Burning the Wild Candle


Days 18 and 19 of #30 days wild saw me late to bed and early to rise to catch my wild moments with nature. Day 18 saw me run through the evening from Hethersett through Great Melton to Little Melton. I had hoped to get fit and catch up with some overdue patch ticks. With an almost full moon and a dry evening it was perfect for my target bird and they duly obliged. After a few miles, in Market lane calling from all sides, little owls.

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Little Owl Credit: Pete Walkden via Compfight cc an amazing capture of these athletic little birds only seen by me as flitting silhouettes between the oak trees.

The other late singer and a little unexpected was the white throat with its scratchy little song and the fact that I have not seen or heard them since they arrived in the country is almost certain down to my lack of time on patch rather than them not being about.

Day 19 and Fathers day saw me taking to the streets of Wymondham to complete my last Breeding Bird Survey of the year for the BTO. The route I take is on last years post (click here to view) and was opened with superb flyovers by first a male and then a female sparrow hawk which got everything else moving!

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Male Sparrowhawk Credit: Dino7250 via Compfight cc

There were no unexpected surprises after the sparrow hawks with the usual high numbers of common birds including in no particular order woodpigeon starling blackbird and greenfinch. I was also counting the mammals so there were plenty of rabbits some very young to tot up.

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The early female blackbird undoubtedly got the worm after I saw her.

The next part of my walk saw the two recent arrivals, the first was a very pleasant first on the patch with a lesser whitethroat which is showing a slightly healthy rise in recorded sightings nationally. The next arrival was perhaps less welcome.

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Building sites great for people but not so clever for my skylark count which was down to none.

The  increase in human population was only matched by the increase in woodpigeons and lesser black-backed gulls on my count and as both species appear to be adaptable and benefit from mankind it may be interesting to see how they spread locally at the expense of other birds in the next few years.

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Black-backed Gull a consumer of smaller birds and becoming more common year on year inland but rarer in its traditional coastal home.

On a positive note my count saw a few housemartins not seen last year and better numbers of house sparrows which have also dropped in number whilst I have been recording them. Once I had completed my route I heard a distant skylark showing at least they survive beyond the reach of the diggers.

Day 20 saw me attending a meeting which in itself was not a wild experience but it was to discuss  a possible wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the village which may help some of our beleaguered wildlife to survive the continued creep of mankind with an earmarked 1200 further homes due locally over the next decade.

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Storm clouds gathering over what is to be urban sprawl?

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4 thoughts on “Burning the Wild Candle

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