Just six days to go

Alan Wright

Just six days to go and 30 Days Wild will be gone for another year - so these days will be a challenge in themselves.

So far, my best bit has been seeing a marsh harrier at Leighton Moss, the RSPB's reserve in North Lancashire.

Seeing these endangered and much-bigger-than-I-imagined raptor flying over the reedbed was truly breath-taking. It is, in fact, the largest of the harriers at up to half a metre long with a wingspan up to 1.2 metres.

You can spot them with their distinctive V-shape in the air, formed by holding their wings up. Females are chocolate-brown with a golden-yellow crown and throat. Males have a brown back, gingery belly, pale head and neck, and long, grey wings with black tips.

Second best would be the pied wagtail baby I saw, mentioned the other week, and the roe deer standing stock still watching myself and the dog for minutes.

I have been to Warton CragFoxhill BankWigan Flashes, the Fylde Coast and Brockholes, and I am aiming to get to Mere Sands Wood and Heysham Nature Reserve by the end of the week.

Unfortunately last weekend's bee survey was rained off on a soaking Oswaldtwistle Moor, so I found myself dodging horseflies instead. Are there a lot more around at the moment?

There is still time to hug a tree, whistle like a blackbird, stroke a bumblebee and make an animal out of leaves. Or simply put some food on the bird table and see the variety of birds you attract. This morning I was watching 20 starlings battling for food. We also had visiting jackdaw surveying the scene.

And once we are into July you can carry on and make summer, autumn and the whole year a wilder one that usual.