Unruly hazel

There was a welcome break in the seemingly never ending rain today, so I was eager to get out into nature.

Todays job was to tackle hazel suckers.  They seem to be sprouting out everywhere around the base of this hazel tree. Unfortunately, not only can I not get to the tree but the suckers are smothering out any other plant life and they have become quite unruly.  Looking around I wondered where on earth to start, but I decided to just dive in their and start cutting.

Whilst cutting I was joined by a tame male blackbird who came to see what I was up to and probably to try and get any juicy insects from the exposed areas I was creating.  I also heard a great spotted woodpecker in a fruit tree very near by and squarking and squabbling from a group of magpies that landed for a moment on top of a conifer tree. 20190626_112714.jpg

Carefully I cut back the suckers.  I was aware that on some leaves there were ladybird larvae, flower bugs and sipders so each time I found them, I made sure I put them somewhere safe.  I also saw toads and frogs too, so I made sure that I looked where I was cutting especially near to the ground.

After a few hours I decided to call it a day, as the weather was getting muggy and I was starting to get nipped by mosquitos.  In just a few hours I was happy to see what a difference it made.  I found plants and bulbs that had been hidden from sunlight and uncovered a little pond with a frog staring up at me from the waters edge.

I love being out in nature listening to bird song and getting my hands dirty in the soil. It’s nice to be able to make a difference and hopefully now I have opened up the pond, other wildlife will now benefit from it and enjoy it as much as the little frog.

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Rainy day reading

Day 7 of 30 Days Wild

At the beginning of last week I took part in a series of garden watch surveys. These have been mentioned quite often on this years Springwatch and can be found here on the BTO website.  The surveys don’t take long to do and they are so important in helping to understand just how important gardens are to wildlife in the UK.  It doesn’t matter if you have a huge garden or just a balcony, its all important data.

After completing the surveys I browsed the BTO (The British Trust for Ornithology) website.  It’s a UK bird charity that focuses on understanding bird population changes. They do really important research so I made the decision to join the BTO and become a member.

This week a parcel arrived in the post and inside was my BTO membership welcome pack. 

I was so excited to open it and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw what was inside.

It was full of goodies, useful information, a bookmark and magazines.

All the rain we have had today has given me a perfect excuse to put my feet up, snuggle under a warm blanket and get some reading done, followed by listening to a CD of bird song

A day of surprises

Welcome to day 6 of the 30 Days Wild challenge.  The weather today has been odd. First it started off as a glorious sunny morning, but it wasn’t long before the blue sky turned dark and moody.  It suddenly felt like we had gone back to winter as the heavens opened and down lashed hailstones at high force.  The rest of the day consisted of dark looming clouds and intervals of rain.  Now most people probably run inside where it’s warm and dry but I decided to embrace todays weather and I sat for a bit enjoying the rain cascade over me.  I watched a crane fly take cover under a leaf and an ant scurrying past me to get to a dry safe place.

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Finally the rains pasted and this afternoon I filled up the bird feeder again.  They are going down so quick with so many birds visiting.  No sooner had I filled up the peanut feeder when our regular great spotted woodpecker came down for a feed.  I love watching him on the feeder, he is such a character and never takes any hassle from the starlings that squabble around him.  Today was different though.  I had to rub my eyes at first as I thought I was seeing double.  There before me was not only the male but his young fledgling.  It was such a beautiful sight to see.  The young woodpecker squeaked so loudly to be fed and fluttered it’s wings to get attention. I don’t think I have ever seen a woodpecker fledgling being fed before and it was an amazing thing to watch.

If seeing that wasn’t awesome enough I then had a second surprise.  The postman came to the door delivering a parcel for me.  Apparently my fella had decided to buy me a special gift as he loves reading my blogs as well as looking at all the photos that I take.  Eagerly I unwrapped the cardboard box and there i was…

A Bushnell Natureview Live View wildlife camera.

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I know I have already got a wildlife camera but this one was special.  It has a live viewer with it.  No longer will I have to guess which direction the camera is facing, narrowly missing out on important shots. I will be able to actually see which spot the camera is pointing at for once.

I can’t wait to use it and I’m seriously hoping that I may be able to get some footage of the fledgling woodpecker, so fingers crossed.

The day has been full of surprises and I’m looking forward to seeing what delights tomorrow brings.

 

Rspb pin badges

Welcome to day 4 of the 30 Days Wild challenge.  The sky has been grey and the rain has poured down all day so what a good excuse to stay inside warm and dry and figure a new way of storing my ever increasing collection of RPSP pin badges.

