12 things to do with children over 12 months

January   Put up bird boxes and bird feeders and why not put in a bird camera into the nest box.  This will bring hours of entertainment into your home.  Follow the link here for where to get them or how to make them.

February Visit Ballyare woods to see frogs coming out of hibernation. Find Ballyare woods by clicking here.

March Make nests and mouse homes, watch out for mad march hares. Drumonaghan woods: 500 metre outside Ramelton on the right hand side on the Kilmacrennan road.

April Visits Rathmullan woods (or any of the others) to see the beautiful display of woodland flowers. Celandines, sorrel, anemone’s and bluebells flourish at this time of year before the leaves fully grow on the trees. Find Rathmullan Nature Reserve by clicking here.

May Take part in one of the many dawn chorus bird walks that happen in this month. Join in with NatureNorthWest on a birdsong workshop learning some of the common bird songs and what they are up to. Watch your nest box and camera!

June Get the ferry to Tory Island to see a host of wonderful seabirds. Walk to the sea cliffs at the east end of the island and watch out for the colourful puffin. Get your hands on some binoculars and don’t forget to keep an eye out for basking sharks from the ferry!

July Drive up to Horn Head to see the sea birds at the cliffs and watch out for basking sharks again. Walk to Tramore from just north of Dunfanaghy on the horn head road. Start at the bridge and make your way through the dunes to see the wonders of a wild flowering meadow. Bring a net to try to catch some butterflies and other bugs, just don’t pick the rare orchids!

August Go rock-pooling at Marble Hill beach. Wait for a big lunch time low tide and head out with a white container, small net and wet shoes. A whole world is waiting for those willing to get their hands salty and sea weedy!

September Get involved in a bat survey. Or if thats a step too far, get to a calm river like the Lennon 40 minutes after sunset on a fine evening and watch the bats swooping for insects. Remember, they gobble 3,500 each per night, busy bats!

October Set the alarm early and drive into Glenveagh before sunrise. Walk to the castle and around the viewpoint trail behind the castle gardens. Listen and watch out for the rutting red deer. Once heard, never forgotten!

November Drive to the wonderful Inch Wildfowl Reserve an hour before sunset. Watch out for and listen to the thousands of whopper swans, some of the biggest flying birds in the world, thousands of geese, ducks and waders all coming in to roost for the night. A spectacle not to be missed.

December Help out the small birds who are starting to get very hungry. Remember some of these birds need to eat half of their own body weight during the day just to survive our cold nights!. To make the bird cakes, get a pine cone or a rough small stick, the cheapest salt free lard you can find, cheap porridge and cheap raisins or currents. Mix it all together in a glorious mess and wrap the mix around the cone or stick. Tie a string to it and leave in the fridge over night. The next day you can hang it on a stick or a tree, out of the reach of cats and watch the birds come to feed. Was the bluetit the first one to come? Often is!

Click here to find some useful links for wildlife identification etc.

Download 12 things to do as a pdf here.

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