Wildlife in August

A lot of birds are quieting down now, but Yellowhammers ๐Ÿค are continuing to sing away!  Plus this is another great month for seeing some beautiful Butterflies! ๐Ÿฆ‹ 

(The videos below were made a few years ago)

Thanks for visiting! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Day 16 – 30 Days Wild

Enthuse About Nature

16/06/16

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_16

I was at the Birmingham N.E.C yesterday and today – as a member of Press – to report on BBC Gardenersโ€™ 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. ๐Ÿ’š

Day 14 – 30 Days Wild

“Tweet for the wild” 

14/06/16

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_14

Today I tweeted a link to the video below – which I made last year – about my favourite local patch and why it matters to me:

The poem I mentioned in the video:  Ode to a Secret River

Thanks ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 12 – 30 Days Wild

“Follow a bumblebee” 

12/06/16

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_12

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. ๐Ÿ

Image

Day 9 – 30 Days Wild

“Wear a flower behind your ear”

09/06/16

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_09Today I helped out at Cranesbill Nursery – it’s a lovely company that sells Hardy Geraniums.ย  ‘Cranesbill’ is the common name for a Hardy Geranium, and there were plenty of Bees buzzing around them today. Many of the varieties on the nursery are in flower at the moment, and they are fantastic for creatingย  that rich micro-climate for wildlife in your garden. The plants are very diverse – they come from all over the world – so the good thing about them is that you can literally find one for every part of the garden, and because they come from a variety of climates, by mixing them up within your borders, you can ensure that you have flowers from very early in the growing year, until late Autumn, therefore providing a food source for wildlife for a very long period.ย  So naturally I put a flower behind my ear. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Brownhills09_06_16
Me with a Himalayense behind my ear.

The nursery is located on a farm – just on the edge of South Staffordshire – where I observed Swallows, Skylarks, House Sparrows, baby Rabbits, Moths and Butterflies (as well as the Bees).

Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 8 – 30 Days Wild

Some Good News

08/06/16

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_08

See video:

More info:  The course is ran by B’ham Metropolitan College at the Botanical Gardens – the course involves; boundary habitat conservation, ecological surveys and techniques, ecology of trees, woods and forests, game management and environmental studies.

Thankyou. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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! ๐Ÿ˜„

06/06/16

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_06

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. ๐Ÿ’š

I love the Greenbelt in my feature image and my video below – if houses are ever built there, it would surely break my heart… ๐Ÿ’”  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. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜€

Thanks for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚

Gallery

Day 16 – 30 Days Wild

“Invite a friend into nature”

#30DaysWild
#30DaysWild

Today my friend Gary (mentioned in previous posts) and I visited the Wolseley Centre – Staffordshire Wildlife Trust HQ!

We’ve had great day, the weather was wonderful.ย  We both hadn’t been before.ย  I was impressed by the variety of habitatsย (grassland, lakes, rivers and woodland) and species.

Today’s challenge was “invite a friend into nature”, but it was also chance for Gary to brush up on his photography skillsย  (I shall document what we saw below!)ย  And in line with the challenge, I did my best to teach Gary about all the various creatures we came across and the bird songs we heard.

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We saw Swallows and House Martins flying above the centre.
We saw Swallows and House Martins flying above the centre.

We saw this Bee and Bumble Bees on the Purple Wallflower at the entrance of the centre.
And this Bee and Bumble Bees on the Purple Wallflower at the entrance of the centre.

Not seen Honeysuckle in such a deep yellow before :)
Not seen Honeysuckle in such a deep yellow before ๐Ÿ™‚

Gary and myself before our wild walk.  Photobombed by a Mallard! ;)
Gary and myself before our wild walk. Photobombed by a Mallard! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Whilst Gary looked through my binoculars, I told him about what he was observing.
Whilst Gary looked through my binoculars, I told him about what he was observing (nice shirt!)

A wild sculpture, I assume it's a bench?
A wild sculpture!

This time we were photobombed by a Canada Goose! ;)
This time we were photobombed by a Canada Goose! ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you remember, I love Oak Trees!  This individual has been adopted by Philip Rainsbury and Sue Haycock :)
If you remember, I love Oak Trees! This individual has been adopted by Philip Rainsbury and Sue Haycock ๐Ÿ™‚

A cute baby Rat!
Can you spot the baby Rat?

Gary's first ever Chaffinch - to his knowledge.
Gary’s first ever Chaffinch – to his knowledge ๐Ÿ˜›

One of my favourites of Gary's snaps, a Great Tit in flight.
One of my favourites of Gary’s snaps, a Great Tit in flight.

Some grassland management.
Some grassland management (I have the camera now)

We were watching a male Blackcap.
We were watching a male Blackcap.

A disheveled Peacock Butterfly.
A disheveled Peacock Butterfly (by me)

A Common Blue Butterfly (Gary has his camera back)
A Common Blue Butterfly (Gary has his camera back)

But who too this one?!
But who took this one?!

Willow seeds settled on the pond.
Willow seeds settled on the pond.

Giant Leaves, Giant Snail!
Giant Leaves, Giant Snail!

A Terrapin?!  I was shocked to see this.  Taken with a lens kindly leant by a very friendly chap from Stoke (walking past)
A Terrapin?! I was surprised to see this. Taken by Gary with a lens kindly lent by a very friendly chap from Stoke (walking past)

St. John's Wort.
St. John’s Wort.

A stunning sculpture - very talented work!
A stunning sculpture – very talented work!

There’s still a little bit more for us to explore, looking forward to the next visit! ๐Ÿ˜€

Caught in a web of wildlife.
Caught in a web of wildlife.

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ย 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. ย 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 Sealsย (the latter being my favourite animals).
  • Advice on Honeybee swarmsย 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 Galรกpagos Islands and a explanation on Convergent Evolution.ย 

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ˜€