The only trouble with only doing BirdFair for two days is as soon as you've "got into it" it's over before you know it.
After yesterday's sweltering heat Sunday was far more bearable. We were up bright and early and on site before half past nine. We wanted to go and see Ruth & Alan from the Biggest Twitch do their talk on the Joys of Birdwatching. I've never met them before despite being twitter friends for quite some time. It was quite some talk; a real tour de force of the simple joy of going bird watching. Their enthusiasm was infectious. It was a very well attended talk and it was easy to see why. One day we will have reached the point where we can go on one of their bird watching weeks. I can imagine it's quite an event; apparently according to Julian (of RSPB Conwy) there is quite a lot of cake too!
Our next talk was cancelled, which was a shame as it was Johnny Kingdom. Last year was a riot. This did give us a chance to have a wander around and talk to the people who we missed yesterday. We made it to the RSPB Stand, and had a good chin wag with the aforementioned Julian and Mark Avery. I finally met Andre Farrar having missed him when I visited The Lodge a few years back.
We completed our round of NGO's I am a member of by visiting the BTO stand and having a chat to Ieuan, another long-time twitter friend of mine. This year’s randomly joined NGO was the Butterfly Conservation Organisation when Chris Andrews (of RSPB Frampton Marsh) was moonlighting on their stand!
We then headed back to the Events Marquee for a BirdFair débutante. Martin Hughes-Games from Springwatch was on the stage. It was an excellent talk, with quite a lot of behind the scenes tales. As you can imagine it was packed out. We stayed in the tent for a new BirdFair quiz of Birdless Pointbrain, which was brilliant. It was based on the TV Quiz show Pointless if you hadn't figured that bit out.
The “celebs” were paired up with BirdFair Volunteers. It came down to a final "beak to beak" round between Nick Baker and Mike Dilger (we had bumped into Mike earlier who was in very fine fettle!). Nick made it to a very tough final round, where they had to find three pointless animals named after Pallas. They failed but it was testament to the 100 volunteers they had put the question too that there were so few pointless answers throughout the quiz!
There was one final event to attend and it was always going to be the highlight of the weekend. A stellar cast was to perform the Gruffalo live in the Events Marquee. We headed over early as it was always going to be mobbed. It was the case of spot the children amongst the adults, but there were a fair few around. They invited the little ones onto the stage as squirrels.
The whole show was hysterical, with everyone making up lines. Mike Dilger played the Mouse, Nick Baker the Snake, Rob Lambert the Fox and Dominic Couzens the non-specific Owl species. The Gruffalo could only be played by the one and only Bill Oddie. The whole thing was given some sense of professionalism by Lucy McRobert, who narrated.
I cannot add any more than the chap who was sat next to us, who said "I have been coming to BirdFair for twenty years and I have never laughed as much as that...” That’s the fair in a nutshell!
It was the perfect way to end a perfect BirdFair. I am already looking forward to August 19th 2016!!
All images © Anthony Walton
RSPB Cymru is on a mission to continue helping schools 'green up' their school grounds through their flagship project Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff.
Through the project, delivered in partnership with the City of Cardiff Council, RSPB Cymru has inspired over 3,500 children to give nature a home in their school grounds.
Through Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff, we’re offering three outreach sessions for primary schools, each lasting an hour and a half to help your pupils learn about the wildlife outside their classroom window and identify what they can do to make their school more nature-friendly.
All our sessions are free of charge and delivered by our expert staff and volunteers, who can deliver two sessions in your school over the course of this academic year to really help your pupils learn more about the wildlife around them; encouraging them to do more for nature, now and in the future.
The three sessions we can deliver in your school are:
We’re pretty sure your school is already giving nature a home, but to what and where? Our Bioblitz session will help you find the answer.
We’ll arrive armed and ready to help your pupils Bioblitz your school. Using our sweep nets, magnifying glasses and other nature detective equipment we’ll help your pupils hunt for plants and animals under every rock, bush and doormat.
Bioblitzes can unearth some amazing results; hundreds of species and wildlife in corners you never knew existed. This session offers your pupils the chance to investigate the microhabitats around your school to find plants and animals adapted to different environments, identify them and work out what they do and what they need from us.
