• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Mute Swan
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 17/18 – Bird Brain

    I feel like the title of this post really resonates with me as I’ve become less and less organised at posting up my 30 Days Wild as the days go on – but as I’ve learnt in the last few days, maybe bird brain isn’t the phrase we once thought it was! The past few days I began reading a book by Jennifer Ackerman called The Genius of Birds. I’d heard of the book before and couldn’t believe my luck that it had popped up in my local charity book shop! The cover shows the classic image of the blue tits who had worked out how to get the cream…

  • 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! 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…

  • Large Skipper Moth
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 13 – Moth Fields

    There’s a great field in Tremorfa Park / Pengam Green in Cardiff which has a variety of scrub, long unkept grass, brambles and gorse – which seems to be the perfect place to spot a day flying moth or two! The fact it’s left to it’s own devices and not intervened with by the council has meant this area has gotten wild and unruly, and it’s distance from the main park means it swerves the problems that come with regular use from passersby. The variety of plants, not just long grass, means pollinators have a shot at making the area their home – unlike verges and other ‘wild’ areas which…