Bimbling as the thingy-me-bob shone

Azure damselfly mating by Dave Steel

As his 30 Days Wild journey continues, mosslands birding legend Dave Steel follows the sun's rays to watch wildlife grow in the warmth.

If there was to be negativity for Day 18 it could only come from my step counter complaining that I hadn’t done my daily “dozen” for on this day. The sun slowed my pace to just short of “bimbling” as I paused at almost each step to see what these rays of light were doing to revitalise our wildlife.

Now I always say it doesn’t matter what the weather is, for I will usually turn out, even on foggy days, for I can still hear the wild getting on with its survival.

I must admit that the sun does make a positive difference, I’m sure all would agree with this, especially as I watched the barn owl, dry winged for once, catch a vole for its young. The male yellow wagtail flew to the top of a tree, to soak up the sun and a bee filled its shopping bags with pollen. Then a painted lady butterfly simply sat solar panel-like and absorbed the sun.

Then as I gave my new sunglasses an airing I heard a quail calling from the adjacent wheat crop - it stayed in cover, they always do. This must surely indicate a change in the weather, as this bird will have finished its breeding season in Spain and has arrived on our moss to take advantage of our summer to create a second family.

A buzzard “mewed” its plaintive call from a sun-filled sky, whilst an oystercatcher sat quietly on its nest. Unlike the female teal which, on seeing me pass by the patch of reed-fringed water on which it had hidden its young, did her very best to distract me and lead me away from them. I happily obliged.

The sun still persisted and offered me the flight of four-spotted chaser dragonfly, cinnabar moths and, a sign of renewal, when I found a pair of azure damselfly mating. This assured me that, whatever, nature throws at us from its weather department, the WILD will do its very best to survive.

30 Days Wild