• Blog

    My Big Garden Birdwatch 2019

    Just as January’s chill begins to take hold over the UK, citizen scientists all over the UK kitted in pyjamas and armed with cups of tea and biscuits, took to their windows to take part in the UK’s biggest science projects in the UK – of course I’m talking about the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch! Every year a huge cross section of society gets stuck in to help our wildlife, by recording the amount of different birds which visit your garden in one hour. This year the RSPB celebrated 40 years of this project, and in those 40 years they have collected data which has been hugely important in protecting…

  • Little Owl
    Blog

    A Little Peek at a Little Owl

    If you head to the Gwent Levels over winter, you’ll find the patchwork of reed beds swaying in bronze against a grey sky, maybe a blue one if you’re lucky! Home to countless numbers of wildlife species who depend on this unique habitat, from humble but rare bumblebees to majestic birds of prey, it’s a treat to visit any time of year. I visited the RSPB Newport Wetlands on a dry and sunny day to start the year off the way I meant to go on, with a good walk with my girlfriend along the welsh coast and some fresh sea air. You just can’t go wrong! There was plenty…

  • Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Grebe-y Guts

    The Cardiff Bay Wetlands reserve is a great place to watch wild birds minutes from the city centre, including one of our cities more flamboyant characters, the Great Crested Grebe. During spring and summer these waterbirds develop ravishing rusty red plumage on their heads as part of an elaborate courtship ritual. They dance in the water and fluff up their head feathers to make themselves look as fabulous as possible. But during winter it’s more of a subdued affair. Not needing their best get up, they opt for a monochrome palette, but are still identifiable from other grebe type birds by their long pointed beak, white neck and black head…

  • Oxeye Daisy
    Blog,  Get Involved

    7 Affordable Ways To Go Green in 2019

    2019 is the year we go green! In 2018 climate change headlines, mass extinctions, rainforest loss and image of plastic choking our oceans dominated the media. Sometimes it feels like we are all hopeless against the monster corporations which push this greedy pillaging of our natural resources. That’s how they want us to feel. For too long environmentally friendly options have been a middle/upper class affair; expensive hessian totes, fancy bamboo containers, organic vegetable boxes that cost more than your weekly shop. But now there are ways that everyone can get involved in an accessible and affordable green revolution! Here are my 7 goals for 2019 to make my year,…

  • Blog

    The Red Squirrel Café

    A reoccurring theme in my wildlife diaries is finding the unexpected in places that you just couldn’t predict. Rare water birds in city centre parks, swifts in housing estates, new visitors to a city back garden. But sometimes the surprise comes from the fact that you’d let your guard down, focused on something really ordinary, and out of the blue you get to experience something special. Whilst visiting my family who have recently moved to the Isle of Wight, we headed out for lunch at The Garlic Farm, a farm shop and cafe, set in their surrounding farmlands. I was in my own world, surrounded by family and about to…

  • Grey Wagtail Cardiff
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Blown Off Course

    If there is one thing that is predictable in Cardiff, it’s that it is completely unpredictable! This week proved that again, when I noticed a new wild arrival in my neighbours back garden here in the heart of the city. Following from weeks of turbulent weather and storms, a little grey wagtail had found itself blown into the urban sprawl of Tremorfa – a housing estate situated by busy industrial estates. Grey wagtails are normally found by rivers and waterways, where they use shallow water to find insects to eat – a far cry from suburbia! These slate and lemon yellow birds are considered red listed, meaning that they have…

  • Kingfisher at Forest Farm Cardiff
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Blue Of The Undercut Bank

    On one of the last days that truly felt like Autumn in late October, I found myself wandering the leaf lined trails in the Forest Farm Nature Reserve. Whenever I visit it’s always tantalisingly full of my favourite woodland birds – chaffinches, blue tits, nuthatches, treecreepers, the list goes on. But one bird has always evaded my infrequent visits – the infamous Kingfisher. In Welsh it’s name is ‘glas y dorlan’ which (according to my sources!) means ‘blue of the undercut bank’ – illustrating it’s electric blue feathers and preference for our waterways. I’ve always had a fondness for them, some hazy memories from my childhood remembering them dashing along…

  • Red Necked Grebe Cardiff
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    A Wild Guest

    Quite often we associate rarer species of wildlife with nature reserves – some of the last remaining refuges for our wildlife, far away from ‘the real world’. But just recently a visitor from eastern Europe took Cardiff by surprise, calling Roath Park lake it’s home away from home! This is the red necked grebe, experts suggest it’s a juvenile as it doesn’t quite have it’s striking plumage that the adults have. The RSPB suggest that only around 50 of these birds arrive in the UK for the winter, such a tiny amount compared to the 20,000 UK great crested grebes which we are much more used to seeing here in…

  • Cormorant
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Curious Cormorants

    There’s something other-worldly about our coastal neighbour the cormorant. Something a bit dragon-esque. Their iridescent scale-like feathers flash against the autumn sun in bright purples and greens, and their piercing green eyes staring out along the Taff down a hooked beak. These prehistoric looking birds appear inland during Autumn and Winter, heading out to coastal regions during the Spring/Summer for breeding – so here in Cardiff we get the best of both worlds. During this time of year they can be seen flying and swimming up and down our rivers, in small groups or alone. I’ve been spotting them in Grangetown resting on the small dock area south of the…

  • Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    5 Spots to Enjoy A Wild Autumn in Cardiff

    The nights are drawing in, there’s crisp breeze in the air – it must be autumn! This is the season of change, and our wildlife sure knows how to put on a show in this time of year. The leaves are starting to fall and our green spaces are suddenly busy with a flurry of activity from our wild neighbours. But where is best to watch this seasonal show in our little city? Here’s a few of my favourite spots which take in all that autumn has to offer, whether it’s wildlife, atmosphere or crunchy fallen leaves. And all accessable via Cardiff Bus for the budget and time conscious! Forest…