#30DaysWild Day 10/11/12 – Wild Humbug!

Great Crested Grebe with Humbug Chick

The sun has been shining down on Cardiff for the beginning of Week 2 of 30 days Wild. Summer is well and truly underway, with pollinators busying themselves amongst the few patches of wildflower in my neighbourhood. Fledgling starlings have been noisily crowding over bird feeders, some of the first to fledge in my area, and it just feels like everything is coming into it’s own as we head to the middle of June.

Day 10 and 11

A few relatively busy days – day 10 I was taking part alongside my roller derby team in the nationwide PROCESSIONS rally, a celebration of 100 years of women’s right to vote. It was amazing to see so many women from all over the place come together to represent how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go for equality. After the march I took the dog for a walk in the local nature reserve (Howardian) for an unwind and to cool off my sunburn…

Day 11 I spent busily catching up on things I had not done the day before! I was kept company by my fledgling starlings and I bought refills for my bird feeders – so a wild good deed done there!

Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve
Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve

All Caught Up

Today (Day 12) I headed for a wander around the Cardiff Bay wetlands reserve over my lunch as I had half hour spare. Located right in Cardiff Bay within walking distance of the car parks and shops, there’s no excuse to miss out on a quiet moment surrounded by some of Cardiff’s water based residents.

Greenfinch
Greenfinch

I found my first greenfinch of the year, I just don’t see them around where I live! So that was a nice tick off my list. I also spotted reed bunting and goldfinch feeding on the bugs floating through the air over the dogrose bushes. But the main attraction was the great crested grebe with it’s ‘humbug’ chick, hitching a ride on it’s parents back!

Great Crested Grebe with Humbug Chick
Great Crested Grebe with Humbug Chick

The chicks are said to hitch a ride on their parents back to avoid predation from things such as Pike. They have a mottled black and white appearance, so birders have affectionately termed them ‘humbugs’. They’re awfully cute and it was great to watch them up close with no crowds or disturbance.

A family of coots were also making the most of the clear day, with the parents taking it in turns to feed the chicks weeds and bits that they’d dived for in the pond. I love their punk rock aesthetic, it suits the coot’s punky personality! They’re known to take on much larger birds in fights!

Coot and Chick
Coot and Chick

So overall a nice relaxing lunch after a few busy days. The calming affect of watching wildlife and being in nature is definitely something that positively affects my day to day life. There’s some really great posts about this on the Bird Therapy blog, which I really recommend reading when you have a few spare moments.

Keep It Wild

Remember to keep track of the rest of my 30 Days Wild adventures here:

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