Hi, I'm Rudi, i'm 8 years old and my favourite book is 'Tarka the Otter' by Henry Williamson. Its about the life of an otter named Tarka and British Wildlife. One night i was reading the book with my dad and i said that i wanted to see all the animals in the book, he said i should do it and call it the Tarka Challenge. My Tarka Challenge started on 1st January 2012. The book contains 89 birds, 54 land based animals, 120 plants and 56 aquatic organisms.

The rules are simple, i must either see each thing myself or photograph it using my trail camera. I will try and see each thing on my local patch (Ogmore River Catchment) but may need to look somewhere else in Britain.

New Years Day Walk


The first day of the tarka challenge my Dad woke me up at 09:40 (i stayed up late to watch the New Years Eve fireworks). I looked out of my bedroom window and saw 3 goldfinches and house sparrows in the Ash tree. We were going on the Wildlife Trust New years day walk and had to be at the meeting point at Monk Nash by 10:00, i said good bye to my dog. As we drove past the village pond we saw a coot and a mallard. We arrived just in time and set off on a muddy walk through the grass.

As we walked i was telling everyone about my christmas presents. Hugh called me over and showed me a Grey Wagtail by the stream. When we got down to the cliffs Peter and Richard showed me some Fulmars that were gliding in the wind around the cliffs. I had never seen Fulmars before so i was really happy as the glided really close to me. You have to be careful with Fulmars because if you get too close to them and thier nest they spit fishy goo at you. Luckily they didnt spit at me. Fulmars are not on the Tarka list but they looked very cool.

At the top of the cliff we looked for Chough but did not see any. We saw a ring of Field Blewitt mushrooms and wild cabbage. As we walked along the cliffs we saw a Kestrel hovering and a Pippit. We could hear the bell dinging on the bouy out at sea.

As we walked back we saw Jackdaws, a magpie, Carrion Crows, a Pied Wagtail, another Grey Wagtail, a sheep and a horse. As we drove home we passed a Buzzard resting on a perch in a field and some pigs rolling around in mud on a farm.

After lunch we went down the woods and set up my Trail Camera (motion sensitive with night vision!) we placed some bait (peanuts, an egg and an apple) to try and attract animals. When we went to collect the camera early in the morning no bait had been eating but the camera had taken a picture of some Ivy flapping in the wind.

So the following were ticked off the list -
Grey Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Carion Crow

(i was going to tick off Sheep but did'nt because in the book it says Black Faced Sheep and i didnt see one of those)

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