Category Archives: Urban Wild

#30DaysWild – Day 28 – Finding wildlife in a cemetery

Cemeteries are interesting places to walk – carefully and ornately carved gravestones, the names of loved ones who have passed, and of course the wildlife that have chosen to live there.

I occasionally visit an inner city cemetery, just to see what life I might find. Today my stroll took me through an old but large cemetery, some of it very well kept, other places had been left untended and become a home to birds and insects.

I watched butterflies, bees and hoverflies on wildflowers and bramble. I heard woodpeckers, bullfinch, wrens and blackbirds singing. I admired the colours of the many wildflowers that decorated the graves alongside the planted roses and placed bouquets.

Cemeteries are a special habitat, so diverse with wildlife, a little piece of urban wild.

 

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#30DaysWild – Day 3 – Red-headed cardinal beetle

My wild moment of the day occurred on a visit to town.

Built up browns and greys is not a place I expected to find a bright red gem. Yet there was, in the middle of the pavement, a red-headed cardinal beetle. Unaware of the dangers of the feet, that trudged by oblivious to the tiny life sat in a desert of tarmac.

I offered the little beetle my finger and it climbed aboard. I scanned the area for any vegetation. Spying a hawthorn bush, I introduced the scarlet creature to the oasis of green. Without hesitation it scurried into its safe new home.

I left my tiny friend there, thankful for the colour it had brought my day.

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My photograph for October, November and December

The last part of the year I haven’t done my photo of the month, but as it is New Year’s Eve I thought I would play catch up and start 2019 with a clean slate.

October

Cycling home one night along a pitch black country lane, I was amazed to find a tiny green caterpillar making the grand epic journey of crossing the road. It was nearly at its journey end, so I watched its final steps on the grey tarmac before it reached the green grass of the verge. I used my bike lights to help me take this photo and brighten the path of the caterpillar.

Oct

November

I took a wander round my local patch on one of the very few days I had off when the weather was good. The sun was out and gave a tiny amount of warmth to the winter’s air. That’s when I spotted this beauty. I was thrilled to get a snap of this lovely bright wasp.

Nov

December

Bit of urban wildlife for this month. A gathering of feral pigeons grabbed my attention. Putting the camera down at their level I was able to get this photo of the hungry birds.

Dec

 

As this is my last post for 2018 I will wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR and the very best for 2019.

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My photograph for September

A sleepy September Sunday afternoon was spent getting supplies from the supermarket. Rather than wait in a queue of traffic , I spent a while watching the gulls scavenging in the car park. These two lesser black-backed gulls caught my eye having a squabble over a high perch atop a lamb post.

Lesser black-backed gulls

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#30DaysWild – Day 11 – Roof top car park!

A trip to town meant finding somewhere to park, my favourite place is always the roof top of a multi-storey. It’s where the birds hang out, it is most definitely their domain!

While I munched my midday snack, I watched and admired the feathered beauties. Perched for a quiet moment, high above the busy streets below.

They might be pigeons and gulls and not some exotic rarity, but taking a closer look you have the chance to see that these birds have both elegance and endurance!

Day 11

 

 

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My photographs for February and March

Happy Easter everyone! Here are my photographs for February and March … better late than never!

February

It was all a bit last minute but I had a trip down to Worcester last month, a lovely day full of urban wildlife!

It had been a long time since I last visited, and it was lovely to see all the wildlife in my old favourite wild patches in the city. I was pretty taken with the sight of a tree along the river bank that was a roost for 10 cormorants! This is my favourite photo I took of the resting birds.

I hope to have the time to write a blog about my urban wild outing to Worcester very soon.

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March

Spring has made a few attempts to show its face this year, and on one of those glorious sunny days I took myself and my camera out to enjoy the sunshine. I wasn’t the only one enjoying the warmth, this handsome blackbird was also making the most of the short lived good weather!

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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 October

A long day in Nuneaton was punctuated by moments of urban wildlife. A few minutes on a bench and I was captivated by pigeons in flight. In the air, these birds really can be graceful and elegant in their movement.

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

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#30DaysWild day 28, 29 and 30 – Urban wild

It has been a very busy few days for me, so I haven’t had much time to sit down and blog. I have, however had plenty of opportunities to enjoy some wonderful urban wild moments.

Here are my last few 30DaysWild for 2017, with a promise that I will – as always – be staying wild!

Day 28 – Urban plants

I know that I haven’t paid much attention to plants so far this month, but that all changed today!

First I spotted that someone had carved a leaf into some stone masonry. Walking a little further I found a real plant, this one growing out of a gutter. When I rounded the next corner, I found a building that had been almost entirely covered by a vine! I thought it was quite an impressive sight!

 

Day 29 – Birds

Today I was going to see some friends off at Heathrow, so I promised myself that I would find some of the Pied Wagtails known to hang out in the trees outside the Terminals. I thought it was a long shot, but still worth a try.

It was dusk as I said good bye to my friends, and as I made my way outside I decided to for fill the promise I’d made myself. I headed over to the nearby trees and sure enough several feathered faces peered back at me in the fading light. Happy with my ‘wild’ moment, I left for home.

Pied Wagtail

A quick pit stop at the services were required, I looked out through the car window expecting to see only cars and lorries. Then a flutter caught my eye, a bird flew over the car park and landed in a nearby tree. It was only then I realised it was a Tawny Owl. I approached carefully, and using only the light from the nearby street lamp, I took a photo. The owl remained for a few moments, looking around its surrounding before it was off into the night!

Tawny Owl

 

Day 30 – Travelling

Today was another day of travel, this time from Worcester to home with some urban wild in between.

At the train station in Worcester I watched the gulls flying, landing and resting. A sight I won’t see for a while and will miss.

Lesser black-back gull

In Nuneaton train station, I noticed cosy little nests had been made by Sparrows, exploiting the holes in the eaves to make themselves a home.

Sparrow

On my walk between the train and bus station I passed an over grown buddleia that was spilling out over the pavement. The purple bush was smothered by busy bumblebees, foraging for every drop of sugary nectar they could get.

Bumblebees on a buddleia

Finally a short break for a snack before catching the bus. I was kept company by hungry pigeons, who snatched up any clumsily dropped crumbs in a blinking of an eye!

Pigeons

I find it so easy to admire urban wildlife. While we build with concrete and bricks, it is the plants and animals that find the cracks and fill them full of life.

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My photograph from June and July!

June was a fun and busy month of 30 Days Wild, so I decided to save June’s photo for this month’s blog.

My photo from June is a of Little Egret, spotted at Borrow Pit Lake in Tamworth.IMG_3526PScc

My photo from July is a of Gatekeeper. I took this photo on a walk through my local patch, I saw so many species of butterflies it was wonderful!IMG_7578PScc


Click to see my previous month photo here.

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