Week 3 of #30dayswild

Paul Hobson

It's week 3 of #30dayswild and our Hedgehog Officer Ali shares with us her random acts of wildness!

We're already into the last week of The Wildlife Trust's month long nature challenge, and I can already feel the benefits of making more time for wildlife in my day to day life. Here I reflect on my random acts of wildness for last week - it was jam packed full of exciting encounters and I hope yours was too! Remember you can take part in this challenge at any time of year. Join the 365 days wild facebook page and check out tips and ideas to get you started, here.

Day 15 - I spent a lovely evening along Felixstowe promenade, admiring the ominous clouds and listening to the crashing of the waves. Check out the cloud spotting guide from the MET office to get your eye in, here.

Day 16 - An evening walk in search of stag beetles resulted in the most amazing face-to-face experience with an otter! It was swimming quietly down stream with gentle ripples being the only sign of its presence, in between brief glimpses of it's head. Otters can have large territories - sometimes up to 20km stretches of river, and will deposit faeces (spraint) across their range to defend territories and communicate. It is often said that their spraint smells like jasmine tea, though unfortunately I didn't find any to have a sniff!

Whilst relaxing on a bridge overlooking the stream, I also spotted a lovely large stag beetle in flight. Success! Remember you can log your stag beetle sightings for the #GreatStagHunt here.

Otterwatch

Day 17 - an evening walk to a local green space resulted in an exciting find - two privet hawkmoths on a garden fence! These moths are the UKs largest resident hawkmoth and although you can't see it here, they have brilliantly black and pink striped bodies. Check out the Beginners Top 20 moths to look out for, here.

Privet hawkmoths

Day 18 - we were welcomed by a monster slug when opening the front door to start the day - the perfect feast for a hedgehog! There are around 40 slug species currently found in the UK. Slugs have one lung and secrete mucus to ease movement across rough surfaces. These slime trails are also used to navigate the landscape and are used to return to their regular tunnels and feeding locations. Identify a slug here.

Slugwatch

Day 19 - today was a long day driving so I was on the lookout for raptors along the motorways. Lots of lovely red kites and buzzards were spotted along the M4 and M25!

Day 20 - I completed mission 3 of the Springwatch/BTO and Open University citizen science project - Gardenwatch. Mission 3 is all about bird activity in the garden, so I spent my breaks sat in the grass recording bird activity and their behaviours. A lovely way to spend some time throughout the day! You can get involved yourself by heading to the BTO website, here.

Day 21 - admiring pollinators! I've been taking part in the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme! White clover was the flower chosen for this particular count, and 10 minutes was spent recording insects visiting flowers within our 50x50cm survey patch. The 50x50cm quadrat can be easily made from card, string or tape, and you can log your counts on the UK Pollinator Monitoring and Research Partnership website, here. This data will help build a better understanding of pollinator trends across the country, so why not try it for your next #30dayswild act of wildness?

Pollinator count1