Category Archives: bugs

Town bound!

It was early October and the morning of my car’s MOT, I knew I was in for a long day. With the car delivered to the garage my day began, 8:30am and I was trapped in Nuneaton.

As none of the shops were open yet, there were only a few shop keepers and early risers milling around. The sharp ‘chis-ic’ call of pied wagtails cut through the quiet streets. High up in the air or on roof tops, these black and white beauties were hard to spot. It was fair to say from the amount of calls that there was quite a few about.

I filled the morning with a wander around the charity shops. I listen out for more pied wagtails and caught a glimpse of a couple of goldfinch. After several extraordinary long hours, I decided lunch was in order.

This decision took me past the over grown, over littered murky waters of a river. In amongst the grime. Two crisp white elegant mute swans dappled in the weeds. There couldn’t be more of a contrast between the beauty of nature and the pollution of man.

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The garage called, as I suspected the car needed work. I was to remain in town for a few more hours. Over a pot of tea and a plate of chips I pondered what to do with my afternoon, I was still wondering that as I re-entered the High Street. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a buzzard, I wasn’t expecting that! As I gazed upward and the buzzard glided out of sight, something else caught my attention. A bees nest in a chimney! That sealed the deal. I was going on an urban safari!

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I headed for the park, a couple of disinterested mallards paddled by in the small river. A group of pigeons had gathered near the water, they weren’t alone! There was a rat amongst the pigeons! The more I looked the more I saw. One brave soul found some dropped bread on the bank just below my feet. Say what you will about these rodents, these were handsome individuals.

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Strolling through the park I saw squirrels and blackbirds eating yew berries. I also say my first (and only) insect of the day – a dronefly.

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Back onto the road and passed a church. Starlings hopped about its castellations, while a song thrush perched on the weather vane.

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Still no word from the garage and I needed to rest my weary legs. I found a bench and tilted my head towards the sky. Black-headed gulls flew by, their bright white wings catching the sunlight against a cloudy grey sky. A flurry of pigeons appeared, some on street lights others on the ground. Passing school children sent them scattering, only for them to gather ready for the next group of pedestrians. Each time the birds took flight and returned, I got to admire their skillful and graceful flight. Here I remained for quite a while, captivated by unexpected moments of nimble aerobatics. I have always enjoyed watching any bird in flight, but this really has renewed my appreciation of this feathered feat.

 

The garage called, time to pick the car up. Tired, I headed back to the garage, one eye still on the sky. In the distance I saw a crow, a handsome beast stood proud a top a roof.

And then my day ended as it began, ‘chis-ic, chis-ic’, a small pied wagtail flew on by!

That day I went on an urban safari … oh and also had a car MOT!

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My photograph of the month for August

It took me a while to choose my photograph for this month. In the few warm sunny days that we have had, I have enjoyed watching many beautiful insects. Out of the many butterflies, dragonflies, beetles and bees, this fuzzy buff-tailed bumblebee is my winner for this month!

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You can have a peek at my photograph for last month here.

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My photograph of the month for July

Here is my photograph for July,  a female Beautiful Demoiselle seen in my local nature reserve.

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You can have a peek at my photograph for last month here.

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My photograph of the month for May and June

Here are my photos for May and June. It’s a little late but June has been quite a busy month for many reasons!

May

On a short walk round my local patch, I found this lovely looking beetle resting on a fence. I was quite taken with it so it had to be my photo for May!

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June

Some of you who have followed my 30 Days Wild will have already seen this photo but you have to admit it was a rather lovely sight to see. A cygnet resting on its mother’s back!

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You can have a peek at my photograph for last month here.

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#30DaysWild day 17, 18, 19 and 20

After a few busy days, I’m playing catch up with my 30 Days Wild blog.

Day 17 – Bradgate Park, Wildlife Weekend

I knew Saturday was going to be a good ‘wild’ day when I heard my first cuckoo of the year right at the very beginning.

