2020 has been tough on us humans but the natural world has carried on as normal. In fact in those early days of lockdown when most of us stayed home and the roads were eerily empty, wildlife blossomed. Many of us had time to notice the birds in our gardens , the visiting butterflies, the quiet rustle of hidden creatures going about their business. From all the negativity a greater connection to nature came about. We have so much to appreciate in our wilder surroundings.
Travel restrictions prevented me from venturing very far so my photos this year are from Lancashire and Cumbria. Still plenty to see though. Enjoy the pics. ❤️
Getting out and about in the fresh air is one of my greatest pleasures. I’m just thankful it’s something I’m still able to do in these strangest of times. Happily the sun has decided to shine this weekend so I took my camera on some local walks.
For me 2019 has been very much about experiencing wildlife with others. It’s the first year I have watched badgers go about their business from a guided RSPB badger hide and the first time I have been on a bat walk run by the Rivers Trust. I’ve also looked for ring ouzels in the Slaidburn fells with the RSPB and done this year’s bird and butterfly counts with my nephew, niece and sister. Family has joined me in all the above and it has been a joy watching wildlife with them. 🙂
Sometimes I can be out and about with Wil and the dog and we will spy something special. Recently we saw a red squirrel at NT Acorn Bank, I have been hoping to see one since buying our caravan in Cumbria this year.
There have been a few rare moments when I’ve been completely alone and immersed myself in nature. Just spending three hours in the woodland near my Mum’s in Askham back in May was such a treat, I saw jays, woodpeckers, buzzards, a weasel and wildflowers galore.
In 2019 I witnessed my first badgers ( I’m definitely not counting the squashed ones I’ve seen on the roadside), my first humming bird hawk moth, my first Crossbill, my first ring ouzels and my first slow worm!
I am not always able to get photos though, so it was very special when I managed to snap the barn owl that visits my sister’s croft, be it through a pane of glass. Below are some of the wildlife I have captured on camera..
What have been your own favourite wildlife moments of 2019?
Its December everyone! Is it to early to do a bit of a round-up post?? 2018 has been a pretty good year for spotting wildlife I’ve never seen before. I glimpsed my first Gannets plunging into the ocean for fish off Skye, my first Stonechats darting between fence posts and gorse bushes in Ravenglass and my first Great Crested Grebes fishing in the lagoon at Hodbarrow Nature Reserve. I witnessed my first Eider Ducks bobbing along an aquamarine blue sea in the Outer Hebrides and watched for the first time, wild otters swimming and playing in a sheltered cove there.
And this year I have tried to identify and record every flower, mammal, bird, butterfly and moth I have come across whilst out and about , in a Nature Diary. Doing this has definitely got me busy looking up everything in my often neglected wildlife guides. My diary has gotten quite full, though I know there are still so many plants and animals, that I haven’t had the pleasure of viewing in our beautiful British Isles.
Here are just a few photos of some of the wildlife I have managed to capture on camera this year. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the photos.
What are your own favourite wildlife moments of 2018?
There has definitely been an Autumnal feel to the past few days. I have been taking quick snapshots on my phone of the many nuts, berries and fungi I have come accross, when out with Hugo.
It’s rained cats and dogs ,but inbetween showers there are always good photo opportunities!
I would not trust myself with identifying whether any fungi shown are edible or poisonous ! Have you ever collected any and cooked them? I remember my sister and I picking Horse Mushrooms from the fields as youngsters and Mum created all sorts of grey gloop with them for our teas. The picking was more fun than the eating!
Below are elderberries ( edible) , Nightshade ( definitely poisonous) , Scabious flower, more fungi and new green acorns.
We have ordered a new fire and some wallpaper. Operation Living Room commences in October! The fire is actually electric, but looks like the real thing, especially with the log storage. The wallpaper is for the alcoves and is by Minimoderns. The Dungerness Print is actually inspired by a real place in Kent, that we would love to visit oneday.
Yesterday ticked one off the Bucket List and entered Hugo in a dog show. There weren’t many categories left when we arrived at The Wuffit Mix Fun Day , so we had a go at Best Working Dog. Not that Hugo has ever worked a day in his life! We didn’t win but…..
These past few days have been pretty hot weather-wise, with temperatures even hitting thirty degrees, here in the North West. Here are my latest ‘Wild Moments.’ 🙂
Day 17 ~ Bonnie Babies. On a shopping trip in Skipton , I came across these beautiful babies. 🙂 Four gorgeous silvery cygnets with their proud parents. Talk about adorable. The Mute Swan pair didn’t seem threatened by the humans gathered at the canal side. Maybe they were showing off their bundles of joy. 🙂 It is said that Mute Swans mate for life and usually have one brood a year, between March and June.
Day 18 ~ Breakfast with the Birds….and Squirrels. This morning I decided to take my breakfast to the castle grounds ( a drink and a cereal bar, no less! ) and sit near where some kind soul leaves bird seed for the park’s population. I counted 2 Jackdaw, 1 Wood Pigeon, 3 Dunnock, 2 House Sparrow, a Robin, 2 Bluetits, 1 Chaffinch, 2 Blackbirds and three Grey Squirrels, in the half hour I was there. Here in the Ribble Valley, as in most of the country, it is the Grey Squirrel that has taken precidence , over our native Reds. In fact the Grey’s carry a disease that will destroy any Red Squirrels, they come into contact with. 😦 Later in the week I read an article about a ‘Gun toting Granny’ in Cumbria , who shoots Grey Squirrels from her car window. I hope someday soon , a vaccine can be developed to protect the tufty reds..
