Day 19: For today’s 30 Days Wild, I’ll try and ID a feather. While walking Riley to and from our local park I have been looking for fallen feathers. Many have been pigeon feathers but the other day I spied a black and white feather. At first I thought it was a magpie feather but I wasn’t certain. After doing a quick search on Google, my first instinct was right. It is a magpie feather!
On looking at the Feather Atlas website, part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, there is a detailed entry on magpie feathers. On this site it states that the feather I found was a primary wing feather of the magpie. Primary meaning closest to the wing tip and most birds have about 10 of these on each wing. Without primary feathers a bird can’t fly.
Stock Adobe By J.C.Salvadores
Stock Adobe By abiwarner
The magpie (pica pica) is a member of the corvid (crow) family, and is an omnivore and a scavenger. They will only predate on songbird nests in the breeding season and during winter months they largely eat berries and grains. Magpies live up to five years and are seen throughout the year. They are sociable birds and during winter create roosts of up to 200 individuals. Being none migratory they don’t stray far from where they fledged. Folklore surrounds the magpie from being bearers of good luck to being in league with the devil the popular rhyme ‘one for sorrow’ is associated with this bird.
One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret, Never to be told, Eight for a wish, Nine for a kiss, Ten for a bird, You must not miss.
It’s been ages since I’ve written a Sunday Sevens (devised by Natalie at Threads and bobbins). So as 2018 draws to a close I’ve decided to compile one last Sunday Sevens to top off a wonderful Christmas week.
Christmas Dinner 2018
To get into the festive spirit, Mum and I attended a Carol Service at the local church. While on Christmas Day, David and I played host to our parents for a wonderful Christmas dinner.
Walking the dog:
Over the festive period we managed to get out and about with Riley. I enjoyed the walks as much as Riley and my miles totted up nicely. My final week’s mileage for #walk1000milesis 30.
Zimmer Vs Williams
On Thursday David and I attended a concert at the Philharmonic Hall. The programme was Zimmer vs Williams and featured music from films such as Star Wars, E.T, The Dark Knight and Pirates of the Caribbean. I enjoyed the concert, David was less enamoured.
Today David saved a bee! I think this tree bumblebee had either been disturbed or was an old queen. After research I found that due to warmer winters bumblebees, the tree bumblebee included are choosing to start new nests rather than hibernate. A consequence of global warming? Whatever the reason this tree bumblebee looked in need of assistance. So we gave her sugar/water and left her to rest in the yarden.
Have you seen any bees flying this wintertime?
This weekend David and I acquired a new friend for the aviary, a Lady Gouldian Finch we named Luna. How beautiful is he?
I have to admit, I am struggling with this years 30 Days Wild. Having already invited nature into my every day life, I am finding it difficult to share with you anything new. I don’t have much time at present for many wild adventures and I am fearful of repetition. So I apologise if I write about something I have already blogged about in previous years!
Day Eight: Thursday.
Today was World Oceans Day. A day to celebrate the wonder of our oceans. Though I didn’t participate in any events, I did sign up for the Plastic Challenge, an initiative by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). The challenge runs from the 1st to the 30th of June. Perfect for 30 Days Wild! The pledge is to give up or cut down on single use plastics. I have already started the cut back as I purchased a reusable water bottle. I shall also be wrapping my lunch in tinfoil or grease-proof paper. Do you have any other ideas on how to cut back on plastics?
We already know that microbeads are bad for the environment and wildlife! These small beads of plastic are in face-washes to toothpastes and are easily washed down the drain, ultimately ending in the seas and food chain. I have recently changed some of my skin products to a UK brand sold in Asda called, nspa. They use natural ingredients such as passion fruit seeds and rice to exfoliate instead of using microbeads.
What natural skin care do you use?
Fingers in the Sparkle Jar
Day Nine: Friday.
One of the many Random Acts of Wildness is to read a nature book or magazine, so I decided to purchase Chris Packham’s memoir Fingers in the Sparkle Jar. I’m almost near the end and though I am enjoying it, I did find it hard to get into, as the first few chapters are heavy with long sentences of description that could have very well been written in only a handful of words.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?
Day Ten: Saturday.
Saturday’s are always busy but this evening was allotted for bottling the elderflower champagne. On Friday after work we went to give the mixture a stir and found a thin film of mold on the surface, (after 5 days). I read that it was time to strain and bottle. Straining took over an hour!
Mold on elderflower mixture
Elderflower champagne bottled
Firstly I lifted out the remains of the elderflower heads and then David poured the cloudy mixture into a pan through a thin gauze tea towel before funneling the sieved liquid into sterilized bottles. We loosely tightened the tops and left them in a cool place to carry on fermenting. I shall open a bottle on the last day of 30 Days Wild to see if the mixture has brewed.
Day Eleven: Sunday.
At Crosby Beach
Inspired by Sharon’s 30 Day’s Wild post, here. David and I headed to the beach in search of treasures. Of course Riley tagged along too! After our beach combing, we came back with a hoard of stones and shells!
Day Twelve: Monday.
Last Year I sent away for free wildflower seeds from Grow Wild, an initiative by Kew Gardens. I still had one packet of seeds left so I planted them in March. The annuals and perennials are now flowering, corn chamomile, common poppy and red campion among the selection.
Day Thirteen: Tuesday.
I chose looking for newborns as my random act of wildness for today. However I only managed to film a baby goldfinch visiting the garden feeders. On my many walks to work, I have seen begging baby blue tits and a stunning fledged blackbird!
Day Fourteen: Wednesday.
While taking Riley on his many walks around Sefton Park, we have been mesmerised by a couple of swallows who seem to glide effortlessly over the field, hunting insects. I decided to take my camera on our latest walk to see if I could capture them. The park was busy with people enjoying the fine weather, so I only captured a short clip. Swallows are hard to follow as they fly so fast and turn direction in a split second.
Swallows are summer migrants arriving from Africa from March onwards.
Spend most of their life on the wing.
Can cover 200 miles in a day and fly at speeds of up to 35 kilometers an hour.
Have a lifespan of three years in the wild.
This week I have been much more relaxed in my approach to 30 Days Wild. I have taken time to notice the flying bees and scurrying beetles while walking between bus stops to work. Listening to roosting goldfinches in the park while throwing the ball for Riley to chase has filled my heart. Just smelling cut grass has calmed my nerves.
What random acts of wildness have you enjoyed doing this week?
A Look Back: at week two in previous years.
2015: Spending time in the yarden and National Bird results.
2016: Drawing a dunnock and baking turtle shaped bread.
What with the wedding finishing after 12 am and not getting back to the hotel until 1 am. I decided not to go to bed that night but to stay awake until 4.30 am when everyone was getting up and ready to leave for the airport. David had four hours sleep while I emailed Mum and listened to music on YouTube!
We got a taxi to the airport and checked out! I had to laugh as the security scanning my handbag were pointing to the computer screen, probably wondering at all the electrical parts within! By 8 am Turkish time, we were on board the plane and seated waiting for take-off! I would love to learn to fly one day. I love the exhilaration of the take-off, its akin to the shivery excitement of good sex! I think I was the only person excited to be going home!
On the plane, David fell asleep for the majority of the the four hours flight. It was longer due to flying against the Jet Stream! I read from my Kindle and listened to music. I was so happy as I got the window seat! I saw mountains as we flew over Germany and then the flooding in the English countryside! I looked out of the window for most of the fight, listening to Kylie Minogue and looking at the clouds below us!
I had breakfast on the plane, of omelette and muesli with yoghurt. I really enjoyed both my meals on the planes. It was a novelty for me.
We touched down on English soil at 10.23 am! Manchester was nice and sunny! A taxi took us back to Liverpool via the M6 and M62 and I got home to Mum and Riley at 11.30 am! It was nice to be home! 😀
We, all bleary eyed set off for Manchester airport at 7 am. It took us over an hour to get through security. I must say the body scanner is a scary contraption! 😀
Those we travelled with were: David’s mum Jeanette, his Dad Dave, his sister Leanne and David’s aunt and uncle, Janet and Mike. We met Leanne’s boyfriend Ferhat in Istanbul.
The plane we were on, was an Airbus 321 and it didn’t have much leg room. David went to sleep for most of the flight, he had the window seat! I read for most of the three and a half hour flight, thankfully I had brought my Kindle. Indeed my handbag was full of electronics, with Kindle, camera, camcorder, headphones and notebook! The other half of the flight I listened to music on my notebook and tried to write, but found that I couldn’t concentrate.
We touched down in Istanbul, Turkey around 5 pm! (3 pm UK time) We were picked up by Bilgen’s (David’s brother, Gary’s fiancée) family and driven to the Titanic Port Hotel. We were given a twin room, I couldn’t be bothered changing rooms as it was only for a few days. After we had settled in, Gary and Bilgen took the family out for a meal at a local shopping mall. I had a Mediterranean Pizza which was nice! It had been a long and tiring day so we retired to our room to sleep, though in reality I didn’t have a good nights sleep as I can’t settle in a new bed on the first night.