On Saturday we welcomed Mike Dilger to Beaudesert as part of our Saturday Above and Beyond programme. As this weekend was the RSPB’s Big Garden Watch the day was focussed on spring, building our pupils’ awareness of the local environment and developing an understanding of birds in the UK.
Mike is a regular on BBC’s The One Show and Inside Out and has over ten years of experience working in television. An avid ecologist and ornithologist, Mike started the morning by telling the children about his childhood love of bird watching. He spoke of the wonderful places he had visited to see rare birds, the illnesses he managed to pick up along the way, and his work as a television presenter and camera assistant. The children were shown some of the comic activities he had been asked to do by the BBC including dressing up as Spiderman and pretending to be a limpet. Mike then showed the School some wildlife we could expect to see in our gardens and why they were such great additions. The children were then able to ask him some questions about his favourite birds and how he manages to camouflage himself when bird watching.
Following on from Mike’s talk, the children took part in a number of exciting activities including planting trees, bird watching, wildlife photography, owl pellet dissection and to a talk by the Gloucestershire Raptor Association. Mike also took a nominated group of pupils around the school grounds for a spot of bird watching as well as helping them identify trees, fungus and other flora and fauna they came across. During the walk they heard and saw nuthatches, robins, great tits and a mistle thrush!
The morning ended with a brilliant UK wildlife quiz before the children went home, eager to do more bird watching in their gardens!