Spring Nature Walk

My Nature Nook

spring nature walk - plum blossom

Get out your nature notebooks – Its time for another nature walk. Today we will discover some of the amazing treasures you can find on a spring time nature walk.

Nature Walk Directions

On nature walks, I always make sure to pay attention to all the different directions and remember to look for all possible clues and findings. 

According to My Nature Nook, there are five nature walk directions. So, let us re-cap these now:

  • The Sky
  • The Canopy
  • Beside you
  • The undergrowth
  • Down, below your feet

While walking you should be aware of everything within each of these directions: things to see, hear, smell and feel. Then, within each direction, you should be paying attention to:

  • Trees
  • Shrubs
  • Flowers and grasses
  • Moss, ferns and lichens
  • Bugs and creepy crawlies
  • Birds
  • Animals

With these all in mind, let us start our spring nature walk and see what you can find at the moment! 🙂

spring nature walk - plum blossom
wren
hazel catkins
Emperor dragonfly, insect field guides
sycamore

What to Look for on a Spring Nature Walk

Spring is a busy time of year, when everything is waking up from their long winter slumber… plants are bursting little leaves above the soil; trees are bursting into bud; bees and ants are emerging from their hibernation and birdsong is filling the air. Together, these give us lots to look for. So, lets take them one by one.

Spring Trees

At the moment, trees are one of the most noticeable landmarks of a spring nature walk and present the young naturalist with plenty to record and see.

  • Buds
  • Catkins
  • Flowers
  • Leaves

They are all bursting and developing over the next few weeks. Try and keep an eye on a nearby tree or two. Maybe some trees you pass by everyday on your school or work commute. See how they develop – how do they change? Can you see how their buds swell and grow? What do they form when they open and whereabouts on the twigs are they? Does the tree open its flowers or its leaves first? Note everything down in your nature journal.

Spring Grasses and Flowers

Down at ground level, there are more leaves and flowers busy bursting and developing. They will vary considerably according to your location and your nature walk habitat, but they are there all the same. Cultivated spring bulbs in parks and  gardens; weeds around lamp posts on city streets; woodland cover on shady or sun-dappled embankments; meadow flowers and riverbank growth… 

Again, try and keep an eye on what is blooming around you and which plants flower first. 

Ants, Bees and Butterflies

As the weather warms up, the insects wake up and emerge from their winter hideouts. Ants become busy and can be seen scurrying busily around your gardens; bees bumble clumsily around searching eagerly for nectar-rich flowers; and the first butterflies of the year make their debut appearance. 

Dawn Chorus

The lengthening days and earlier sunrise wake the birds and signal the deepening of spring. Earlier and earlier, louder and louder, they awake and join the dawn chorus. How many birds can you recognize by song? Some easy birds to listen out for are blackbirds, sparrows, bluetits, chaffinches, wood pigeons and robins.  

On finishing their dawn chorus, keep an eye open for what they do next… nest building and courtship features high on their agenda. So look out for birds scurrying busily to and fro carrying feathers, moss and twigs for their nests.

Frogspawn and Tadpoles

If you are lucky enough to live near a pond, lake or slow moving river, you might spot a jelly-like mass of frogspawn bobbing on the water surface. If it is safe enough to get close, try and observe the frogspawn over a week or two and see how they develop and hatch into tadpoles. Then, see how the tadpoles develop. Keep a record of the changes you see inside your nature journal. You could even draw sketches to help you illustrate their growth and development.

Lambs and Baby Animals

Finally, what would spring be without the delightful sight of little lambs dancing and frolicking in the fields and meadows! The surest sign that spring is here. Look out for other babies too. Calves are another welcome sight. As are the adult cows on their release from the winter barns back into the fields – if you have never seen cows hop, skip and dance before, I highly recommend asking a local farmer to let you watch their herd when they let them back out into the fields. It is truly a wonderful sight!

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Don’t forget to share some pictures of your nature walks. We love seeing you all out and about in nature. You can share your snaps with us on instagram – find us @my.nature.nook or tag your snaps with #mynaturenook

Copyright Leila Bassir 2019 All Rights Reserved.

Birds of Bangalore

My Nature Nook

bulbul, birds of bangalore

Get out your nature notebooks – Its time to learn about some Indian birds. Today we will discover the common birds of Bangalore.

Birds of Bangalore

Hello! As I am back in India for the next few weeks, I thought it would be fun to have a look at some of the local wildlife here. Because, it is true – there is a huge variety of wildlife in India – imagine its elephants, tigers and peacocks, for instance. But, there is also a wealth of ‘less’-exotic, but still amazing creatures living right here beside us, in the bustle of the city. 

In fact, there are so many species living here among the trees, that I have only discovered the tip of the iceberg. There are many birds I hear calling – but do not know whose voices they are. There are also many birds I see flitting through the trees and flying through the skies – and I have no idea as to their identity! 

