Yesterday I was volunteering for the RSPB at one of their Date With Nature events on Hampstead Heath.
Down on Pond 10, we mostly kept the telescopes trained on a heron, and four cormorants sitting one on each corner of a jetty in the middle of the pond. There were also heaps of coots which spent most of the day having wing-flapping fights and trying to drown each other – hilarious to watch.
Over the course of the weekend, all the species spotted by the team or the public were recorded on a whiteboard, and we clocked up a massive list, including tufted ducks, ring-necked parakeets, gulls, tits, moorhens and even a red kite.
Up in the tent, we talked to people about becoming a member and about next weekend’s Big Garden Birdwatch.
I was in charge of the craft activity – making bird-feeders from apples, sunflower seeds and a piece of string which went down very well with the kids (and a few adults determined to have a go.)
Jess and Lyndon recruited a rather splendid six new members, and lots of people stopped to chat – including one familiar looking guy who we later confirmed as singer David Gray! A big bird fan it seems.
Locals told us if we’d been a bit earlier we might have seen the legendary Bill Oddie, who lives nearby and is often out on the Heath in the morning by all accounts.
A brilliant way to spend my Sunday – can’t wait for the Big Garden Birdwatch now!
Hope you’ve got your hour set aside to see what you can see in your own garden or local park….
- Herons: 1
- Cormorants: 4
- Celebrities: 1 (possibly 2)
- Chocolate Biscuits: approx 18 (half a large packet of choc digestives)