A change is as good as a rest

Early morning mossland by Dave Steel

Beginning and ending a journey to the mosslands around Salford and Wigan can be an astonishingly wild experience for our 30 Days Wild blogger, Dave Steel.

It was almost inevitable that I would not be able to have all 30 days WILD out on the moss, something was bound to turn up. It did, and the plan was to visit the South Lakes with my Woolston Eyes birdwatching friends.

In truth there is no particular rule that says I must celebrate this month’s wild in one spot, as our wild could be anywhere. However, my loyalty to our moss had other ideas, which meant that the lie-in to 5.45am had to be cut to 4.30am.

The moss greeted me with a slice of moon and a splash of sun which told of my late start to Day 27 as it was already hitting tree tops, over which a small flock of swift grabbed their insect breakfast.

A sedge warbler, seemingly, expressed its disdain at my late arrival by throwing discordant notes of song as I passed by. It was time to meet up with my friends and, as I moved back to my car, willow warbler were more gentle in their attitude to me and sang a serenade of farewell.

South Lakes reached, with osprey on nest, redstart young finding their wings perched on telephone wires, beautiful demoiselle damselflies flitted over clear running streams’ in which a stone loach faced off the flow and grabbed its food and a couple of grass snake absorbed the sunshine.

We also met up with large heath butterfly at a Cumbria Wildlife Trust Reserve, the wild connectivity through the Trusts highlighted by our own Lancashire Wildlife Trust preparing our mosslands landscapes to bring back these iconic mosslands butterflies.

Home, and a mini diversion to close our wild, via the moss and at a site that the owners have made a space for Nature, was our own raptors’ nest. There, a couple of young kstrel sat out on their home ready to take the air over our wild landscape.

30 Days Wild