The past five days have been both amazing and disheartening. It’s certainly been a varied few days, and I’m pretty sure I’ve probably spotted more species than over days 1-20 combined. I’ve admired some beautiful creatures, but I can’t help but feel anxious when I think about their future.
30 DAYS WILD – DAYS 21 TO 25
Day 21 » Howling at the Moon
The day began in Plymouth, where I’d spent the night visiting friends for the solstice the day before. A lot of gin was consumed into the early hours and I’m pretty sure we’d all acted like animals, but let’s not go into too much detail about that… Drunken foolishness is not the kind of wild this blog is about!
Nursing our hangovers, we spent the day relaxing and watching nature documentaries, including the recent Zebras episode of the BBC’s Nature’s Epic Journeys which is definitely worth a watch if you can catch it on iPlayer or repeat. As a photographer I’m always equally as fascinated by seeing how the camera crew manage to get such amazing shots and I’m so grateful that the BBC have started including more behind the scenes footage in their shows.
That evening, as I waited to catch my train, I took pleasure in watching the crows face off against the seagulls. It’s a pretty regular occurrence, but a comical one that I always enjoy witnessing. I spent the duration of my train journey gazing out of the window, admiring the beautiful views of Cornwall that are all too easy to take for granted when you live here. We went over a small bridge and I caught a glimpse of two swans with their cygnets in the waters below, the first I’d seen this year. Further into Cornwall I watched as buzzards soared high above, keeping a keen eye for their next meal in the fields below.
Day 22 » Bumbling Blackbirds
Had a bit of a shock as I heard a baby blackbird rather clumsily leave the nest. Less flying, more tumbling, dramatically flapping it’s wings as it fell from grace. It was already getting dark when this happened, not the smartest time to make your first exit Diddy B, but thankfully it managed to hold up for the night in the lower branches of one of the trees in our garden. As there didn’t appear to be any sign of injury we decided that there was no need to intervene, but we made sure to keep a close eye on it’s whereabouts from the house and stayed on high alert keeping a look out for the neighborhood cats on the prowl.
The day had been overcast and grey, so I was amazed to look out of my window just before the sky went dark and see that nature was putting on an insane display. It lasted no more than a couple of minutes, but was the most dramatic sunset I’ve seen so far this year.
Day 23 » Unexpected Sightings »
The day got off to a good start when I woke up to find that my first ever passionflower had bloomed! I’ve always admired them in other people’s gardens, but had never tried growing my own. After snapping a few photos of it, and then a quick stop at the polling station, I decided to head over to Par duck pond. My hope was to perhaps catch some ducklings from a late brood, though I did suspect I would be unlucky. Unlike a lot of birds, ducks only have one brood per year, and having already seen hundreds of photos of ducklings across my news feed in previous weeks I wasn’t expecting much.
Happily wandering along, taking some photos of the adult mallards and enjoying the sunshine, stopping to giggle at the occasional moorhen with their bright red and yellow beaks, when a lovely lady walking her dog saw me with my camera. She kindly pointed me in the direction of some adorable little fluffy bundles of awww that she’d spotted further around the pond and I got to see ducklings after all! I don’t have any maternal instinct when it comes to humans, but as soon as I see baby animals it kicks right in. One of them kept going off by itself and getting lost and I couldn’t help but panic! It was fine, of course.
Out from the undergrowth darted a little brown rat, more than likely attracted by the scattering of bread (which is terrible for ducks by the way, please don’t do it). I know most people dislike them, but I think they’re really cute and was happy to see one. The countryside ones anyway, I’ll admit to not being the biggest fan of the city ones!
Next came something that I’d definitely not been expecting… A bright blue parrot being walked around the pond by it’s owner! It was stunning, and what an eye opening experience to watch it stretch it’s wings perched happily in a tree. How anyone can keep them in those tiny pet shop cages is beyond me.
Moving on to explore the nearby grassland I turned my lens to macro. Having not seen a grasshopper in years words cannot express how excited I was to find hundreds hopping around, enabling me to get my first ever photos of one of my favourite insects. They have such amazing little faces!
When I returned home that evening, I discovered that something had laid a tiny scattering of eggs on one of our second floor windows. A strange choice of location, so I’m assuming it’s likely a moth (though I honestly wouldn’t know how to tell).
Day 24 » Black Clouds
Like nearly half of the population, I wasn’t particularly happy to wake up and discover the result of the EU referendum. However, I was pretty excited to have
been asked to do a guest post for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust‘s blog for day 24 of 30 Days Wild so there was no time for mourning. Rather than go into too much detail about my day – a walk around the beautiful Tywardreath Marsh nature reserve – here is a link to my post for CWT. I’ll include some additional photos from the day in my gallery at the bottom of this post!
I don’t want this to be a political blog, anyone that is a friend of mine on Facebook knows that I saw pros and cons to both leaving and staying within the EU. The campaigns on both sides were littered with misinformation, and there was far too many unknowns with both results. I understand reasons for both leaving and staying, but what really swayed my vote for remaining was the possible consequences for our wildlife. The EU certainly has it’s faults, but it has put in place many laws that help to protect the environment which I’m struggling to see our government upholding once we leave. Around 70% of environmental safeguards are EU law which means they are now at risk. Only time will tell what this means for nature in the UK, but one thing is clear to me… Those of use who are interested in protecting the environment have a lot of work to do.
Later on I ended up getting another fright, as one of the fledgling blackbirds flew straight at the window I was looking out of and collided with it head on. Thankfully it was okay, but the same can’t be said for me after witnessing it. I’m pretty certain I’m going to be grey by the end of the month! “Doctor, can I have a valium prescription please?” “Why, what’s wrong?” “There’s too many fledgling birds in the garden, none of which have any common sense, and it’s sending my anxiety levels through the roof!”
Day 25 » Lime Green With a Pink Bum!
A rather wet and dreary day, I decided to spend much of it indoors, but between showers I did find an amazing cucumber green orb spider in the garden. Also picked up a bug hotel and a cheap spotting scope from Aldi… The birds at the end of the garden have no chance escaping my prying eyes now! 😉 I also spent some time adding some sightings to iRecord, something I’m trying to turn into a habit though don’t always remember to do just yet.
What wild experiences have you had recently? Let me know in the comments!