27

We looked and ambled around one of our nearest towns, Ambleside – before heading to our home for the week!  It had all the shops we would need 🙂

A part of Ambleside's recreational ground.

A lovely view from Ambleside’s recreation ground. Atmospheric clouds!

I saw my first ever Dipper just down there! On Day 27 of 30 Days Wild! :D

A few minutes before I took this photo, I saw my first ever Dipper down there! 😀 This is the River Rothay.

Of course we visited The Bridge House - National Trust.

Of course we visited the Bridge House – National Trust.

We had to walk up a pathway to get to our Little Langdale cottage, we had our very own tarn and everything! 😀

It was just our wee garden & a field that separated us from Little Langdale Tarn <3

Taken a little way down the pathway, but it was just our wee garden & a field that separated us from Little Langdale Tarn (the lake) ❤

Our cottage! High Hallgarth! <3

Mary, Scott, Nick, Charlotte & our cottage, High Hallgarth! ❤

The view from my bedroom window for the week.

The view from my bedroom window for the week ❤

Taken from our garden area, we were surrounded by hills and mountains.

Taken from our garden area, we were surrounded by hills & mountains.

Day 28

We awoke to a downpour…  Despite the rain we decided to explore and visit our tarn first! 🙂  Later we found out tarn meant something completely different to our friend Mary (the redheaded lass), in Barnsley it means town! 😛

We awoke to rain. Even in a down poor it is fantastic!

Even with unpleasant weather, it is fantastic!  I loved seeing our Tarn each day!

On the way over to our very local lake, we came across a variety of nature.  My friend Scott (the blonde chap) is excellent at spotting small members of the animal kingdom, and allowing me time to document his finds! 🙂

Chimney Sweeper (Moth)

Chimney Sweeper (Moth)

There's only one Orchid in this picture, but everywhere we went, we saw one or fields/meadows brimming with them!

There’s only one Orchid in this picture, but they were everywhere we went, with some fields/meadows brimming with them!  Like the field we passed through on our way to the tarn.

We didn’t quite expect to find our selves in boggy conditions, and couldn’t make it down to the Little Langdale Tarn!  So we decided to change course, move away from the tarn and get our exploration of Little Langdale underway!

We passed through this small pine wood.

We passed through this wood. Charlotte & Scott leading the way 🙂

We were getting closer to a known part of Little Langdale, Slater’s Bridge!  Which relatively, is a short walk from High Hallgarth.

A Common Toad :)

A Common Toad – which was on the path just before the bridge! 🙂

We passed over Slater’s Bridge.

We've passed over Slater Bridge now, this picture is taken looking back at the bridge.

Taken looking back at Slater’s Bridge.

High Hallgarth is the small white spec above the cottage you can make out.

High Hallgarth is the small white spec above the cottage you can just make out.

One could Lichen this to a map ;)

One could Lichen this to a map 😉

We’ve walked a fair distance now 🙂

Taken more or less on the other side of Little Langdale Tarn.

Taken more or less on the other side of Little Langdale Tarn.

Day 29

We’ve walked over Slater’s Bridge again, for another walk! 🙂

Common Bistort

Common Bistort – one of my favourite pictures.

Look what we came across…

We came across a cute wee family!

A cute wee family!

They’re not Cumberland Fell Ponies, but they’ll do 😉

That's it, don't be shy lil' foalie! :)

That’s it don’t be shy lil’ foalie!  …Hey, is that a Fell Pony to the top left? 😉

First stop, Elterwater!

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The view from Elterwater Bridge

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Looking down!

Quite a nice bridge... I'm going to go under it! :)

Quite a nice bridge… I’m going to go under it! 🙂

Under-a-bridge-Selfie!

Under-a-bridge-Selfie!

A bit of the view from the other side.

A bit of the view from the other side.

We’re some way away from Elterwater now, within Great Landgale.  I came across something I knew would interest the others 😉

Ermine Moth Larvae!

Ermine Moth Larvae!

Almost an entire hedgerow was covered. I've seen similar in Frankley :)

Almost an entire hedgerow was covered.  I’ve seen similar in Frankley 🙂

Cocoons!

Cocoons!

Ahaha! I believe they're waiting for me :P ...What a great view ;)

Ahaha! I believe they’re waiting for me 😛  …What a great view 😉

We eventually passed by these hills and later came across a little stream, that I sadly have no pictures of… But below is what Scott found! 😀

A Newt :)

A Newt 🙂

Caddisfly Larvae

I’m holding Caddisfly Larva! Or it’s casing at least…

Later on – on our way back, getting closer to Little Langdale – Scott finds something rather special!

Sundew! A British carnivorous plant! :D

Sundew! British carnivorous flora! 😀

Day 30!

The last day of 30 Days Wild!  We went on a Ten Lakes Spectacular Tour!  My highlights/things I managed to take pictures of:

The tour bus! Kindly modelled by Nick :)

The tour bus!  Kindly modelled by Nick 🙂  Behind Nick is Chris, our jovial Mancunian tour guide and his assistant for the day, Tess. (By the way, that’s not a ghost in the window, that’s a patiently waiting Charlotte) 😉

Beatrix Potter lived down there!

I believe down there is Yew Tree Farm, formerly owned by the brilliant Beatrix Potter!

That's Brothers Water in the distance.

Brothers Water is down there in the distance.

The weather was lovely at Ullswater!

The weather was lovely at Ullswater!

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Ullswater is a great place to go boating.

A cruise is part of the tour! 😀

It felt like I was in a scene of film, Jurassic Park for example ;)

It felt almost as if I was in a scene of a film, Jurassic Park for example 😉

Derwentwater is near Keswick.  It was funny feeling like I was in a film and then disembarking to a recently arrived Film Crew!  They were setting up for a remake of Swallows and Amazons, I hear it’s a BBC Films production.

After lunch we went to see a Surprise View 😉

Looking down at Derwentwater (far right)

Looking down at Derwentwater from this spot is called Surprise View!

(Far left) Looking down at Derwentwater.

More of Derwentwater from above.

Ashness Bridge, one of Britain's most photographed bridges :)

Ashness Bridge, one of Britain’s most photographed bridges, just down from Surprise View 🙂

Nick admiring the view :)

Nick in awe of Honister Pass 🙂

And…  that’s all folks!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog 🙂