Burton Mere -Day 25 of 30 Days Wild

Today for Day 25 of 30 Days Wild I went for a stroll around one of my favourite nature reserve in Wirral, Cheshire. Here is a short blog about what I saw at this beautiful place.

It was so peaceful at the nature reserve. All could be heard was a chorus of bird song from the trees, reeds and on the water. From the twitter of a reed warbler, the melodic song of a robin, the honking of geese to the babbling sound of the egrets. I managed to capture 2 little videos on my phone. (here and here)

As I walk around, I see a naughty grey squirrel trying to steal nuts from the feeder and ducks sitting underneath it catching food the squirrel dropped on the floor.

I saw insects gather around the wildflowers and warm themselves up on wooden benches.

 

 

Common lizards bask on the fence.

Spiders scurry below the decking carrying their eggs sacks and caterpillars emerge from the undergrowth onto the path.

As I sit overlooking the estuary and I could hear the wing beat of 2 mallards as they flew over my head before they landed in the water. I saw beautiful dragonflies dart over the water and water boatman lying on the waters surface. As I walked around the ponds 2 geese honked loudly and flew off past me, and I just managed to capture them on my phone here.

 

RSPB nature reserves are not just about birds. They are a safe haven for all wildlife and I’m so glad I have such a beautiful place near where I live.

New creature encounters -Day 20 of 30 Days Wild

I had 2 exciting encounters today at work. I saw 2 creatures that I have never seen before.

My first encounter was with a ruby tailed wasp, which landed on my hosepipe as I was watering the plants. Annoyingly the moment I moved to take a photo, it flew off. All I can say is, it had absolutely stunning colours. It was only small but it was iridescent turquoise and vibrant pink. It was beautiful to see, I just wish I had been able to take a photo.

My other encounter was with a ghost slug. This was a thin small white slug which suits its name with its ghostly appearance.

I also had a few lovely admiral butterflies fluttering about me today which was magical and I saw a number of bumblebees buzzing about the flowers. I had a number of hoverflies interested in my bright blue water flask (which was lovely to see) and a number of horseflies interested in me.(which wasn’t a nice experience)

To end the day, a young buzzard landed in the tree next to me and a green woodpecker flew overhead rushing to feed its young.

 

 

Tracking creatures Day 19 of 30 Days Wild

Welcome to the 19th day of my 30 Days Wild challenge. I can’t believe I have managed to blog every day. Its certainly been hard work in this heatwave we have been having.

One of the places where I work is a plant nursery which is set upon a sandy hillside.  The great thing about it being sandy is that I quite often come across little prints in the sand especially first thing in the morning before anyone else arrives on site.

I stumble upon fox and badger paw prints. Lots of rabbit foot prints, and some bird ones too. I have also seen smaller mammals and amphibians on site but not found any tracks yet.

Today I saw a little vole, cute bunnies, a smooth newt, a frog, and I even heard a cuckoo.

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I have great fun spotting tracks in the sand and watching the wildlife as I walk around; and try and capture a photo if possible.

Here are some tracks that I spotted today.

Make friends with a slug -Day 15 of 30 Days Wild

Normally when you mention slugs to someone they pull a face and say… Yuck!

Mention slugs to a gardener and they will tell you in no uncertain terms what they actually think of them.

As a general rule we tend to think that slugs do nothing but eat all our young seedlings, pretty flowers and precious plants, but thats not the case.

Did you know that one slug in particular is a gardeners best friend?

Meet the leopard slug.

This rather large (16cms), attractive patterned slug actually helps gardeners.

They don’t eat healthy plants like other slugs do. They actually munch their way through decaying material and fungi, recycling nutrients and fertilising the soil. ¬†Even more amazing is…….. they eat other slugs.

Yes…you heard that correctly. They eat all those other pesky slugs in your garden.

These slugs are normally found in woodlands, parks and gardens where there are old trees and dead fallen wood. Slugs need to keep their bodies damp so that they can breathe so are usually found in dark damp places.

