Monthly Archives: January 2011

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Today we did the RSPB big garden birdwatch. We got a few birds visiting during the hour we were recording, but all of them were common ones, starlings, blackbirds, thrush, collared doves and a wood pigeon. Did anyone else take part, and have any interesting spots during the hour?

Since we started feeding them the number of birds visiting has increased, which is pleasing, but I would still like some of the more colourful birds to visit, we have had no tits or finches at all yet. We do get a robin, sparrows and have had a few visits from a dunnock and a pied wagtail a few times too but they didn’t appear today while we were counting. 

We also get a large black bird which I think is a rook as it has a light grey beak and from looking at bird identification, all the other large black birds like crows, and ravens, have black beaks. However they also say that the rook is seldom seen alone and is a social bird, and this bird only ever visits on it’s own. I must try and get a photo of it and then maybe some of you can help me identify it. Does anybody have any other ways to differentiate between the larger black birds? 

Here’s a photo from today, mainly starlings  but at the end of them you can just spot the thrush and the blackbird.


Three Positive Things

Three Positive Things

I’m not sure exactly where the idea came from, it may have been something I read somewhere, but this is a positive family activity. It’s great for everybody, but can be particulary useful if you have a child who has a glass half empty outlook, ers on the side of pessimism, and can be quite negative.

It’s really a very simple idea, but can help change the focus onto positive things. At the end of the day, each person simply thinks of three things that day that have been a positive experience, things you have seen, activities you’ve done or places you have been etc. It seems to finish the day off nicely on a much more positive note.

It’s useful for everybody in the household to do it, lead by example, so adults too. You might also find that once you start thinking of positive things they all start flooding in and then you have loads you can think of, not just three.

So particularly if you have a child who is pessimistic, negative, glass half empty, you might like to give it a try. Just by doing this one thing at the end of the day, we have found we are all more positive and focussed on the good things in our lives.

My three positive things for today are :

1) Seeing the beautiful sunset as we drove along
2) Eating a curly wurly
3) Sitting outside and having a cup of tea in the sunshine

Thumbs up for Triominoes

We got Triominoes for Christmas and it’s been a great family game to play. Initially when you open it up you see a box of plastic triangles with numbers on and a sheet of rules. It almost looks too basic to be fun, but we have really enjoyed playing it, several times now too!

Every game seems to be different as it depends on the initial luck of the hand you pick. The game can turn around really quickly too just by laying one triominoe. You can go from losing to winning in a few turns. For this reason it seems to keep childrens interest.

It combines a lot of luck and also a little bit of skill, or strategy and it gets the children you are playing with using numbers. Also to work out whether your number combination will fit requires use of spatial awareness too. Playing this game, children will naturally be using maths: numbers, patterns of numbers, addition etc.

Tri-ominoes is a great game from aged 5 or 6 upwards, depending on attention span and grasp of numbers, but at this age it is good as a family game with a mix of adults and children. Mainly so the larger addition and subtraction of scores has an adult around to assist. However it’s not just a child’s game, it’s a game that will appeal to all ages, as older children and adults will enjoy playing it too.

Overall a thumbs up for tri-ominoes as a great family game, good value and good fun.