Week 9: Words from the Wild – Long Tail Tits and Nest Building 03.03.21.

This weeks creative writing tasks have been inspired by a book called ‘Birds an Anthology’ by Jacqueline Mitchell. We chose a section on the Long Tailed Tit as our extract for this week’s book club and creative writing tasks.

Using creative writing techniques to explore a natural species is a great way of learning facts and attaching a narrative to fact will also help us to remember it. And…. it makes you realise how gorgeous certain species are that you might never have noticed before.

I hope you enjoy today’s class:

Task 1. (5 mins) Long tailed tits are unusual in that they do not stick to one area for nest building. They have been know to build nests in low bushes such as the Juniper and also high up, such as nestled in the fork of a lofty oak tree branches.

Answer this question: if you were a bird where would you choose to build your nest? Would it be in the heart of a hedgerow, or in the lofty branches of an old oak tree?

Task 3: (10 mins) We are going to have a go at personification (giving something human traits) and also creating characters. Imagine two long tail tits. One is an early bird who wants to build a nest in a lovely Juniper bush, the other is a night owl who wants to build their nest high up in the branches of a tree.

Write down their conversation, which nest do they settle for. What are the pros and cons for each area!?

Task 4: (5 mins) The book mentions that up to and around 1700 feathers have been found lining a Long Tail Tit’s nest. I’m sure this will make it warm, soft and cosy. What materials would you use to build a nest? Would you use the soft down of a thistle head, or the cushioned moss that grows amongst grass lawns?

I’m so glad to have discovered more about these gorgeous little birds, I hope you are too.

See you soon,
Best wishes,
Emma

Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York (www.stnicks.org.uk) for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

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