Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Day 1 of 30 days wild in Hedge End

Juvenile starlings on the bird table
I spotted the other day that the Hampshire Wildlife Trust is encouraging us to engage with nature during the month of June. The challenge is to carry out 30 acts of random wildness in the month, and it doesn't matter how small they are. Engaging with nature is supposed to make us happier and healthier. So what's not to like, I thought. I can make contact with the natural world and blog about it afterwards.

Friendly cooperation on the bird table
Living in Hedge End, a largely built-up suburb to the east of Southampton but administratively part of Lib Dem controlled Eastleigh Borough, there are unlikely to be huge numbers of rare species to spot. And working full time means during the week any contact will be with the nature that happens to come into our garden or is not scared away when I am out walking with Jack. However there are pockets of green space in Hedge End where nature is hanging on - not least in people's back gardens.

Adult starling nicking the robin's breakfast
So for day one I am going to celebrate a garden bird which used to be very common, but - I understand from Springwatch this week - has been on the decline. There have been at least three successful starling nests nearby.  Earlier in the spring we had adults raiding the mealworms put out with robins in mind, and in the last week or two juveniles have been descending on the bird table. I counted 15 today, but there have been 21 at times. We just need to attract them off the bird table and onto the lawn to eat the leatherjackets so we don't  have a crane fly population explosion in late summer.

We can't claim a Hedge End murmuration but 15-21 is a healthy sized flock for our average back garden. And worth putting up with the noise.
Adult starlings are handsome birds though
(All photos courtesy Kim Day)

No comments:

Post a Comment