Day 22 – How many flowers in an acre

For Day 22 of 30 Days Wild my sister and I challenged each other to see how many different flowers we could find in an acre, in the field next door to our house.

I’m sure we missed quite a few flowers, but while walking around we saw so many butterflies we lost count of the Ringlets and Meadow browns. Also bees, grasshoppers and crickets and surprisingly a couple of shrews running around beneath the cover of the vegetation.

Looking back at the photos, it shows how many tiny insects inhabit the flowers.

I’ve now got to learn all the names of the flowers.

Common Spotted orchid, daisy, self-heal, red dead-nettle, forget-me-knot, comfrey, field bindweed, lady’s bedstraw, common centaury, scarlet pimpernel, wild carrot, hedge woundwort, common bird’s-foot trefoil, white clover, vetch, creeping buttercup, red campion, field scabious, knapweed scentless mayweed, mugwort, brambles, Red clover, oxeye daisy.

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Day 21 – view a landscape

On a clear day from my house I can see across to Brize Norton, which is 10 miles, in a straight line, through open fields, patches of woodland, farmland and iconic places such as Harrowdown Hill.

Hares and deers roam the landscape and lapwings, red kites and rooks fill the skies. Many geese pass over head on route to Farmoor reservoir and on a still day I can hear the roaring sound of the weir on the River Thames.

Ravens and Peregrine Falcons occasionally rest on the pylons that cut across the land.

Today is the Summer solstice, the longest day of the year and at 33 degrees it has been the hottest day this year so far.

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Day 20 – Trail cameras

Trail cameras are a fantastic way to capture what goes on around my local patch and I quite often get asked which trail camera is best.

It is really up to personal preference, but for me if I decide last minute to put out a trail camera then the easiest one is the Little Acorn, especially if filming at night.

The Bushnell’s take a bit more adjustment and more batteries but produce better quality pictures particularly during the day.

One thing I have found is that cheap batteries do not work in the Bushnell trail camera.

Lithium batteries are more expensive but last so much longer.

Here is a short selection of footage taken this month so far.

As it has been so hot and dry we left out a bowl of water but everything ignored it.

The fox cubs have really grown over the past month and it was nice to see the foxes and badgers together.

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Day 19 – Science experiment

Science experiment for Day 19 of 30 Days Wild was to see if it was hot enough to cook  an egg on the car.

After an hour it sort of cooked.

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On the river – Day 18 of 30 Days Wild

Every couple of months over the summer my parents do safety cover for wild swimming events. This means a day on the water with my camera.

Launching the boat just after 5.30am, there is no one around, the water is calm and the birds are in full dawn chorus.

Even as the boat was entering the water a Kingfisher flew straight towards us, over our heads and in to the tree just upstream.

We have a 45 minutes journey downstream from the slipway to the start of the 4km Lock to Lock race.

A Cuckoo calling, Reed warblers singing and Buzzards already soaring overhead accompanied us as we travelled through two locks to meet up with the medical team for the pre-race briefing.

As everyone else is getting sorted I got the chance to watch the hundreds of dragonflies and damselflies which danced in and out of the reeds. A couple of them hitched a ride with us.

At 31 degrees I wished I had been swimming rather than sat in the boat, but cooling off by dangling my feet in the water was enough.

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Day 17 – The Great Get Together

For Day 17 of 30 days Wild I attended my local ‘Great Get Together’.

The Great Get Together was set up in memory of Jo Cox, the MP who was murdered one year ago.

In Jo Cox’s first speech to Parliament she said ‘We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us’.

Jo’s husband Brendan Cox set up the idea of people getting together with their neighbours to celebrate what we have in common.

All around the country, this weekend, there will be BBQ’s, garden parties, coffee mornings, street parties, picnics and just generally getting to know your neighbours.

Big thank you to Jane for organising our local Great Get Together and it was great to see new people, people I haven’t seen for a while, as well as people I see most days.

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Day 16 – Early evening walk and badgers

It’s Friday, the last day of Springwatch Unsprung and a must because the brilliant Dara, fellow blogger and wildlife enthusiast is on.

Make sure you check out his blog here https://youngfermanaghnaturalist.com/

By 7.30pm the air was slightly cooler and with no school tomorrow I had no time limit to restrict how long we spent out walking.

The Scarlet Tiger moths were fluttering around the tree tops again, unfortunately a few lay dead in the road.

As we entered the field the rabbits on the field edge disappeared one by one to the safety of their burrows.

The Kestrel was getting one last feed in before darkness fell and his hunting territory was taken by the barn owl.

We had a quick look in the wood for glow worms, in the place we spotted them last year, but no luck.

The air was alive with the sound of birds singing their final songs for the evening, and I caught a glimpse of a fox cub as it dashed through the bracken.

We checked on the stream, that is such a vital part of the wood for a lot of the mammals. After the past few days of hot, dry weather the benefits of the heavy rain a couple of weeks ago have nearly all gone.

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Juvenile Goldfinch

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Suddenly there was the sound of Badgers scuffling, crashing brambles and someone was being told off. We couldn’t quite make out which Badgers were having a disagreement until firstly Bog came out from under the bramble patch followed by Stick.

Stick was normally seen with Small until she died and recently the badgers have been quite unsettled and elusive, but Stick and Bog seemed to have sorted out their differences.

Sorry the film is so dark.

 

 

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