• 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…

  • Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    RHS Cardiff Flower Show 2018

    The prim and proper flower shows of yesteryear aren’t the sort of places you’d imagine seeing any kind of wildlife or real, down to earth nature. But the tides have definitely turned, and the RHS flower show in Cardiff really pushed forward the agenda of gardening and conservation being firmly hand in hand. My visit was planned as an enjoyable day with my family, to maybe pick up some seeds and plants for my allotment and to see the amazing varieties of plants that had been brought into Cardiff from all over the UK. The show did not disappoint, my pockets filled with heritage varieties of vegetable drops which I…

  • 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…

  • Great Crested Grebe
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Lovely Weather For Ducks

    I didn’t expect much from a soggy walk through the Cardiff Bay Wetlands, but it was worth a wander through whilst I was in that part of town. If not just for getting away from the school holiday crowds. Most of the smaller birds had taken cover from the rain, I could see leaves rustling whilst they hid away. Maybe I should have done the same in a coffee shop had it not been for the temptation of ‘what if I miss out on seeing some really great wildlife?’. Thankfully I was rewarded by a smattering of wetland favourites, including the fancy-feathered Great Crested Grebe. Diving for long periods to…