Saturday, 13 June 2015

30 Days Wild - Days 7 to 12 - Travelling

I'm continuing with 30 days wild. My first post was about me squeezing time out of a very busy week to see wildlife that had squeezed itself into our lives.  I'm juggling my time between Uckfield and Birmingham but my journey is nothing compared to that of some creatures, which travel enormous distances.

Sunday, June 7th

A week into 30 days wild, I finally some quality time in our garden. As I was trimming back the foliage threatening to overwhelm our windows I loved hearing the bees buzzing and the church bells ringing.

Tree bumblebee on ceanothus.
Many of the bees were tree bumblebees. BWARS tells us that these bees were first recorded in Britain in 2001. Since them they have travelled throughout Britain.

Monday, June 8th

I found a nest and attentive woodpigeon well camouflaged by the shadows of our robinia tree.

A homely woodpigeon with its nest hidden amongst exotic robinia flowers.
Tuesday, June 9th

The river Uck runs alongside our little station. Just before I got on the train, I enjoyed a serene moment watching the ducks.  I had a chat with a fellow commuter who had just been watching a pair of grey wagtails working their way along a ledge near the edge of the platform. We discussed the lack of insects this year and how some exotic ducks have joined forces with our local mallards.

Ducks on the Uck.
Most of the time, I was busy reading documents on my laptop but I was able to glance out of the window and enjoy nature as I travelled. As we pulled into Buxted, I spotted a herd of fallow deer. A carpet of wild flowers was an unexpected treat at Milton Keynes.

Carpet of wild flowers seen from train window at Milton Keynes.
Later, when I looked out of the window of my Birmingham hotel room, I was astounded to see house martins darting around almost at eye level. These little birds will have travelled from Africa and are nesting under the eves of the hotel.

Wednesday, June 10th

On Wednesday morning I got up early and dropped my laptop off in the office and settled down by a nearby pond to watch this little slice of nature wake up.

Just a few steps but a world away from the office.
The first birds I saw were a moorhen and two chicks. Then a coot, dabbling under the surface for its waterweed breakfast.

Rushes provide perfect cover for coots and other birds.
As a female tufted duck ventured across the pond a furious coot appeared out of nowhere. Maybe it was defending a nest?  As I returned to the office, a rabbit lolloped into the bushes.

Thursday, June 11th

On the way out of the Arden, I spotted one of the house martins zoom into a nest made from a thousand beakfulls of mud. I stacked my baggage by the kerb and watched them for a while. As passenger jets roared into the air behind them, about half a dozen of these African visitors seemed to dance in the air by the hotel.


Friday, June 12th

Today's wildlife moment was sad but gave me a chance to get close to something lovely. A blackbird had hit one of our windows and died. I was able to examine his subtly coloured plumage and vivid yellow beak. There was a perfect graduation from the tiny soft feathers on his back to the long flight feathers on the tips of his wings.

Blackbird wing.
Of course, my drawing doesn't do the blackbird justice but spending time trying to copy the shapes of the feathers gave me time to appreciate just how lovely this fallen angel was and how perfectly birds have evolved for flying.

So the last few days have been about appreciating how good wild creatures are at travelling. They may be tiny compared to our trains and jets but they are never stopped by a signal failure or lost baggage.

No comments:

Post a Comment