One week into 30 Days Wild… well, nearly, since I’m writing this on Thursday. What have I done that’s wild this week?
They are doing a huge citizen science survey of our garden spaces, even if it’s a balcony, looking for wildlife in four different missions: 1. Beyond the Backdoor, 2. Worm Detective, 3. Bird Detective and 4. Mammal Detective. I’ll do one each week.
You can check for details at the BBC Springwatch site, or at their science partners, the BTO Gardenwatch site.
Days Wild 1 – 6
- completed the Gardenwatch first mission ‘Beyond the Backdoor.” This was a simple exercise in completing a questionnaire about what was in my garden. If you are in the UK, there’s an inspirational programme on the BBC red button (at least it was there at the weekend, and may be on iPlayer if it isn’t) with someone showing us how she made her garden wildlife friendly when she moved in.
- When I did the questionnaire I thought I wouldn’t have any mammals worth listing, but they include bats. So I must do a batwatch this month. And also make an insect hotel, which I planned to do last year in 30 Days Wild, but never got around to it.
- I went to Shuttleworth Air Display.
- A Red Kite insisted on flying around with the Avro Anson & Bristol Blenheim.
- On the way home (major diversion via Bury St Edmunds and Thetford) I startled a buzzard who dropped down from a tree onto the road in front of me – fortunately there was nothing coming the other way and we passed safely.
- I did my second Breeding Bird Survey, 6.30 on a lovely morning, but quite windy.
- Lots of birds around. Please to see swifts and house martins flying around the village, but I doubt whether they will nest there. For some reason the villagers got all anti-house martins about seven years ago and destroyed all the nests in the winter. They’ve never come back.
- My favourite encounter was scattering a group of tiny ground birds I initially took to be quail, until a large female pheasant came and squawked at me and chivvied her babes into deep cover!
- A day which turned very wet.
- I spent the afternoon watching the baby blue tits balancing on my washing line, waiting for their parents to feed them fat from the fat-filled coconut hanging on the wisteria. All of this is under the cover of my veranda, so it kept them nice and dry.
- I watched for butterflies while playing golf, but didn’t see any.
- In the afternoon a damselfly sat on my leg so I could identify it – a female azure damselfly.
- I meant to take a photo of my wildlife garden for you, as the white flowers are out at present. I must do that tomorrow while they’re still at their best.
- I planted out some celeriac plants in the veggie bed and put my hand on a toad who was sitting at the edge watching proceedings. I covered most of him with a bit of earth, but I could still see his eye watching me. I’m very glad he’s there. He’s probably responsible for the low level of slug and snail damage to my veggies this year.
- A bat flew by me as I took my wheelie bin to the end of the lane for the bin men to collect in the morning. The bat was probably a pipistrelle, judging from its size. Must check I’ve replaced the battery in my bat detector and do a survey next week.
So… so far, so good.
Next week I’ll try to do some photos for you. My computer is complaining it hasn’t got room for any more at the moment.