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

gardenwatch bird detectiveAs already explained, this is a citizen science project for BBC Springwatch in conjunction with the BTO and the Open University.

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

Friday
  • 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
Saturday
  • 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…

stour estuary 30dayswild

Sunday
  • 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.
Monday
  • 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.
Tuesday
  • 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…
Wednesday
  • 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.
Thursday
  • 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!

summer solstice guineafowl

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.

30DaysWild | 3 – Random Acts of Wildness

11 thoughts on “30DaysWild | 3 – Random Acts of Wildness

  • 21 June, 2019 at 10:01 am
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    Lovely post. Your sunset times are earlier than mine. Tonight it will be 21.58.

    Reply
    • 21 June, 2019 at 8:25 pm
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      I thought I’d add them for that reason. I’m pretty much dead on 0 degrees!

      Reply
  • 21 June, 2019 at 7:21 pm
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    Boy, I’ve been alternating between lots of wild (like Tuesday hiking at Mono Lake) and days when I’m staying inside in the AC and not even poking a nose outside! I really have to figure out how to cope with this place… probably mostly by not being here when the weather turns hot!

    Reply
    • 21 June, 2019 at 8:27 pm
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      And probably working out early morning hikes and snoozing in cool places in the afternoons 🙂 Is the new place hotter than Daly City?

      Reply
  • 21 June, 2019 at 7:52 pm
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    Lots of great wild stuff there! I don’t know why you think you haven’t done enough. I find the whole plastic recycling thing baffling. Different places accept different things.

    Reply
    • 21 June, 2019 at 8:35 pm
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      There are so many different types of plastic, that’s the problem. I knew the various names and combinations about ten years ago, but of course the brain has seized up on them. Our household recycling now accepts ‘solid/stiff’ plastic like yoghurt pots, clear plastic trays for food (cleaned), plastic milk and water/juice bottles and that sort of thing. (My neighbour used to reckon that as they sort it at the recycling centre, he put everything in and let them work out what they couldnt use.
      We can recycle bubblewrap at the depot aka tip. There is one depot in Norfolk working on takeback of plastic plant pots and trays. But soft plastic divides into three now – ‘compostable’ being new and unrecyclable! Crackly plastic which either doesnt tear or tears without stretching is still unrecyclable; stretchy tearing plastic, like clingfilm and the covers they used to use for magazines can be remade by specialist plastics companies, but it’s a costly business still and needs investment – and of course people to buy the things made from recycled plastic.
      I was planning to do a post on this… maybe I won’t bother now!

      Reply
      • 21 June, 2019 at 8:48 pm
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        No, you should! I didn’t know half of that. I wish there was some consistency. Our local authority only takes plastic bottles. My mum’s takes food trays etc so I rock up every so often with a bag of plastic for her bin!

        Reply

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