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 20 – 30 Days Wild

Reading About Birds

#30DaysWIld
#30DaysWIld
Today I was sorting out the blog for yesterdays Random Act of Wildness – “Admire the setting Sun”, it was raining and I had work later.  I wasn’t really left with many options, due to the constraints (time and weather).  So, I chose to read a non-fiction book on the bus to work (wildlife related of course).

Refreshing my knowledge and filling in any gaps.
Refreshing my knowledge and filling in any gaps.
The bird on the front of the book is an American Goldfinch, it’s just a funky Siskin to us Brits 😛  I really like the first two paragraphs in the introduction for Section One of the book, so I’ve quoted them below:

Birds are not only one of the most successful groups in the animal kingdom but they hold a special position in our awareness of the natural world.  They are often the most obvious living creatures in a landscape (their apparent confidence borne of an ability to fly to safety) and their bright colours and melodic songs have long been admired by man.  Yet it is only recently that we have begun to fully appreciate just how intricate their lives are.
The 8000 or so species of birds have evolved over millions of years and have adapted to many different modes of life.  If one was to take a single feature which places the birds apart from all other animals it would be the development of feathers.  These complex and delicate structures not only make flight possible but also serve many other functions, notably providing insulation from cold or wet and furnishing attractive or eye-catching plumages for use in courtship and territorial rituals.

Such great facts! ❤  What a top way to introduce readers to a book all about birds.

I have to stop myself from quoting more paragraphs, so I’ll just quote one more.  From the top of page 8:

Birds have lived on earth for far longer than man or any of the mammals.  When giant dinosaurs roamed the world, there were already many kinds of birds inhabiting the forests, and wetlands and the marine environment.  They included some types which we would recognise today, such as grebes, herons and waterfowl.  In fact, it seems that birds are probably descended from small dinosaurs called coelurosaurs which ran standing up on their hind legs and balancing with their tails, much as birds do today.  Compsognathus is a typical coelurosaur.

This book was published in 1989 by The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited.  It has 3 sections in all; Biology of Birds, Bird Habitats of the World and Bird Families of the World – covering all aspects.  It has a mixture of stills and illustrations, I think it’s a brilliant book.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Day 19 – 30 Days Wild

“admire the setting sun” 

#30DaysWild
#30DaysWild

 Today I chose to admire the setting sun.  I had been at work, plus a couple things didn’t go to plan – so it was a nice relaxed way to end the day.  I took these pictures from my friend’s flat (again, with my mobile).

You can see Beacon Hill, which is part of the Lickey Hills Country Park, from the balcony etc...
You can see Beacon Hill, which is part of the Lickey Hills Country Park, from the balcony etc…
You can't tell, but the Waseley Hills Country Park is in the distance.
The Sunset underway.  You can just make out some countryside in the distance.
A few minutes later, and some how a bit clearer.
A few minutes later.
One without some flats in shot.
One without some flats in shot.

I then went up Rubery Hill a.k.a Cock Hill or the Quarry, to take the last of my photos.

You can just make out Rubery Hill/Cock Hill.
You can just make out Rubery Hill/Cock Hill.
On Rubery Hill now, you can just see rural Frankley in the distance.
On Rubery Hill now, you can just see a wee bit of rural Frankley in the distance.
Without flats in shot,
Without the flats in shot,
You can make out rural Frankley, with some of the New Frankley semi-rural-suburb below it.
You can make out rural Frankley, with some of the New Frankley semi-rural suburb below it.  The stand of trees to the right (which kind looks like a Cadbury’s Chocolate Button) is Frankly Beeches/Frankley Hill.
Coming back, down from Rubery Hill.
Just before coming back, down from Rubery Hill.

Thanks 🙂

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 🙂

Day 17 – 30 Days Wild

(I’m using my phone to do this blog entry)  I was at work early today and had to do a couple errands when I finished, then it rained continuously.  I had already danced in the rain.  

#30DaysWild
  So I was left trying decide what to do, sat in my parents kitchen, when my Dad said he had came across another interesting insect at work…  

 

What is it? It looks like a Beetle-Cricket-Hybrid, haha! …Is it just a Cricket?
 
 
Its’ top/back half.

My Dad has came across various creepy crawlies at work, some living and some dead.  The Cricket thing is the second specimen he has came home with, below is the first.  

 

A Small Elephant Hawk-moth! 🙂
 
 
I love its’ patterning/colours. There is always perfection in nature.
 
Thanks 🙂

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.  We both hadn’t been before.  I was impressed by the variety of habitats (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 skills  (I shall document what we saw below!)  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 🙂
Gary and myself before our wild walk.  Photobombed by a Mallard! ;)
Gary and myself before our wild walk. Photobombed by a Mallard! 😉
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! 😉
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 🙂
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 😛
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! 😀

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

Thanks for reading 🙂

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 🙂

Quote

Day 14 – 30 Days Wild

#30DaysWild
#30DaysWild

I got back from work (I don’t usually work on Sundays) and I didn’t have to wait long until I was eating a lovely Roast Dinner made by my Mum.  Afterwards my Dad said a newspaper he read earlier had something about birds nesting on a roof – he kindly fetched it for me…  I was appalled by what I read!  So as of a few minutes ago, I did “send a letter to your local newspaper” – one of the suggestions in the 30 Days Wild booklet.

I e-mailed the newspaper, this is what I sent:

Dear Sunday Mercury/J Taylor,

Firstly, Peregrines are Falcons – not Hawks.  They haven’t and won’t decimate Songbirds.  Also, not all ringed birds are Pigeons and are ‘owned’ by people.

Secondly, they are ‘native’ and are protected due to the years of persecution on Raptors (Birds of Prey) from a minority of small minded people – with unfair unrealistic outdated views.

Thirdly, Peregrines have moved to where their food is, due to the affects us humans have on the natural world – they are originally Coastal Birds (mostly), like Rock Doves a.k.a Racing/City/Feral Pigeons.

Lastly, a Peregrine is only doing what is natural in nature – keeping and racing Pigeons is not.  The RSPB conserve all nature equally.

Adam Canning

In reply to:
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Thanks for reading 🙂

Video

Day 13 – 30 Days Wild

It was raining, so I only had one obvious thing to do – “Dance in a downpour” ! 😀

I kind of had a routine planned, but I just went with whatever came to mind!  Oopsy! 😛  I filmed it close to the entrance of a wood, with my phone sat on the handrail of a wooden bridge that takes you over a brook into the wood.  There were dog walkers – hence the brief pause and glance to the left of screen.

Enjoy my sloppy “moves”, it is supposed to be funny… I look such a fool! 😉

Thanks 🙂