We were handed a great opportunity to watch this particular migrant, a wheatear from inside the truck. Tom and I sat for ages watching this marvellous bird happily feeding on an abundance of insects.
A very un-camera shy wheatear
Old Hall Marshes was unusually experiencing a frenzy of human activity after well founded reports of a wryneck had been called in. News spread rapidly amongst the Old Hall birders.
Old Hall Marshes finest in action on the sea wall at Salcott Channel
Once again .... Mini moments make mountains out of mole hills!
So what is this micro volunteering all about? Each small action that a person takes can make a momentous difference when combined with a massive amount of people also doing that activity.
Good grief how many M’s have I used so far!
Having had a quick “Google” around there are many definitions of micro volunteering, from the i-volunteer site I found one that I think is appropriate for the RSPB, keep it simple works for me:
'small, quick, low commitment actions that benefit a worthy cause'.
These actions most often are something that can be completed in it’s entirety by a single person, usually taking anything from a few minutes to perhaps an hour.
Of course there is the example of our Big Garden Bird Watch where each individual spends one hour counting birds in their garden. However, the real value comes when hundreds of thousands of results are added together to give a UK wide picture.
Micro volunteering is often something that you can do from your own home, perhaps on a computer, mobile phone (oh okay, for you youngsters I mean the smartphone) or within your local community. You could be fully dressed or even in your jimjams (pyjamas!).
So are you intrigued? Do you want to know more ...... ?
There are many opportunities for you to step up for nature (in your underwear, if you are so inclined), here are just a few:
And of course, you can always get involved by signing one of our petitions or an online pledge - check out our appeals on our website www.rspb.org.uk.
Mobile phones can be recycled: fundraising for the RSPB - Photo by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Staying healthy, getting fitter and volunteering with the RSPB!
Getting into the countryside is recognised as a natural way to a healthier lifestyle. A recent report commissioned by the RSPB stresses that moderate exercise, including walking and nature conservation activities can help to prevent heart disease, strokes, depression and sleep problems.
The RSPB has over 16,700 people who already volunteer with the Society. You can help to protect some of the UK’s most important wildlife areas by becoming an RSPB volunteer, so future generations can see spectacular birds and wildlife in the future.
Whether you want to work indoors or out ...... we can find something to suit you anywhere in the UK
My boss, Alan Murray, Head of the RSPB’s Volunteering Development Department says: ‘You can help to plant hedges and create reed beds on our reserves, or work with our wardens, learning the skills and techniques necessary to manage successful nature reserves.’
Although it’s not all about practical conservation, if you are good with people we have many opportunities in fundraising and membership recruitment at events, perhaps you like paperwork, computers and maybe even data entry (not my favourite) then there are a number of roles within our offices. We even have some opportunities that you wouldn’t expect ...... costume makers, stamp collectors, social media guru or rent assessor - you may find yourself quite amazed at the tasks we need completed ....
Do you do a volunteering activity that might surprise others? Please leave me a comment and share your experiences with others.
The RSPB has hundreds of volunteering opportunities around the UK, for all ages and at any time of the year. So why not give it a go? You’ll be keeping yourself healthier as well as helping wildlife and Stepping Up For Nature!
Volunteers helping staff clear an old tennis court to use as an accessible garden, Mersehead RSPB reserve, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Credit: Kaleel Zibe (rspb-images.com)
The first week in June was Volunteers’ Week and what a wonderful time was had by all. Rhoda Ludford arranged a thank you event for the volunteers based, here at our UK Headquarters, to have a wonderful day out.
First we boarded a coach that took us to Lakenheath Fen, this reserve was once mostly carrot fields. Like many fenland sites, its wetlands had been lost to agriculture centuries before. Since 1995, however, we have been working to restore approximately 200 ha of the reserve to a wetland mosaic of washland, wet reedbed, ungrazed fen and wet grassland.
We were so lucky with the weather it was a gorgeous day. The staff took care of our needs and we had hot drinks and biscuits before we split up into two groups.
One group was the most hardy and took the 3 mile trip around the reserve to see if they could spot the golden oriole and along the way they saw many spectacular sights which included bitterns, and whilst they didn’t see the golden oriole they were lucky enough to hear it.
The second group took the more leisurely 1 mile walk and again were raving about what a wonderful time they had. (I hasten to add I missed it all as I was tasked with laying tables and organising the hall for lunch!)
Colin Hawkins, Super Volunteer, says ‘It was an excellent day out, very well organised as always and obviously helped by the great weather (and some stunning bird displays). My thanks to Katherine Puttick, Assistant Warden at Lakenheath Fen, as she definitely helped make the day and everyone on her walk was very impressed with her knowledge and manner.’
After the walk the thirsty but happy group of volunteers met us at Methwold Hall where Rhoda, myself and Tim Stowe (RSPB Director of International) was waiting. We had much needed drinks to hand and a delicious spread of buffet food - it was so hard to keep my fingers off it, especially when I spied the chocolate mousse for dessert.
Tim Stowe gave a marvellous talk about international work carried out by the RSPB and to be sure there were quite a number of volunteers in the room that were amazed and eager to find out how they could get involved. If you want to find out more, this month’s step up for nature is International Volunteering.
Then it was coffee and a quick tidy up, then back on the coach for the journey home. I have to admit to being a little bit weary and I was not the only one that dozed off on the trip back!
I’m looking forward to seeing the photographs taken by Reg, our volunteer photographer for the day, and will post these later.