Tag Archives: British Wildlife

#30DaysWilds – Day 13 – Tiny frogs and colourful close-ups

Today I thought I’d take a closer look at some of nature’s beauty. All that detail and colour. My only challenge was photographing it in the wind!

Best moment was when a small movement on the surface of some damp ground grabbed my attention. I thought it was a beetle, then I saw some more movement. I inspected the area more closely and saw that the tiny creatures were juvenile frogs! They shone like gems in the sunlight! Utterly delightful!

Day 13

 

 

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#30DaysWild – Day 3 – A trip to the supermarket!

I wasn’t feeling very adventurous today, but I did need to get some supplies. A trip to the supermarket was in order and maybe I’ll find somewhere green to visit along the way.

Parking up I noticed a magpie and a jay perched up in the trees surrounding the car park. As I got out the car I saw two jackdaws were on the ground nearby searching for scraps.

Walking to the shop, I passed a flowering bush covered with bees. Pausing to admire the busy little pollinators, I heard the iconic ‘witter-wit, witter-wit’ of a goldfinch high up on the tree next to me. That made me smile, I had found the ‘wild’ on a routine visit to the supermarket!

But the wild didn’t stop there! On leaving the shop I saw house sparrows, a pied wagtail, tiny ants toing-and-froing across the pavement, a speedy little wolf spider making a dash across my path, a brightly coloured hoverfly visiting some rogue daisies and most surprising of all, a bee fly!

I never imagined that a simple trip to the supermarket would turn into such a wildlife safari!

Day 3

 

 

 

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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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My photograph for January

This took me a week to sort but here is my first photo of the month for 2018!

I took this photo on a steep hill in Dudley. A lovely opportunity to be at the same eye height as a family of Magpies, one of which was clearly having a bad feather day!

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My photograph of the month for December

December has been a month of cold harsh weather. Between snow, ice, rain and fog it is those little moments of colour that really shine. Like the little Blue Tit I photographed foraging in the monochromatic landscape.

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

All that remains is for me to wish you all the very best for 2018. Happy New Year!

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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 November

The winter nights are drawing in, the weather is getting colder and times are getting harder for our wildlife. Mealworms, sunflower hearts, fat balls can all be an important lifeline to our precious feathered friends.
That is why this hungry Great Tit I caught on camera, is my November pick!

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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 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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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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#30DaysWild days 26 and 27

Day 26 – Bees and hoverflies

Today I spent a blissful few moments watching bees and hoverflies!

Bees and hoverflies

Day 27 – A trip down the River Severn

As I’m now in Worcester for a few days, I decided a trip down the river was in order. I was surrounded by birds! Sand martins darting low across the water, blue blurs of Kingfishers gave out their distinctive whistles as they passed by, the gulls were more relaxed on the water as they just floated easily on the river’s surface.

 

I couldn’t help but smile that the Mallard who had made her nest in a plant pot on the brow of a barge!

A nesting Mallard

The cutest moment of the day goes to a little Cygnet, catching a ride on its mother’s back!

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