Tag Archives: British Wildlife

Town bound!

It’s 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’m 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 wonder 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 passed the over grown, over littered murky waters of a river. In amongst the grime. three 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 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 happened 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 street lights others on the floor. 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!

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.

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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!

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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#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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#30DaysWild days 22, 23, 24 and 25

Day 22- Some unexpected wildlife

As I was leaving work, I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to have a wild moment, a Red Kite flew overhead. Not something seen there until about 2 months ago. Exciting to see!

Red Kite

 

Then when I got home, I came across this beauty waiting for me on my front door!

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Day 23 – Ox eye daisy

In May I planted an Ox eye daisy plant, today it finally flowered! I took a photo because I clearly wasn’t the only one enjoying the new bloom.

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Day 24 – Burt

While out and about at work today, one of the very tame resident Robins came to say hello! I call them all Burt – after Burt Ward. If you’re really lucky, they sometimes come and feed from your hand!

Burt the Robin

 

Day 25 – An unusual view of a moth

Today I had the chance to admire a very pretty moth. It had landed on a window, so I was able to not only see the top of the moth but also the underside of it. I think those eyes are amazing!

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#30DaysWild day 4 – Green leaves and a red beetle

Stood in a little woody patch at work today, I found myself looking at the species of trees around me. The more I looked the more I saw, what on the surface looked like mainly scots pine and dogwood, had 11 different species!

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While looking at all those green leaves, a little splash of red caught my eye. A Red-Headed Cardinal Beetle was crawling round the under growth before spreading its wings to find new ground.

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A beautiful Brown Hare

After a couple of sodden days of rain, it was glorious to see the sun yesterday. A gorgeous day to cycle home. What was even more special was that I managed to spot a beautiful brown hare in a farmer’s field. This is the closet I’ve ever seen a hare so I was thrilled! Worth all that pedaling!

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My photographs from February and March

Having missed last month’s blog, I am posting two photos to make up for my absence.

February’s photo is of a House Sparrow taking flight.

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March’s photo is of a curious Robin who landed on some iron railings to inspect what I was up to!

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You can see January’s photo here.

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My photograph from January

January was not only a chilly month, but also full of cheeky and charming Robins! This little beauty landed right in the middle of my path so I stopped to say hello!

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