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UK Wildlife

Why do us British love fishing?

Spending hours sat on a river bank, lakeside or fishing boat is not everyone’s idea of fun, it can be cold and wet, with no guarantee of even catching anything. However thousands of people across the USA go pleasure fishing every day, spending millions of dollars on tackle, bait and clothing in the process. Many pleasure anglers catch and release, so don’t even bring anything back for supper, so why do so many of us enjoy this ancient past time? The thrill of the chase is the standard answer, trying to come up with the best techniques, tricks and ideas to outsmart different species. Some fish are clever than others and with so many different techniques and theories there is so much to learn and understand. In my opinion there are a number of different types of anglers and they all have different reasons for hitting the banks:

Why go Fishing?


The monster hunter –
The aim of these anglers aim is simple, to catch the biggest fish they can. Whatever the species, carp, catfish or bass, they will spend hours working out the best way to catch the biggest fish out there. kill and technique is of course important to be able to snare and tame some of the biggest fish in the lake. A photograph or simply a tale is the only trophy they need. You will often hear a “monster hunter” discussing their past glories in the bar and as always the even bigger ones that got away!

Match fisherman – A match fisherman enjoys the competition of competing against like minded anglers in competitions. They enjoy testing their theories and techniques on different waters and the aim is to come out as champion. Tactics are important with a clear understanding of the opportunities that each different venue can present. The match fisherman will be out in all conditions and will need a lot of skill and technique to come out on top.

Chill out fisherman –
In todays hustle and bustle world we all need time to unwind and what better way than spending a few hours fishing. A chill out fisherman goes fishing for the relaxation and to un-wind, away from cell phones, emails and every day pressures. More likely to be seen on a sunny Sunday afternoon rather than a cold early morning, possibly with a couple of beers in hand!

The nature lover – These fisher man love the great outdoors admiring the wildlife on and around the bank, as well as the fish they catch. When sitting quietly on a river bank you pretty much blend in, allowing the local wildlife to carry on as if you were not there. The “nature lover” is of course an admirer of fish, appreciating the different species for the subtle differences habits and appearance.

In reality it is probably impossible to pigeon-hole every fisherman into any category, we all have our own reasons for enjoying a good fishing trip, which probably changes depending on our mood that day. Perhaps we are all made up of a combination of each of the above, I know I am.

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UK Wildlife

10 Common Garden Birds

The UK is a breeding ground for birds from all over the world. You get dozens of birds flocked from the North pole winter to breed and lay new eggs. You get birds from Africa coming over in the summer to enjoy our basking hot summers and then migrate back to the their habitat at the end of August. But did you know the UK has over 250 species of birds that live in the UK throughout the year? In this guide I go into details of the top 10 most common garden birds you may see in your garden during this winter, so keep your eyes open.

Top 10 birds

  • House Sparrow

house-sparrow

The house sparrow is the most common bird in the UK and can be seen in places where there are buildings and houses. They are strong birds that usually take the next of other birds and make their home their. They make their presence known in the morning with their chirping and always flying around looking for food.

  • Blue Tit

Blue-tit

The blue tit is a beautiful colorful bird that comes in the colour blue,yellow,white and green and as a result it is one of the most beautiful birds in the UK. Usually they fly in flocks of 20s and can be heard singing in the mornings.

  • Starling

starling

Starlings look almost identical to blackbirds however they have short tails, pointed heads and triangular wings. When looking at them in flight they look black however they are actually purple and green with their glossy coating. These birds are in the decline in the UK but they still make it in our top 10.

  • Blackbird

blackbird

These are again one of the most spotted birds in playgrounds and fields. The males are coated in black whereas the females are coated in brown with streaks on their chests. They have bright orange beaks that can be seen from far and they sing mellow songs.

  • Woodpigeon

woodpigeon

The woodpiegon is one of the most common birds found in towns and citys, they usually live of food thrown out by people, for example chips, crisps, burgers, almost anything they can get their peaks into. They are shy birds in residential places but in towns and citys they are approachable and don’t get scared easily.

  • Chaffinch

The chaffinch is by far the UK’s colourful bird and with their array of colours they can easily blend in with their surroundings. They are very vocal birds that are usually heard before they are seen, they tend not to stick n one place when feeding and love to hop from place to another.

  • Goldfinch

The goldfinch is a colourful bird that has a red face and yellow wing patch. They are sociable birds that fly around in small colonies twittering and singing from their lungs. they have long beaks compared to other birds and so can easily grab fruits in nettles and thistles. They are not fond of the winter and so migrate to the south of Spain to hibernate.

  • Great Tit

the great tit is a green and yellow glossy bird with striking white cheeks that make them stand out. They are woodland birds that are quite aggressive when eating and are known to scare of other birds. In winter they join colonies with blue tits scouring gardens and parks for any left food.

