Well, it was inevitable. After ten days of immersing myself in wildlife almost 24/7, work and family commitments finally caught up. That hasn’t stopped me doing wild things on a daily basis but it does make it a little difficult to find the time to write about it.

Luckily I’m getting back on top of the latest mad rush so I thought I’d give you an update on Days 11 to 14 of my ’30 Days Wild’ challenge.

Yes, I know. I’m extremely lucky. Working as Wildlife Gadget Man I’m never far away from the natural world. Many days I get the opportunity to work outside. It could be in my own garden, on a reserve or in the grounds of a school. Rain or shine, those are the days I look forward to. Whether I’m alone or engaging with others, the experience of being outside in the fresh air, surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of nature makes me feel….content….optimistic….inspired…happy.

There are lots of days though (more than you think) that I spend more time indoors than out. Usually in front of my computer or in a meeting room, but even then the subject is usually wildlife related. Luckily for me, I love technology almost as much as I love nature so whether I’m surrounded by plastic, concrete and circuit boards or trees, flowers and bird song, I’m a pretty happy chappy.

But that’s enough waffle, let’s get on with the update….

Day 11

Most of Day 11 was spent working on a couple of new wildlife camera creations for an installation at a local park. My key focus was on making the inside of the mammal chamber look as natural as possible. I usually start by adding texture to all surfaces to disguise straight edges and corners as much as possible. I’ll then ‘dress the scene’ using natural materials I find on site, close to where the mammal chamber will be situated.

Day 12

Day 12 was very much a day spent in front of the computer. I’ve got a couple of exciting new wildlife related ventures I’ve been working on quietly in the background for a few months and these are finally coming together. There’s still a long way to go but I’m already very excited about them.

And of course it goes without saying that if I’m working on my computer, in front of my bank of screens, I’m going to be regularly distracted by my live cams. There was plenty happening on the feeders. The regular marauding gang of juvenile Starlings continue to grow and continue to noisily bully their way to domination around the feeders.

Most distracting was the snoozing hedgehog in the HD mammal chamber. I love watching this little hog snuggled up inside the chamber totally unaware that big brother is watching. A sniff, a yawn, lots of scratching and a lot of knocking out the Z’s. Fascinating to watch and very relaxing in a weird not much happening but addictive viewing kind of way.

And here’s a short video clip. It was actually recorded on Day 11 but it was still there on Day 12. See if you can watch it without feeling relaxed and fancying a snooze!…

Day 13

Day 13 was a mixture of being out in the garden and working in the office. Everything in the garden grows so quickly this time of year. Turn your back for a minute and things are sprouting up everywhere. I’m all for leaving things as wild as possible but sometimes you need to have a trim and a bit of a tidy up.

I try to avoid using a strimmer as much as I can but sometimes, when you’re up against time, it’s damn handy! BUT… I always check the area I’m going to trim before I start. Strimmers are certainly handy for us but potentially deadly for some of our favourite garden visitors. Frogs and toads hiding in the long wet grass or snoozing hedgehogs tucked quietly away in a corner somewhere are particularly vulnerable.

The last time I had a tidy up around the borders I took a couple of snaps and shared them via social media, just to act as a little reminder for others.

Day 14

For Day 14 my ‘random act of wildness’ was to share one of my recycled bird feeder creations. I’ve lost count of how many bird feeder designs I’ve come up with over the years. I’m sitting here looking at a list of about eight or nine new upcycled bird feeders I’m yet to complete ‘How To Guides’ for. All using recycled materials and all relatively easy to make.

One of the most popular I’ve already shared is a bird feeder using a recycled plastic ketchup bottle. Click on the image or link below to go to the ‘How To Guide’.

How To Make A Ketchup Bottle Bird Feeder

The guide was as popular as ever with lots of faves and retweets on Twitter and likes and shares on Facebook. I was particularly thrilled to see some of the fantastic recycled feeders you guys had made too.

Here’s one shared by @tomwcook. Great work Tom!