12 Days Wild: Day 6 – exploring the familiar in the dark

We may have passed the winter solstice and the night times may now be starting to shorten again but as is often the case at this time of year, that dopes not mean there is enough day-light for me to get out and lock up before its dark!

As much as I like to actually see some wildlife when I’m locking the hides, doing so after dark does have other advantages, not least of which is how we become more aware of our other senses when deprived of our sight – sounds, smells, the feel of the wind on bare skin or changes in temperature as we pass water, climb up or down small elevations.

This evening it was my sense of hearing that dominated as the reedbeds fringing Ivy Lake near both Ivy North & South Hides AND the reedbed at the top of the adjacent Ivy Silt Pond were full of roosting starlings. I missed any murmuration that may or may not have occurred this evening (I suspect that it didn’t given the damp and breezy weather) but there was no mistaking the cacophony of chattering, chirps, tweets and twitterings emanating from the reeds!

And finally a reminder that Nigel & Christine are opening a “Pop-Up Take-Away” from the backdoors of the Education Centre classroom this Saturday for all our New Years Day visitors. The weather is looking warm and dry, albeit not sunny, so do come anticipating hot drinks and some lovely home-baked goodies!

Festive opening and a wild winter challenge

This is just a quick reminder to say Christmas Day is the one day of the year we do not open, so the car park and portable toilets will remain closed next Friday. They will be back open on Boxing Day.

If you fancy a midwinter nature challenge, why not sign up to 12 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts mini festive take on the summer challenge 30 Days Wild. 12 Days Wild encourages you to do one wild thing a day from the 25th December to the 5th January, on those days between Christmas and the New Year when you might have a little more time on your hands and winter wildlife is just waiting to be explored.

Your wild acts could be little things to help nature, for example recycling your Christmas tree, picking up litter whilst out on a walk or feeding the birds, or ways to connect to the natural world, like walking off your Christmas dinner in the woods, photographing nature or watching a starling murmuration.

You can sign up on The Wildlife Trusts website for more ideas and if you do manage to get out and about why not share your winter random acts of wildness on social media using #12DaysWild

‘Tis the season to go wild and have fun!

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Ivy Lake from the screen by Ivy North hide this morning, nice to have a bit of sunshine!