Hares’ tails and painted ladies

Yellowhammer, painted lady, hare's tale cottongrass and yellow wagtail by Dave Steel

Dave Steel is looking for summer as he continues his 30 Days Wild adventure, but he still manages to find plenty of colour.

Day 17 and it was off to meet a third year university student from John Moore’s University whose dissertation will centre about the iconic mosslands plant, hare’s tail cottongrass. He needed access to the land a local farmer owns, which is a site of biological interest.

It was dry. It soon started to rain. The yellow wagtail carried on gathering food for its young whilst the yellowhammer still found the weather fit enough to sing in. In truth the wild has little choice but to plod on with their lot.

Willow warbler in reasonable numbers were gathering insects for their now fledged young. We wandered the site and I mused on this turn of events for the moss in my lifetime, where I am now seeing people aiming to restore our natural heritage rather than destroy it. Wow! Now there’s a positive aspect to today’s dreary Monday wild.

Then to finish a tour of another part of our moss, which could blossom with regeneration of our mosslands landscape by such studies, if it is ever released from its present state of limbo. I live in hope of the increase in our local wildlife.

I then moved over to Little Woolden Moss where Monday meant nothing to the curlew, meadow pipit and reed bunting, were busy about their breeding season duties which are still in full swing.

Then the wild told of the end of one bird’s breeding season as I saw a green sandpiper, which was on its return migration away from its northern breeding grounds. How the wild can dampen the thoughts of the coming summer..

A move on home and a touch of sunshine, riding on its rays a painted lady butterfly. It’s a species that migrated into the UK, carrying an emphatic note of positivity to the wild as it insisted that summer is far from over and is but four days away.

30 Days Wild