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.

And some things are hard to see

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will remember that last year i tried to see a Nightjar but didn't succeed. Sometimes to see things is easy, sometimes you need to be lucky and sometimes you might need more than luck, you might need help. But who can help you?

There are lots of groups out there with people who know loads of stuff. They can show you and teach you. Try your local nature reserve or join your local Wildlife Trust and then you can meet these people.

Late last night i ticked off a biggy from my list, a Nightjar. We went out on a trip with The Glamorgan Bird Club and even though it was cold and wet they managed to show me a Nightjar (thanks for your help GBC). I was surprised how big it was but unfortunately i didn't get to here it calling.

I was tired for school this morning though because i didn't get to bed until midnight. We had to walk up a mountain and into forestry to see it, it was quite scary walking back in the dark. We couldn't take photos for you because it was dark, if you want to know more about Nightjars look here -


Having some refreshments before the walk

Safely back in the car after viewing my first Nightjar

Nightjars are on my list of the 20 most difficult things to see so I'm really pleased i can tick them off -

Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)
Nightjars are crepuscular which means they are active at dusk and dawn. They are really well camouflaged so are very difficult to see in the day. They are really strange birds and you should definitely get out there and see one.

And if you like birds, join your local bird club.

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