Thursday 25 September 2014, 14:17
Young guest blogger Elizabeth Guntrip celebrates the work of Butterfly Conservation.
I always find it interesting to see the consolidated results of a wildlife survey I have taken part in. Once we have handed in our records, it is very easy to move on in the rush of our busy modern lives, but I feel it is important to stop and take note of the conclusions we have helped produce. Springwatch 2014 encouraged thousands of people to take a keener interest in the state of our natural world, as well as contributing to the increasing number of participants in various citizen science projects.
First up this year BBC Springwatch promoted Butterfly Conservation and their iRecord Butterfly app. Downloads of the app increased by 1775% from 40 a day to 750 a day following a mention on BBC Springwatch, but the main focus was the Big Butterfly Count, which ran from 19th July - 10th August. Participants were asked to record the number of individuals of each of 21 target species for fifteen minutes on any day within those dates.
One of the great things about this study is its flexibility: you could choose the location for your study, with suggestions ranging from parks and school grounds, to forests...
Wednesday 17 September 2014, 08:45
Guest blogger Tom Walker introduces timelapse photography.What is Timelapse?
Time-lapse is a cinematography technique that allows us to manipulate time, it reveals things that happen slowly over several minutes, days or even months to create the illusion of time moving faster. Whilst the technique is highly effective in the world of film-making and can be a very technical process, it doesn’t have to be, and anyone with a camera or even a smart phone can give it a try.
If you’re interested in photography and own a camera then the chances are that you already have just about everything you need to get started. Film can be recorded at various frame rates but is generally played back at 25 frames per second. Time-lapse is achieved whereby the frequency at which the frames are captured is much lower than this play back frame rate. Thus the lapsing of time and as an example, 250 frames taken over 30 minutes played at 25 frames per second would give a 10 second clip.
Camera setup: For the best results we need to take control of as many variables in the camera as possible. By not allowing the camera to make decisions on shutter speeds, aperture, ISO, focus or white...
Friday 29 August 2014, 12:04
Guest Blogger Jason Alexander challenges you to to try a different kind of 5 a day.1. Photo by Jason Alexander
Stop. Look. Listen! Sound familiar? No, this isn’t a blog post about road safety, it’s about taking time to relax a little and get closer to nature in your garden.
‘When was the last time you were in your garden and just stopped, sat quietly and watched and listened to what’s going on around you?’
You’ve probably heard people ask this question a number of times and you’ve probably had a go at doing it, I know I have, and I bet you probably noticed one or two things you might not have done if you had just carried on at your usual pace. But how long did you actually sit there for? How many of your senses did you consciously use?
For me, getting in tune with the living and breathing organism that is my garden is a lot like meditation. I find it a brilliant way to start or end the day and even find time to incorporate it into my lunch break occasionally.
I’ve probably taken things a little further than most however by creating a simple routine I follow each time.
Have a go. You know it makes sense!
I’ve found following these easy steps not only helps...
Friday 29 August 2014, 11:57
Guest blogger Lucy McRobert offers some words of advice for budding young naturalists.
Sometimes it can be hard to have an interest in something: the idea of having a hobby just isn’t ‘okay’ anymore. I certainly found that growing up – and no, it wasn’t actually that long ago. People still ask me ‘what do you want to do when you’re older?’ and I’m 23 years old! I tend to reply with a blank expression, because I’m still not quite sure.
I do know that I want to work in nature conservation, and I have a few regrets from my teenage years. When I was a kid, I remember filling my...
Thursday 14 August 2014, 14:31
A guest blog by Dave Sexton RSPB Scotland Mull Officer
It had all the hallmarks of an unfortunate accident: large sea eagle chick jumps up and down on nest, flapping wings, loses balance, misjudges landing and topples off nest to fall 30 feet to the ground below. After all, we had been here before. Sadly some eagle chicks do fall to their deaths when shuffling about on the nest or when they’re beginning to be more mobile and exercising their newly feathered wings. During the Mull Eagle Video Diaries for Autumnwatch 2008, I found Fingal and Iona’s nearly fledged chick, dead at the bottom of the...
Friday 8 August 2014, 12:53
This Summer and as part of the #100DaysofNature project we've been seeing a huge amount of great insect photography. But photographing insects isn't easy so we asked Kate Stenton, Summerwatch young guest blogger and photographer, for some top tips.
Insects are everywhere, in all shapes, sizes and colours. With these 10 tips and a lot of patience and practice you will soon be on your way to producing stunning images of these magnificent creatures.
Tripod Support will steady the camera, and allow you to produce sharp images, which is a must for insect photography. If you don't have a tripod...
Thursday 31 July 2014, 11:14
It's National Marine Week and Summerwatch young guest blogger, Chris Daykin has sent us a blog on the Orcas of the west coast of Scotland.
The killer whale, otherwise known as the orca, is one of the world’s most widespread predators and is found in all the oceans from the Antarctic to the Arctic. It is a predator at the top of the food chain, hunting even great white sharks. The west coast of Scotland is host to a community of 9 orca, made up of 5 females and 4 males. The five females consist of Nicola, Lulu, Moneypenny, Puffin and Occasus. BBC Wildlife named Occasus as part of a competition...
Wednesday 30 July 2014, 15:42
A long-time friend of the Watches and avid wildlife advocate, Kate MacRae writes an encouraging post on getting out and about with your family. And no, you don't have to be expert in any sense of the word, you just need to get out! There are some excellent links and further resources below - enjoy!Photo by Kate Macrae
Why not take the opportunity this summer to get out and about with your kids and discover that some of the best things in life really are free!!
Being both a parent and a primary school teacher, I am well used to spending the vast majority of my time with the younger generation...
Friday 18 July 2014, 11:43
Michael Blencowe is the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Community Wildlife Officer.
A guest on this year's Springwatch Extra, he kindly wrote us the below guide on how a beginner can trap moths and become a fully flapping 'Moth-er'.
Moth Trapping for Beginners
You can sit in your garden all day and enjoy the butterflies, birds and bees but the best wildlife that lives there only comes out when you go to sleep – the moths. With 2500 species in the UK our moths have our butterflies outnumbered 43 to 1. And in many cases moths are much bigger and more colourful than our butterflies. There...
Thursday 17 July 2014, 14:47
Summerwatch young guest blogger, Olly Frampton kindly wrote us this post on how to get involved when it comes to recording butterflies.
An iconic sight of a British Summer, butterflies floating past at the peak of a gloriously sunny day, on only the slightest breath of wind. They are a delight to see no matter where you are, whether it's your garden, your local park, workplace, or at a local nature reserve. Butterflies are one of the most iconic species on Earth, with many people believing they represent beauty, freedom, peace, and that they are a sign of a healthy environment.