Today I round up my Not 30 Days Wild environmental activities for June, because the rest of the month I’ll be too busy with family birthdays. Two of those are taking place in a garden/arboretum, so I expect there’ll be some Random Acts of Wildness.
More importantly, I’m taking Rebecca Douglass to the Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve, and for a walk in the New Forest, on Monday, and I’m really excited about that. Perhaps we’ll have a flash fiction challenge in the evening (after a pub dinner?) Although we’ll have to be home in time to feed the hedgehogs.
I started the month with my Lapwing survey, the last of the three visits required. This subset of the BTO Breeding of Waders in Wet Meadows survey only happens every ten years, so I was lucky to get involved. I did see lapwings. I didn’t see many, but they do leave their nesting grounds early, so the fact that I saw them in April was fine. Being greeted by yellowhammers on signposts was good enough for the second and third visits, and I suspect I haven’t seen a corn bunting for at least five years, if not ten, so that was good.
I also completed the second of my Breeding Bird Survey visits, which finishes that for the year. This one is a set pattern walk, once in early spring, the second in late spring, and happens every year.
This is the survey I have missed most, both because of Covid and because of my move. I didnt have a patch to do when I arrived in Hampshire, and then they were quickly restricted to ‘only if you can walk onto it and mainatin social distancing while you survey’. I reckon I could have done two of my Norfolk surveys, but not the best one.
So I have a new patch to survey, and once I had adjusted the route (as requested by the regional organiser, usually it’s set in stone), I did my two surveys. This month’s was especially enjoyabe for the number of juvenile birds – fledglings – around. Seeing a male Blackcap feeding a well-grown chick already with his own black cap (females have brown caps) was a real treat. I didn’t realise the fledglings got their differentiated plumage right from the start. Blackbirds and Greenfinches don’t!
I started volunteering for the Bat Conservation Trust‘s helpline last autumn, and continued into the summer season. We had extra training on bat pups and when to advise release of bats people and found and called about. I usually do two or thee afternoon stints a month, and this month I also did an evening watch.
I’m still waiting for a decent combination of sun and low wind to do my garden survey. I’ve been worried about an almost complete absence of butterflies, although the Brimstones were out in April as usual. Since then, the only pollinators around have been bees. I need to do a FIT Count before the month ends.
Other acts of Not 30 Days Wildness
As usual, I fitted in a suitable book for the month – Birdgirl by Mya-Rose Craig, which was inspiring. My review is out tomorrow. Also you’ll have seen a splash of wildlife in the #writephoto offerings, where I could fit them in.
I’ve now got three hedgehogs visiting the garden in the evening, polishing off the food I put out for them. I think there’s one boar and two sows, so I wonder whether there will some babies along later in the year!
I was thinking I had enough space in my summerhouse to pull my drop-down sofa bed out onto the patio and sleep out under the stars, but once it was warm enough, the summerhouse was full of stuff I’d moved out of the house to make way for visitors!
But then, as I said at the start of the month – I’m not doing #30DaysWild this year.