So, that’s what wings are for?

Willow warbler chick by Dave Steel

Thou shalt not pass, a tiny bird blocks the way for Dave Steel on his 30 Days Wild Adventure but it is just another experience to share in his wonderful blog

A slow start. People to meet. People who have volunteered to do some citizen science, counting dragonflies for the Carbon Landscape project.

I was asked to offer some of my limited knowledge to help these two new recruits in the recording of our wildlife heritage.

A pre-wander onto Little Woolden Moss offered singing blackcap, willow warbler, linnet, meadow pipit and our lone snipe, but there was no time to linger as one of the people I was to meet was at the eastern edge and the other the western. Legs were required to move a bit more today.

Then my pace was arrested as a guard stood sentinel on the path and just would not let me pass. I uttered the password: “Just look at you. You are beautiful.”

No movement.

I took a photo or two to capture this most trusting creature for my memory banks. Another password uttered as I sighed my adulation of this bundle of feathers and still I was held back.

Then, at last, the calls of its parents must have included the information that those wings, this young willow warbler has, are now ready for service and the young bird, which had just walked out of its nest (they are ground-nesting birds) grasped how useful wings could be and fluttered off into the nearby luscious vegetation.

Wild in the gentlest of ways had grabbed my attention once more but no time to savour this and soon I was leading our two volunteers into a jumble of overgrown vegetation. I was hoping that I could at least show them how to survey and even see dragonflies in what were not the best of weather conditions.

The path along the Glaze being nicely overgrown did offer banded demoiselle, common blue and azure damselflies as well as four spotted chasers and brown hawker. It seemed as if there was something we could get from this day, the wild always tries its best if we just get out there and look.

A bit of a long distance return to our start point. It seemed a good idea at the time and it led us through yellow wagtail, corn bunting and skylark territory, all of which gained our attention. The wild insists that we don’t ignore it once we realise it’s there.

Then, three happily tired sets of feet settled for their separate journeys homeward carrying memories of ground covered and four hours of being part of nature’s quietly WILD world...right on our doorstep.

30 Days Wild