It’s been a hectic week this one for us so fitting in wild acts around work and preparing for our holiday to Italy tomorrow has been a challenge! So this will be my last blog for 30 Days Wild in June but when I’m back from holiday in 2 weeks I’ll be sure to update you on the wildness we discover in Italy over the next 3 days.
Here’s the wild acts we did manage to squeeze in over the past week.
We played a wild board game in the garden! Alex and I are huge fans of tabletop board games and it’s something we do a lot together. So combining our love of nature and games together seemed a brilliant idea for 30 Days Wild. We played my new favourite game called Hive. Essentially, it’s like a simple version of chess where each insect/arachnid has a certain way of moving and the aim is to completely surround the opponent’s Queen Bee. Even though I’m awful at chess and most strategy games I’m actually pretty good at Hive!
Day 22 & Day 23
Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling well on these days so once I got back from work I collapsed into bed both evenings leaving no room for wild acts.
However, I will mention here that we have been seeing our resident blackbird fledgling exploring the garden and eating from our ground feeder. It’s been so thrilling and rewarding to see it grow and transitioning from being fed by its parents to eating on its own. It’s getting bolder each day, at one point nearly sneaking into the house as we’d left the back door open. It makes me happy to know our garden (and bird feed) has provided a safe place for this young one to grow up. I do love blackbirds!
I opted to practise my natural photography skills in the garden for my random act of wildness on this day. I’d noticed that seemingly out of nowhere, new flowers had appeared. So I tried out some macro photography whilst exploring the new variety of plant life that has emerged in our own patch of wild. Here’s the results.
On Sunday I was once again volunteering at Rutland Water Nature Reserve on the osprey project. The chicks are now ringed and 2-3 weeks away from fledging. Osprey wise it was a fairly quiet shift with the chicks sprawled asleep for most of it with parents sat idly by. The chicks are rather like lazy early teens at this age (in my mind)! Though they have started wing flapping, getting some practise in before they fledge. However, in the last hour of my shift, 33 finally brought home a roach. As soon as he landed on the nest the female chick 2AN snatched the roach all to herself, with her wings arched over to prevent anyone stealing it as she ate independently. It was quite entertaining! When she’d had her fill the male chick 2AM was more tentative and Maya had to feed him.
We did also see more of the water rail, this time the mother and her 4 chicks. The chicks were essentially black fluffy blobs with long orange legs! So cute! And very different to the dull brown of the mother and the beauty of the male. Greylag geese, tufted ducks, mallards, 9 little egrets, sedge warblers, reed buntings, house martins and sand martins also featured on this shift. It was a very busy day and I immensely enjoyed talking to the visitors about the ospreys.
You can read more about and watch videos of what the ospreys got up to on my shift here.
As a break from packing and to squeeze in some wildness (after failing with a rather complicated looking bird cross stitch set) I did some quick sketching of one of the new species I’ve seen this month, the red admiral. I’d like to draw all the species I’ve seen this month to celebrate 30 Days Wild but that may have to wait until July!
This morning I spotted a female house sparrow feeding a fledged chick on our bird feeder stand. This was lovely to see and I was glad as I’d yet to see any evidence that our local sparrows had successfully raised any chicks. As they’re a species in major decline it’s good to see.
And this evening for some more wildness I have been catching up on what Marine Conservation have been up to. As I’m a member I receive their magazine every season.
I can’t believe 30 Days Wild is nearly over! It’s flown by and I’ve had so much fun indulging in my love of the wild. Check out my other wild adventures for 30 Days Wild here. Or check out my Instagram or Twitter.