Video

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 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 10 – 30 Days Wild

“Watch a wild webcam” 

10/06/16

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_10Today I was at work 9AM-5PM, so I needed another easy Random Act of Wildness, so I arrived at work with enough time to get breakfast and watch the Springwatch Webcam(s) in the staff canteen.

After I was done watching, I left the channel on, so somebody would find a live-stream of wildlife at work, and would maybe watch, enjoy and become a fan of Springwatch/become more interested in nature, if they’re not already! 😉

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After a while, the chicks started emerging from their hidey-hole

Thanks for visiting. 😊

Video

Realised Recently

I had a realisation recently, regarding the invertebrates I blogged about back in June… I’ll bee honest 😉  I didn’t think about what the Ruby-tailed Wasp may have been up to, but I was reminded in the September Issue of BBC Wildlife magazine – that they’re a kind of Cuckoo!  This jewel-like wasp, happened to be close to where the Mason Wasp was coming and going from!

I only have this poor photo of these amazing Apocrita:

Ruby-tailed Wasp – blue top and red bottom

These weeny wasps (with metallic blue/turquoise tops and ruby red bottoms) lay their eggs in the nests of other Solitary Wasps, like the Mason Wasp!

When lava of the Ruby-tailed Wasp hatches, it eats the egg or grub of the host’s nest – which makes these sort of Wasps parasitoid (because they don’t live inside the host, they kill them instead).  September’s issue of BBC Wildlife also features “7 WAYS TO SAVE SOLITARY BEES”.

Thanks 🙂

The Annual Rutland Romp!

“The Annual Rutland Romp!” ??  I’m referring to the British Birdwatching Fair, the Birdfair of course! 🙂  Last week was my 5th time at the fair (I’ve been going every year since 2010).  It’s on for 3 days over a weekend in mid August, and has been on every year for more than 25 years!  I love that it’s not just people from all over Britain visiting Rutland Water, but people from all over the world that migrate to England’s smallest county for this annual and eventful occasion too!

Birdfair 2010 - Me and Simon King OBE.

Birdfair 2010 – Me and Simon King OBE

Over the years – despite its name – Birdfair has evolved to not just be about birds and aiding their conservation, but wildlife and conservation overall.  I often refer to it as a wildlife festival before telling people the name of it.  It is an amazing place to meet and be surrounded by like-minded passionate people, and rub shoulders with TV personalities 😉  There are talks from wildlife TV presenters, naturalists, conservationists and filmmakers, as well as authors and photographers too.  I could only do two days of the fair and arrived on Saturday, with my wildlife photographer friend, James Burman – who has taken some stunning pictures.  We camped at Rutland Water Camping, on the lovely Hambleton Peninsula – where we saw Foxes and a Badger 🙂

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Chris Packham’s talk was brilliant – in short; it was about cutting the crap regarding what dangers children might face outdoors, and to let them experience and enjoy nature in all its glory!  Chris featured three young wildlife enthusiasts, who in turn talked about their experiences and passion for nature, and what they have been up to.  I realised they each represented a region of England: Josie Hewitt – The South, Connor Coombes – The North and Georgia Locock – The Midlands.  All of their talks were very good, and insightful 🙂  I’m hoping this is a progressive change, as it’s really nice hearing from a diverse range of people on stage in the Events Marquee.  Connor with his Cumbrian accent and Georgia with her West Midlands accent (similar to my own), I couldn’t help but be moved, it was refreshing and humbling!

In various other marquees you can find hundreds of stands selling and promoting the latest products for wildlife enthusiasts – gadgets and clothing, scopes to sculptures, binoculars to bird food and eGuides to eco-holidays! 😀  I mainly go to the festival to catch up with old friends and make new ones, and to share it all with them! ❤

This year - Me & James Burman (that's Alex & Gordon looking at the Birdfair programme) :)

Birdfair 2015 – Me & James Burman (Alex & Gordon looking at the Birdfair programme) 🙂


Birdfair 2015 - Christine Hall and Me

Birdfair 2015 – Christine Hall and Me 😀

Since my 2nd time, I have meet up with my friend Christine Hall, a great wildlife camerawoman, photographer and conservationist.  It’s possible you’ve seen her video of a Red Squirrel on a previous series of Autumnwatch, it was slipping down a post whilst trying to get peanuts from a bird-feeder, and you may have recently seen her in the Springwatch Unsprung audience 😉

It was really good meeting Yusuf Akhtar, Victoria House and a mixture of AFON and NGB members (to name a few); Alexandra Hoadley, Ryan Clark, Susan Jones, Josie Hewitt, James Common, Georgia Locock, Drew Lyness, Billy Stockwell, Sorrel Lyall, Tom Mason and James O’Neill.  Plus it was really nice catching up with Peter Cooper, Jack Perks, Josh Jaggard and Matt Collis 🙂

Birdfair 2011 - second time meeting Mike Dilger, first time meeting Bill Oddie.

