Even though their ickyness sends shivers through the spines of many a person, bugs are fascinating creatures...honest! Insects, spiders, and other creepy crawlies make up most of the animal life on earth.
Insects have been around for something like 350 million years. Many years before humans showed their faces. Humans appeared about 130,000 years ago.
With bugs being such a massive part of our world, you might as well learn more about them, and you never know, you might even grow to like them?
Alright, so you do not want to make friends with bugs. But you still might like to invite them to dinner – that is, if you are an adventurous eater! No being serious, there is a wealth of information at the click of a link here on NatureWatch. The BBC's Springwatch, and AutumnWatch sites are fantastic, as are the others, so get that mouse clicking and start learning.
You do not have to like insects to appreciate them. But now that you can see how interesting and beautiful they can be, you may not be so quick to squish the next bug you see. Instead, get that camera out and send us a photograph.
Send in your photographs of birds and butterflies too. In-fact, send in your pictures of all things to do with nature. Whatever it is, let us have it. We LOVE it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top Tips From NatureWatch Contributor Peter Berry

Any garden, large or small can be a welcome haven for birds – they just need a little encouragement. This usually takes the form of food!
Birds will take food from the ground, a bird table or hanging feed stations. However, certain types have preferences; e.g. blue tit/great tit, woodpeckers, greenfinches will always favour the peanuts and seed presented in feeders, whilst blackbirds, collar doves and song thrushes prefer ground feeding.
Wild bird food is available from most supermarkets and garden centres – and provides an excellent variety of seed and grain with which to entice birdlife. Particularly attractive to most finches and tits are sunflower hearts. Sometimes to attract a particular variety you need to specialize. Nyjer seeds (tiny black seeds) are irresistible to the beautiful Goldfinch. These seeds though require a special feeder, but it’s worth the extra expense to have these visitors to your garden.
Peanuts are rich in fat and are popular with tits, greenfinches, house sparrows, nuthatches, great spotted woodpeckers and siskins. Crushed or grated nuts attract robins, dunnocks and even wrens. DO NOT use dry roasted or salted peanuts.
You don’t have to buy special food all the time. A search around your kitchen cupboards/pantry can be a readily available source of bird food. Mix together, any breakfast cereals, lentils, oats, partly cooked dry rice, raisens/sultanas, crushed biscuits, bits of apple and even cheese.
If you have one – half coconuts – threaded with string and hung upside down, will attract blue tits, great tits and coal tits, as will bacon rind and fat. Another great idea is to pour (cooled) left over gravy/meat fat into old yoghurt pots – and put in the freezer. Once solidified, these too can be hung out (upside down), they are extremely popular!
Water is also important to birds, so a bird bath is a nice feature to have. The simplest is a large dish. A plant saucer with a stone in the middle is the easiest.

No comments: