Tag Archives: nature diary

My wild month

Today is day one of 30 Days Wild, a brilliant Wildlife Trust campaign to get the nation hooked on nature.

Over the course of the next month I’ll be sharing a virtual wildlife diary based on observations and ideas to get us all that little bit closer to the natural world.

The great thing about nature is that its all around us. I was woken by the dawn chorus as the clock slowly ticked towards the alarm call. Though it was early this more natural way of waking me up was a wonderful sonic experience.

On my walk to work in Swindon after being dropped off in my car share, you can see and hear nature in some interesting and different places. Songbirds of all shapes and sizes fill the air with sweet tunes. Plants pop up through cracks in the pavement and occupy space on road side verges. Butterflies flutter by looking for food or a mate.

You didn’t need to travel deep into the countryside to get a daily dose of nature. Its surprising how much wildlife lives in our back gardens, local parks and alongside footpaths. So this month why not set off from home or work a little bit earlier to soak up your local world of wildlife and tune out of your smartphone.

June is a great month to try this out as things are naturally busy with so much more to see and hear. Hopefully this will be the start of a lifelong love affair with nature.

A January nature diary

After years of trying to write a nature diary with limited success I decided that the best way forward was to pen a sentence of news from the natural world every day.

I was hoping that just penning a few words would mean that it becomes part of my daily routine, so here goes with my offering for January.

1 January: a cold windy rain kicked off the first day of the year, confusing the flowers already in bloom, as a result of the mild winter.

2 January: we see a fox run across the road in front of us in the pre-dawn darkness. Then en route back from Cambridgeshire we catch a glimpse of a fox stalking some prey in a field.

3 January: a pair of magpie’s danced in the sky as the sun shone with relief from the constant rainfall.

4 January: I heard the sweet melody of a winter dawn chorus.

5 January: it was re-assuring the see the stars twinkling as the heavy cloud briefly lifted.

6 January: a fog bound morning with deep winter darkness; nothing much stirring.

7 January: lovely crystal clear night with the stars burning bright; temperatures are becoming more normal.

8 January: a cold frosty start to the morning, with the rooks active along the side of the motorway, circling high above the trees.

9 January: watched a robin perched in the tree at Bath City Farm.

10 January: a flock of pigeons fill the sky with their busy feathers as they land on a bridge.

11 January: in the morning grey a seagull flies past, filling the air with its noisy soundscape.

12 January: a substantial flock of birds takes up residence in a field alongside the M4

13 January: the day ended with a majestically rich sunset.

14 January: two buzzards circled high above the fields searching for their prey.

15 January: a frosty landscape rich in shimmering white greets the arrival of first light.

16 January: seeing the snow covered mountains of the Brecon Beacons across the perfectly still Bristol Channel.

17 January: a cheeky grey squirrel scampers across the path to take shelter from the rain.

18 January: a group of rooks perch in a tree with its bare winter branches.

19 January: with the crystal clear star-filled sky, a heavy frost takes root on the lawn and roof, shimmering brightly.

20 January: the morning begins with a deep blood red sunrise, illuminating a frosty landscape.

21 January:  wet damp soaked fields became deeply frozen within a matter of miles as the train headed north.

22 January: the dark shape of an unoccupied birds nest in a bird tree as the evenings begin slowly to get lighter.

23 January: seagulls flew high above Victoria Park, circling in ever greater numbers, before flying into the distance.

24 January: buds were bursting from trees in the magical wood at Bannerdown Common.

25 January: five swans flew past in formation.

26 January: was transfixed by a mini-murmuration of starlings swishing and swaying above a landfill site.

27 January:  pigeons had been busy collecting twigs for their nest outside the office.

28 January: geese flew gracefully across the motorway.

29 January: a sparrowhawk flies over its territory on the hunt for food.

30 January: empty rooks nests fill the crowns of trees.

31 January: a windy rain sees in the end of the day as the mists blow in.

A nature diary with a twist

Welcome to 2016. Time for people to write their New Year’s Resolutions and tell the world about it. So, it would be rude not to join in.

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Writing a sentence of nature news gives you a chance to reflect on the changing of the seasons

Its always refreshing, I think, to look ahead to a new year and ponder some of the things that you’d like to do, or the challenges that you would like to set yourself. The papers are full of the big trends for 2016 and what you should be doing. Often, as we all know, these resolutions barely make it out of January.

This time last year I talked about the wild time memory box – something I’ll repeat this year. Its always good to capture those moments: watching a sparrowhawk hunt its prey or being amazed at the stars on the Isle of Wight, with the benefit of no street lights. And then at the end of the year you can spend time looking back on all of those amazing experiences.

For me personally I’m going to pen a nature diary with a difference. A few years back I set myself the goal of writing a diary about the natural world. Like all good intentions it started off well but gradually faded away once I got into February. I loved challenging myself to find the words to describe my experiences and feelings based on nature and the weather.

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A favourite walk could generate loads of memories

This time I’m going to write a sentence, or maybe a paragraph, about something I see or hear in the natural world each day. It could be the appearance of daffodils in the garden, the arrival of swifts or the gently fluttering of butterflies flying across the garden. Just penning the words will mean that I reflect on the nature that I’ve come across that day; adding new content to my nature memory bank.

Hopefully this bite sized nature journal will work for the whole of the year and lead to bigger and better things. Taking the time to connect with the natural world each and every day, where-ever you might be, is so important; at a time when most of us spend pretty much every waking moment staring at some sort of screen it does recharge the batteries or refresh the soul to look and listen.