• Wood Anemone
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Little Spring Things

    The arrival of spring is like waiting for a bus. Firstly the signs are small, few and far between. The odd bird call and a feisty primrose fighting against the chilly showers and cold snaps. But all of a sudden everything seems to arrive at once. The trees and hedges are bursting with colour, you can literally hear them buzzing with new life! During this time it pays to notice the smaller things, before the real riot that is summer begins! This week at the Howardian Nature Reserve I did just that, nosing through the undergrowth to see who was about. In the shade of the trees forget-me-not stands out…

  • Blog

    All A Flutter

    On a spring day when the sun is winning the fight against the still very wintery feeling showers, there’s nothing better than getting outside, filling yourself with all those feel good endorphins and witnessing some nature magic. I headed over to Parc Slip Nature Reserve near Bridgend to see what a bright April day could conjure up for me. After an hour or so looking for secretive adders basking in the scrub in the morning sun with no success, this dazzling orange Comma butterfly was a welcome relief to my fruitless search! Commas hibernate over the winter and use the amazing patterns on their wings to blend in with dead…

  • Frogspawn
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Spawn to be Wild

    Everyone has something they get excited about to signal the first signs of spring. For some, it’s primroses and daffs, their cheery yellow flowers a sure sign that the coldest weather has passed. For others, it’s the volume being cranked up to 11 in the dawn chorus on the way to work as the mornings get brighter. But for our ponds, it’s the arrival of frogspawn! The warmer weather we’ve had has triggered amphibians like common frogs to get in the mood for lurrve, with toads, newts and frogs waking up from winter slumber to head to ponds where they have previously spawned. For some this means navigating our human…

  • 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!Ā 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 ā€“ 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…