Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Walking For Tigers


  As most of you know Majella and myself have just completed a 10 mile walk along our local River Ancholme through Walk4Wildlife and in aid of Tiger Awareness projects.We had targeted to raise £500 and have surpassed that to our current total which stands at £625 :)
  It all began in May when I came across a retweeted tweet about Walk4Wildlife Events from Mark.After checking the website and finding that the only walks were very far from us I suggested to Mark about organising a walk in North Lincolnshire along our river.He thought it a great idea and immediately added it to the list of walks on the website.We then came up with the date July 23rd for our walk to give us a good few weeks to fundraise and it filled in the gap between our holiday in Wales and our campaigning for Hen Harriers which was also shortly followed by the Birding festivals.The next step was to chose which of the five charities registered to fundraise for.As big Tiger fans we decided on Tiger Awareness.Of course we would love to be in the situation where we could fundraise and help protect every animal on the planet.The hope was that over the coming weeks more people would log in, see the available walk and register to walk with us, fundraising for their own choice of animal charity but in the end it turned out to be just the two of us.It would've been three if Mark hadn't recently damaged his back.Hope you're feeling better Mark :)
  Tiger Awareness Founder Phil Davis became aware of our walk and very kindly sent us a couple of t-shirts which we proudly wore when doing a couple of carboots to boost the funds, and of course on the day of the walk.Two sponsorship forms were printed out, one for people we knew locally and one to be sent over to Ireland for Majella's family to fill in.We also created a JustGiving page to promote on social media.

  So to the big day.......due to my Arthritis I always knew it would be a challenge and having had physio a few days earlier and my physiotherapist advising NOT to do the walk, it just made me more determined to get through it and raise that money whatever.The weather forecast had predicted a very warm day with temperatures reaching over 20c before 10am so to get a head start we set off earlier than planned at around 7.15am.I had already been up since 5am to empty my Moth Trap and get my body loosened up as best I could before starting the walk.
  Setting off from Brigg

  The first 2-3 miles were the easy ones.The newly installed cycle/footpath made walking with my stick pretty comfortable.We kept stopping to watch the insect life emerge from the vegetation into the morning sun.Skipper, Whites, Ringlets, Gatekeepers, Tortoiseshells and Red Admirals all appearing on the wing.Swans and Moorhen were busy on the river with their young and Majella had started the walk in Irish Mode(non-stop chatting ;)) so the first few miles quickly drifted behind us.
  Tortoiseshell Butterfly

  This Moorhen collected grass then settled back down on her 2 eggs.

  The first part of the walk along the new cycle path.

  Reaching Castlethorpe Bridge.

  From Broughton Bridge it got a bit tougher, the cycle path gave way to a farm track which had become overgrown since we checked it out a few weeks previously.
  Broughton bridge.

  The grassy farm track.

  Getting to the 3 mile marker.

  With temperatures rising (both in the weather and in me) I was now becoming a walking attraction to the local biting flying brigade which wasn't helping my change of mood.Even the sight of Dragonflies zipping around us failed to stop my irritation.
  Another bridge, the rail bridge as we get near to Bonby & Saxby.

  Reaching half way :) Majella looks happier than me lol

  We continued on, stopping regularly to top up on fluids and Kendall Mint Cake :) , passing another mile marker as we watched a pair of Kestrels hovering over the neighbouring field.A couple of miles later and we could finally see our end destination.The Cement Works we could now see in the distance was only a hundred yards from the pub we were heading for so gave us new hope we would actually make it.The only thing about walking on a straight path is you seem to walk for miles and never seem to get any closer to the building you are walking towards lol
  Looking from Horkstow bridge towards South Ferriby and the Cement Works.

  Half hour later and the Hope & Anchor was a most welcome sight.The only life to meet us were the Mute Swans on the estuary.

  We headed into the shade of the pub, grabbed a couple of drinks(after paying for them ;)) and found an empty table outside.
  Mission Accomplished!! :)

  It did feel a bit strange doing a sponsored walk where there was no one to see us off and no one to see us at the finish so if we had just driven round in the car(which would have taken 15 minutes, not 5 hours) would anyone have been the wiser lol
  As well as the mega importance of raising the money to help Tiger Awareness projects I personally wanted to prove that I could still do something useful and make a little 10 mile walk :)
  Our JustGiving page is still running if anyone would still like to help Tigers and make sure you go and check out the amazing work Tiger Awareness do at ground level with communities in India.



  I have to say a MASSIVE Thank you to my fiance Majella for agreeing to do this with me in the first place as it's not something I could've risked doing on my own.Love you loads :) x

  Thank you also to everyone who sponsored, donated, retweeted,  shared on Facebook and supported us with encouragement :) By working together we can make a difference and help save our planet and the amazing wildlife in it.

  Thanks for reading :)

Friday, 22 July 2016

Wild In The Garden - More Moth Arrivals

  I had another couple of nights with the garden Moth trap out so will share what turned up this week.I used to do Moth trapping most nights but have not being able to due to health,weather, but due to getting the trap out more regularly recently, I have once again made new friends(though not the kind you want at 5am when Moth-ing).
  Usually I will get up around half-hour after Dawn(Sunrise not a person) but now my new friends, the resident Blackbirds ensure I have to be up at first light to beat them to the Moths.They hang around the garden shed and fences picking off the Moths that decided to rest outside the trap, so now it's a battle of wits to try to find the Moths first.

  So to the Moths that survived :)
  Cinnabar Moth which is actually a day flying Moth.You may see their striking Black and Yellow caterpillars around on Ragwort.

  Common Footman

  Beautiful Hook-tip

  Gold Triangle, a new species for our garden :)


  Barred Yellow


  Flame Carpet


  Garden Tiger

  Privet Hawkmoth

  Golden Plusia

  Mother Of Pearl

  Buff Arches

 Barred Red

  Shaded Broad-bar

  Small Blood-vein

  Buff Ermines

  Scalloped Oak

 Anania Coronata

  Early Thorn

  Short Cloaked Moth

  Lozotaeniodes Formosana, a new micro moth for the garden :)

  You can see the wide variety of species that are possible to find in your own garden just by investing a few quid in a Moth Trap.Well worth every penny :)

Friday, 8 July 2016

Staying Wild:Tales From The Garden Moth Trap

  After being pretty "wild-less" for a week I finally managed to get the Moth Trap put back together after its vacation in South Wales and ready for a warm July evening with a nice cloudy forecast.
  So after the disappointment of watching Wales lose to Ronaldo I need a pick me up, so trap out, moth net at the ready for any early arrivals.
  It didn't take long before the first Moths came in.
Marbled Beauty

Small Magpie turned out to be the most numerous moth of the night with 6

  They were shortly followed by an invasion of Arches
  Dark Arches

  Light Arches

  One of the more common Moths of the garden, a Large Yellow Underwing, named after it's stunning orange/yellow hindwings.



A very worn Heart and Club

  Cabbage Moth

  Beautiful Golden Y

  Small Dusty Wave

  Green Pug

  Common Emerald

  The only Hawkmoth of the night, an Elephant Hawkmoth.

  The first Swallowtail Moths of the year :)

  Other Moths from the night were Snout, Riband Wave, Bee Moth, Small Angle Shades, Bright-Line Brown-eye, Marbled Minor, Uncertain, Common Footman and Heart and Darts.
  In total there were 58 moths of 27 species.

  Mothing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get ;)