Australian encounters: Awesome Ants!

Before I got enjoyable engrossed into #30DaysWild, I was posting about my wildlife experiences from my holiday in Australia. February feels like such a long time ago, but I had the good fortune to be able to photograph many different species of wildlife. I have posted most of what I wanted to share with you, but I have two blogs remaining (including this one).

When I was heading out to Australia one of the things I most wanted to do, was find as many different species of Ant as possible. I knew there was some wonderfully unique species to be found on the continent, I also knew that there’s only so much you can see in 2 weeks! I was careful during my searches, as I knew that there were some species to keep a respectful and safe distance!

I was thrilled to see the different species and to witnessed them go about their business. With fascination I watched them forage, feed, fight and preen! Sadly I was not successful with my photos of the bright iridescently green ants. But I do keep re-watching the preening ant video, it looks almost like it is playing shadow puppets!

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My photograph of the month for May and June

A little catch up on my photographs for the last two months.

May
May’s photograph was an easy choice, on a daily exercise I had the good fortune to see three foxes hunting in an open field. I was able to stand and watch them for a long 15 minutes before I was noticed. Incredible opportunity to see such beautiful animals on the hunt!

05 May

June
With June being the month of the Wildlife Trust’s #30DaysWild, I had so many wild moments and photographs to choose from. It was a hard to pick just one photo. I settled on a family photo of the Peregrine Falcons of Worcester Cathedral!

06 June

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My #30DaysWild Highlights

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in #30DaysWild. This year was no different.

I have had so many amazing wild experiences; watching the Worcester Peregrines, the chip stealing Starling, the Spider at sunset, an Ants’ picnic, visiting Morecambe.

I spotted my first Fritillary!

I got creative too; making models of ants and creating a comic strip.

I shall continue to Stay Wild, enjoying the wildlife that surrounds me everyday. I hope that you do too!

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#30DaysWild – Day 30 – Morecambe: Wild Weather, Wild Art and Wildlife!

Today I took a trip out to Morecambe, I had never been before and I was very excited to be by the sea!

The weather was wild! The wind was so strong I am amazed to still be on my feet! The sand blew up off the beach and was drifting on the sea front, it was like walking through sand paper! Once clear of the sand, I had the chance to look around the tidal area, the mudflats looked desolate, moody, awe-inspiring! A perfect place for sea birds.

The occasional bird struggled to fly against the wind, or whipped passed in the opposite direction! A few had given up and had just sat down in the seaweed and mud! I saw Herring Gulls, Lesser Black-Backed Gulls, Black-Headed Gulls, Crows, Magpies, Pigeons, Starlings, House Sparrows, Pied Wagtails, 2 Terns and 2 Oystercatchers.

One thing that really impressed me was how the town had embraced the bird life that visited the bay. The was sculptures and art in honour of many different species; some were individual pieces, other decorated bollards or fence lines.

 

I’m home now and feeling rather wind swept, happy and exhausted from my thrilling day by the sea!

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#30DaysWild – Day 29 – A Common Spotted Orchid

While driving home from the supermarket, I took a exploratory turn up a small country lane. To my delight, it lead to the most beautiful wild spot I had never seen before! I couldn’t stay too long, so I will go back, I definitely need to investigate this hidden gem.

In the short time I was there, I was very happy to find a small patch of Common Spotted Orchids! Absolutely beautiful flowers!

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#30DaysWild – Day 28 – Went for a bat walk!

Today, despite the wind, I decided that I would take evening stroll with my bat detector. I knew the patch I wanted to visit, a nearby canal tunnel that comes out onto a wooded area. It is always teeming with bats and tonight was no different.

Using my bat detector I was able hear and identify the bats as Common and Soprano Pipistrelles. As they whipped overhead I was also able to see and film them.

I did take the time to just watch these tiny flying mammals. A few swirled around where I stood while others darted down the tree line. Bats are fascinating creatures with incredible aerobatic skills. This was a truly thrilling experience!

Bat Walk

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#30DaysWild – Day 27 – My First Fritillary Butterfly!

In between the wind and rain were breaks of sun and blue skies today. It was during one of those I went for walk through a local park. In a sheltered corner a buddleia grew, I went to admire the purple blooms, hoping to spot some insects enjoying the plant plentiful nectar. I saw a very special sight, a Dark Green Fritillary! It was such a beautiful and busy butterfly, it stayed for a few minutes before it was off and on its way.

I have never had the good fortune to see a Fritillary before, so today was an exciting first for me, I’m sure it will not be the last.

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#30DaysWild – Day 26 – Peregrines on Worcester Cathedral

You may have noticed from my Twitter account or here on my blog, I have a special place in my heart for Peregrine Falcons. None more so than the ones in Worcester.

It was a rather special treat yesterday to be able to spend several hours watching the falcon family that reside on the Cathedral. I admired them as they rested on the tower, perched ever looking the powerful predator. There was a successful hunt too, a Wood Pigeon was the meal of choice. As the feathers were plucked and floated away, the demanding juvenile screeched in expectation!

Worcester Cathedral is an impressive building and landmark, it is made even more special to me by the Peregrines that have made it their home!

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#30DaysWild – Day 25 – Drew a wild comic strip

Inspired by my trip to the comic book stores of Birmingham and the wildlife I see everyday, I drew a comic strip of the wildlife I have seen in my local area. It took me all day! I used my own photos for reference, hand drew the draft and then digitally coloured it in. My way of celebrating the art of comic books and the wildlife I love!

Wildlife comic strip

Hand drawn comic strip

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#30DaysWild – Day 24 – Spider at sunset

As it was blisteringly hot today, I didn’t venture out until late. I decided to take a drive with the car windows open, allowing the wind to cool me down. It wasn’t a long drive, but it was down the local country lanes. It was an exploration of sorts.

I passed a junction that went over an old stone bridge, it intrigue me. Only a few hundred meters down the road was a car park, so I pulled up and took a walk. The area was cool and had the fresh smell that a river has at the end of a hot summers day. Perfect!

Once on the bridge, I saw a hungry spider having a feast. Its web was covered in tiny flies, and the handsome predator was moving quickly from meal to meal. Behind the spider was the golden glow of the setting sun. Glorious!

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