So, on this visit, I am making a concerted effort to place calls and faces together. It has been tough, I admit – they are so well camouflaged against the tree canopies; but, I am making a breakthrough. In fact, I thought it would be fun to share my findings with you, and introduce you to the bird life in my vicinity. 

Therefore, and without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the birds of Bangalore! 

black kite, birds of bangalore

Black Kite

Milvus migrans

First up, may I introduce the fabulous black kite! These birds can be seen soaring gracefully across the sky all over the city; their cries of kieeee! Kieeeee! heralding their presence. But, my favourite of these, must be the pair living in a palm tree behind our house… it never crossed my mind that eagles might live in palm trees until I saw these two in their nest!

Kieeeeeee! Kieeeeeeeee! See them soaring!

asian koel, birds of bangalore

Koel

Eudynamys scolopaceus

Second on my list, is the koel – an interesting bird of the cuckoo family. These birds call koooo-oyl! koooo-oyl! The locals say their calls herald the arrival of the mangoes, and mouths water in anticipation the moment their voices are heard through the trees.

Koooo-oyl! Koooo-oyl! The mangoes are coming!

common mynah

Mynah

Acridotheres tristis

The third bird I have seen here, is the myna. This clever bird has been known to copy human voices, music and the whistles of other birds. There are two varieties of myna here – one with the yellow face, and one without. However, either way, I do love seeing them flitting cheerfully from tree to tree with their white under-wings flashing. They are playful and inquisitive birdies.

Cheeeooo! Cheeeooo! Hear me chattering!

jungle crow, birds of bangalore

Jungle Crow

Corvus macrorhynchos

The jungle crow of Asia, despite (at first glance) looking like our European crows, is pretty different from the crows we know back home. First, it has a fluffy head – it is kind of cute, actually. Then, it has a long, overhanging beak. In fact, there is a family of crows living in a tree above the house, and the lead crow has a crooked overhang at least 2 inches long! I often wonder how it has managed to survive – both in terms of its beak remaining intact, and also in terms of managing to catch food without the hook getting in its way…?! But, then, yesterday, one of them landed on our wall with a morsel of food, and I realised – it only has one leg! So, they must be pretty hardy.

Gharrrrr! Gharrrrr! My beak is amazing!

bulbul, birds of bangalore

Bulbul

Pycnonotus jocusus

The fifth bird I would like to introduce, is the Bulbul. A bird famous across both Asia and the Middle East. It is akin to the daytime nightingale, or even, the blackbird, of this continent. Their song is beautiful – melodious, cheerful and haunting all at the same time. I confess, I have not yet seen or heard a bulbul on this particular visit, but I have seen them a lot on previous trips here.

Kullooo, kullooo, chickiri, chikiri, twidil, twidil, deee!

rose-ringed parakeet

Rose-ringed Parakeet

Psittacula krameri

Sixth on my list, is the ring-necked parakeet. This zippy green bird can be seen darting and gliding between the trees. They are easily located by their incessant babbling, chittering and squawking. It is fun watching them in the evening, as huge flocks come together to flap to their roosts somewhere on the outskirts of the city.

Of all the birds on this list, I think, the parakeet is the most fun and playful!

Chick! Cheee! Come play with us and have some fun!

white-cheeked barbet, birds of bangalore

White-Cheeked Barbet

Megalaima viridis

Finally, last, but not least, is the white-cheeked barbet. I finally met this bird a few days ago after hearing it every time I had visited, but never being able to track it down. The barbet has a very distinctive call that jars across the traffic. Ktrooooooooo! Ktrooooooo! They are territorial, fruit-eating birds, and see their rivals off by trying to outdo them with their loudest, most echoing ktroooooos! It is quite fun to listen to them rivaling it out – there are at least three I have heard here, ,each with their with own favorite trees and perches. Ka-troooh! Ka-troooow! Ktroooooooo! They roll at each other 🙂

Ktrooooooo! Ktrooooooo! Hear us battling!

As you can imagine, these are just a few of the many birds living in Bangalore – never mind the total living all across India. 

There are many, many birdy voices I hear singing and chattering amongst the trees. Unfortunately, they are so hard to spot, that so far, I have only put faces to voices for a handful of birds, and have yet to put voices – or identities, to others. So, these are just some of the most common birds found in Bangalore. I hope you have enjoyed meeting them!

Related Products

Related Posts

My Nature Club

Do you wish you had more nature knowledge?

Do you wish had the confidence to do more nature walks?

Do you wish you knew the names of things you found on your nature walk?

NOW YOU CAN!

Illustrated Field Guides .  Nature Masterclasses .  Activity Books .  Nature Walk Activities

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Thank You for Browsing

Don’t forget to share some pictures of your nature adventures in action and let us know which awards you have achieved. We love seeing you all out and about in nature. You can share your snaps with us on instagram – find us @my.nature.nook or tag your snaps with #mynaturenook

Copyright Leila Bassir 2019 All Rights Reserved.