To encourage this helpful garden friendly slug, create a log pile in your garden, as rotting damp wood is a great habitat for them.

Wild Verges Day 13 of 30 Days Wild

Spurred on by watching Springwatch last night I decided to take a walk down the country lane where I work and see if could see an orange tip butterfly or caterpillar.

I knew that garlic mustard (Also known as Jack-by-the-hedge) grew along the wild verges there but until last nights episode of Springwatch I didn’t know that both the orange tip butterfly and caterpillar feed on this plant. So off I went along the lane to see what I could find.

One thing I did notice was quite a bit of cuckoo spit clinging to grass stems.

I also saw this delightful little moth. Though I’m not sure what kind of moth it is, I am sure someone out there will inform me of it’s name.

Whilst walking I even caught a glimpse of a black fox in the far distance and a few rabbits scurrying into the hedges which was really exciting. Just wish I had got my binoculars with me.

Next I came to part of the verge where there are a lot of garlic mustard plants. A  great deal of them had already finished flowering and starting to form seed heads.

Walking a bit further I suddenly noticed on one of the seed head stems there was a thin green speckled caterpillar.

Yeapy…my quest was complete. It was the caterpillar of an orange tip butterfly.

Even though it was a very short walk down a country lane today, it is amazing what can be seen in such a short space of time if you look around.

 

 

 

Mowing the lawn Day 11 of 30 Days Wild

There was actually some sunshine today so we decided to make the most of a dry day and mow the grass. I say “We” but I’m not the one who mows the grass, I am the helper. My job is an important one though. 

Before the mower comes out of the shed it is my job to walk around the garden. I pick up fallen branches, food dishes and move benches out of the way. 

More importantly I make sure there is no wildlife about that might get hurt. I make sure all the hedgehogs are tucked up in bed away from harm. I check that there are no frogs, toads or newts making their way to the pond. I keep my eye out for any fledglings hiding under the trees and I search for any tired bees resting in the grass. 

I normally scoop any bees up on a large leaf and put them somewhere sheltered and out of the way with a drop of sugar water to help them regain their strength. The fledglings I leave along and just keep my eye on them, as they normally hop along to somewhere safe anyway.

It’s really important to check on the wildlife in your garden before you use a mower or strimmer. It only takes a moment of your time but it can save a little life or prevent a nasty injury. 

Many hedgehog rescues treat and care for poor little hedgehogs that have horrific injuries caused by garden machinery; so please be careful next time you do any mowing, hedge cutting and strimming, as you never know what creatures could be visiting your garden at the time.

Breakfast outdoors Day 9 of 30 Days Wild

For once this week the sun peeped through my bedroom curtains to wake me up. Could this be a day without rain I wondered.

I decided to get up early and make the most of the sunshine. I got my chair and sat next to one of my favourite shrubs in the garden called Philadelphius (mock orange) I love it because it has such beautiful flowers and the most delightful heady scent that reminds me of pear drop sweets.

The garden was still dewy and everywhere smelt fresh after the recent rains. The buttercups and daisies waited for the sun to shine down on the shady areas to dry everywhere and send down some warmth.

As I sat in the garden eating my breakfast, (granola with alpine strawberries picked from the garden) I saw a flock of long tailed tits fly past me and land in the honeysuckle. So many birds seem to love this bushy honeysuckle that climbs up an old telegraph pole, Throughout the morning I also saw great tit fledglings in it, a lovely little wren, and a blackbird.

I watched as a robin jumped along the fence with a beak full of worms, and it was a delight to see a flock of blue tit fledglings collecting little spiderlings from the bushes and fence too.

Unfortunately the sunshine didn’t last long as the rain returned once again, so I went indoors to have a nice cup of tea and catch up on watching Springwatch.

Watching all that fantastic footage and live cams on Springwatch felt like nature was indoors with me….but without being rained on.