Birdfair 2011 – Mike Dilger, Bill Oddie OBE and Me!


Birdfair 2015 - Me and Kate MacRae

Birdfair 2015 – Me with Kate MacRae

Every year at the Bushnell stand I chat to WildlifeKate quite a lot, we came to realise we’ve never had a photo taken together, so the picture above is the only one ever for now 😛

Birdfair 2015 - Mike Dilger and Me

Birdfair 2015 – Mike Dilger and Me

Mike Dilger and I chat quite a lot too, this year he bumped into me – in the Art Marquee – James and I happened to be getting to know the illustrator of his new book, Darren Woodhead – a wonderful artist.  Mike’s new book is being released next year!

Simon King’s talk this year – as well as hearing about his recent wildlife filmmaking – contained a much needed reminder; a bit more needs to be done to conserve the natural world.  We were made aware that nature is losing places in the dictionary!  Words like Snowdrop are being taken out and replaced with the likes of “selfie” and “blog”.  So I was pleased that towards the end of his talk we were informed about the Simon King Wildlife Project, which is a new charity assisting in the prevention of the degradation of the natural world, globally.  The project intends to safeguard habitats, reclaim land for nature and engage people with wild creatures and wild places, which in turn will help keep the natural world intact! 🙂

Before my entry comes to an end – wildlife I observed around the reserve:

  • Common Sandpiper
  • Greenshank
  • Muntjac Deer
  • Ospreys
  • Hornets
  • Hares
  • Barn Owl

Thanks for visiting 😀

Day 25 (YD) & Day 26 – 30 Days Wild

Day 25 

I’m going to the Lake District on Saturday (Day 27) for a week.  I shall be staying in a National Trust Cottage in Little Longdale near Coniston 🙂  So I made sure I was all organised for my trip to Cumbria!  I’m pleased I will be spending the last few days of 30 Days Wild in a stunning part of the UK!

All packed for my trip to The Lakes!

 

Day 26 – “Save a life”

I’ve allowed what I believe to be a Thistle (and a wee Doc plant) grow in my plant pot; which also contains a baby Pineapple plant (the original inhabitant) on my windowsill at my house-share.  I shall consider this as saving a life 😉  

 Thanks 🙂

Day 24 – 30 Days Wild

Behind the Scenes: Video for the Wild

#30DaysWild

#30DaysWild

I chose the mystery location for yesterdays’ video, because I grew up a short walk away from it and was inspired by an episode of Countryfile where Anita Rani showcases rural Bradford 😛  Incase you’ve not seen the video, I’ll not ruin the ‘surprise’ with naming it.  It’s where I cut my teeth as a child and naturalist, so to speak and over the years I’ve seen loads of wildlife there, a few firsts, which includes the time I saw my first Weasel as a child!  Yesterday my friend Gary and I observed a Kestrel and Jay up there.

In the second shot of the intro to my video, I’m on the top of Rubery Hill/Cock Hill, with the Frankley countryside and suburb in the background, there are more great views from up there; the Lickey Hills, Rubery and Bromsgrove in the distance – plus the country park I reveal in my video 😉

When we were filming near Frankley Beeches wood, we heard and saw a beautiful male Yellowhammer – it’s the second time I’ve seen one in Frankley, (I’ve mainly distantly heard their song now and again) so I decided to record and feature this Yellowhammers’ song as the soundtrack for the video.  We could also hear the beautiful song of the Skylark in the distance, down near Lower Hill Farm.  On New Street, near the Greenbelt just before Frankley Hill Lane (which leads up to the Frankley Beeches Wood) I saw a partly Leucistic male Blackbird collecting worms, I almost mistook it for a Ring Ouzel!

**Yesterdays’ Video for the Wild** 😀

Today I observed a male and female House Sparrow feeding on aphids from the wee Willow Tree that’s in my parents garden.

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 😀