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    No New M4: A Bumblebees Plea

    Today is World Wetlands Day, and I cannot stop thinking about the fact that whilst we are celebrating and cherishing these amazing places to visit, that South Wales’ very own wetland haven is threatened with destruction. This year the Welsh Government are voting to rip up the Gwent Levels, all for 10 minutes less spent in a car.This is our last chance to inform ourselves, and to fight for the future of our environment. Time to get angry South Wales. Plans for an M4 relief road diverting traffic from Chepstow, around Newport, and into Cardiff, have been rumbling around for years, but the issue is now at crisis point as…

  • 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…

  • Tufted Duck
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Total Eclipse

    You might have noticed over the last month or so the birds are looking, well, a little lacklustre. Science tells us that is because most of the birds who breed here in the UK moult late summer, ready to grow strong, new feathers ready for the rest of the year. But for certain water birds, they have a special type of moult – and this is called the ‘eclipse’. I had a wander down at the Cardiff Bay wetlands to see who was about, and noticed that the resident tufted ducks there were displaying their eclipse plumage. They had lost their tuft, and the males, normally with a shiny black…

  • Common Blue Butterfly
    Blog

    Richmond Park Butterfly Walk

    On a long hot summer day, most of us head for the shade, or the sea – or just avoid the whole thing all together. But where is the fun in that! I head out, camera in tow, to Richmond Park whilst I was staying in London, to see what I could find during the scorching heatwave in July. Butterfly Walk Starting at the car park by Pembroke Lodge, the walk began along Queen Elizabeth’s plantation, which gave welcome relief in the form of shade from the relentless sun. Juvenile great tits scurried between branches whilst a jackdaw family bickered in an ancient, hollowed tree. So there was life! Which…

  • Blog,  Get Involved

    Can You Put A Price On Wildlife?

    Yet again it seems, that money is valued more than the future of our wildlife’s survival in this country. Recently, the RSPB have been campaigning to protect Coul Links, a unique habitat and one of the last of it’s kind in Scotland, against the threat of a luxury golf course. RSPB are backed by Scottish National Heritage, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation Scotland, Plantlife Scotland, the Marine Conservation Society, the National Trust for Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and thousands of concerned members of the public (click here to help the campaign). But money talks, and local councillors have left the decision to the Scottish Government after failing to make their own decision based on the information put…

  • Cardiff Bay
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 29/30 – My How You’ve Grown

    My 30 Days Wild challenge has been a whirlwind tour of Cardiff’s feathery, creepy and totally wild residents, and it’s only fitting on the last few days I’ve seen a few of them all grown up! As well as myself growing through the things I’ve learnt, it seems the wildlife has been at it too. The last 2 evenings I spent in Cardiff Bay, seemingly the only place in Cardiff left with a breeze that can cool us all off in this heatwave! The bay itself was still and the skies have been clear blue, with the odd gull floating past on the absolute god send of a breeze. I…

  • Mallard Duckling on a Lily Pad
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 23/24 – Forest Farm

    I’m a wee bit behind on my 30 Days Wild blogging again! But it’s definitely not for lack of content, after a lovely wander through Forest Farm along the Glamorganshire Canal Nature Reserves last weekend with friends. Because when you’re birdwatching and want to share your excitement for something you’ve seen – it helps to have a friend about! The days have been long and hot, which has been proving a tough time for our wildlife. Small streams and ponds have dried up, the sun itself is proving to be harsh and unforgiving on plants and wildlife. There is some shelter in the woods though, and along the rivers, so…

  • Pyramidal orchid
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 21/22 – Orchid You Not

    In true 30 Days Wild style, I have been delving further into the guidebooks to identify more plants and wildflowers I may have previously overlooked or misunderstood – and you guessed it, it’s involved a lot of orchids! I’ve definitely been hooked on finding out more about our native flowers. I feel like it’s my way of repaying the wildflower Gods after spending most of my life just referring to flowers as ‘that’s a nice flower’ and maybe instagramming it. They deserve so much more attention! They’re literally life givers and they do it in the most amazing ways, and looking fabulous whilst doing it. This week saw my first…

  • Female House Sparrow
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 20 – House Sparrows

    The cheeky house sparrow is in trouble, with populations declining by over 60% in towns and cities in the last 40 years. This catastrophic drop has moved our old friend onto the red conservation list – meaning it is a species of high conservation concern. Research is being done to figure out just why the population is in this downward trend – some suggest that pollution in towns is affecting their ability to source insects to feed their chicks, some suggest a loss of habitat due to agricultural changes. Today I decided to spend some time in my garden watching them on the feeder and hovering on the grass looking…

  • 30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog

    #30DaysWild Day 19 – Mystery Critter

    For me, identifying an insect I don’t know is a bit of a haphazard process. Flicking through my fairly basic nature guides, using a search engine and describing what it is and looking under ‘images’ and hoping for the best, or trying to use specialist websites for moths, butterflies, bees etc. However, every now and then I am completely stumped. I spotted this little flying insect on the floor on a drizzly day in Glastonbury, and it’s been bothering me ever since. So today I made it my mission to find a name for my mystery critter! Firstly I looked at the coloured bands, yellow and black and went through…