Monday, 20 October 2014

wildlife moment of the month

My new goal for paddling in puddles is to blog regularly about my favourite wildlife moments! This week for the first time ever, I caught a gimpse of a pygmy shrew! The pygmy shew Sorex minutus is a small mammal that weighs between just 2.4 - 6.1g, these tiny mammals must eat 125% of their body weight daily! Therefore consuming regular meals of woodlice, insects and arachnids. They are widespread across Britain and Ireland and are found in grassland, heath land and in hedgerows. These little mammals are active throughout night and day.
It was a real treat to see a pygmy shrew, and as with many species across the globe, they are in decline; although exact figures are unknown. They do not currently hold any special protection.
For more information about the pygmy shrew provided by The Mammal Society, please click here.

Here are a couple of my photos from my sighting of the tiny pygmy shrew.

See you soon! 

butterflies & moths of the summer

It's been a little while since I last blogged! In the last 5 months I have graduated from my degree in Environmental Science and I am now working on a nature reserve on the south coast!
I am absolutely loving working on a nature reserve and this has given me the opportunity to see many species that I have never seen before as well as some old favourites. As we move into autumn I thought it would be nice to share some of the vast variety of different moths & butterflies and that we have on the reserve. Here are a few of my favourite finds from this summer.

 Large skipper Ochlodes sylvanis

Emperor moth catperillar Saturnia pavonia

Bagworm moth caterpillar

Cinnabar caterpillar Tyria jacobaeae

Privet hawk-moth caterpillar Sphinx ligustri

Silver-studded blue Plebejus argus

Brown argus Aricia agestis

Comma Polygonia c-album

Red admiral Vanessa atalanta

Even though summer has come to an end, I am loving autumn and will endeavour to keep you all updated with all species big and small that come my way!

'Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower' - Albert Camus

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

creating a wildlife-friendly garden patch

It's May and I have been busy finishing my final weeks of university. As a lovely distraction, I have created a small wildlife friendly garden patch in my garden. Here is how I made it and a few tips on getting started on your own!! 
Firstly I filled up a raised bed with peat free compost from my local garden centre. 

I then selected the species that I wanted to grow in my patch! I did this by doing a little research into the plants and flowers that are favoured my bees, butterflies and other insects. I decided on... 
Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) 
May Night (Salvia)
Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
Scabious (Scabiousa columbaria) 

I also got a simple wildflower seed mix from my local garden centre. 

I then starting planting! 

Firstly I planted my sweet peas at the back of my raised bed. 
I then intertwined four wooden poles to wrap my sweet peas around so that they can grip on tight and grow up the poles. 
I created four of these intertwined poles for my sweet peas as shown below. 
I then planted all of my plants along the middle stretch of my raised bed and sprinkled my wildflower mix at the front. Here is the result...

I have been watering daily and here is the result one month later...

It's blooming away in the sunshine! 

I have loved making mine and the insects are loving it! 

Sunday, 4 May 2014

spring snaps

It's the beginning of April! I can't believe how quickly this year is going! Here are a few snaps from what I have been up to this March!

Taking a walk at a local nature reserve.

Overlooking Kimmeridge Bay.

Lulworth Cove on a beautiful summers day. 

A pheasant flying above the Lulworth Ranges.

The view of Kimmeridge through the Lulworth Ranges.


Saturday, 1 March 2014

time to celebrate

Its March! I'm so happy today because I found out my exam results for my first set of third year exams! To celebrate my good results I went for lunch and cream tea with my parents and then a long walk to the sea! Here are a few snaps of my day! 

Spring is definitely on its way and I am loving the longer days. 
Hope everyone has a lovely weekend! 

Friday, 28 February 2014

6 favourite things to make 2014 the happiest year

We are now nearing the end of February which has gone so quickly! I wanted to share a few of my favourite things that I've been trying to do as much as possible to make 2014 my happiest year yet. I hope that you can gain some inspiration from my favourite things!

Who doesn't love the sun eh? Unfortunately England isn't the best place for sunshine in the winter months; however I am now taking EVERY opportunity to seize the sunshine and soak up that extra vitamin D for that feel good factor! 

We all know that eating lots and lots of cakes & pies is terrible for you. HOWEVER eating my favourite desert as a treat is 100% good because it is delicious and always makes me feel all warm inside! 

Here is me looking a bit wind swept on a walk! I love getting out into the countryside and even the shortest walk out in the country will make me feel great! On my last walk I saw a buzzard! 

Tea. No explanation needed. 

The sea! The best place to be is by the seaside! Getting some sea air is always my cure for the blues. It works every single time. 

When life needs brightening up my favourite thing to do is to organise a fun trip. It doesn't have to be long and can just be a day out, but it sure does make me feel happy and will always produce some happy memories to pull out on a rainy day! 

Hope you like my favourite things,

Saturday, 22 February 2014

wooden bird feeder

It's pretty cold outside here in England at the moment, so what is nicer than making a bird feeder for the birds in your garden to have a nibble at?!
Here is a very simple recipe for a lovely bird feeder that looks like this... 

You will need: 

1 x small log 
1 piece of 30cm rope 
1 x metal hook 
85g of lard 
1 x bag of raisins 
1 handful of bird seed

Before you get started the small log will need to have small holes drilled into the sides all the way around for the bird food mix to be pushed into. A small metal hook will need to be pushed into the top so that the feeder can be hung up. 

1. Place your lard on a plate.
2. Use your hands to push the lard down into a flat pancake, the lard should soften with the warmth of your hands.
3. Push the bird seed into the lard pancake evenly and onto both sides. 
4. Then push in the raisins until the lard pancake is full.
5. Roll the pancake into a ball. 
6. From the ball, pick off small balls and push them into all the holes in the log.
7. Make sure that each hole is full up of the lard mix. 
8. Add a piece of rope to the metal hook.
9. Hang up your bird feeder in a high up location (to avoid the cats). 

Hope you enjoy this recipe! 

storm hunting

The storms last week in England were absolutely crazy! I have never seen so much rain and wind! We decided to go and investigate the storm damage and headed down to the seaside town of Lyme Regis last weekend. 
There was a large amount of rubbish stacked up against the buildings and along the beach. From the rubbish the vast majority was of plastic items, as well as fishing gear and many barrels. These storms have definitely unearthed a huge amount of plastic. The amount of debris I have seen on several of the coastlines around the south coast of England has been extremely distressing and is just a snapshot of the vast quantities of plastic and other rubbish dumped in the sea. 

Hopefully these storms will shock many people into realising that when rubbish enters the sea, it does not disappear, instead it damages marine life and clogs up our wonderful oceans. 


Sunday, 2 February 2014

riverside walk

Today I had a lovely riverside walk along a local river. It was so nice to see the sun although we did get caught in a rain shower! A swan also decided to investigate us as we strolled along.

My second term of my third year at university starts tomorrow! The last two and a half years have gone so fast it seems crazy that this is the final chunk of my course! Soon I will hopefully be an Environmental Science graduate! Crazy! 

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend! 


Saturday, 1 February 2014

day at the seaside

There is nothing better than enjoying the sunshine with your family at the seaside, so that is what I did today! I visited Swanage, a really lovely seaside town in Dorset! It was so windy in Swanage today, England is definitely feeling very stormy at the moment. A lovely walk & bacon sarnie lunch were the ingredients for a great start to February! 

Me looking a bit windswept! 

Swanage lifeboat station! 

I hope everyone has a lovely February! 


end of exams

Exams are over! So happy to see the back of them! Since they finished earlier this week I have enjoyed a lovely few days catching up with my family and friends. 

I went for a lovely afternoon tea with my family yesterday which was lovely! Definitely ate too many cakes! 

How delicious does this look?! 


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

marine warden


This week I have had some very exciting news! I am now a voluntary marine warden at my local marine reserve with The Wildlife Trusts. I am very excited about this opportunity to get involved with my local wildlife trust and raise awareness about protecting the marine environment! 
Here are a couple of snaps of the marine reserve that I will be contributing to protect! 

I can't wait to get stuck in!