On Friday, my good friend George Madani arrived into Manchester from Australia. Coming straight to the Museum after his long-haul flight, he presented an absolutely fascinating talk to our University students and staff about his amazing trip to Borneo. The talk, which covered many of George’s exploits in search of some of the most interesting wildlife imaginable, was extremely well received.
Having the opportunity to share our interest in nature over the weekend, exchange stories about the places we’ve been and all the unusual creatures we’ve seen, George and I have been in our element. Reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals (including bats), featured most heavily!
After hearing so much about the wide variety of unique fauna there is in Australia, I was keen to show George that although we don’t quite have the number of species found there, we do also have some very special wildlife to be found here in the UK.
Yesterday we visited the Lake District, and George seemed particularly pleased to come across so many different birds he’d never seen before. He was also intrigued by how much of our flora and fauna has evolved along the same lines as some of their distant Australian counterparts. One reptile we found was a Slow worm, Anguis fragilis, our stunning legless lizard.
The weather was glorious, and driving down the narrow lanes that were flanked by slate stone walls holding such a proliferation of flowering wild plants was mesmerising – it made you want to wind the windows down just so you could check it was all for real. I really love the Lake District on such days. As the evening sun slowly descended, before our return, we made our way to the edge of a small wood. We sat, still, quietly waiting. To our delight our patience paid off, and we were treated to the sight of a family of badgers, 2 adults and 2 kits, coming out of their set. They explored and played right in front of us for an hour. It was very special. We drove back with little silence, comparing badgers to wombats! 🙂
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