• 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…

  • Red Necked Grebe Cardiff
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    A Wild Guest

    Quite often we associate rarer species of wildlife with nature reserves – some of the last remaining refuges for our wildlife, far away from ‘the real world’. But just recently a visitor from eastern Europe took Cardiff by surprise, calling Roath Park lake it’s home away from home! This is the red necked grebe, experts suggest it’s a juvenile as it doesn’t quite have it’s striking plumage that the adults have. The RSPB suggest that only around 50 of these birds arrive in the UK for the winter, such a tiny amount compared to the 20,000 UK great crested grebes which we are much more used to seeing here in…

  • Cormorant
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Curious Cormorants

    There’s something other-worldly about our coastal neighbour the cormorant. Something a bit dragon-esque. Their iridescent scale-like feathers flash against the autumn sun in bright purples and greens, and their piercing green eyes staring out along the Taff down a hooked beak. These prehistoric looking birds appear inland during Autumn and Winter, heading out to coastal regions during the Spring/Summer for breeding – so here in Cardiff we get the best of both worlds. During this time of year they can be seen flying and swimming up and down our rivers, in small groups or alone. I’ve been spotting them in Grangetown resting on the small dock area south of the…

  • Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    5 Spots to Enjoy A Wild Autumn in Cardiff

    The nights are drawing in, there’s crisp breeze in the air – it must be autumn! This is the season of change, and our wildlife sure knows how to put on a show in this time of year. The leaves are starting to fall and our green spaces are suddenly busy with a flurry of activity from our wild neighbours. But where is best to watch this seasonal show in our little city? Here’s a few of my favourite spots which take in all that autumn has to offer, whether it’s wildlife, atmosphere or crunchy fallen leaves. And all accessable via Cardiff Bus for the budget and time conscious! Forest…

  • 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…

  • Dunes at Kenfig Nature Reserve
    Blog,  Wild Cardiff

    Wandering The Dunes

    I went for a meander through the dunes at Kenfig Nature Reserve on a dull, early autumn day, about half an hours drive outside of Cardiff, to see if I could spot any migrating birds making their journeys north or south as we near the end of summer. But also just as an excuse to explore the dunes, stretch my legs and see what wildlife had to say. We got there in the middle of the day and spotted a handful of birds out and about –  a kestrel (I think!) hovering in the distance above the dunes, flitting from one spot to the next. There were also juvenile goldfinch…