Friday, 25 January 2013

Two Writing Competitions and Watching the Birds



Radio 2 are running their 500 word story competition for under thirteens again this year.

Children have wonderful imaginations and this is a great opportunity, so if you know anyone in that age group who likes writing, encourage them to have a go.

There’s a terrific line up of judges and they are also looking for teachers and librarians to help whittle the stories down to a shortlist.

Closing date 22nd February, 2013.

More details and writing tips here.


The Guardian are running an essay writing competition. If you’ve been involved in any kind of protest in 2012, they want to hear from you!

Closing date 13th March 2013.

More details of the Guardian competition here




Anyone else doing the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch? I’ve decided to join in this year. If you’ve an hour to spend over the weekend 26th/27th January, why not get involved?

I’m rather looking forward to spending an hour gazing out over the mud – I mean the garden!

More details here.



28 comments:

  1. Birds are too afraid to enter my garden - what with Bonnie and Bobs!

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    1. We didn't get any birds in our garden when we had cats, but they don't mind Indy. He often potters round out there with the collared doves :-) x

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  2. Is that a thrush? I haven't seen one for ages. As for our birds, they are refusing apple, jam tarts and boiled potatoes. There's no pleasing some people (or birds).

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    1. Yes, I believe so. Not something we see a lot of.
      You have some fussy birds there, Frances :-) x

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  3. Thank you for the link to the children's story competition, Teresa. I'd heard about this and have been trying to find out more. My two little granddaughters love writing stories. It sounds like this is just the thing for them.
    Sadly, not many birds visit our garden any more. We were feeding them every day until just before Christmas - and what a joy they were.
    Blackbirds, sparrows, magpies, thrushes, wood pigeons, tits, robins - and the starlings who always arrived mod-handed - were regular visitors. And how we loved them!
    Unfortunately not all wildlife is so appealing, and when a family of rats discovered they'd found an easy meal, the bird feeder had to go.
    I'm hoping we can re-instate in the spring...fingers crossed. x

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    1. I hope they enter, Rena :-)

      Oh bless you, my mum had the same problem. I've seen mice around our bird feeders, at least I hope they're mice :-) Hope you can put your feeders back x

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  4. Hi Teresa,

    It's too bad that our your friend Lenny at Lenny's World has just turned thirteen. I reckon he may well of tried that.

    I've seen a few birds in our garden. And some vultures hovering over me! :)

    Having a major snowstorm in Leek on this Friday evening. Enjoy your weekend and stay warm.

    Gary :) x

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    1. When you see those vultures, Gary - duck!
      Stay safe and warm in the snow :-) x

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  5. I did the garden watch thing last year - can't do it this time though as I'm working both days which means I won't be home in daylight.

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    1. This will be a first for me, Patsy. I just hope some birds visit :-) x

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  6. Sounds a good idea Teresa, but we have stray cats that prowl, and recently trees from next door have been cut down, where they used to roost. Might still have a go though.

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    1. I suspect we don't have as many birds because our oak tree was cut back last year, but we shall see :-) x

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  7. Thank you for the information, Teresa. I've been enjoying watching a very brave robin battle the snow to find food. We've hung up a fat-stick for him and he's really enjoying it. The cats don't prowl near this particular spot, so he's safe, and we can watch him from the kitchen table. I hope he's joined by a few other birds soon. Enjoy your bird-watching. x

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    1. Robins are feisty little things aren't they :-) I suspect all my spots are going to be starlings and collared doves! I'm looking forward to it :-) x

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  8. We do the Bird Watch every year, Teresa. We are lucky in that we have a huge variety of birds visiting our garden (one of the advantages of living in the back of beyond!). Funny thing is, as soon as we sit down for our hour's form filling, the little blighters are no-where to be seen.
    It happens every year.
    Who tips them off? I'd like to know!

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    1. Maybe a little bird tells them, Gail ;-) x

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  9. Thanks for reminding me! I should have done it today when it was nice and sunny. Instead, I got involved in some spring cleaning in advance. I agree that there are always heaps of birds UNTIL you sit down to observe them. Then they disappear into the shrubbery, cackling to themselves and throwing rude beak and wing gestures your way!

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    1. You're right. This weekend the garden is empty! x

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  10. Woke up today to a garden that is green again instead of white! Lovely, lovely.

    My friend at work finally let me have her Dogs Monthly for last November, and I was so excited to see you and Indy in there. I pointed you out to everyone!

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    1. Lovely that all the white stuff has gone :-) Shame it left loads of mud behind :-(

      Glad you got to see us in the magazine - I was so pleased with that article - not the picture of me though - but who would be looking at me? ;-) x

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  11. I always want to do the RSPB birdwatch but I work on Sundays (on my way now after I have my coffee and 10 minute blog time!!) in central London and my window there overlooks more windows! :-( But yesterday I did watch for an hour and recorded a chaffinch, my two resident crows and a robin. Before the rains poured the sun shone and there was an explosion of birdsong - I thought that was lovely!!!

    Thanks for the links! I hope lots of kids enter the Radio 2 competition! As for the protest - I was geared up for a two day strike over pensions (I got the stickers and everything!)called by my union but alas the ballot came in and the action to take the strike was defeated narrowly! So endeth my 2012 protest foray! LOL!

    Take care
    x

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    1. The birds do sound happy don't they - even if they won't show themselves :-) I love crows, but don't often get them in my garden.

      Maybe you could write about how you geared up for protest ;-) x

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  12. Great to hear of children's writing being encouraged - my daughter started writing at six or seven, and still does. I think I've missed the bird watching weekend, unfortunately!

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    1. Lovely isn't it, Rosemary :-)

      Bird feeders were full, birds were absent. I thought I was going to have to report a solitary collared dove, then a few sparrows and a dunnock turned up at the last minute :-) x

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  13. My OH does the bird survey, and this time we had more birds than previously- though that could be due to the cold weather and the food supply! :-)

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    1. That's good, Carol :-) Needless to say, since I did the survey and found my garden worryingly empty, it has been full of birds - sigh! x

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  14. I've joined the bird watch for the first time this year too, although last year the bird feeders I put out where covered in squirrels more than birds! lol

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