Kailzie Wildlife Festival Sunday 4th May 2014

Kailzie Wildlife Festival
Sunday 4th May 2014
11am-5pm

flyer design 3

Kailzie Gardens

Adults £5, Children under 16 £3 (under 3’s go free), and family ticket £12
A great day out for all ages with birds of prey, pond dipping, live mammal trapping, wildlife games, retail stalls, walks and talks and much more! All in the beautiful gardens at Kailzie. Don’t forget to visit the Tweed Valley Ospreys!

If you want to know more just contact me at kailzieofficer@gmail.com

Hope to see you there!

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The Art of Photography with Graham Riddell

Check out some photos from the Graham Riddell “The Art of Photography” photo walk last Sunday. Thank you so much to Graham for coming and leading this event. We were lucky to have such a beautiful sunny (but frrrreeeeeezing cold) day and Kailzie was looking stunning as ever! nb. these photos were all taken by […]

Kids Wildlife Photography Workshop 16th October 2013

Kids Wildlife Photography Workshop 16th October 2013.

Kids Wildlife Photography Workshop 16th October 2013

by Lucy Mackenzie

by Lucy Mackenzie

by Lucy Mackenzie

by Lucy Mackenzie

by Lucy Mackenzie

by Lucy Mackenzie

by Lucy Mackenzie

by Lucy Mackenzie

by Lucy Mackenzie

by Lucy Mackenzie

I have never seen a group of children get quite so excited about a mouse!

On a lovely autumnal day a couple of weeks ago four keen youngsters joined Steve Sloan and I for a few hours of wildlife photography at Kailzie. Needless to say all four massively surpassed my own photography skills and they all produced some brilliant photos.
With dangerous, raw, WILD, wildlife somewhat thin on the ground we focused our lenses onto some more obliging subjects. Mice, voles, caterpillars and flowers seemed to be more simpathetic towards the budding photographers, although the mice and voles may have taken a teensie bit of pursuading.

Here were the highlights of the day;

1) The discovery that everybodies cameras were capable of taking great photos

2) Iona almost beating Steve in the “teasle head” photo competition

3) Lucy acting as if she had never seen a mouse before (in fairness maybe she hadn’t)

4) Finding out that mice do not sit still and pose, and in fact do run away from you and hide

5) Finding out that dancing round said mouse while yelling excitedly also causes the mouse to run away and hide

6) Learning to focus on the eye of your subject. In this instance the beady eye of our mouse and vole

7) Christopher taking an epic “focused eye” photo

8) Lornas elation when her camera actually managed to take any photo at all (problems with an incompatable lens)

9) Learning how to compose your photos including blurring backgrounds for interest

10) Christopher adopting a caterpillar for the morning

11) Lorna, Christopher, Iona and Lucy eating ALL bar one of the animal biscuits. Leaving me one measly biscuit!

12) Discovering that when it comes to biscuit animals none of us have a clue what the animals are

13) Discovering that Christopher is the king of camouflague and then losing him in a hedge

14) Finding out that everyone took some brilliant photos and all the photos of the mouse were particularly good!

Well done to Iona for winning the prize biscuit with her perfectly composed and focused mouse photo.

Lucy has very kindly sent me her favourite photos from the day and so I have included these here in this blog entry. A star in the making I think! In fact all four of them were.

Keep on taking fantastic photos guys!

Macro Photography Workshop at Kailzie

Macro Photography Workshop at Kailzie.

Macro Photography Workshop at Kailzie

Last Saturday (July 6th 2013) Kailzie was alive with colour and buzzy insects and was the perfect setting for our first Macro Photography Workshop.

Words are pointless to describe the day and so I thought it would be better to just show a few of the photos that our participants took. I could show you my photos but I am sure you have seen enough fuzzy bees, blurred petals and out of focus foregrounds and do not need to marvel at mine. So instead below you can see the beautiful photos taken by one of our participants who was kind enough to email me her favourites. More should hopefully follow over the next few days!

photo by Julie Cleland

photo by Julie Cleland

Photo by Julie Cleland

Photo by Julie Cleland

photo by Julie Cleland

photo by Julie Cleland

photo by Julie Cleland

photo by Julie Cleland

photo by Julie Cleland

photo by Julie Cleland

daisy

marigold and bee

blue mecanopsis

pink flower

Spring Wildlife at Kailzie

Spring Wildlife at Kailzie.

Spring Wildlife at Kailzie

Frogs being frogs on Sat 13th April

Well for those of you who read my weekly Peebleshire column, you might be aware that I talk about the weather all the time and how awful it is. Like a true Scot through and through. Even when I attempt to speak Spanish I still only manage a few mumbles about the fact that it isn’t raining and then tell people that in Scotland it rains “mucho mucho”. And it is “muy frio” (cold).
However this week I have had no reason to grumble in English or Spanish because the temperature has risen, the sun has keeked out a few times, and the wildlife is finally doing interesting wildlifey things. Like building nests, mating, laying eggs (see Di’s Tweed Valley Osprey blog) and appearing within the range of my eyesight. Normally I miss all the wildlife because it is being a bit sneaky and staying away from me, but now mating frogs have no choice but to carry on with their business while I approach for a closer look. Ha ha! 1-0 to me wildlife with your quite unfortunate necessity to take advantage of any little spots of decent weather we have to reproduce and raise young as efficiently as possible so as not to ruin your chances of passing on your vital genes. Still… 1-0 to me!!!!

