More Random Acts of Wildness in the third week of 30 Days Wild. Such a wet week last week, I feel I should get out and see things a little more… planned or unplanned.
Gardenwatch – Bird Detective
I’ve now done three of the four different missions: 1. Beyond the Backdoor, 2. Worm Detective, 3. Bird Detective and 4. Mammal Detective. The worm detective is still outstanding, but with a busy week this week, I might leave it till next.
You can check for details of Gardenwatch at the BBC Springwatch site, or at their science partners, the BTO Gardenwatch site.
Days Wild 14-20
- It was wet. Again. But only in the morning. I realised that the fat was disappearing so fast because the squirrel had also found it.
- I bathed the guinea pigs in the afternoon. That was pretty wild, although they love the drying bit.
- There is still only one Bee Orchid in the wildflower patch
- spent the whole day going to, from and at Bloggers Bash in London. The hotel was in Vincent Square, which is a lovely green space, but devoted to Westminster School’s Sports ground. It might have blackbirds in it, but I only saw pigeons.
- checking the estuary of the River Stour at Manningtree (alight for Constable country) – it was fairly low tide in both directions, but surprising devoid of bird life. Very upsetting. Maybe the birds are at their breeding grounds elsewhere. This was the evening view…
- Sunshine!! I spent most of the day in the garden with the guinea pigs. Some random acts of wildness observed while tidying the flower beds, which confirmed my frogs are alive and well.
- 6:30 am, an hour’s drive away, doing my last survey of the year at Winterton. Not so many birds, but two that got me puzzled. I saw some Ringed Plovers on the shore, and I hadn’t seen those for a while. No sign of a grey seal this year, though.
- Getting ready for grass mowing this afternoon, I found a Bee Orchid that had escaped from the wildflower patch onto the grass in front of my house. It’s north facing, so it’ll be getting sun for two hours morning and evening each day at present. It’s a good 20 metres and round a corner from where the others are growing.
- The rain that was promised arrived mid-afternoon, and I didn’t do anything outdoors today. I did watch the baby birds, and made some notes on the butterflies and other insects I’d not noted earlier in the week: Painted Lady, Holly Blue, and the usual damselflies. The Robin now has youngsters in the garden
- In lieu of anything really wild, I started investigating something that made me slightly wild yesterday – my plastic recycling plant has stopped collecting recyclable plastic. It’s been doing it for about fifteen years. Apparently they had to send it up to Edinburgh for reprocessing, and they couldn’t get an appropriate waste licence any more. That usually means the cost of being a waste collector outweighs the amount they get paid for the recycled material.
- They collected stretchy plastic, the type that used to be used for magazine wrappings in the post, plastic parcel wrappers, hay bags, some bags from supermarket foods, clean clingfilm…
- I noticed a couple of months back that organisation that had been at the forefront of recycling magazine wrappers (like the Wildlife Trusts) had shifted to a ‘compostable’ plastic. So maybe the market is dropping for the stretchy stuff (which is good in one way, because it’s a source of the of the less good chemicals in plastic.) The trouble is… compostable plastic bags don’t work in home compost bins because they aren’t hot enough, and at present the garden material recyclers just won’t accept any form of plastic, ‘compostable’ or not.
- Watch this space…
- I was having doubts about the ‘worm detector’ challenge, wondering where to dig a hole 30 ins by 30 ins by 5 ins. It sounded like a lot of work. Then I realised it was centimetres, not inches!
- Considering I have so many worms in my vegetable beds I hoped there’d be plenty under the grass too. But the grass did suffer in the drought last year, so it might be less than healthy.
- Today is my annual trip to my Retired Staff Golf Day, so I left home at 6 30am and got back about 10 pm. But as it’s the longest day (Summer Solstice) tomorrow, it was still only gloaming when I got back.
- There were masses of birds singing on the course at Coleshill, near Birmingham. Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Finches… the two best treats were the guinea fowl and the nuthatch. The latter was nesting in a dead-looking tree that I needed to stand near. I noticed all the sounds from the nest and then their calls – and up he popped out at the very top of the broken tree to show me who was making all the noise!
- According to timeanddate.com, in Norwich sunrise was 04:30 BST, sunset 21:22. I was coming back from Birmingham so I was time travelling, as Birmingham’s sunset is 21:33 – I must have had official sunset near Swaffham, at 21:24.
- I spent quite a long time travelling through the Fens after I disagreed with my satnav over the route home. The best treat was turning into a tiny road called Mudds Grove, to be surrounded by what seemed like a hundred rabbits. There were only about five adults, the rest were youngsters – so cute!
That wraps up this week of random acts of wildness. I don’t feel I’ve devoted enough time to 30 Days Wild this week. But I have some outings planned for the next ten days!
I’ve decided to do another post next week (I was going leave it to one long final one, but it will be too long). So I’ll do a final wrap-up on July 1st.