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.

Yellowhammer & Wheatear

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)


This bird mainly breeds on farmland. The adult male is bright yellow in the summer, like a canary. There is a rhyme in words that describes its song which goes 'a-little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese'. Its name in Welsh is 'Melyn yr Eithin' which means 'yellow bird of the gorse'. As you can probably guess, the birds like to live in areas where gorse grows. Gorse flowers are yellow, a bit like the birds feathers.


 These are usually the first of the summer visiting birds to arrive in this country (in March). Its name comes from the old english words of 'hwit' (white) and 'aers' (rump), which means white backside. Wheatears nest in holes and used to use old rabbit holes for nesting. Like a lot of birds, in the old days people used to eat Wheatears.

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