I managed to fit in quite a lot of wild today, despite working a full day. I escaped to Sutherland Grange at lunchtime, the great park and nature reserve I found earlier in the challenge, where I read my wild book (Coastlines by Patrick Barkham) while lunching next to the river. At one point a mayfly landed on my knee and sat there momentarily, allowing me time to admire its delicate translucent wings. As I was about to leave a red kite flew low over my head before landing in a nearby tree. I could hear another red kite mournfully mewing and calling, an eerie cry drifting over the river and empty park, very wild in the urban wilderness. Later in the afternoon two more (or possibly the same) red kites caught my eye from the office window, catching talons in a mid air skirmish, before gliding together on the thermals in a graceful airborne ballet. I love seeing these wonderful birds overhead. We see them above our house too. Phil recently watched two blue tits mobbing a red kite, like spitfires attacking a junker on a mission of destruction. There are often aerial dog fights above us, with red kite, buzzards, kestrels, rooks, magpies and smaller birds all joining in at various times. The smaller birds are so brave against their much larger foes.
This evening the 30dayswild project continued, we now have salvia, more cornflowers and papaver planted for the bees to enjoy. As we were planting, I found an interesting, but unidentifiable to me, object. The 30dayswild facebook page helped me to identify it as a moth pupa. I buried it safely back in the ground close to where I found it.
I also found this funky soldier beetle in our garden, he seemed very interested in the empty pots!
We enjoyed the evening sun, cooking on the barbeque and eating outside, before finishing up gardening for the night, and heading inside tired but happy as the sun set. The light takes a long time to fade this close to the solstice, and even when we went to bed, after 11pm, there was still a glimmer of light on the horizon below a glowering black bank of clouds.
I also took time to stand up for nature today, signing a petition to keep the neonicotinoid pesticide ban. If you want to take action to support the ban on pesticides harmful for bees too, the petition can be found here: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/ban-the-pesticides-that-are-harming-our-bees
I also auto responded to a consultation about European Commission wildlife protection measures, which are at risk of being removed. I’m really concerned about the watering down of environmental protections, and intend to write to my MP about this issue, both here in the UK and at the European level. If you’re interested in the consultation, you can find out more and submit a response here: www.naturealert.eu
“Help wildlife in need” is one of the suggested 101 Random Acts of Wildness for 30dayswild, and the Wildlife Trusts suggest signing their own petition in support of 17 Marine Conservation Zones for mobile species, in megafauna hotspots for dolphins, porpoises, whales and basking sharks . I’ve signed it, and also have signed up as a friend of all of the suggested zones, as I am not close to any of them in particular, and think it’s important that our marine life has adequate protection. I love seeing these beautiful creatures and have been lucky enough to stand on the shore in Wales watching dolphins leap out of the water in Cardigan Bay, simply awe inspiring.
The petition to stand up for giants can be found here: