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Day Twelve of Megan & Matt Go Wild!

Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.

Matt (in London/Cambridge)

A tale of two halves

My twelfth day of going wild is split between last night and this morning. Last night I spoke at Parliamentaphobia, an event organised by the UK Youth Climate Coalition on how young people can engage with politics and their MPs.

I mentioned the importance of young people who care about nature speaking to their MPs and asking for a future rich in wildlife. It was a small and cosy event, and the discussion there (and in the pub afterwards) were thought-provoking.

Due to disruption at Kings X I didn’t get home until half past midnight, and so this morning when I woke up I felt less than prepared for work. The worst hayfever I’ve had in several years didn’t help either.

But my walk across the fields and through the wood behind my cottage gave me a burst of energy. Skylarks danced in the air above the fields and trilled away. Whitethroats coughed out their scratchy song and a distant willow warbler trilled down through the scales like a chorister warming up their vocal chords.

Best of all was a sound that I couldn’t miss, even with my headphones in – the purr of a turtle dove. These are the fastest declining birds in the UK, and every time I hear one I am left wondering whether that’s the last time I’ll encounter one in the UK.

There was one in the small wood a few weeks ago, but I thought it had moved on to where it hopes to breed. Perhaps it has and this is a new one, or perhaps it was just ranging widely but still nearby.

Either way, I will keep an eye, and an ear, on this one and look out for any signs that it might be breeding.

Megan (in coastal Dorset)

I’m not gonna lie, I am barely awake enough to write this post. We had such a busy day at Lorton today, with what felt like a million and one young children (and their parents) visiting.

Actually in reality, it was more like 80 or so people. We went pond dipping and minibeast hunting, made butterfly bunting and caterpillar palettes, and played a minibeast game. Of course, it was all great fun, but phew it was tiring!

I took a moment to identify at least one of the minibeasts – an orange and white ladybird – to species level. Rather nicely, it is one of those species that looks like its name – it’s an Orange Ladybird (Halyzia 16-guttata)!

As you will see, I have tweeted about it – but I have also submitted it to the iRecord Ladybirds App, and thus contributed towards a citizen science project!

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