Wildlife in August

A lot of birds are quieting down now, but Yellowhammers 🐤 are continuing to sing away!  Plus this is another great month for seeing some beautiful Butterflies! 🦋 

(The videos below were made a few years ago)

Thanks for visiting! 😊

Day 16 – 30 Days Wild

Enthuse About Nature

16/06/16

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I was at the Birmingham N.E.C yesterday and today – as a member of Press – to report on BBC Gardeners’ World Live (but my focus was on the wild side of it).

I interviewed a number of interesting people (the interviews haven’t all been edited together yet) and in the video below, I have taken a selection of clips from the interviews; showing gardeners – from all walks of life – enthusing about nature:

Thanks for visiting. 💚

Day 12 – 30 Days Wild

“Follow a bumblebee” 

12/06/16

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After work, I decided to go for a nice stroll with a colleague and friend, Sophie.  We sauntered around the semi-rural outskirts of Northfield Town Centre (in South Birmingham).

Before we got to the location Sophie had in mind, literally just a few yards from where we work, we noticed beside the path (there is a grass verge) was a patch of Bird’s-foot-Trefoil.  I informed Sophie it is also know as Eggs and Bacon.  We saw some bees buzzing around it, so we observed and followed them from flower to flower.

I took a short video:

Thanks. 🐝

Day 6 – 30 Days Wild

Green Birmingham

Finally!  I’ve managed a blog on the actually day!  Well it’s night now, but you know what I mean! 😄

06/06/16

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The weather was gorgeous today – so on my way back from my parents, I decided to film a stretch of road I grew up near (using my phone); showing off the fields, trees and farmland I used to explore and play around, thus showing how Green Birmingham is!  I still enjoy a good walk around there, passing from the Suburb into the Country, and there are parts of it still left to be explored by me. 💚

I love the Greenbelt in my feature image and my video below – if houses are ever built there, it would surely break my heart… 💔  Just the thought of it makes me extremely upset…  Anyway!  There’s a meadow, which you see a bit of (it has the Oak Tree almost in the middle) – I have seen a few of my first ever Butterflies in that very field!

I should also mention; the video features a bit of road I filmed last night too…

Enjoy:

Thank you. 😊

Day 22 – 30 Days Wild

“Snap a picture of something blue”

#30DaysWild
#30DaysWild

A nice easy one today 🙂  I spent most of my day with my friend Laura at her Pet Store.  I’ve mentioned the shops’ unkempt Wildlife Garden in a previous Blog post, it’s where I took todays’ “something blue”.

The modest Forget-me-not.
The modest Forget-me-not.

I’ve heard Forget-me-nots being described as “a British staple” – they do seem quintessentially British 😉

The CavyNoodle Wildlife Garden.
The Sweet Peas are doing well in the CavyNoodle Wildlife Garden.

Thanks 🙂

Video

Day 21 – 30 Days Wild

New Green Space

wpid-img_20150621_174434.jpg Longbridge, in South Birmingham – the birth place and former home of Rover – has a new High Street and Green Space!  It’s on the site of where the said factory used to be.  The River Rea that runs through the area has had a habitat and Green Space created around it, and it’s pretty much established and looking lush now! 😀

Today I explored it after purchasing Father’s Day gifts (with my trusty mobile to hand for snaps and clips).

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The car park of the newly located Bournville College, with Green Space along side it, some of the old Rover site on the other side.

People and nature co-existing beautifully.
People and nature co-existing beautifully.

I saw a Grey Wagtail (which have some yellow feathers) down there to left of where the lad on the bike was.  The video below isn’t great but you can hear it calling 😛

The middle of the new Green Space, looking towards the chap on the bike.
The middle of the new Green Space, looking towards the chap on the bike.  This is the bridge you see in the distance.

Where this newly created habitat ends.
Where this newly created habitat ends.

I was really pleased that this new place is now a good feeding area for House Martins, there were quite a few wizzing and swooping around 🙂

Thanks for visiting 😀

Day 18 – 30 Days Wild

What Caught My Eye 

#30DaysWild
#30DaysWild
For day 18, I decided I would take a picture of whatever caught my eye.  The first thing that did, was a lovely Green Shield Bug! 🙂

A Green Shield Bug perched on my parents livingroom window.
A Green Shield Bug perched on my parents livingroom window.
Later I went to visit my friend Laura’s pet shop, CavyNoodle Pets UK – in a village called Rubery.  The shop more or less has a Wildlife Garden out back, where various wildflowers pop up.  The Sweet Pea below, stood out to me.

I forgot how large Sweet Pea flowers and leaves grow.
This Sweet Pea is growing wild, so its’ flowers and leaves are larger than the cultivated varieties.
On the way back, I remembered the Shinning Cranesbill I passed on the walk down to Rubery was very red!  So on my way back up, I snapped a couple pictures.