  • Collared Dove

The collared dove looks almost identical to the woodpigeon, almost looking like their young but they are not. They have bright red legs and red eyes, usually they fly in pairs, but it is common for them to fly in flocks where food is at huge.

  • Robin

The robin looks similar to the chaffinch and are seen as the native bird of Christmas as they are only seen around Christmas! Robins sing throughout the year and are seen as the most aggressive bird from the top 10, so watch out! Why not read our last post on how to keep your dog warm over winter.

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Animal Care

Keeping Your Dog Warm This Winter

winter-dog

Winter is here, nights are becoming longer and the harsh winter chills are full swing in the mornings, it’s time to bring out those warm thick knitwear and time to wrap up with the scarves but that doesn’t mean dogs don’t feel the cold, it is important to look after them this winter as it is rumored winter 2015 in the UK is going to be one of the coldest ones to date! City wildlife care goes into detail on how you can look after your dog this winter and keep them safe from the winter chills.

Keep your dog warm this Winter

Warm shelter

winter-dogThis may seem common sense but it is important that your dogs home is upgraded and made warmer. For example my dog lives in a 4 meter by 4 meter concrete room that has thick insulation on the walls and the top with a concrete roof to keep the harsh elements out. Inside there is a thick mattress for the dog to sleep on with 2 old duvets that I don’t use anymore. This is what my dog goes to sleep to in winter.

Now you imagine yourself sleeping in the cold on a small dog bed with nothing over your head or no raised floor, insulated walls or anything, it wouldn’t be nice! So get those blankets out or build your dog a new home so he/she is prepared this winter from the sub-zero conditions.

Walking in the cold

As snow starts to fall the government starts to throw salt and rock on pavements and roads which can be harmful for dogs. If this salt is digested it could be toxic and if too much comes in contact with the dogs paws it can cause skin problems.

I recommend you get your dog some dog shoes and ideally not go walks when there is heavy snow falling as this can be dangerous for yourself and the dog if your are trapped out in a blizzard that can go very bad within a few seconds. As it does snow, snow does melt and then the next day this could turn into ice which freezes over. Walking your dog on ice can be bad as if your dog slips and so do you both of you could break a bone!

Keep them warm

This may sound common but always keep your dog warm over winter. That may meaning purchasing a snow jacket for your dog or having extra duvets and bedding for when they sleep, please do invest in warm clothing for the dog. When doing outdoor exercise purchase snow shoes and dog snow clothing so that they are well wrapped up and ready for the cold.

In winter we tend to use electric heaters and stove heaters to keep ourselves warm, this can be a hazard for animals. Always supervise your pets when they around these, always also keep pets toys and garden in plastic containers so they don’t catch fire when heaters are on.

Correct nutrition

During the winter season it is important to increase your dogs protein intake by almost 30%. As dogs have to work harder to keep themselves warm during winter and as a result they burn more energy. You can increase protein by giving them extra food or by purchasing bones that contain protein so they can slowly chew and keep themselves warm and at the same time increasing their calorie intake

Vaccinations and grooming

During winter a dogs immune system gets poor and as a result they are more likely to fall ill and have to visit the wet. I recommend you take your dog to the Vet in November to get their yearly vaccinations to keep their immune system boasted. In a year a dog normally needs 3 vacs, however now their are winter vacs many vets in the UK have introduced that help to keep dogs safe from hyper-ventilating and getting a cold.

Grooming is another important point to consider in winter, especially looking after your dogs paws. In winter dogs may have a lot of grit and salt between their paws so be sure to give them a good clean to get rid of any bacteria that maybe stuck. If you notice your dog shivering it is important to give them an extra layer of clothing as when they shiver they are using more energy to keep themselves warm. Or even better decide not to take the dog for a walk and go later on when the weather is better and the sun is out.

Tell local animal shelters if you see a dog in the cold

You may look after your dog well during winter but it doesn’t mean people in your neighborhood may. Therefore if you suspect your neighbors of people around your area are keeping their pets out in the cold, politely let the owners know that you are concerned for the well-being of their animal. If they shrug it off and repeat the offense try and record the incident, get the date and time and report the image to your local animal shelter.

It is important to take detailed notes so that the animal shelter has as much information possible to work with it. Speak out and do not leave pets in the cold in your neighborhood.

Try not to use antifreeze

We all knows dogs love to get their noses and tongues in almost everything and anything, antifreeze is a poisonous and can kill. Therefore be sure to keep all chemicals and household liquids in a safe locker area away from pets. There was a case I dealt with in the 90s where a poor Yorkshire terrier drank 500ml of antifreeze, it had to stay in the hospital for over 10 days and was in ICU and made a miraculous recovery, make sure this does not happen to your loved pet.

Therefore it is important you keep all chemicals and harmful substances in containers and in lockers and far away from pets and children.

That’s all your tips to keeping your dog safe this winter. Be sure to follow these tips and importantly enjoy winter as this is the season of snow!

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