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Nature Survival Kit

If, like me, you find it difficult to get through the day without a nature fix, you might find the current state of affairs challenging. However, don’t panic! There are ways to fill the void. Here is my Lock-down Nature Survival Kit; hope you find it useful!

  1. Webcams

In the past, I have found myself hooked on wildlife webcams. You can spend hours watching behaviour that is not always easy to observe, like birds on nests. Here are a few amazing webcams to get you started.

Panama fruit feeders link

Panama fruit feeders

Norwich Peregrines link

Norwich Peregrines

Cornell FeederWatch link

Cornell FeederWatch

African wildlife -  africam link

Africam

Wolf cambs link

Wolf Cams

Royal Albatross webcam link

Royal Albatross

2. Citizen Science

I am a big fan of Citizen Science. It makes a significant contribution to our understanding of wildlife and its conservation. Here are a few science and nature projects you can do from home.

BTO link

BTO Garden BirdWatch

Project plumage link

Project plumage

Globe at night link

Globe at Night

Snapshot Safari link

Snapshot Safari

Eyes on the wild link

Eyes on the wild

scistarter link

More projects here

3. Talks online

Ted Talks and YouTube are great sources of a variety of talks about wildlife and science. These are some great YouTube channels to subscribe to:

  • The Royal Institution
  • The Natural History Museum
  • The Royal Society
  • Sustainable Earth Institute
  • Conservation International
  1. Conservation organisation newsletters/news

Many conservation organisations, large and small, either have archived newsletters or a news section on their websites. They are generally a great read. You can find out about wildlife you may not have come across in the past and gain a great insight about species conservation.

These are some of my favourites:

American Bird Conservancy link Flora and Flora International link Conservation International link
BirdLife International link Wader Quest link World Land Trust link

5. Wildlife photography websites

The internet is literally full of wildlife photography – just search ‘Wildlife Photographers’ and fill your boots. Here are a few really good ones:

Bird Photographer of the year Wildlife Photographer of the year
Trevor and Margaret Hardaker Mark Hamblin
Tim Laman National Geographic

The photo below was a Category winner in the Bird Photographer of the Year 2018. Just one of the stunning photographs the competition attracts. If you visit the National Geographic website, check out the Giant Salamander photograph!

Bird Photographer of the Year link
An Eye for Detail © David Easton – Bird Photographer of the Year

6. Wildlife artists

I never cease to be amazed by the talent of artists, and in particular wildlife artists. Again, you will find loads on the internet. I have a number of favourites, but here are some that are particularly outstanding:

Ben Rothery Robert Gillmore/Bruce Pearson
Harriet Mead Steve Cale
Steve Cale website link
Demanding chick © Steve Cale

7. A field trip to your garden

If you are lucky enough to have a garden, here’s a great opportunity to get to know the wildlife it attracts intimately. Okay, it may be a challenge to identify everything and you don’t need to. Just spend time observing everything that passes through from bird and butterflies, to frogs and hedgehogs. Who knows what you might bump into?

If you do want to identify what you see and can’t find a particular species in a guide or the internet, email me a picture and I will do my best to put a name to it. There are also plenty of other websites and Apps that will do the same. If you are just starting out on the road to wildlife obsession, then take it slow. Start by identifying some of the more common species and work up from there.

I hope you find this ‘Nature Survival Kit’ useful. Each section just provides a snap-shop of what is available. If you are new to wildlife, I hope you’ll find something in the Kit that will trigger a long-term interest. If you are already an enthusiast, have fun. Either way, I hope it helps you through this difficult time. Take care!

Painted Lady in my garden © talk: Wildlife