Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Next stop South Africa

Hi everyone.

As you know I have spent most of this year visiting schools and events here in the UK to share my experiences travelling throughout the USA in 2009 and 2010. I had some great experiences, saw some amazing wildlife and met some very interesting people too. I made new friends and discovered how many people are helping to protect the oceans.

Sadly, I have also seen first hand the terrible damage to the oceans from marine debris, climate change and how it is affecting food chains, killing corals and much more. I also found out about the terrible threat of ocean acidification to animals with hard shells.

I found out something that is also very scary - this is happening all over the world! So I have planned to continue my travels to find out more about these threats to oceans and all life on earth. Just the thought of it makes me shiver.

So in January 2012 I will be traveling to South Africa.

Until them, I want to wish all my friends (and friends I have yet to meet) around the world a very Happy Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
Bye for Now

Ed the Bear

Monday, 7 November 2011

WhaleFest comes to Brighton

I helped out at the WhaleFest event yesterday on the Sea watch Foundation Stand and it was fantastic. WhaleFest is the largest of its kind in Europe.

You may remember I met Dylan Walker, one of the organisers of WhaleFest at the Spring Watch Event I took my display to. Dylan had the display next to ours.

There were many stands about whales, whale watching and education and conservation.

There were life sized inflatable’s like the bottlenose dolphin my buddy Steve uses – but these were much bigger.
I came eye to eye with a inflatable blue whale, the largest animal to have lived on the earth. Its heart is the size of a small car, its weighs the same as 40 elephants and the largest blood vessel is large enough for a child to swim through. Wow that enormous.

I got the chance to see large whales when I travelled around the USA in 2010. Including a whale watching trip, you can see more on the link below.

There were guest speakers and celebrities such as Mark Carwardine a zoologist author and whale expert. I listened to his fascinating talk.
Here he is signing some of his books

There were films to watch, experts to talk to and much more. Sea Watch Foundation had a live link to report dolphin and whale sightings around the UK when they happened.

These children helped in a rescue demonstration and found out how British Divers Marine Life Rescue work to rescue stranded whales, dolphins and seals.
I volunteered to keep an eye on the stand and talk to people so that the Sea watch People could have a look around.
Great news is, WhaleFest will be back next year. You can follow this link to find out more about WhaleFest and keep an eye out for news of next years event.
Bye for now
Ed the Bear

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Wisdom the albatross

Hi All

Sorry I have not sent any updates lately but I am busy planning my next adventure. However I have received some great news that I just had to share with you all.

I have had some great news from my buddy Fred the Monkey and Ron Hirschi. You may remember the terrible tsunami back in March and the damage it did to the Hawaiian Islands and its wildlife. Especially the Laysan Albatross who have already suffered so much due to marine debris.
At that time many seabirds were killed, but Wisdom, the oldest known wild bird on the planet, survived. Wisdom is a Laysan Albatross estimated to be 60 years old.

Fred sent me some fantastic news. Not only did Wisdom survive but her chick has successfully fledged and now soars over the ocean.

You can see two really nice photographs of Wisdom with her chick on Fred and Ron’s weblog.


Bye for now

Ed the Bear

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Is it a bird, is it a plane...?

I was walking along the banks of the river adur today and saw the most extraordinary sight. I saw a shape coming from the distance.
First I thought is it a bird...is it a plane... its...well actually it was sort of both.

As it came nearer I saw that it was a man in a microlight a bit like a hang glider with an engine. Flying alongside him were a flock of geese.

I found out later that this was part of the airshow at Shoreham. This was Christian Moullec who has been training barnacle geese to follow his microlight. They are orphaned chicks that have been raised from chicks who imprinted on Christian and the microlights.
This is what baby geese usually do with their mother. Christian hopes to use what he learns to help rare geese (such as the white fronted geese) to migrate to new area starting new colonies in other areas.

I thought this was really amazing.

Bye for now

Ed the Bear

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Exploring local beaches

Hi all

I have been exploring our local beaches with my buddy Steve. As you know I have visited some amazing places in my travels, coral reefs, ship wrecks and many different coastlines in the in the US and Hawaiian Islands.
But I did not realise just how much wildlife we can find on our own beaches here in the UK. As you know my local beach is covered in a rare habitat called vegetated shingle but this only grows above the high tide line. There is very little beach exposed at low tide, so I have not seen much seashore life. However, this year I have seen some amazing marine life on other local UK beaches.

So here is some of the wildlife I experienced this year with my buddy Steve.

These are some of the seabirds I saw on Kingston beach, not far from the nature reserve, in a small bay inside Shoreham harbour.

This is a little egret, it stalks along the edge of the incoming tide catching small sea creatures in its long sharp beak.

We also saw this sandwich tern resting on the sandy mud

In the river, we saw this cormorant catch and eventually eat this eel.
I never thought it would manage it and the eel put up a fight but eventually the cormorant gulped it down.

These ringed plovers were on the vegetated shingle

There are other fascinating animals on Kingston Beach, inside the harbour.

This is a shore crab

This chalk is poking through the pebbles
I was amazed to find these piddock shells that burrow into the soft chalk to hide from predators.

This is a sea anemone, closed up because it has been uncovered by the tide

These sea defences provide places where animals can live

Here you can see some dog whelk eggs. The white shell behind is an adult dog whelk. They are predators, they eat mussels by drilling a hole through their shell. You can see where a dog whelk has drilled a hole into the mussel shell in the picture. The dog whelk has a special tongue with teeth for drilling.

