Birdwatching

A few months after the periodic table and chemistry craze E. is into birds and nature. I’m really glad that this new topic gives us the opportunity to spend great amount of time outside in nature.

Everything started with this Usborne book of Nature Trail.

Nature trail

This is an old edition and I bought it second-hand so I’m not sure if this one is still available but I’m positive you can find many beautiful nature books published by Usborne if your kids are little biologists.

Another trigger could have been E.’s Helen Doron course (More jump with Joey) as there was an episode with all kinds of birds and E. was fascinated by them.

One day (when our native nanny came to her) she came home from kindergarten and asked for Daddy’s binoculars, her journal, nature book and markers. We packed them all in her backpack and we dashed to the park to watch the birds.

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Naively I thought she wanted to watch then draw the birds.

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Look, Mommy! It’s a blackbird. It’s a male, because it’s all black.

Instead she took note of what kind of birds they saw with N, our nanny, and the bird’s flight patterns!

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Thanks for the pic, N. 🙂

 

The next time we went birdwatching (again with our nanny) I asked her to draw the birds instead. And so she did.

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Ok.Ok. N. helped E. a bit with the drawing 😉

While N and E were watching birds, we went to the playground with Little L to make some sand ice-cream. Yummy!

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Every morning when E. wakes up, or to be more precise we wake her up with youtube videos of bird calls. Who wouldn’t want to wake up with birds singing.
You can check out her favourite on the link above.

I used to make basic bird flashcards that I needed to freshen up with some new ones, of course, with E.’s favourite ones like crossbill, eagle owl and nuthatch, to mention few examples.

And it’s not finished yet, well, it’s just the beginning. I’m certain there’s more to come.

 

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Walking in the park in Enlgish – birds, trees and flowers

Every morning we go out for a walk. E. is the most attentive at this time of the day. At the beginning I was rather tense talking in English while we were walking and meeting other people, but by now I’ve got used to it.

On our way I name whatever we see. I try to pay attention to which direction she looks and what she sees. As I’m behind her, it’s not easy. So what I say is:

“Look, there’s a pigeon. She’s eating.” or “The pigeons have flown away.”
“The pigeons have flown away.”

“Can you see that big tree? The leaves are all green.”

Pansies in the flowerbed
“Let’s smell the flowers. Atishoo. Atishooooo.” (Here she smiles or even laughs at this.)
“Look, this flower is purple, and this one is white. And your favourite colour is here. It’s yellow.”
“What is buzzing? It’s a bee, flying from one flower to the other.”
We were blowing dandelions: “Look, mommy’s blowing the dandelion.” (minimum 10 times 🙂 )
“I’ll taste this blowball.”

If we see a dog: “Look, what’s coming? A doggy. (She screams or says da-da)

If we go on a bumpy road I make it even bumpier and shake the pushchair a little: “Bumpy, bumpy, bumpy” (She enjoys it as well and grabs the sides of the pushchair hard)

 

Two pigeons

Today we have counted three pigeons and two doves: “One pigeon, two pigeons, three pigeons.””Are those pigeons? Nooooo. They’re doves. One dove, two doves”

These are some of the example, but as usual I’m talking to her continuously about what we see around us. She likes touching (and picking) leaves from the bushes. She is pointing at things so I name them (flowers, animals, people etc.)

Of course, I don’t know a lot of flowers and tree types, but I’m working on collecting some of the most common ones, which can be found in our area. I don’t like the long lists of vocabulary which include ALL the plant names. We need a small part of them only. The other thing is that I, myself, really need to learn them.

I don’t believe saying only “flower” or “tree” when we name plants is natural. In Hungarian I name them exactly (the ones I know, as I have deficiency in this field even in my mother tongue).

So here is a small collection of useful vocabulary concerning nature or rather wildlife in Budapest parks:

Birds:

crow
dove

 

blackbird
house sparrow
great tit 😉
swallow
woodpecker
magpie

 

English
Magyar
magpie
szarka
sparrow
veréb
crow
varjú
swallow
fecske
pigeon
galamb
dove
gerle
blackbird
feketerigó
great tit
széncinege
woodpecker
fakopáncs
warbler
énekesmadár

Trees:

acacia
willow
horse-chestnut
poplar
beech tree
oak
sycamore
English
Magyar
chestnut tree
vadgesztenyefa
acacia
akácfa
  beech tree
bükkfa
oak tree
tölgyfa
willow
szomorúfűz
sycamore
platán
pine
fenyő
birch tree
nyírfa
poplar
nyárfa

Flowers:

forget-me-not
daisies
daffodils

 

dandelion or the so-called “blowball” or “clock”
dandelion in full bloom
geranium
flowering almond
golden chain
hyacinth
lavender
grape hyacinth
violet pansy
peony
of course, tulips
lilac
English
Magyar
lilac
orgona
golden chain
aranyeső
dandelion
gyermekláncfű, pitypang
daisy
margaréta
forget-me-not
nefelejcs
pansy
árvácska
begonia
begónia
tulip
tulipán
flowering almond
babarózsa
daffodil
nárcisz
hyacinth
jácint
geranium
muskátli
peony
pünkösdi rózsa
lavender
levendula
grape hyacinth
fürtös gyöngyike