Thursday, 11 March 2010

Observance of Commonwealth Day

The Observance of Commonwealth Day. On Monday I went to Westminster Abbey for the service to which the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago also attended (and 2,000 other delegates including school children). The service had representation from the different faiths and all the Commonwealth counties. It included key speakers such as Lord Robert Winston - the speeches and activities all related to the Science, Technology and Society theme. At the end of the service the Queen laid a wreath with the help of Savita, Director of the Natural History Consortium and then on her exit from the abbey, Martha from Kenya and Gotham from India were are at the entrance to hand the Queen and Camilla some flowers. David Hill, Uni of Bristol, and I were stood nearby with the flag bearers and the choir as they came out. The results of the Bioblitz will be submitted to Buckingham Palace (BP) with the view to seeing if the Consortium can do a bioblitz of the BP gardens to help promote our work further.

This evening there was a stakeholders event at the zoo for the Bristol Natural History Consortium to celebrate a year of activity in 2009 and the local and national projects (including what we've just done) that will be running in 2010 - the Year of Biodiversity. The museum will be involved at the three main events the Consortium runs - the Bristol Festival of Nature, Bioblitz and Communicate conference. It was a great evening with a fab presentation by Savita and Sara and met some wonderful people from organisations across the city and beyond.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Showreel hot off the press

I'm very excited as hot off the press is my new showreel:

covering a story about peregrines hunting at night, looking for berries in the Avon Gorge and the process of ringing birds at Chew Valley Ringing Station.

A huge thanks to Rob Morgan and Jeremy DeCoursey for all their time devoted to the amazing creative editing and Rob's producing and directing, Theo Webb for his advice and camera work (and camera!) and Claire Thompson for logistical and photography support on the day - I'm incredibly grateful to you all! Thank you.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Bioblitz in Westminster Abbey Gardens

Thursday was an exciting day as I was doing a Bioblitz for the celebration of Commonwealth Day in the gardens of Westminster Abbey - this year's theme is Science, Technology and Society. With Savita Custead, Director of the Bristol Natural History Consortium, David Hill, University of Bristol (and lichen guru!), a consultant from the Commonwealth Societies we worked with Martha from Kenya and Gotham from India to find as much nature in the gardens as possible. We found all sorts of plants, many native, others from abroad, various birds and of course lichens (21 species believe it or not)! Highlights included a pair of Peregrines flying in and landing on the Houses of Parliament just 40 metres away and Great Tits busily singing and chasing each other!

On Monday there will the Observance of Commonwelth Day at Westminster Abbey where the Queen will find out more about what we have been doing. Savita, Martha and Gotham will present the Queen with a wreath and those of us involved will get the chance to mingle with the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla! This is a great way in which all the Bioblitzes happening across the UK can be publicised and be given some national and international recognition.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Leading bid ID course 28th March

I'll be leading a Spring Bird ID course at Folly Farm in the Chew Valley on Sunday 28th March 2010 (with a particular focus on learning bird song).

1pm – 5pm
As the days lengthen and spring is on the horizon, birds are busily preparing for the breeding season – this is an ideal time to get out and explore the stunning 250 acre nature reserve of Folly Farm and learn how to identify the variety of birds singing around the reserve from song thrushes to wrens and chiffchaffs to chaffinches.
Join me in the journey of exploration around Folly Farm with practical and theory sessions.
Cost £35