Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.
(Matt, Worcestershire & Wales)
After yesterday’s epic journey from western Germany to western England, travelling from Malvern to mid-Wales today felt like a doddle. I’m with Megan on our way to a bioblitz she’s running for A Focus on Nature and Radnorshire Wildlife Trust tomorrow at one of their reserves.
The day began with a visit to my friends Tim and Helen, whose home is always a curio-cavern of wildlife, artefacts and identification books. We spent some time trying to identify the bees in the front garden.
After midday we headed across the border into Wales, permitting ourselves to be distracted by cream tea at a tea rooms where a swirling swallow veered away from my face with inches to spare.
When we finally reached Wales, the first time I have been in a long time, I was greeted by the wildlife that makes this part of Great Britain very close to my heart.
We went and put moth traps out at the site ready for tomorrow’s event. And buzzards and ravens flew past overhead, creeing and croaking away.
As we drove along Wales’s winding lanes, flashes of red arse darting away from us alerted us to redstarts, darting from branch to fence post, playing a game of tag with the car.
Having seen black redstart in Germany earlier this week, it was lovely to see their brighter coloured cousins today.
I’m going to stop there, as it’s 9.30pm and we’ve only just arrived at our B&B. I also want to save the best for tomorrow, when, thanks to Megan, I’ll be taking part in my first ever bioblitz, trying to record as many species as possible at the reserve.
Bring on the wildlife!
(Megan, Worcestershire & Wales)
Gosh, what haven’t I done today? I have: admired landscapes, watched the clouds, counted the spots on a ladybird, got excited over moth caterpillars (more to come on this in my weekly blog round-up – SO EXCITING!), listened to birdsong and seen a variety of birds, examined creatures in a pond, performed a tadpole rescue, found otter spraint, watched bumblebees, admired flowers, and more! So much connecting with nature! It has been truly glorious, and (warning: much cuteness / romance ahead) it was all with Matt so even better!
It is difficult to choose a highlight … well, not really. It has to be the moth caterpillars, but as previously mentioned, I shall talk more about them at another point. I suppose, my tadpole rescue was particularly exciting. We were at a pond in mid-Wales (not on a reserve but elsewhere) and the water level had evidently dropped quite recently as a few tadpoles were stuck in a very small pool, cut off from the pond. I decided to be a good Samaritan and transfer them to the main pond.
Whilst doing so, I came across a couple of frogs that had become froglets (i.e. tadpoles with legs!). It’s such a wonderful stage of the life cycle to see, I couldn’t resist taking a photo. However, I was scooping them up along with some of the water, and ended up with some mud too, resulting in the rather amusing photo below!