Just look up

The spaces between the clouds 
are secret stories waiting
To be found
By someone who cranes their neck
And stares for a little while,
Just watching
To discover a treasure
That most never know about.
So look up.

Patches of blue peeking through,
Like a child behind curtains
Playing hide
And seek, giggling quietly
As they crouch in the shadows
Patiently
Waiting for you to find them.
But first, you have to stop for
A while. Take a deep breath and
Just look up.

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Garden birds facts for kids

Even during lockdown winter, you can look out for birds in your garden and local park.

If you have a garden, why not put down some seeds, fat balls or fruit, and see which birds visit? Make sure that they are bird safe and don’t have any added salt. For some healthy bird food ideas, go to https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/feeding-birds/

When you spot a bird, you could draw a picture of it. If it was too far away, or you didn’t get a good look, ask your grown up to find a picture of the bird for you. Then you can take your time drawing a picture. Take note of the shape of their body, their beak and what colours they are.

You could also look up some interesting facts about the bird that you spotted.

You could find out:

What they eat (diet),

Who eats them (predators),

Where they usually live (habitat),

How many eggs they lay each year,

And their size.

Then you could write down the best facts on your drawing. Soon you will have a fact file of birds, to keep and show your teacher and friends one day. 🙂🐦

Two good websites for finding bird facts are https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-kids/facts-about-nature/

And https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/animals/birds/

I have made some fact sheets about three birds that I saw in my garden: robin, blackbird and house sparrow.

What birds will you spot?

For more fun ideas on how to encourage your child to enjoy reading and writing, go to https://wordsforlife.org.uk/

We took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch always takes place in January. It allows the RSPB to assess how wildlife is coping.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/everything-you-need-to-know-about-big-garden-birdwatch/

It’s Sunday afternoon, and Bethany and I are sitting in the gazebo in our garden, wrapped up in coats and blankets. We have coffee, hot chocolate and chocolate brownies to hand.


So far, we have only seen two seagulls flying overhead. We also heard a bird’s claws scrambling about on the gazebo roof, but we couldn’t see what it was. We heard a crow in a nearby garden earlier. It’s snowing lightly and very cold.


To stave off boredom, Bethany is now drawing a Robin in pencil in her drawing pad. I have drawn one too. We often get robins in our garden. But not so far today.

I put nuts and birdseed on the grass earlier. They aren’t tempting the birds to our garden yet.

It’s quiet, although we can hear birds calling. I don’t know if we will see any birds this hour. It’s snowing a little.

A flying insect passes nearby. I thought that it was too early in the year for them?

We are probably scaring the birds by being outside, but this is more fun than watching from the warm indoors. It feels like more of an adventure. My feet are getting cold.

A single starling flies past, twirling and showing off. It’s unusual to see one by itself: they are usually in flocks of 20 or more.

The snow is getting a bit heavier now.

There go some seagulls: 1, 2, 3.

I am enjoying sitting outside and looking and listening. It’s peaceful. A silent snowy Sunday afternoon.

We both eat a brownie.

There are some perfect snowdrops at the base of the apple tree. I notice that the apple tree has many buds, waiting patiently for spring.

Hooray! Bethany spots a male blackbird, who quickly flies into the garden and finds a snack near the bushes.

A little brown sparrow pauses for a second on the fence.

That’s it, our hour is up. We spotted only two birds, but had a peaceful time together in the garden watching the snow fall.

Autumn returns

The leaves are turning yellow and orange again. The air feels cooler, and night falls more swiftly. I love Autumn because it is beautiful, but also because it reminds me about the briefness of life.

Summer seemed never-ending, and was it really that hot? But here we are at the start of a new season. And soon it will be winter, with its icy dark days and bleak trees. What could be good about winter, besides the first few hours of snow, and hot chocolate?

I think that without the reminder of our own mortality, life is all too easily taken for granted. Knowing that one day we will die, reminds us to enjoy what little time we have; to make the most of what we’ve been given; to hug our loved ones more tightly.

And after the emptiness of winter, we know that a new life awaits us. We look forward to it. Death and life are opposites, yet like two sides of the same coin. There is no need to fear winter, because one day spring will arrive.

For now, I will breathe in the scent of woodsmoke, delight in the colours, and be grateful that I am here to enjoy another Autumn.