• Cygnet
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 25-28 – I Got Sunshine

    Another busy week and another wildly sunny week! The sunshine has well and truly signalled the beginning of summer – the swifts are screaming, the fledgling chicks of spring are beginning to fly and the air is full of insect life. In Cardiff, temperatures have been soaring to around 30 degrees daily, proving a challenge to the residents, wild and human! On a recent walk through the Howardian Nature Reserve I noticed the small brook had nearly completely dried up, and the wild flower meadows have taken the brunt of the relentless sun, with flowers struggling to get the water we all need in this weather! But there is plenty…

  • 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 16 – Wildly Glastonbury

    On day 16, I got up bright and early (well, 10 o clock, it was a Saturday, and lie ins are hard to come by with two rescue pets!), to make the most of Cardiff’s great location for travelling around the South West of the UK – and we set off to Glastonbury! After a quick research, I discovered the area was home to a wealth of nature reserves including Ham Wall and the Avalon marshes. But a gloomy, drizzly ‘rain mac’ day meant we decided to stay close to cover and explore the town and it’s natural spaces, which were plentiful enough to fill a day with. First stop…

  • Juvenile Pied Wagtail
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 14/15 – Fledgling Friday

    The last few evenings I popped over for a dog walk at Cosmeston Lakes – a local nature park just outside of Cardiff. You can really tell summer is on the way as the fledglings are outside of the nest flying after their parents and the wildflower is really kicking off in the wild verges. And yes, another multi day late post!Β It’s so hard to keep on top of posting every day but I’ve decided I’m not that mad about it as I’m having a great time! So keep an eye out for my late posts now! There were plenty of orchids about, little pink/purple spikes dotted through the daisies…

  • 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…

  • 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…