Our Bioblitz session is available all year round and works in any season. In autumn we might find more animals tucked away for warmth and in summer animals will be more active; keeping us on our toes!
Here are some of the resources available for this session:
Big Schools Birdwatch
A chance for your class to take part in Europe’s biggest and longest running birdwatch; a huge citizen science project and this session will help your pupils get involved.
Using our ID guides and binoculars and with some RSPB expertise on hand we’ll work with your class to spot and identify the birds around your school. From blackbirds to robins, all the birds we spot we’ll count and record with your pupils and help them to submit your results online to the Big Schools Birdwatch website.
Using results from the website we can compare and contrast the birds found in your school to those spotted in other schools across Cardiff and identify the birds we could attract in future.
During January and February we can deliver this session and submit your school results to the Big Schools Birdwatch website.
At all other times of year we can deliver this session, your results won’t count towards the Big Schools Birdwatch survey, but it’ll be good practice and is still a great chance to spot and identify the birds around your school, with some expert help.
Giving Nature a Home
If you could create a habitat map of your school, what would it look like? More tarmac than toaditats, bricks than bird boxes?
Our Giving Nature a Home session is designed to help your pupils map your school for nature and identify habitats and spaces for nature that already exist and spot opportunities for more. Armed with a scorecard, your pupils can score your school for nature and together we can work out how and where we could make a little bit more space for nature and increase the biodiversity around your school ... potentially making your school a nicer place to be, for you and your pupils too.
Once your pupils have identified a few things they’d like to do we’ll work with you to share top tips and lots of easy ‘how tos’ to help you realise these plans and help make your school more nature-friendly. http://www.rspb.org.uk/forprofessionals/teachers/resources/school-grounds/index.aspx
If you’re interested in booking any of these sessions please contact Sarah Mitchell on: 02920 353 271 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff is funded until 2017 thanks to the generous support of Tesco customers, through the Welsh Government’s carrier bag levy.
Mae RSPB Cymru yn awyddus i barhau gyda helpu ysgolion i fod yn fwy 'gwyrdd' ar ôl flwyddyn gyntaf llwyddiannus iawn gyda'r prosiect Rhoi Cartref i Fyd Natur yng Nghaerdydd.
Trwy y prosiect, wedi ei weithredu ar y cyd â Chyngor Dinas Caerdydd, mae RSPB Cymru wedi ysbrydoli dros 3,500 o blant i rhoi cartref i fyd natur ar dir eu hysgol.
Drwy gyfrwng y project Rhoi Cartref i Fyd Natur yng Nghaerdydd, rydym yn cynnig tair sesiwn i ysgolion cynradd, pob yn un yn parhau awr a hanner, i helpu eich disgyblion ddysgu am y bywyd gwyllt y tu allan i ffenestri eu dosbarth, ac ystyried sut i wneud eu hysgol yn fwy cyfeillgar i fyd natur.
Cyflwynir pob un o’n sesiynau rhad ac am ddim gan ein staff a gwirfoddolwyr gwybodus. Dros gyfnod y flwyddyn addysgol hon cyflwynir dwy sesiwn yn eich ysgol. Bydd hyn yn helpu eich disgyblion ddysgu mwy am y bywyd gwyllt o’u cwmpas a’u hannog i wneud mwy dros fyd natur nawr ac yn y dyfodol.
Y tair sesiwn y gallwn eu cyflwyno yn eich ysgol yw:
Rydym yn hyderus fod eich ysgol eisoes yn rhoi cartref i fyd natur, ond i beth ac ym mhle? Bydd ein sesiwn Bioblits yn eich helpu chi i ddod o hyd i’r ateb.
Byddwn yn dod â phob dim sydd ei angen arnoch i helpu eich disgyblion roi’r Bioblits ar waith yn yr ysgol. Gyda’n rhwydi ysgubo, chwyddwydrau ac offer canfod natur arall byddwn yn helpu eich disgyblion i chwilio am blanhigion ac anifeiliaid o dan bob carreg, llwyn a mat drws.