It'd be really cool, if this whole path was lined with the red plants!
It’d be really cool, if this whole path was lined with red Shinning Cranesbill!

A closer view for you.
A closer view for you.
These particular plants are red in colour due to the dry weather – therefore are nutrient starved, shutting down/stopping chlorophyll production and going to seed quite early.  The remaining sugars in the leaves give it its’ red pigment.  In away, the sugars have caramelised 😀

Thanks for visiting 🙂

Gallery

Day 15 – 30 Days Wild

#30DaysWild
#30DaysWild

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Today I went a 30 minute walk along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal from Selly Oak, heading south towards Bournville 🙂

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I’m not against cyclists, at all, but it would have been a lot more peaceful – and easier to take photos – if I didn’t have to get out of the way of people on bikes every 2 minutes! 😛

A person on there bike in the distance.
A person on their bike in the distance.

Along the way I heard plops in the water, a couple times I hoped it was a Water Vole, but it turned out to be fish.  I didn’t see much Wildlife, the odd Moorhen and Mallard – so I decided to focus on the flora I came across and just before I came to end of my walk I came across something I deem as special.  Below is what I saw:

Urban art, with a crumbling wall and wildflowers - I think it looks beautiful.
Urban art, with a crumbling wall and wildflowers – I think it looks beautiful.

I love seeing plants growing out of walls, likes this Fern and Buddleja.
I love seeing plants growing out of walls, likes this Fern and Buddleja.

Look! Red hot pokers! (Kniphofia)
Look! Red hot pokers! (Kniphofia)

I also love seeing strips of Wildflower like this - Poppies, Horsetails and Daisies.
I also love seeing strips of Wildflower like this – Poppies, Plantains and Daises

I'm used to seeing this at Wetland Reserves, like Upton Warren - Yellow Flag Iris.
I’m used to seeing this at Wetland Reserves, such as Upton Warren – Yellow Flag Iris.

I had to pass under a couple of bridges.
I had to pass under a couple of bridges.

Honeysuckle - one of my favourites, unusually growing out of the side of the bank.
Honeysuckle – one of my favourites, unusually growing out of the side of the bank.

And here it is again, this time growing somewhere more typical.
And here it is again, this time growing somewhere more typical.

A closer view for you.
A closer view for you.

Forget-me-not (and Cleavers).
Forget-me-not (and Cleavers to left)

Just as my allocated 30 minutes was coming to an end, I came across this beauty below! 😀

A Marsh Orchid (I think).
A Purple Orchid (unsure as to specific species/variety).

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People can sit and watch it grow.
People can sit and watch it grow.

Had to end on a closer image.
Had to end on a closer image.

Thanks for visiting 🙂

Day 10 – 30 Days Wild

“inhale the scent of a wildflower”

Red Valerian growing Wild
Red Valerian growing Wild

Kiss-me-quick, Fox’s Brush and Jupiter’s Beard – all very cool alternative names to the above plant, that I chose to stop and sniff after work today – Red Valerian!

It’s a pretty good source of nectar for bees, butterflies and moths – like the Hummingbird Hawk-moth! 😀

To me it has a delicate fragrance, but that may depend on how old the flowers are.  I assumed it would have a similar smell to Buddleia, the popular purple Butterfly Bush.

Just a short one today, thanks for reading 🙂

Day 9 – 30 Days Wild

BBC Wildlife magazine in the Wild
BBC Wildlife magazine in the Wild

A relaxed day again – I’m at work from tomorrow until Saturday.  I took the scenic route to a meadow/stretch of Greenbelt which is my location of today’s 30 Days Wild!

A long the way I came across Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Robin, heard Blackcaps singing and saw a family of Blue Tits – I even observed a Swallow flying low round a field catching lunch, most likely for it’s chicks.

I eventually arrived at my chosen ‘site’, where for half an hour I would read this months issue of BBC Wildlife magazine.

Where I sat and read
Where I chose to sit and read

I had Swifts screeching above me, Linnets fleeting about, various insects buzzing and jumping around me, plus the sound of the breeze through the trees/flora.  It was great!

I read up to page 17
I read up to page 17

What I like about what I’ve read so far:

  • Suggestions on what wildlife to see, for example Puffins, Daubenton’s Bats and Harbour Seals (the latter being my favourite animals).
  • Advice on Honeybee swarms and some science behind climbing plants, with the main focus being on Honeysuckle (again, one of my favourites).
  • A newly discovered clue to the origin of language, from studies on Lar Gibbons in Thailand, Giant Tortoises preferring fruits of invasive species on The Galápagos Islands and a explanation on Convergent Evolution. 

Thanks for reading 😀