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.


Well i had a busy weekend, wildlife watch at Margam on Saturday where I ticked Pig and saw Fallow Deer, Donkey, Goldfinch and some Goslings. I also had to make Dad hug a tree.


 Fallow Deer



Canada Goose Goslings

We went for a walk down Southerndown to look for owls, we saw a Kestrel And this big Raven.

In the garden we saw a fly,

The Blue Tits are nesting in the box we fitted to the apple tree. When i had my hair cut off before christmas i saved the clippings and on the weekend i put them in a jar on the bird table, the Blue tits spent all day collecting my hair and taking it too the nest, i hope it keeps the chicks cosy.

We also saw this wild animal in the garden, his name is Ned and he is my dog

Then on Sunday we went to Kenfig Pool for a Glamorgan Birds Club event. We met lots of nice people but didnt take any photos because dad left his memory card at home. We bought some good books and went on a guided walk. Some people saw a Spotted Flycatcher but i missed it, we did see a Whitethroat and Wheatear. There were lots of house martins, swallows and swifts, the swifts were flying really close to us. We saw some Mute Swans with 4 Cygnets (baby swans).

In the afternoon we had a barbecue then me and dad went for a quick walk up the common and saw a Skylark


House Sparrow

Then we had a very special moment, we were walking on the edge of the village and all of a sudden we heard a Cuckoo. We couldnt believe it, we then saw it fly to a tree in front of us and call again. then it flew off, we heard it call two more times. I was so excited i nearly fell over. Seeing a Cuckoo is quite difficult, its on my top 20 hardest things to see and i saw it in my own village. I will never forget it, it was amazing.

Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)

Most people have heard of a Cuckoo but not many people have seen one. They used to be common in Britain but numbers have dropped. Cuckoos arrive in Britain in April and stay for a couple of months. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and let those birds do all the hard work involved in raising and feeding the Cuckoo chick The scientific name for this is parasitizing nests). The Cuckoo chick throws all the other chicks out of the nest to make sure it gets to eat all of the food. For most people the sound of a Cuckoo means spring has arrived.

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