I thought that it was about time that I start putting some videos of what is happening flora and fauna wise at Kailzie ( if it is videos of real human beings you want then I suggest you go watch ITV2). I will post a link to these videos through this blog as I am not actually able to upload videos here, just photos (and even they don’t upload half the time. Sadly you will never see my photo of a humpback whale swimming up the Tweed). The first video is a bit of a sad one, but still video worthy none the less and is of a little long tailed tit that I was able to film hopping around on the round at Kailzie a couple of weeks ago. It was clearly injured but not so badly that it couldn’t still manage to out hop me.

Heres the link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgKCy3EwG0A
You might need to copy and paste this into your browsers!!! Sorry guys!

The videos I will put up links to are all made by myself using the most basic yet accessible equipment. Although they are not worthy of being televised, praised or even admired they are records of what I see, what I like, and stories that I want to convey. Which to me is the most important part of wildlife film making. Shakey cameras and heavy background breathing are all part and parcel of it! These are the type of films you could be making too if you come along to one of our Wildlife Film Making workshops at Kailzie. Really simple and really fun.

Coming soon…….
An exciting video showcasing the fab wildlife we had on display at Kailzie last weekend (April 13th) and a report on our fasctinating moss ID workshop with Julie “my heart skips a beat whenever I enter a bog” Smith (TCV Nautral Talent Bryophyte Apprentice). All will be explained tomorrow in the next exciting installment of the Kailzie Wildlife Blog!!!!

Over and out
Rachel
KLAWED Project Officer
Kailzie

Kailzie Wildlife Festival

Poster

Have you heard the news? The Kailzie Wildlife Festival 2013 will take place on the weekend of August 3rd and 4th at Kailzie Gardens.

A fantastic day out for all the family, attractions confirmed are

Lichen expert Sally Eaton from Channel 4’s “Wild Things”
Birds of Prey
Pond Dipping
Moth Trapping
Bird Ringing
Small Mammal Trapping
Bird and Tree Walks
Kids Games and Activities
Bird and Bat Box Making
Stalls from Red Squirrels in South Scotland, The Lothian and Borders Badger Group, SNH, RSPB and many more
Osprey viewing with Tweed Valley Ospreys
Music
Craft and retail stalls
Great local food
………………………. and much more still to be confirmed!

New lower prices for 2013!!!
Adults £5, Children 5-15 £3, under 5’s go free!
Also new is our family ticket for just £12

For more information keep your eyes on this blog, follow us on facebook or email me at kailzieofficer@gmail.com

Hope to see you all at Kailzie soon!

A Starry Night at Kailzie

Well despite the horrible weather we have been experiencing lately, we had a brilliant clear sky last Friday for our star gazing night at Kailzie.
The night Dr Tom Johnston and I had planned was supposed to be half in and half out depending on the weather. But such clear skies could not be missed and just as everyone had got inside and got a warm drink and cosy we marched them all straight back outside. Dr Tom gave everyone a tour of the sky and the constellations (not literally, we only had 90 minutes and I had not completed a risk assessment for space travel) and then soon everyone was busied round a telescopes of various sizes focussed on far off galaxies and planets. Tom brought along two of his own telescopes, one of which to me looked remarkably like R2D2’s gangly cousin. However it seemed many people had brought along their scopes hidden in jackets, hats and welly boots. I recall commenting on the nice wee box of binoculars that one young girl had brought and she politely smiled at me with the look of one who is humouring an “old fart”. Later she was to bring that small box outside and assemble a magnificent telescope that could see far into the night sky , albeit from the vantage point of a pancake ( us oldies would never have got down that low).

It was great to see a mix of young, old and those who, like myself, are somewhere in between and in a permanent state of confusion. It seemed that here was a science that really does appeal to all and inspire our imaginations.

The night sky had so far been kind allowing us a clear view of all its twinkling stars, but after about 45 minutes it had clearly had enough of these mere earthlings peering into it and decided to cover everything back up with a nice big cloud. So we moved back indoors which was not altogether an unwelcome move as hands were now cold and there was a good plateful of traybake remaining. Traybake it seems is the perfect accompaniment for astronomy. I wonder if Brian Cox knows this. Someone should probably let him know in time for his next TV rating smash.

We may not have had the night sky to look at now but that didn’t stop the astronomy fun. Tom had prepared the ultimate lesson in scaling the planets in our solar system involving a grapefruit, a melon and a giant balloon (all of which my mum had tried to pack up into her bag earlier in the night mistaking it for my dinner. I am not in the custom of eating large fruits for tea or even yellow balloons but I guess after 29 years of watching me eat condensed milk with a spoon nothing would have surprised her).  With the help of some eager members of the audience we were soon made to feel very very small (no it wasn’t that girl with her super cool telescope again) as Tom described just how tiny and insignificant our planet and even our galaxy are in the bigger scale of things.

I think everyone left that evening in awe and with an appetite for more. More stars, more glimpses of planets up close, and more traybake. Hopefully everyone will find some way to get all 3 again very soon.

The night was a massive success and I would like to thank everyone for coming out to Kailzie and supporting the KLAWED Project. A huge thank you to Tom for putting on such a great night and keeping the clouds at bay when it mattered most!

I will be putting up more photos from this evening through the course of the next few days so if you were there you might spot yourself falling over, looking puzzled or stuffing some traybake into your mouth. I will try and be selective with the pictures I choose!

Hope to see you all at Kailzie soon!

Rachel

KLAWED Project Officer and old fart

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