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Tweet of The Day

Wednesday 31 July 2013, 15:42

Michaela Strachan Michaela Strachan Presenter

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Editor's note: Michaela Strachan presents Tweet of the Day from 1 August. Here Michaela shares her love of birds, with a look ahead to some of this month's Tweets. You can listen now or download the programmes to keep.

Michaela Strachan Michaela Strachan

If you'd like to be truly spoilt with the sound of bird song, listen to Radio 4’s ‘Tweet of the Day’. This month you'll hear my dulcet tones along with a daily Tweet. August Tweets include the Stonechat, Oystercatcher, Bullfinch, Golden Eagle, Barred Warbler and many more. What a truly terrific tweet of a treat to wake up to!

Birds have held and always will hold a fascination for me. How I would love to be a bird just for a day, to be able to fly and see the world from a totally different perspective. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being fascinated by migratory birds - how does a bird as small as a swallow fly all the way from the UK to South Africa every year? It will always baffle me. I do it regularly but with the help of a plane and a lot of fuel!

Stonechat Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) - image courtesy of RSPB (rspb-images.com)

I love watching birds, but I am not really a birder. My knowledge is sketchy to say the least, although having done Springwatch for a couple of years it’s a lot better than it was! I’ve been lucky enough to go birdwatching all over the world though so here are some of my highlights:

• Seeing macaws and parrots at a chalk lick in the Amazon, truly a stunning multi-coloured sight. 

• Watching a satin bowerbird in Australia decorating his bower nest with blue bits and bobs like pen tops and ribbons to try and attract a mate.

• Watching hundreds of vultures at a ‘vulture restaurant' in South Africa - it was like a giant carcass bird table but your average patron was a little larger than a blue tit.

• Seeing Carmine bee eaters in Zambia and watching them fly in and out of their river bank nest holes.

• Holding a harpy eagle in Panama and really testing my biceps out.

• Getting a kiss of a hummingbird in Canada! It was for ‘Michaela’s Wild Challenge’. I stood by a sugar water bird feeder with lips pursed and sugary lipstick and had a lot of patience!

• Becoming a volunteer for SANCCOB and helping them with their African penguin chick bolstering project. We filmed rescuing late born chicks and rehabilitating them for re-release for a series called ‘The Great Penguin Rescue’. It’s being edited now. 

• Going to Antarctica and seeing hundreds of wild penguins.

• Watching the common sandpiper sitting on eggs by the railway line on last year’s Springwatch, surviving the trains and the rains!

• Seeing those gorgeous water rail chicks on this year’s Springwatch. Following Monty the osprey over two years on Autumnwatch and Springwatch.

Hmm....I’ve just realized that for someone who’s not really a birder, I’ve been truly spoilt!


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