Counting animals during the European Union's Sustainable Energy Week

EU Sustainable Energy Week is currently running here in Brussels and across the EU. It’s a good week – shining a light on what kind of energy we use, how we use it and, of course, how we can minimise the environmental impact of the energy we use. I’m lucky enough to have a green energy supplier at home so the majority of my power comes from wind. It’s a bit more expensive in the short term but I can’t think of a more worthwhile long term investment.

But in honour of Sustainable Energy Week I thought I’d go a bit further in reducing my energy footprint. Surely the most sustainable energy is the energy we don’t use, right? So this week I’ve turned off the TV, unplugged the computer, left my mobile behind and instead gone out for walks to explore and enjoy my local wildlife.

Last night I saw a beautiful fox sprinting across my road for the safety of a small copse of trees. Apparently there are four little babies about but I saw no sign of them. Foxes searching for a mate made the news earlier this year (in French) here in Brussels for slowing down the metro.

I’ve also borrowed a neighbour’s guide to the birds of the region to see what I can identify. I’m not much of a birder but even to me the Monk Parakeet stands out both for the volume of its song and brightness of its plumage. According to Wikipedia a feral colony of the birds has been here since the 70s.

The only thing I am missing now is a hedgehog. We had three that came to visit us regularly last year but so far in 2012 we’ve seen no sign of them. Fingers crossed they made it through the winter and have plentiful sources of food.

If I see the fox cubs or hedgehogs I will be sure to make a note in the comments below this blog post. Do your bit for sustainable energy and get out to see your own local wildlife. Let us know what you see and where in the comments below. 

-- AH

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