31st May 2017 – Bat detecting

IMG_0528 Today marks a year of going wild. A year of blogging. So, I wanted to do something a bit special. The kids stayed up after bedtime and we switched off the Leaders Debate to go up to the local community woodland, where we watched an unspectacular sunset, listening to Song Thrushes and Blackbirds, whilst Gulls and Geese flew back towards the estuary.

We ventured into the dark woods to see if we could spot any Foxes, which I am pretty sure live nearby. Despite tiptoeing, we nevertheless disturbed some Woodpigeons, which clapped into the sky. We heard what sounded like the bark of a fox, but saw nothing. We wandered back up to the grassland, where Slugs were coming out in force. E decided to go ‘fishing’ for them with a long grass stem, whilst Izzy scared the life out of B by tickling his ear with grass.IMG_0535

As the sky grew blacker, we switched the bat detector to 45KHz and headed home. I managed to pick up some chattering bats in a likely-looking tree, but I was starting to worry that we wouldn’t actually see any, when one suddenly zoomed over our heads. The kids were delighted. We saw quite a few bats (most likely Common Pipistrelles) as we walked home. There were 2 bats flittering around our house when we arrived and I wouldn’t be surprised if they roost in our roof. Another, bigger bat, probably a Brown Long-eared, joined them for a while. We stood and watched them, listening to their clicks and raspberries on the detector, before persuading the kids that it was time for bed.

Total wild time – about 1 hour 30 mins

8th May 2017 – A birdy day

E and I spent most of the day in the garden, but we popped out for a walk around Colyton with Bramble. There were Swifts screaming overhead, House Martins building new mud homes and Swallows wheeling about, making it feel summery. We passed a Heron on the river and noticed several fish in the water. As E played on the slide, a Sparrowhawk dashed past, being chased by little birds. It was then mobbed by a seagull and afterwards, by a Crow, before eventually being driven out of sight.

Later, when Izzy was at zumba, we went to Borrow Pit to watch a Mute Swan reaching its long neck to the bottom of the pond and pulling out strings of weed. We also visited the bird hide overlooking the estuary, where a kind man told me not to shush E (who has verbal diarrhoea and a total inability to whisper), happy that he was ‘starting young’ with birdwatching. There weren’t many birds to see, but E was excited about seeing another Heron and a couple of Egrets.

Total wild time – E at least 1 hour, Izzy 0 mins

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14th March 2017 – Dog walk

E and I took Bramble for a walk around Colyton, with E pointing in the direction that he wanted the buggy to go. The resident Heron gave us a fly-by and we saw a couple of tractors, which made E’s day. The smell of freshly cut-grass in the churchyard cheered me up on a grey day.

Total wild time – 30 mins

27th February 2017 – Ducks

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I took E and Bramble for a walk around Colyton and was amazed when E correctly pointed out that there were no ‘mummy’ ducks hanging out on the river today. We were also happy to see a rainbow

IMG_0209Later, whilst Izzy was at zumba, I took E to the wetlands for a spin on his balance bike. He giggled hysterically as he careered along the tracks. We paused to gaze out at the Shelducks on Black Hole Marsh. The rain started to fall and by the time we were back at the car, E was complaining of freezing fingers.

Total wild time – about 1 hour 10 mins (E), Izzy 0 mins