11. I have noticed again this year that there are several swifts flying around my area, which is fantastic as swifts are an amber-listed species since their breeding numbers decreased by 51% in the UK between 1995 and 2015! I love to hear their distinctive screaming call in the mornings and evenings, and it was particularly noticeable on the 11th along with house sparrow songs and calls. On my way to work, I paid close attention, listened to them for longer than usual and spotted a lot of the sparrows flying into their nests in local house eaves and guttering!
12. A simple but calming act was getting some fresh air by going on a lunchtime walk to break up my day.
13. My partner and I strolled around our favourite local cemetery and played ‘name that bird’ to test our bird call knowledge. We also saw a cute baby squirrel and some awesome fungi growing on a tree.
14. To help further reduce my plastic usage, I bought a lunch bag made from recycled plastic bottles (to use when I don’t use my bento box) along with a fantastic picnic bag and large shopping bag also made from recycled plastic bottles!
15. After booking the day off work, my partner and I were happy to wake up to a warm day, perfect for a trip to Hunstanton or ‘sunny Hunny’. It was just lovely to relax outdoors and walk along the beach.
16. I took action and ordered myself a vegan, biodegradable bamboo toothbrush (which has since arrived and is great)! In the evening I went on a Wildlife Weekend Bat Walk hosted by Leicestershire & Rutland Bat Group and Bradgate Park Trust. Led by local specialists, we had an informative walk around Bradgate Park and actually detected quite a few bats – which like last year were common pipistrelles, soprano pipistrelles and Daubenton’s.
17. After treating my dad to breakfast for Father’s Day, we visited good old Leicester Botanic Garden for a walk and of course to take some photographs of the wonderful array of plants. I also discovered #wildflowerhour which encourages people to share photos between 8-9pm every Sunday of the flowers they have found growing wild in Britain and Ireland during the week.
18. My partner and I extended our weekend even more with a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon where we went rowing down the river and saw lots of beautiful creatures including moorhens, coots, ducks, swans, geese and stunning damselflies (possibly ‘beautiful demoiselles’).
19. Having seen a lot of articles about National Insect Week I was happy to read that the 2018 Photography Competition is now open. “To take part, all you have to do is to take photographs of an insect or a group of insects and submit the images using the online submission form”. I better get looking through my photographs!
20. I was pleased to learn that the Leicester juvenile peregrines had successfully fledged on the 15th and 16th June, so I took a couple of my friends to the cathedral to see if we could spot them. There was definitely a peregrine falcon perched near the top of the spire, and from the size and colouring I could see, I think it may have actually been one of the youngsters.