Day 19 ~ I D an Insect. Another HOt Hot day. Saw quite a few of these unusual looking insects with orange markings. They were sat on the leaves of some garden escape forget-me-nots, near where I live. Anyway after a quick look online, I found out that they are the larvae of the Harlequin ladybird. Harlequins are apparently an invasive ( yikes, more invaders! )ladybird species originally from Japan, first turning up on our shores in 2004. The larvae like to gollop up not only aphids, but insects too, including other ladybirds larvae. So maybe not so happily co-existing with our native species. 😦
Day 20 ~ Water for the Bees. Bees and other insects need a fresh water supply , especially in hot weather. Taking inspiration from a few other #30dayswilders , I filled a saucer with marbles and stones and poured in some water. Bees can rest on the marbles whilst taking a sip and there is less danger of them drowning, than if I just simply put a saucer of water out.
Day 21 ~Fledgling Visitors. Until today my only visitor to our bird feeders, has been a solitary bluetit. This morning she brought two fledglings along! A happy moment. There was lots of chirping as she tried to persuade her two offspring to investigate the half coconut shell. Eventually one of her babies had a go. Hopefully they will all continue visiting. 🙂
Day 22 ~ Blissed Out. A very grey drizzley morning. But look who loves the weather! I must admit I felt a bit fed up as we started our daily venture into the fields. But just seeing how Hugo embraces the outdoors, always makes me smile. 🙂
0ff camping tommorrow, so fingers crossed that the sunshine reappears. ♡
Common Butterwort with star shaped leaves out on the hills near Haweswater.
Red Squirrel at Formby Point in January.
Little Plovers on Ballantrae Beach, November.
Hi there and Happy New Year everyone! I’ve decided to have a couple of weeks off blogging whilst a bit of decorating gets done ( hopefully!) but first here are some of my favourite wildlife pics from 2016. Looking through my photos, I hadn’t realised there would be so many great wildlife moments captured on camera.
I loved seeing the Red Squirrels at Formby Point and Haweswater and later in Scotland. Being so used to their larger grey cousins, it was a real treat to hang out with the little tuftys.: ) Hillwalking near Haweswater in Cumbria also gave me my first sighting of a wheatear ,it was perched on a craggy stone wall singing. And spotting Grey Seals on the rocks below Corsewall Lighthouse in Dumfries & Galloway was a joy. 🙂
Of course there were also the moments closer to home when I didn’t have my camera with me. I know darn it, I should always carry a camera! Earlier in 2016 whilst out walking Hugo, we were accompanied by a silent white shadow gliding slightly ahead of us. I can’t describe how magical it was to witness a Barn Owl hunting in the field.:) And another time I was out with Hugo down by the River Ribble, when we were treated to three Hares boxing on the other side of the river. An amazing sight!
If you click on the photos each should hopefully have a description.I hope I have identified everything correctly! Looking forward to lots more sightings in 2017. 🙂
Female Bullfinch in Clitheroe.
Wild Garlic in May. Bolton Abbey.
Red Deer at Studley Royal in May.
Little Egret on the Silverdale coast.
Common Darter October.
Autumn finds at Lowther Park in October.
Grey Seal on the rocks at Corsewall Lighthouse.
Buzzard Mull of Galloway November.
Canada Geese at Castle kennedy November.
Roe Deer at Castle Kennedy.
Have you any of your own favorite Wildlife sightings from 2016?
Spring is well and truly here ( along with lots of April showers!) , so on Sunday I took my Ladybird Book ‘ What To Look For In Spring’ out and about for an impromptu Photo Shoot. Ladybird Books were part of my childhood, though it is only in the last couple of years that I have started collecting the What To Look For series. Now I have all four seasons, I think I will expand my collection to include some of the other Nature titles. 🙂 It was interesting to compare the pictures in the book ( beautifully illustrated by naturalistic painter Charles Tunnicliffe) with life in the countryside today.
My photos are from two walks I did with the dog ( and Wil!) in my local area. I’ve included a few written extracts found in ‘What To Look For In Spring’ along with my pictures. 🙂 This Ladybird book was published in 1961.
‘By the first week of April the lambs that were born in February are large enough to enjoy springtime games. The blackthorn is now in full blossom’
The lambs I saw were catching the sun’s rays and the lacey blackthorn blossoms are indeed in full bloom.
‘Growing amongst the roots of the tree are violets and lesser celandine.Dead leaves have gathered here and decayed , giving nourishment to the roots of the violets which like soft humus.’
I’m not sure what soft humus is, but it seems to be true…..
‘ Magpies are wily birds and it is extremely difficult to get near enough to shoot them, but many countrymen do so when they can, and feel they have done a good deed.’
Hmmm not sure country folk go round shooting Magpies, but some do salute them!
‘In a woodland opening we find wood-anemones which spread by underground stems and are consequently all close together.’
Saw carpets of these pretty white flowers in the woods.:)
It was the perfect day for a walk up a country lane with views of Pendle Hill, its slopes looking almost gentle from this distance.
‘We know that March will soon be followed by April-when windows can be opened again,and hedgehogs and dormice can end their hibernation and enjoy the sunshine.With Spring comes the greatest wonder of the year-possibly even more beautiful than Summer.’
I certainly agree that Spring is full of wonder. Every day new flowers appear and life is springing up everywhere. If you have a ladybird book or any nature publication from the past, why not see how wildlife compares ,then and now.Let me know how you get on. X
Today was a lovely spring day with warming sunshine and hints of blue sky. Ignoring the stinking cold I seem to have caught, I spent an hour in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle this afternoon. There were birds, there were bees and there were blooms and buds everywhere. Here is what I saw….