Felixstowe Flora and Fauna

We were lucky enough to hear local David Hembling's story, David picked up an amazing hobby during quarantine,  we thought we'd share his journey...


Back in March, I was fortunate enough to be in the position to work from home when lockdown began.

The only place I could set up my work station was on the dining room table, I had a great view of my back garden and being there all day it opened my eyes to the vast array of wildlife that make my garden their home. The first thing I noticed was a little bird flying back and forth from a nest box on oursummerhouse, this little bird was a blue tit and with its partner was creating a lovely warm home for its first brood of the year.

These blue tits gave me an idea, to create a nature Instagram page to document not only the comings and goings of the new family to move in but also the rest of the garden inhabitants.

So began my Instagramming journey, armed with nothing more than a smart phone. What started as a very modest number of followers soon became a hundred, then two hundred and now over 600 like-minded followers wanting to see what goes on in my little garden on the Suffolk coast.

Throughout lockdown it became a fantastic distraction, I would find something new each day and while out on our daily walks I would find even more, it's amazing what you see when you stop and look.

My wife and I also decided to do some "grow-it-yourself". We had cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and strawberries in a raised bed. These plants attracted even more insects into the garden, or at least I started to notice them. We had lots of pollenating insects doing what they needed to do and it was fascinating to watch. It also didn't take long for an ant colony to take residence in the raised bed. My wife wasn't best pleased but I was fascinated watching them.

I then stopped just watching the birds and paid closer attention to the insects and the flowers they were feasting on. The number of different bees I found on the lavender and corn flower was astounding, even the pesky wasps were pollenating the flowers. I started to learn so much about my little habitat and wanted to learn more.

Eventually, the blue tit fledglings took their first flight in the big wild world and I was fortunate enough to not only witness it but video it for all to see.

If it wasn't for lockdown I would have almost definitely missed the whole thing.

I didn't let my main content provider flying the nest prevent me from continuing my journey and I'm still discovering new things in my garden almost every day, I decided to leave some areas of my lawn to grow and the number of wild flowers that would normally end up looking at the business-end of a lawn mower was astonishing.

Like a lot of people, I am still working from home but I've now moved my office space to the summer house giving me an even better view of my garden. If I ever find myself getting stressed out about work I can look out and see gold finches, blue tits and coal tits gorging themselves on my feeders. I even have a cheeky squirrel trying his luck once in a while.

My proudest capture is a family of long tailed tits descending on the feeding station. One of them even decided to fly in the open window to say hello.

If nothing else has come out of lockdown and working from home, I have gained a fantastic hobby that my whole family get involved in.

If you want to see my nature discoveries you can follow me on Instagram

@felixstowefloraandfauna and maybe even start your own nature journey!