The snakelock anemone is living in a pool at the bottom of the defence. This anemone cannot close up when exposed by the tide and the stings on its tentacles may hurt. You can recognise it by the purple tips. The tentacles are green because they have an algae living inside them - just like coral. 

This clam lives in the sand, it burrows using its foot and feeds from the tubes

It was good to know that we have such fascinating wildlife living on your local beaches. Why not visit your  local beach and see what you can find. You can leave me a message and tell me about what you have seen.

Bye for now

Ed the Bear

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Earthquake in the Channel

Hi all

I am back in England now. The strangest thing happened today - we had an earthquake in the English Channel and you could feel it on my local beach at Shoreham.
As you know I found out about earthquakes when I was in the USA and I even sat on a post above the San Andreas Fault where two of the earths plates meet. That all sounds a bit complicated, so you can find out more on the link below.


The earthquake in the English Channel was very small and just caused some very minor shaking - most people did not even notice it. Luckily we are a long way from a major fault line because that is where big earthquakes can happen.

Bye for now

Ed the Bear

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

School Visit to teach about Oceans

Hi all

Today I had a really fun and interesting day teaching children at Peter Gladwin Primary School all about the amazing oceans. The children found out about my special beach with rare vegetated shingle and fascinating animal visitors. They also learned a lot about the ocean and about the dangers marine animals face from pollution and plastic debris.

Some of the children learned about the plight of the Laysan albatross that I met in the Hawaiian Islands. They found out that the parents accidentally feed plastic litter to their chicks as well as food because they can't tell the difference.

The children really enjoyed my visit and had their photograph taken with me. They were very concerned about the threats to ocean wildlife and came up with loads of ideas about how they could help.

Two of the children made me and my buddy Steve (school children call him Mr Savage) a special thank you card which they gave us at the end of the day on behalf of all the children. 
It was really nice.

They also made us both badges. I am wearing mine. It says 'Fantastic Bear Well Done'.
I hope I get the chance to visit them again another time.

I'm off to America again tomorrow to visit the NABS Youth Summit. I think I had better finish packing and have an early night.

Bye for now, Ed the Bear

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Adur World Oceans Day

Hi all

I am the Adur World Oceans Day Event. This year it has joined with the Environment Festival so there are displays about the environment and also stands where people are selling environmentally friendly products.

My buddy Steve brought his dolphin display and pictures showing dolphins and seals that have been seen locally.

We also brought along a display about my travels and global conservation issue.

There were lots of children visiting the exhibition and they enjoyed finding out about my travels and many were concerned to find out about marine debris, pollution and many other ocean problems.
This included the ocean acidification demonstration which created a lot of interest, especially with adult visitors.

The Friends of Shoreham Beach had a wonderful display about Shoreham Beach, the plants and also did some great art activities with the children.

I had a quick look around at the displays. I saw interesting fish in this tank.

I thought this girl was very brave touching the edible crab - look at the size of its pincers.

It was a very busy day but lots of fun.

Bye for now

Ed the Bear 

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Happy World Oceans Day

Hi Everyone

Today is World Oceans Day, a day to celebrate the oceans. I will be at the Adur World Oceans Day event again this year, on Saturday

Happy World Oceans Day

Ed the Bear

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Spring Watch Festival Brighton

I am here with my buddy Steve at the Spring Watch Festival in Stanmar Park Brighton.
We have brought along a display about my adventures and a display about local dolphin and seal sightings.

My display tells the story of my adventures so far, why I have been travelling, amazing wildlife and people I have meet and how we can all help the oceans.

My display also included a strandline object quiz and a demonstration explaining ocean acidification.

We were in a special area of the festival called the marine zone. We were inside a special tent, which was good as it soon started to rain.

On one side of us was a display by the Sussex Wildlife Trust.
Their display told people lots of things about marine wildlife around our coasts and included an actual beach

Above the beach was a cliff with model seabirds.

To the other side of us was a display by Planet Whale. They had an inflatable pilot whale.

The people running the stand had really cool whale hats. I wish I had one of those.

We spoke to lots of people. Even though it was raining, lots of people still came to the festival. I thought I would have a look around to see what else was going on at the festival.
I checked the map to see where I needed to go. I thought I would go and have a look at the birds of prey.

The birds of prey were amazing and looked beautiful and also a bit dangerous for a little bear like me.

This is a barn owl
and this is a hawk

This is a baby hawk which the man was hand rearing.

I thought I would watch the demonstration where they allow the birds to fly. I watched the hawks first and they were really fast.
Then this big bird was brought out into the arena.

The bird then flew and pounced on a lure - a pretend rabbit which is its natural food.
I thought the rabbit looked a bit too much like me and I was worried the bird might mistake me for its dinner so I went to look at some of the other exhibits.

Next I saw the llamas

They were very cute and looked a bit like camels without a hump.

We have lots of bees on Shoreham Beach because of the shingle plants, so I wanted to find out more about honey bees.The Brighton Bee Keepers were doing a demonstration.

This is a hive, you can see the honeycomb

Here are lots of honey bees in a special hive with a glass window where you can see all the bees inside.

I then went back to our displays and found they were very busy with lots of people asking about ocean acidification, having a go at my quiz, looking at the pictures of where I had travelled and also looking at my buddy Steve's dolphin model.
Wow! what an amazing day. I meet lots of people and I also met one of the children who came to my course back in January. You can see the course on the link below


I am feeling rather tired now and a bit hungry. I should have asked the bees for some honey.

Bye for now, Ed the Bear