We’re now two thirds of the way through 30 Days Wild. I’m sad to see it’s going so fast! It’s been a glorious few days for wild adventures, how I love summer when it’s hot like this as it means I can be out in nature as much as I can!
Here’s an overview of what we have been up to over the past week.
I started a free online course on conservation. I’ve wanted to study more to complement my career and understand more about the diversity Whilst I’ve studied it from a human social science perspective I’d like to know more about the science of what I’m working to protect. So far I’ve learnt about the scientific and philosophical arguments behind why conservation as a practice is important and looked at more in depth definitions of ‘biodiversity’. I never realised until now that biodiversity doesn’t just refer to the variety of life on our planet but also the genetics that make up and the interconnections.
Check it out at United for Wildlife.
We had dinner in the garden enjoying seeing the swifts flying overhead and hearing the starlings burbling from the rooftops. We sat out late until a load of cockchafers appeared, their silhouettes in the growing darkness bumbling and buzzing through the air.
Perhaps one of the less wild days as I spent the evening writing a blog for Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. I did, however, let my creative juices flow and attempted some of my own nature writing. You can read my blog here. Definitely check out their other blogs for 30 Days Wild too!
After work Alex and I headed to another of our local wild areas in Stamford that we hadn’t visited for a while. This time it was Burghley Park, the grounds of the great Burghley House which are open to the public. A deer park filled with ancient trees, mainly oaks, horse chestnuts and limes towering far above us. Despite it being private land that happens to be open to the public for free, it is one of few places where I feel a huge sense of freedom. The large space open green offers no barriers Here I let my inner playfulness come out, running at random in the wide open, going where I please and hugging trees. This parkland seemed to mainly be the domain of corvids, jackdaws and crows calling from the huge trees. At one point during our exploring a jackdaw appeared from a hole in a tree trunk, a likely location for a nest!
As part of my volunteer role helping the osprey project at Rutland Water I had the opportunity to volunteer on an osprey cruise. Upon the Rutland Belle we followed ospreys around Rutland Water to see them flying and fishing. We had three sightings of ospreys, including one hovering over the water, another diving down to the water to wash its feet and another flew close to the boat flying right over us. It was a thrill to see them flying across the reservoir as I usually only watch their activity around the nest. It was a stunning evening too with the low sun glistening on unusually calm waters. The ospreys were too far away for good photos with my camera!
As it was Father’s Day we headed to the pub for lunch with family. It was the Tap and Kitchen in Oundle which is a lovely quirky place. It was a little wild, as we sat by the river with red kites and a buzzard wheeling overhead. Even though red kites have become so common in this area I never tire of them of their graceful angled shaped gliding in the sky. Back at my parents’ house set deep in the countryside we sat out in the garden. I searched for newts in the pond to no avail. Just before we left I spotted an adorable blue tit fledgling singing on a my parents’ birch tree! No photos sadly as my phone was out of battery!
I spent lunchtime at work sat outside in our office’s garden. It’s a properly wild garden planted with wildlife in mind with silver birches, fern and long grasses. Bug hotels sit amongst the foliage. I love sitting out here when I can, there’s usually a few birds about. On this day I spotted a chirpy female house sparrow.
Today my colleagues and I watched the Loch Arkaig osprey pair on the webcam at work. The chicks hatched at the weekend so it was very exciting to watch them being fed fish by Aila, their mum. Louis, the father, is admirable in the amount of fish he’s catching but he spends most of his time hovering unhelpfully on the nest and moving sticks whilst she cares for the chicks. We do get equally frustrated and amused by the young pair! Two of the three eggs hatched so there’s currently two fluffy chicks. Although we are concerned for the survival of one of the chicks as it appears to be getting far less food than the other. It’s nice to watch young ‘bobblehead’ chicks now that the Rutland osprey chicks are huge! It’s also helping with my Springwatch withdrawal, still having a bird of prey family to follow on video is helping with the lack of nature TV.