I’m reblogging an old post about a Spring day I went out for a walk with my What to look for in Spring Ladybird book. ❤️
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.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe and well. ❤️
This is my third year of noting down the birds in my back yard for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. I don’t know how, but I somehow ended up doing it a day early on Friday. In reality you were supposed to join in on Saturday or Sunday or even tomorrow, so there’s still time if you want to record the wildlife in your garden. You can submit your results online here. Anyway I don’t suppose it matters , me being an early bird. 🙂
Unfortunately I did not get the variety of species that I have had in previous years. The birds are definitely still around but chose not to appear in the hour. I ended up recording 9 House sparrows ( at least I can depend on them! ) and erm, 1 Mouse. Oh and I had to shew a neighbors cat away. My own cat Slinky was happily snoozing on the bed.
Just like last year I joined my sister, niece and nephew for their Big Garden Birdwatch, which we did this afternoon. We counted 4 Bluetits, 2 Coaltits, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Robins, 1 Great Tit, 2 Nuthatches, 1 Grey Squirrel and 2 Pheasants. Similar to 2019 except no Dunnock or Long Tailed Tits. A flurry of Long Tailed Tits typically showed up after the hour , but we of course couldnt include the latecomers.
Little Walt the new kitten joined us for the birdwatch. I have a feeling he might want to do more than birdwatch next year though. But isn’t he adorable! Maybe we can ask him to scare off the naughty squirrel who hogged the bird table…..
Are you going to do the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?
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?
Starlings are noisy bossy birds, I know when they descend upon the bird feeder there will be little left, empty coconut shells knocked to the ground and fat balls depleted in the blink of an eye. I can’t help admiring their starry plumage and their cheeky chatter though and would love to witness a murmuration , where flocks of starlings sky dance the heavens . Instead I will make do with this poem by Mary Oliver who perfectly captures the spirit of these characterful birds.
Photos were taken in Melmerby over the wintery wknd , where several starlings gathered & chattered.
Have you seen a murmuration’?
The season is turning to Autumn and the natural world is abundant with colour. A quick glance at Pinterest and I was engulfed in Autumn inspired poetry and quotes.
I can smell Autumn dancing in the breeze, the sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves. ( Unknown).
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall. ( E. Scott Fitzgerald).
Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the Autumn tree. ( Emily Bronte).
I’m so glad I live in a world where there are October’s. ( Anne of Green Gables).
To celebrate the beauty of the natural world in October I’m joining in with the hashtag #wildoctober2019 on Instagram & Twitter. Why not bob over and post your own Wild October finds too. Here are some of the photos I’ve taken so far…
This weekend I’ve been at the caravan with Wil and Hugo. It’s the first weekend we’ve visited in cooler weather, so it was important to stay snug and warm. My tips for keeping cosy in Autumn are…..
Always have throws and cushions nearby.
I like to light a scented candle.
Keep a favourite book or magazine to hand.
Or watch some well loved old movies. For an Autumn vibe try Hocus Pocus, When Harry Met Sally, Practical Magic, Beetlejuice or The Craft.
Indoors I live in my slipper boots. 🙂
Outdoors I live in my Wellies! Head for a pub with a roaring fire after a woodland walk.
Enjoy your Wild October. 🍁🍄🕸️🦇
The temperatures for Bank Holiday Monday promised to be high, which is great, except if your a black Labrador like Hugo, or indeed if your me. I think I’m more of a snowflake kind of girl than a sunshine kind of girl sometimes. 🙂
We decided to head for water, but we’re keen to avoid the bank holiday traffic, so driving to the Lakes or seaside we’re out. Instead we made our way to Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales. This glacial lake nestles at an altitude of 375 metres and is looked after by the National Trust. There is parking on both sides of the water.. We parked at Water Sinks and walked along a limestone track that leads down to the tarn. Hugo was straight in there. The sun hadn’t yet burnt off the morning mist, so the temperatures were both hound and human friendly. 😉
Although the fog enveloped the water, there was still more than a hint of beauty on show.
The tarn and its surroundings are home to many water bird species ( if only we could see them! ) and when its clear you can apparently get a great view from the bird Hide. Other possible sightings include otters who have been spotted swimming at dusk & dawn. It was lovely to see a variety of wildflowers including harebells, devil’s bit scabious and grass of Parnassus. Grass of Parnassus is in fact an honorary grass, named because in Ancient Greece, this pretty white flower was devoured by cattle grazing on Mount Parnassus.
The Pennine Way walking route passes Malham Tarn and continues through the grounds of a Field Centre where an old Orchid House provides information about wildlife & geology in the area. We then walked through woodland decorated with various animal & bird sculptures until coming across Tarn Moss & Tarn Fen Nature Reserve.
Due to the fragility of the reserve , dogs & bicycles are not permitted here, so I left Wil and Hugo for a quick nosy. The unusual habitat of groundwater- fed fen and rainwater-fed raised bog is home to rare plant life including insectivorous sundew and yellow globe flowers. There is apparently a herd of wild ponies on the fen, but I didn’t spy them. A wooden boardwalk guides you through the boggy mossy wilderness, but alas I didn’t have time to venture far.
We retraced our steps back to the car and ate a picnic lunch on the grass. The midday sun was definitely starting to scorch , but we thought we would head into Malham and walk up to its lovely waterfall Janet’s Foss. We visited here a couple of years ago, but much earlier in the morning, before it got to busy. On that occasion the Foss was a serene scene , but on a bank holiday, it was crushed and crowded.
Hugo still managed a few paddles in the babbling brook, so all was not lost. I am definitely up for returning to Malham, especially Malham Tarn. I’m imagining a walk their every season now. A cold crisp November day maybe……