Saturday, 6 June 2015

30 Days Wild - Days 1 to 6 - Squeezing in

When I first heard about 30 Days Wild, a challenge in which you do something wildlife related, my heart leapt. Then it sank. I knew it was starting on the 1st of June, the Monday of what was going to be an exceptionally busy week. Surely I would never be able to fit it in.  I decided it would do no harm to try and squeeze in some nature observations while I went about my working week.

Monday, June 1st

I took my phone meeting in the garden. Buzzing bees and chattering sparrows are nicer than a screeching printer! I saw white-tailed bumble bees like the one shown, a tree bumblebee and a marmalade hoverfly on the weigela next to the bench I perched on for the call.
White-tailed bumblebee on the weigela next to our garden bench.

Tuesday, June 2nd

Just before leaving for Birmingham I tweeted that I was feeling and hearing the awesome power of the wind as I watch it toss oak branches. When it became apparent that - in the words of Southern "Tree on the line in the area which has caused damage to a Train as well as some damage to a rail." and that London Bridge was partly closed causing significant delays - I was less impressed.

Wednesday, June 3rd

I enjoyed watching house martins under the eves of my Birmingham hotel.
House martins' nests under the eves of The Arden.
This seemed a particularly miraculous "spot" as the hotel is adrift in a business park bounded by a dual carriageway, a mainline railway and the airport. As I walked to work, I noticed that one of the office buildings had house martins darting under a ledge. I met a fellow hotel guest, who was watching these birds and told him about the hotel nests. In return he showed me photos he had taken in his home country and told me about the birds he had seen in pond at the back of our building.
Thursday, June the 4th

Thursday was always going to be tough. I didn't have time during the day and I got home about 8:30pm.  After watching Springwatch and the continuing saga of Spineless Si the stickleback (this clip shows Si before he got his colouring from about 0:15), it was lovely listening to the birds singing their twilight songs while looking at Jupiter in the West.

Friday, June the 5th

I enjoyed running my hands over the craggy textures of a birch tree too big to get my arms round.
Birch bark
Saturday, June the 6th
I needed to go down the town anyway so decided to make a detour so I could walk through Lime Tree Avenue where I enjoyed the play of light through the leaves of ancient Limes.
Lime leaves.

I also swung through the Hempstead Meadow nature reserve. I remembered being told there were sticklebacks in the stream and decided to look for them. I found one drab-looking fish and a tiny baby in a rather muddy pool populated with skeeters, whirligig beetles and tadpoles.  Then I saw Uckfield's very own Stickleback Si near some flag irises. I could see his red tummy and I was delighted to see him duck into his tunnel nest for a moment. I also found myself explaining about the sticklebacks to a couple of walkers who were wondering why a middle-aged woman was sprawled over the bridge with her head through the bars.
Flag Irises near the stickleback stream.
So the first six days was about grabbing bits of time and having a fellow feeling for the wildlife that has squeezed itself into our lives by finding a niche in our built environment or occupying the slivers of land left when the estates grew up around avenues of trees and water meadows.

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