• Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    A Visit From a Meadow Pipit

    During the further snowfall recently, I had a new garden visitor that I hadn’t seen in my area before – a Meadow Pipit. Probably pushed out of their normal farmland/rural habitats by the harsh weather, they’d found refuge in Cardiff gardens and parks. They were also seen in numbers along the Taff embankment. There’s a great video on identifying the pipits and skylarks apart here, but it’s small size, the fact it was feeding on the ground, appeared skittish and pointed insect eating beak made it identifiable from a guide. It’s name comes from the noise it makes, but the two who visited my garden were not calling, probably a…

  • Treecreeper in Bute Park
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Treecreepers and the First Signs of Spring

    For a few hopeful days in March, it really felt like Spring here in Cardiff. Temperatures soared to double figures, locals donned non-waterproof jackets and we started seeing some of the first glimpses of our Spring wildlife. Of course, we were all being very hopeful. Since that amble in the afternoon sun around Bute Park, we’ve had a second frost with snow and bitter winds. But let’s rewind a few days, in order to look forward to my favourite season – Spring! Treecreeper One of my favourite surprises whilst walking along one of the main paths was spotting a Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) making the most of the small insects that were…

  • Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    ‘Beast of the East’ and Winter Thrushes

    The ‘Beast of the East’ took everyone by surprise it seems. Including our winter thrushes! Posts and tweets were popping up as the snow fell deeper and deeper, ‘What is this bird? I’ve never seen it before!’ alongside a photo of a rather disgruntled, speckled visitor. Snow Idea Who That Bird Is For inner city dwellers such as myself, we’re acquainted with our more common garden birds, and so anything different from the familiar sticks out like a sore thumb. So when the winter thrushes, who normally spend their winters in the countryside and our berry-laden hedgerows, came to find a safe space in our marginally warmer gardens, it seems…

  • Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Howardian Nature Reserve in Winter

    Tucked behind one of Cardiff’s busiest roads is a small, tranquil haven away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Full to the brim of different wildlife habitats, the Howardian Nature Reserve is sandwiched between the Newport Road industrial estates and the slip road for the A48, not somewhere you’d expect to find a reserve. And especially not somewhere you’d expect to find a waterfall and reed beds. The Reserve As I stepped from the concrete roads into the tree lined pathways on a chilly winters day, I was met with bird song and the calming rustling of reeds. It felt like I was miles away. The path meandered…