Whilst we were walking down The Avenue, we had a lot of fun playing in the fallen leaves, of which there were plenty.
It was such a beautiful day, we stopped for a moment to rest, and enjoy the atmosphere. It was then that we heard a sort of knocking/tapping sound. We suspected the noise was coming from a woodpecker, so we started to look up at the tree tops. We looked and looked and looked and looked. Then we saw it - a flash of red - high up at the top of one of the trees sat a Greater Spotted Woodpecker. Here is a photo of it, up there in the tree, somewhere, honest. ;)
We then walked up to the Stables, where they have a discovery room for children. We were particularly interested in the bird ringing event that The National Trust were holding. Upon arrival at Gibside the boys were given a choice of code to wear on a wristband, when we arrived at the Stables they were told which bird they were. The boys were very excited, Liam was a Tawny Owl, which pleased him greatly as Owls are his favourite and Xander was a Swallow. Xander liked the fact his Swallow had been tracked all the way to Africa.
Throughout the day we were able to watch the Trust bring in birds they had caught for ringing. We were taught the reasons behind it and how the process works. Each bird has its own unique number, some of the birds caught already had rings, others did not. They checked all the birds measurements, sex and age and recorded the data. This data gives important information about the bird population in the wild. The boys loved being able to get so close to the birds, and helping to release them. Here you can see a Blue Tit having its wings measured.
We then had great fun getting messy making bird feeders to hang in our garden at home.
We will definitely be going back to Gibside soon, it is a fantastic place for children to explore and get muddy and we have so much more to discover. I will be linking up with Country kids this week for more outdoor inspiration.