First walk with the CU Nature Society

I’m rather excited to post that, after a term of 1) lamenting over the lack of a Nature Society (or the equivalent) in the University of Cambridge (CU), and 2) trying to gather a bunch of interested people and organising, I’ve finally (kind of) managed to set up a Nature Society here! We don’t quite know if our proposal’s been formally accepted, but we’ve got a Senior Treasurer and we have a mailing list, so I’ll take that as signs that the society is happening.

I now have a wonderful committee to run the society, and we have planned events for this term!

Image

CU Nature Society Lent Termcard (A termcard is Cambridge lingo for an events listing for that term; and it’s Lent Term now). Credits to Le Qin for producing the Termcard.

Clubs and societies here are quite different from those back home in Singapore. Vastly different from primary school/secondary school/junior college Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs), and probably quite different from university equivalents as well (though I can’t be sure).

Since a term is only 8 weeks, and a lot is crammed into that 8 weeks, clubs and societies are just there to supplement your life during term time. Attendance definitely isn’t compulsory (no such thing as 80% attendance before they count your CCA points) –  you can come if you want, or not, and it’s all very fluid – sessions aren’t structured such that if you miss one, you’re doomed for the rest, if you get what I mean. Though of course, if you’re really keen on the club/society, you’ll go for most, if not all the sessions. And subsequently probably run for a committee position.

So, with term being so short, and a rather unpredictable turnout for each session, we didn’t think it would be a good idea to cram so many events into a term, though we had plenty of ideas.

Anyways, we had our first activity last Sunday – a very nice walk to Grantchester Orchards. The path meanders along the River Cam, and we were mainly bird watching (essentially cos there’s not much else to see).

Had a surprisingly big turnout too!

Had a surprisingly big turnout too!

Unfortunately, I have no photos of birds. They’re kinda hard to take photos of with a point-and-shoot camera, even if it’s a decent Canon S100. But there’s still Google, so:

European robin (Erithacus rubecula) Image taken from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/European_Robin

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Image taken from: http://www.feedyourbirds.co.uk/bird-info/goldfinch

Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) Image taken from: http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/greenfinch

Blackbird (Turdus merula) Image taken from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Common_Blackbird

Mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) Image taken from: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/mallard-duck/

And a number of other birds that I can’t recall. Including a migrating one that was pretty rare.

[Update 23/1/2012: Thanks to Le Qin and Jamie for refreshing my memory]

Redwing (Turdus iliacus) Image taken from: http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/red-wing-photo-372.html

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris), apparently a rather rare migrant! Image taken from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Fieldfare

And we saw some familiar ones too!

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea) Image taken from: http://www.wildaboutdevon.co.uk/fact-file-grey-heron/

Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) Image taken from: http://www.shropshirebirder.co.uk/cattleegret.html

It was a very snowy day, and we had to walk in the snow, with the snow falling in our faces.

Snowy meadows

Snowy meadows

And the snow gets in our faces

And the snow gets in our faces

But we reached the orchard and had a nice tea there (very English indeed).

Enthusiastic bunch of Nature lovers! :D

Enthusiastic bunch of Nature lovers! 😀

So all in all, for a first trip and for a new society, it was a very nice trip. Hope there’ll be many more awesome trips to come!

Grantchester, Cambridge, UK

Grantchester, Cambridge, UK

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About Jocelyne Sze

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
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2 Responses to First walk with the CU Nature Society

  1. Pingback: One year on – and hopefully many years to come. | Nature rambles.

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