Monday, 1 June 2015

30 Days Wild | Day 1 - commute birding

It's day 1 of 30 Days Wild! As I'll be revising for my forthcoming oceanography exam (a week tomorrow, EEK) during the first days of June, my random acts of wildness during this time will be mainly small things that I can fit easily around my usual day-to-day activities. So this morning I counted all the bird species I saw and/or heard on my commute to work.

I live in the pleasant and chocolatey south Birmingham suburb of Bournville, and commute on foot to my workplace at the University of Birmingham. The walk is about 2 miles so takes 40 minutes, I always enjoy it as it's a good way to get exercise and the route is very nice - I go through the back streets of Bournville, along a bit of main road through Selly Oak, then onto the canal all the rest of the way to the University. I normally see and hear a fair few birds, but much as I love birds, I also love listening to music and podcasts while commuting, so I don't usually give the birds my full attention! However today I did, and here's everything I saw/heard:

Blue Tit
Great Tit
House Sparrow
Carrion Crow
Long-tailed Tit
Canada Goose
Feral Pigeon
Pied Wagtail
Lesser Black-backed Gull

25 species, not too shabby for a 40-minute walk through suburban Birmingham. South Birmingham is known for its leafy environs, and while this is a pretty good representation of what I see around my neighbourhood, there are a fair few nice species missing that I have seen on my commutes during the course of the nearly a year that we've lived in Bournville - such as Song and Mistle Thrush, House Martin, Swift, Jay, Swallow, Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Black-headed Gull, Grey Wagtail, Redwing, Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine......

Here is my commute in pictures! As you can see there are plenty of mature trees and lovely gardens, it gets a bit more urban in Selly Oak before you hit the canal. I think making a conscious effort to focus on looking and listening out for birds made my commute slightly more relaxing than usual, although it's not as though it's usually a stressful journey anyway! And I wasn't even that much more late for work than I normally am.....

Nooooo! Hope they find him.
Selly Oak.
Selly Oak.
Entrance to the canal - this always makes me smile.
The canal.
The canal.
She's been sitting on that nest for weeks now, may be too much disturbance for her to successfully hatch eggs - that's the A38 going over the bridge right next to the nest!
The canal.
The canal.
The canal.
This grassy bank between the canal and railway is great for wildflowers and butterflies in summer.
Looking towards the University of Birmingham.
The canal.
The bridge at University railway station, where I head up to the campus.

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