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.

The Early Bird Catches the Lek

Well we managed to knock another big one of the list this morning, Black Grouse! I also saw my first Redpol and Tree Pippit!

Dad booked us on an RSPB date with nature to see a Black Grouse Lek. A Lek is where all the males show off to try and attract the females.


We travelled up from South Wales on Saturday, we counted 58 Buzzards on the journey, that's a new record for us.

On the way up we stopped at Pontcysyllte Aquaduct and walked across, it was really high and we had good views of the river up the valley. An aquaduct is a bridge with a canal running over it so boats can pass across the valley. It was really high and it was weird looking down on jackdaws sat in the tops of trees.

I found my favourite boat, i like the name.

We slept in the car overnight which was real good fun.

We watched the sunset over the hills.

Dad took this picture and moved the camera when he pressed the button, it made the moon blur into a heart shape.

We got up at 4:30 in the morning, and walked to the woods in the dark. We watched the lek from a special hide, it was quite far away so that we didn't disturb the birds while they were lekking. We saw 9 males trying to impress the female. Because they were so far away and it was quite dark we couldn't take any pictures. We did do some video but it was quite blurry, we will put that on the blog later. It was quite cold, there was still some snow on the ground in places.

I couldn't tell you how many buzzards we passed on the way home because i slept most of the way.

Off the list, Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix)

The Black Grouse is a very rare bird, if you want to see one you should do it with a guided walk. You should never get too close to a Lek as you can scare the birds. They are on the increase, last year 320 lekking males were recorded that's the best since monitoring started in the 1990's. Black Grouse are really cool, you can found out more at -


Here's the video, sorry its blurry.

No comments:

Post a Comment