I managed to get myself to Bradgate Park again. This time to help out on the stand for my local bat group who were attending the park’s Wild Weekend. There were lots of other wildlife organisations there and I enjoyed having a little nosey at their stands too.

The last few hours of the day I spent walking through the park and despite the blistering heat, the wildlife was really active in the summer sun.

Day 18 – A little Leafcutter Bee

While being given a lift I had an encounter with a lovely little Leafcutter Bee. It came through the window as the car was moving at a little speed. It landed in my lap stunned, so I held it in my hands for a few minutes as it gained its bearings. As we slowed for a junction the wee mite found its wings and was back out through the open window into the world!

Day 19 – Moths

Today I found some rather beautiful moths in places you wouldn’t normally look!

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Day 20 – A country drive

While driving through the countryside my friend and I stopped to enjoy the grand oaks that lined the narrow lanes. The gentle breeze was a cool welcome sensation on the skin. A simple moment of peace and serenity.

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#30DaysWild day 15 – Origami bugs

Today I had a go at making some origami bugs! This was an idea inspired by @pittypomm who made origami creepy crawlies for their first day of 30 Days Wild.

It was rather fun, though a little fiddly in places. I like my spider best!

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#30DaysWild day 12, 13 & 14 – rhinos, sparrows and socks

Day 12 – Rhinos

For my wild day 12, I attended a fantastic talk about rhinos and the conservation efforts being made to protect them from poaching in South Africa.

Doctor Jana Pretorius gave the lecture and spoke passionately about rhinos as a species and the individuals that she had encountered and cared for.

It was emotional and inspiring! If you want to see the work that she and her foundation do, you can find them here:

Website: http://www.rhinopridefoundation.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhinopridefoundation/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhinopridefndn

Day 13 – Sparrows

Day 13 was my last day at work before a long weekend. I must admit to having been rather tired before my short break, so I am glad that this was the day where the ‘wild’ came to me and my friends. As we had lunch, a little sparrow came to investigate what we were up to. Very sweet!

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Day 14 – Socks!

This was a time to relax and chill. I thought some gardening would be a good idea, so I popped outside to get some of the overgrowth a little under control. I got to watch the ants and bees go about their business all the way up till I nearly cut the top of my finger off with secateurs!

I was never one for being green fingered!

In honour of “Pull your socks up for wildlife” my friend Bex and I put our favourite wildlife socks on. Turns out we both loves bees!

And one final but important note, Happy Birthday Bex!!!

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#30DaysWild day 10 & 11

Day 10 – Starlings

A blustery day at work ended with a few magical moments watching a small group of Starlings, all foraging in a windswept patch of grass.

Day 11 – Beetles, bees & blooms

Today I took the opportunity to appreciated beetles and bees revel in the nectar and pollen provided by beautiful wildflowers.

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#30DaysWild day 7 & 8 – a days rest and a day with bugs!

Day 7
I was feeling under the weather, so going outside was a bad plan. My day 7 was spent under the duvet with Springwatch Live running in the back ground of my snoozing.

Day 8
Despite the inclement weather, I’ve managed to have quite a wild day.

I have found some bugs in some unlikely places! A Woodlouse making it home on my friends desk, a Lesser Stag Beetle in the kitchen and finally a White Ermine in the toilets at work!

The bugs got returned to the green outdoors. I managed to film the Lesser Stag Beetle take her first steps in her new home.

I also made a trip down to the nature reserve at work again, I watched a Buzzard being mobbed by 3 Jackdaws. I spotted my first Speckledwood of the year and had the brief opportunity to admire a view of a female Scorpionfly.

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My photograph of the month for April

Choosing this month’s photograph was a tough one! All the new life has exploded everywhere!

Flowers, birds and insects have been brought forth by the promise of the sun’s warmth. I have spent a lot of time admiring the gorgeous yellow glows of dandelions that have filled the local grass verges. Bringing colour for us and much needed pollen and nectar to our early insect risers! I have seen many bees like this one, revelling in the pollen provisions of these precious golden blooms.

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You can have a peek at my photograph from last month here.

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