Mix and match on my patch

Peregrine by Dave Steel

A mixed day 20 for birder Dave Steel as he strives to complete 30 Days Wild on our wonderful mosslands.

A move away from the Moss, today, to the nearby Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve, where birds often swap between the two areas - the connectivity of Wild.

The aim today was a Breeding Bird Census, which we carried out in not-unexpected, showery conditions. The joy of the Wild pushing through tall soggy vegetation, it brought its highlights, with the peregrine nest having its two large young on show. Both admired, we moved on and the count finished by 0830.

Next move? Obvious really, the comfort zone of a hide for cuppa and calorie replacement. This is always being a little overdone but my moss wander was to follow, which would burn off the excess. I hoped, meanwhile, some of the nearby ducks simply slept.

Then, after distant views of a pair of great crested grebe displaying for summer, it was time for Wild location number two, Little Woolden Moss.

During my six-mile drive back eastward, there was a radio programme was about a remote Kurdish Tribe, who express their religion and appreciation of wildlife through music and have done so continuously for seven thousand years. Wow! Being able to be part of the wild through the playing of a four-stringed instrument, impressive. Beats my 30 days!

Then, onto Little Woolden Moss LWT reserve, where a wild classroom of local schoolchildren had just left after taking part in an ongoing scheme known as Bog (land) in a Box. The idea is that they nurture small containers of sphagnum moss and, when it has grown, they return and plant it as part of the restoration of the reserves run by the LWT. Wild in action by and for the next generation to enjoy. Brilliant.

The big skies then drew me, as the air was, once more, filled with the wild call of the pair of curlew, whose young are taking advantage of the cover provided by volunteers, who are slowly re-wilding our moss.

Then with the breeze still pushing in light fluffy clouds from the west into a blue sun-blessed sky I retreated once more from the Wild.

30 Days Wild