I am very lucky in that not only do I work on a farm, but it is an organic farm in an area of beautiful countryside – Upton-on-Severn to be precise. Despite having worked there nearly 5 years now, I’m ashamed to say I’d never actually gone for a walk to explore it. It took Day 6 of 30 Days Wild to get me up from my desk and out with my camera. With hindsight I maybe shouldn’t have picked the hottest day of the year to venture out – I did look a bit like a boiled lobster by the time I got back (much to the amusement of the other staff), but I had a lovely walk. I didn’t get as far as I intended, mainly due to the excessive heat, but I can explore other bits another day – I really should of course get down to the River Severn itself!
We have lovely views at work across the Severn towards the Malvern Hills, which were looking a bit hazy in the heat today.
As you might expect on an organic farm, the fields and hedgerows are full of wildflowers and insects.
A lot of the flowers I was familiar with like the Cow Parsley and this Red Campion.
But others were new to me like this Hedge Woundwort and Black Medick – the power of Google and the good people of i-Spot were needed to identify these.
It was great to see so many bees making the most of the sunshine too. There were lots of different species about, but I only managed to get photos of 3 (what can I say, the bees were very quick and I was very slow in the heat!) The honey bees were fairly easy to identify straight off (famous last words, someone will probably tell me this is something else!)
The cute little male Early Bumblebee I also managed to ID myself too. I love the second photo of him – I know the bee isn’t in focus, but somehow he’s got attitude as he flies off!
The final bee is a Grey Patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida), which I needed the ever helpful Bee and Wasp Facebook group to identify for me.
Butterflies were abundant too, although like the bees too fast to get many photos. Pretty sure though I saw Speckled Woods, Brimstones, Painted Lady and some really small Common Blues. I was particularly chuffed with the Common Blues as they’re the first I’ve seen this year. Again apologies for poor photo, I couldn’t get close enough to get a better one.
Although birds were abundant everywhere, the most obvious ones were the large members of the Crow family. Not being very good at bird ID, I snapped some photos with the plan of identifying them when I got home. Turns out I got three for the price of one in this photo. On the right hand side, there appears to be from top to bottom, a Jackdaw, a Carrion Crow and a Rook!
While I was watching the crows/rooks/jackdaws, a Buzzard flew into the field, much to the annoyance of the other birds. I’m not sure which of the 3 species it was, but several of them chased the Buzzard until it flew off. They were really going for it, although they are clearly much smaller than the Buzzard.
Finally as I headed back to the office, the Swallows were flying round the farm buildings and swooping over the field. Fortunately a couple of them landed on the roof long enough to get a snap.
So Swallows in the farmyard and sunburn all over my face – can only mean summer is here! Really enjoyed my walk out and about on the farm and will definitely try and do it again soon. The farm has hares and foxes too, so maybe I’ll get up early and go for a walk before I start work next time, as more chance of seeing them that way – cooler too hopefully!
And finally the latest weed in my 30 Lazy Garden Weeds – The Teasel. Undoubtedly the largest weed we get in the garden (easily taller than my paltry 5 foot 1!) The teasel has to be one of the best things in the garden for wildlife – the bees love them in the summer and the birds love the seeds through the winter and I love them all year round. They do take up a lot of room though, so perhaps only for serious weed fiends like us at Too Lazy To Weed!