• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Male Stonechat
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Stonechats in Spring

    If you hear a loud, harsh bird song on the wetlands in Spring, you might just have bumped into a Stonechat, a cousin of the robin with the same cheeky poise and flamboyant orange chest. And did I mention that they are loud? A permanent resident not fond of inner city living, if you want to bump into a stonechat, you’re best bet is to head to a nature reserve. In particular; wetlands, moorlands and upland areas with a rich amount of plants, water and their main food source – insects! I discovered that they love to perch on reeds, hedges etc, so find areas rich in perches to get…

  • Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    The Birds and The Bees

    The tell-tale signs that spring is quickly transitioning into summer are becoming ever more frequent as we head into May. Last week we saw the fledgling waterbirds in Roath Park make an appearance, the first signs of swifts who have returned from Africa, and well, it’s just got a lot warmer here in Wales! The Birds… That’s not where it ends though, and there are plenty more #summervibes you can find in and around your local parks and nature reserves. One of my favourites is the return of the Song Thrush’s song! They’re a lot louder this time of year, and despite being red listed with the RSPB, there are…

  • Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Eggs-Factor: Roath Park Lake

    One of Cardiff’s greatest joys is heading to Roath Park Lake in late spring to watch the resident birds nesting, and eventually hearing the pitter patter of tiny bird feet! This year I’ve been making more frequent visits to watch what happens and to see who’s going to be calling Roath Park Lake home during the nesting season! Cute Coot One of the more obvious nests to spot is the Coot’s palatial twig pile. They build large, bulky nests from sticks, which you’ll see them collecting on the build up to nesting season in March time. You’ll often see the males sharing food with the female during the time of…

  • Brimstone Butterfly
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Spring Tales From The Riverbank

    The sun is finally fighting against the grey clouds which have been become part of the furniture of Cardiff’s skyline for the last few months, which means that spring is finally underway. And no snow to stop it this time! Nowhere does this show better than along the Forest Farm Nature Reserve in Radyr, North Cardiff. Sandwiched between the River Taff and the Glamorganshire Canal, it’s a haven for waders and wetland wildlife, as well as the flora and fauna who call the established woodlands it’s home. The sunshine has given everything who calls the reserve it’s home a renewed energy to get busy during the important spring season! Water Water…