• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Great Crested Grebe with Humbug Chick
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 10/11/12 – Wild Humbug!

    The sun has been shining down on Cardiff for the beginning of Week 2 of 30 days Wild. Summer is well and truly underway, with pollinators busying themselves amongst the few patches of wildflower in my neighbourhood. Fledgling starlings have been noisily crowding over bird feeders, some of the first to fledge in my area, and it just feels like everything is coming into it’s own as we head to the middle of June. Day 10 and 11 A few relatively busy days – day 10 I was taking part alongside my roller derby team in the nationwide PROCESSIONS rally, a celebration of 100 years of women’s right to vote.…

  • 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…

  • Sand Martin Nest
    30 Days Wild 2018,  Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    #30DaysWild Day 5 – Cardiff Bay Sand Martins

    Day 5 of 30 Days Wild brought me to Cardiff Bay today, looking fairly busy due to the Volvo Ocean Race that is currently being hosted in the harbour. However, boats or no boats, the bay is a great place to spot coastal birds – and that’s exactly what I did! Cardiff Bay has a variety of habitats, including the Cardiff Bay Wetlands which is reed beds and wetlands, host to many wading birds which would have originally been there when the bay was previously a salt marsh. The bay itself is a freshwater lake and is a good place to spot waterbirds, including Great Crested Grebe. Sand Martins in…

  • 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…

  • 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…