Drwy gyfrwng y Bioblits cewch ganlyniadau rhyfeddol; cannoedd o rywogaethau a bywyd gwyllt ym mhob twll a chornel. Yn y sesiwn hon cynigir cyfle i’ch disgyblion archwilio mân gynefinoedd eich ysgol i ddod o hyd i blanhigion ac anifeiliaid sydd wedi addasu i wahanol amgylcheddau, eu hadnabod a deall beth maent yn ei wneud a beth sydd angen i ni ei gyflenwi iddynt.
Mae ein sesiwn Bioblits ar gael drwy’r flwyddyn ac mae’n gweithio mewn unrhyw dymor. Yn yr hydref efallai y cawn hyd i fwy o anifeiliaid yn cysgodi rhag yr oerni ac yn yr haf bydd anifeiliaid yn fwy bywiog!
Dyma rhai o'r adnoddau sydd ar gael ar gyfer y sesiwn yma.
Gwylio Adar yr Ysgol
Cyfle i’ch dosbarth gymryd rhan yn arolwg gwylio adar mwyaf a hynaf Ewrop; project gwyddoniaeth enfawr gan ddinasyddion. Bydd y sesiwn hon yn helpu eich disgyblion i gymryd rhan.
Wrth ddefnyddio ein harweinlyfrau adnabod ac ysbienddrychau a gydag arbenigedd yr RSPB wrth law byddwn yn cydweithio â’ch dosbarth i weld ac adnabod adar eich ysgol. O’r fwyalchen i’r robin goch, byddwn yn cyfrif pob un aderyn, yn ei gofnodi gyda’ch disgyblion ac yn eu helpu i anfon eich canlyniadau ar-lein i wefan Gwylio Adar yr Ysgol.
Gyda chanlyniadau o’r wefan gallwn gymharu a chyferbynnu’r adar a welir yn eich ysgol chi gyda’r rhai a welwyd mewn ysgolion ledled Caerdydd ac adnabod yr adar y gallwn eu denu yn y dyfodol.
Yn ystod y cyfnod rhwng Ionawr a Chwefror gallwn gyflwyno’r sesiwn hon ac anfon canlyniadau eich ysgol i wefan Gwylio Adar yr Ysgol.
Gallwn gyflwyno’r sesiwn hon ar unrhyw adeg arall o’r flwyddyn ac er na fydd eich canlyniadau’n cyfrif tuag at arolwg Gwylio Adar yr Ysgol bydd hyn yn ymarfer da ac yn gyfle da hefyd i weld ac adnabod adar eich ysgol, gyda rhywfaint o gymorth arbenigol.
Rhoi Cartref i Fyd Natur
Pe baech yn gallu creu map cynefin o’ch ysgol, sut fyddai hwnnw’n edrych? Mwy o darmac nag o dywod, briciau’n hytrach na blychau adar?
Cynlluniwyd ein sesiwn Rhoi Cartref i Fyd Natur i helpu eich disgyblion fapio eich ysgol dros fyd natur, adnabod cynefinoedd a gofod ar gyfer natur sy’n bodoli eisoes, a nodi cyfleoedd i greu mwy. Gyda chymorth cerdyn sgorio, bydd eich disgyblion yn sgorio eich ysgol o ran byd natur a gyda’n gilydd gallwn ddyfalu sut ac ym mhle y gallwn greu dipyn bach mwy o ofod i fyd natur a chynyddu bioamrywiaeth tir eich ysgol ... gyda’r posibilrwydd o sicrhau bod eich ysgol yn lle brafiach i chi ac i’ch disgyblion hefyd.
Wedi i’ch disgyblion nodi ychydig o bethau yr hoffent eu cyflawni byddwn yn cydweithio â chi i rannu canllawiau a llawer o bethau hawdd i’w gwneud i’ch helpu i wireddu’r cynlluniau yma a sicrhau y bydd eich ysgol yn fwy cyfeillgar i fyd natur. http://www.rspb.org.uk/forprofessionals/teachers/resources/school-grounds/index.aspx
Os oes gennych ddiddordeb mewn archebu unrhyw un o’r sesiynau yma cysylltwch â Sarah Mitchell ar: 02920 353 271 / email@example.com
Ariennir Rhoi Cartref i Fyd Natur yng Nghaerdydd hyd 2017 diolch i gefnogaeth hael cwsmeriaid Tesco, drwy gyfrwng tâl bagiau plastig Llywodraeth Cymru.