Day 2

30 Days Wild Challenge

I am sure there are worse challenges than spending some time each day focusing on something wild—but it is only Day Two and I realise how little time we seem to have these days to concentrate on what is so vital and inherent in us all—the living plants and creatures of our world.

I live in the concrete jungle of a madly busy city just like so many others. During the next days of June I aim to turn my mind away from ‘seemingly important matters’ and inorganic minutiae of everyday city life to spend more time focusing on nature.

Today is Sunday 2nd June 2019 and we have gone to a Camping World to buy a tent! Is buying a tent a wild thing to do?

Is buying a tent a wild thing to do?

The weather is hot and clammy to be buying a tent in! With a large box of our new air inflatable tent wedged into the car we set off back home. En route we divert to nearby Rainham Marshes RSPB Nature Reserve. Well, I haven’t had my #Day Two 30 Days Wild moments yet! (Unless you count buying a tent a wild moment)

Marsh grasses

Rainham Marshes is a favourite haunt. And after a quick bite to eat in the café we go looking for Ratty the water vole. Water voles are becoming desperately rare in the UK but I was fortunate enough to see one last time we were here!

Walking round the reserve I keep looking in the river hoping, hoping to see or hear a sign of Ratty.

Water voles numbers have declined catastrophically and they are now vulnerable to extinction. Intensified agriculture and degradation of habitat plus the added threat of the introduced American Mink (escapees from the fur trade) have caused one of the most dramatic falls in population in one of our most beloved endemic mammals.

Is that a redshank I see way out in the open water?

Redshank?

Andrew (he’s my feller) looking through his binoculars says he sees lapwings. I use my camera’s zoom in place of binoculars, and I zoom in quickly, but the lapwings take flight before I can take a proper look.

One bird remains in the water and I think it is a redshank!

I think it might be a redshank

I enjoy walking round the reserve with reeds and grasses whispering in the wind.

You never know what you might come across or notice. Some nice lichen on a post perhaps?

Lichen on a post! Lichen fascinates me. Shapes, colours and mystery. Must find out more about them!

Bee on Vetch

Bees are buzzing on the vetch! Incredible new science revealed by Chris Packham on Springwatch last week, that flowers can hear the buzzing of the bees! Making the flowers respond by producing more appetising sugars. What a remarkable discovery.

You can hear the buzzing of this bee too!—in my snippet video! Get a buzz!

Bee buzzing on vetch

Bee populations are in trouble too with worrying declines in their numbers. Why are pesticides still being used?!

Walking on toward the exit I notice a spider hiding in wait in a rolled up leaf.

Spider in his web leaf wrapped den

I peer down and can just see the spider lurking in the shadow of its leafy den. Don’t know what type of spider this is and wish I had time to stop and study it, but the reserve is due to close at 5pm. Why does it close so early? I think the evening is one of the best times for watching birds—when there might be a chance to see the murmurations of starlings for instance, as they return to roost. Pleased to say that there are a few starlings flying about at the moment…no murmurations though.

Small Copper butterfly

Last treat of the #Day Two 30 Days Wild walk is this tiny butterfly – the Small Copper.

If you want to see the little video of the bee buzzing on the vetch click here for Bit of a Buzz.

I’ll buzz off now!

Till next time 🙂

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