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 (in western Scotland)
As the month draws to an end I’m considering how to make interaction with nature, and writing about it, a far more routine part of my everyday life. I suppose this means that #30DaysWild has achieved its goal.
Today was our final day in Scotland, and we made sure we took advantage. We visited the RSPB’s Glenborrodale reserve, where I held a frog and some butterflies. And I ended the week as I began it: with rockpooling and holding a crab.
We also saw porpoise and a golden eagle. This month has truly forced me to think hard about how much nature I actually get in my day to day life, even though I work in nature conservation. And I think it has had a profound impact on me. This wasn’t something I expected, but it is most welcome.
Megan (in western Scotland)
A day out today – we headed west again to visit a reserve we have often driven past this week and have often said “ooh, that would be nice to visit!”. So we went off to the RSPB’s Glenborrodale Reserve, and ascended the steep (ish) path. Note – this isn’t a reserve for those with limited movements! The terrain became mostly flat again once we reached the top. It was the worth the steep but short ascent, birds were singing and calling away throughout the woodland. We even heard a Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia).
In terms of insects, the butterflies were rather showing off. Two (possibly three) Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene) butterflies were calmly fluttering about a clearing, the warmth in the air not enough to really energise them. As ever, I was excited to see butterflies but particularly so as these were a lifer for me! I had managed to miss them at Gilfach Nature Reserve last year, and they were on my list of species to see. That doubles my 2015 butterfly Wildlife Resolution! Four new species this year, crumbs!
Evidently, another butterfly heard my delight and decided to top the Fritillaries as we soon met a Chequered Skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon) butterfly. Our third this trip, and always a thrill to see – bearing in mind that this species is (a) beautiful and (b) limited in its distribution.
As Matt mentioned, we went rockpooling once we were back at the cottage. I had great fun watching the barnacles feeding and even spotted a small fish darting quickly from beneath a rock. And now I’m typing, but keeping a keen eye on the area beside the conservatory – the Pine Marten (Martes martes) will shortly appear I am sure!