I have run out of space where I used to store them and now I have 2 new beautiful badges to add to my collection so I had to put my thinking cap on.

 

I came across an old 4 ring A4 folder that I thought might work.  Eagerly I tried putting the card sleeves in and they looked like a reasonable fit.  The only problem was that when I closed the folder the sleeves stuck out slightly…Damn!

I had a brain wave and rummaged around the recycle bin for cardboard. Using lots of tape and strips of cardboard I manged to make it just the right size.  Ok…so its a little rough looking but it does its job of protecting all my lovely badges and that’s all that matters.

They are not just badges to me but little time capsules of memories.  It’s lovely to look through them and instantly remember where I bought a badge from, what the weather was like that day and other memories it may conjure. I always remember going to Conwy nature reserve and seeing my first ever hoopee.  I was so excited that I ran into the RSPB shop and bought a badge of a hoopee so I would have a momentum of the day.

(Wonder if you can spot the hoopee amongst the badges in the photo above)

It may have been a dull miserable day outside but it has been nice to look at my wildlife badges and thinking of all the great times spent at such superb nature reserves around Britain.

Growing wildflowers

It’s day 3 of the 30 Days Wild challenge and the weather has been so lovely, I thought it was a great day for a spot of gardening.

I have been growing some wildflowers from seed in trays so now seemed like a good time to transplant them somewhere in the garden, but where??

I found a few empty plant pots that I had no plans for so I decided that the flowers would look nice in them dotted about the paving slabs along the garden path.

I have planted wildflowers in pots before and the bees and hoverflies loved them.  It just goes to show that you don’t need a big garden to have wildflowers, and pollinators appreciate them no matter how small a patch.

It will also be fun to see what flowers appear as I just put a mix of different seeds in trays and forgot what I’d sown.  I don’t mind though, as it’s fun to have a bit of mystery sometimes.

I can’t wait to see them grow and become beautiful flowers.  I’m sure the bees will love them as much as I will.

Feet up watching nature

(I’ve attempted to write todays 30 Days Wild blog in English and Welsh today

Today for 30 Days Wild I’ve decided to have a quiet relaxing day. I’m sat on my sofa with my feet up drinking a nice cup of chamomile tea catching up on BBC Springwatch. I love watching Springwatch and this weeks episodes have been brilliant. It’s so informative and fun. Chris Packham and Iolo Williams are fantastic inspirational people and watching all those cute tiny chicks in the nest makes your heart melt.

Heddiw am 30 Diwrnod Gwyllt, dw i’n cael diwrnod dawel ac ymlacio. Dw’in eistedd ar y soffa, yn yfed te camri tra edrych ar Springwatch ar y teledu. Dw i wrth fy modd yn edrych ar Springwatch a mae’r episodau wythnos ‘ma wedi bod yn ardderchog.  Mae’n rhaglen yn ddiddorol ac hwyl. Mae Iolo a Chris yn ffantastig ac ysbrydoledig, a dwi’n mwynhau dysgu am bywyd gwyllt a gweld y cywion bach pa sydd jyst ciwt iawn.

30 Days of Wild begins

Today is the first day of The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild.  This is were people are encouraged to do something nature based each day in June.

Now, I know there may be some out there that say that they are too busy and just don’t have the time…”I’m too busy!”  30 Days Wild isn’t about how much time you have spent in nature, its all about your passion and appreciation for nature that matters.

You can go to your local park or nature reserve and see what wildlife you can spot, or have a picnic in the sunshine.  You can just step outside your front door and listen to the bird song or watch a bee buzzing about the flowers.  How about putting a bird feeder up in your garden, reading a wildlife magazine, cuddling a tree, or perhaps buy something that’s plastic free.  It’s not about thinking big; unless you want to organise a litter pick, built a pond or hike in the countryside.  Small activities are just as significant in reconnecting people with nature.

As I write this, I’m sat by my window listening to blackbirds and robins singing loudly.  Just this simple act instantly calms me, places me in the present, and helps me appreciate the things that really matter in life.

Even if you can’t do something wild every day in June then try and do something this month no matter how small.  You’ll be amazed how much it will help your mental wellbeing, how calmer you will feel; and how significant something as simple as putting out a small bowl of water or a bird feeder in the garden can be for your local wildlife.

The Wildlife Trust even has a 30 Days Wild app here which has lots of nature ideas to inspire you.

Whatever you have planned I hope you all have a wild and wonderful June.