• Great Crested Grebe with Humbug Chick
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 10/11/12 – Wild Humbug!

    The sun has been shining down on Cardiff for the beginning of Week 2 of 30 days Wild. Summer is well and truly underway, with pollinators busying themselves amongst the few patches of wildflower in my neighbourhood. Fledgling starlings have been noisily crowding over bird feeders, some of the first to fledge in my area, and it just feels like everything is coming into it’s own as we head to the middle of June. Day 10 and 11 A few relatively busy days – day 10 I was taking part alongside my roller derby team in the nationwide PROCESSIONS rally, a celebration of 100 years of women’s right to vote.…

  • Small White Butterfly
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 8/9 – There’s Something in The Air

    This weekend got off to a busy start, but Day 8 finished with a walk through my local park surrounded by butterflies, Cinnabar moths dancing, and common skipper moths standing their ground in prominent places waiting for their future partners- so I could record them! It was after a warm day following rain showers, so I’m assuming they appreciated the weather! Day 9 me and my girlfriend took a drive over to Parc Slip Nature Reserve which is just outside Bridgend, a 30ish minute drive from Cardiff. We went earlier in the day to avoid the heat but it soon warmed up to around 20 degrees pretty quickly! I had…

  • 7 Spot Ladybird
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 7 – Ladybird Ladybird

    A symbol of good luck, I felt pretty lucky finding a couple of native 7 spot ladybirds and ladybird pupae on my allotment this evening whilst I was clearing a small jungle of weeds away from my growing patch. They all seemed fairly sleepy, I’m guessing due to the cooler and rainier weather arriving, and were nestled amongst the tall grass. However on sunnier days these little guys can eat up to 60 aphids a day! Definitely a critter who I want to keep on my patch! I’ve left wild borders around my allotment, which means a bit more weed picking than my more neat neighbours, but it’s really important…

  • Elderflower
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 6 – Elderflower Foraging

    This week I noticed that the elderflower in my local park is in full bloom, so I packed my bag with some scissors and a tote bag today ready to make elderflower cordial! The Elder is a hedgerow tree native to the UK, and there are many myths surrounding the plant. Guarded by the Elder Mother who lived in it’s trunk, who protected people and was host to fairies! It was also used as a medicinal plant, and nowadays, used for it’s tasty flowers and berries which are made non-toxic through cooking. When foraging, you can clearly tell it’s an Elder tree by looking at it’s leaves and flower heads.…

  • Sand Martin Nest
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 5 – Cardiff Bay Sand Martins

    Day 5 of 30 Days Wild brought me to Cardiff Bay today, looking fairly busy due to the Volvo Ocean Race that is currently being hosted in the harbour. However, boats or no boats, the bay is a great place to spot coastal birds – and that’s exactly what I did! Cardiff Bay has a variety of habitats, including the Cardiff Bay Wetlands which is reed beds and wetlands, host to many wading birds which would have originally been there when the bay was previously a salt marsh. The bay itself is a freshwater lake and is a good place to spot waterbirds, including Great Crested Grebe. Sand Martins in…

  • 30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 4 – Swift Diaries

    Following on from my post introducing my volunteer position as a Swift Surveyor for the Cardiff RSPB branch, this evening I’ve been attempting to film and photograph the groups of common swifts which call Tremorfa their home for 3 months of the year. During the last week or so there are usually 8-12 swifts that circle my neighbourhood in screaming parties. They split up during the evening, I’m guessing to roost, or possibly go further afield for food. I’ve noticed they stay up as long as there is light, real party animals (birds?)! This means it’s easier for me to spot them nesting in the evening as opposed to the…

  • Oxeye Daisy
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 3 – Moon Flowers

    Tonight after another sunny welsh day in June, I took an evening stroll around the Howardian Nature Reserve in central Cardiff for a walk in the wild flowers. The reserve is a mixture of habitats; the shady woodland, reed beds and open meadow. It packs a lot of punch for a little reserve!  “At dusk it shines … like a fallen moon” Marcus Woodward With most other flowers closing for the evening, the bright, sunny flower head of the Oxeye Daisy was unmissable amongst the lush green everywhere. The word daisy comes from the Anglo-Saxon words ‘daeyes’ and ‘eayes’, which translates to ‘day’s eye’. This is because the small common…

  • 30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Get Involved,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 2 – RSPB Swift Surveying

    Day 2 of my 30 Days Wild and on the penultimate day of National Volunteer Week, I’ve decided it would be an apt time to write about my experience as a RSPB Swift Surveyor for Cardiff. It’s been a tricky task for a bird that faces an uncertain future, but I’ve learnt so much and I know it’ll be very rewarding at the end! Common Swifts are in serious decline, with their numbers between 1995 and 2015 plummeting by 51%, mainly due to the loss of suitable nesting sites and the decline of flying insects. When we seal up buildings and build new houses with no spaces or gaps for…

  • Coal tit
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 1 – Feeder Fun

    Today has been a great day for my humble garden feeder and for the start of #30DaysWild. The sun has been shining, there has been plenty of flying insect activity in and around my garden, and this has brought in some new visitors to my usual crowd! So far my garden birds this year have included: House sparrows, Starlings, Feral pigeons, Wood pigeons, Collared doves, Pied wagtails, Fieldfare (snow visitor), Redwing (snow visitor), Meadow pipit (snow visitor), Robin and most recently the arrival of a House martin next door. You’ll notice a distinct lack of traditional garden birds (tits, finches etc) on my list. But today just as I was…

  • 30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    My 30 Days Wild

    It’s once again time for The Wildlife Trust’s yearly 30 Days Wild project, a commitment from people all over the UK to get more involved and learn about the nature around us. There are events, talks and opportunities to visit the Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves during this time, and with the arrival of our summer migrants and blooming wildflowers – there is never a better time for it! My 30 Days Wild My pledge this year is to better understand and get involved with the nature in and around Cardiff as a member of the public, and how we can protect it better as a community. I’ll do this by…