Tag: Woodlouse

You couldn’t make it up

by on Jul.25, 2008, under Birds

The National Trust carried out a survey recently, where they discovered that children were more likely to be able to identify a Dalek than a Magpie. Now, I’m not surprised at all by this, after all we’re always being told that the younger generation are tied to the PC/TV/Wii.

What was much more interesting than the survey though was the farce that ensued as it was reported. Sky News online (link) illustrated the findings of the survey with relevant images; unfortunately they had an image of a Magpie-Robin (something we’ll never record on a Northern Experience trip) instead of the good old Magpie that 20% of children in the North-east can’t identify, and a Great Tit instead of the Blue Tit that 25% of children are not able to recognise (they have at least corrected that one on the website).

Not to be outdone, The Independent ran a competition with several images, and 3 options for what each image showed. The options for one image were Tench, Loach and Barbel; this could have been a tricky one, particularly as the image showed a Woodlouse.

A few years ago there was some excitement, at least among people who didn’t realise that the birds were just on passage, when Avocets turned up at Cresswell Pond, between Amble and Newbiggin. The local press duly reported the suggestion that the birds were going to breed there, and illustrated the article with a picture of an American Avocet…

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