Making room for nature this June with 30 Days Wild?
Here’s a digest of my first week #30dayswild
An afternoon at Forest Farm in Cardiff. This local Council run nature reserve is one of my favourites and is a real hidden gem.
Based along the old Glamorganshire canal, adjoining wetlands and broadleaf woodland the site boasts three hides and is an excellent place to see birdlife, including the resident Kingfishers and Herons.
Just a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher today but I watched these three Grey Herons catching fish and newts in the pond and canal. Look carefully in their beaks to see their diner!
Day Two, and it was time to tidy up the pond, get rid of some blanket weed and install an amphibian friendly ramp up to the pond. I also installed a bee/insect watering hole which is right under some Pyracantha, which is a favourite of the bees.
A lovely walk around the woodlands and wild flower meadows of Casehill Woods and Cwm George today. Owned and managed by The Woodland Trust the existing broadleaf woodlands have been supplemented by swathes of new native trees over the last 10 years.
This large site contains a mix of habitats including semi-ancient woodland, new native planting and open meadows. With an extensive network of paths and bridleways, links to trails within the wider area, and an ancient monument of European importance, there is much of interest to see and enjoy.
A resident of the woodlands is the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.
Sunday evening and a visit to The Wildlife Trusts Parc Slip reserve to see the orchids in the meadows.
Parc Slip Nature Reserve itself is an area of 300 acres containing a fantastic mix of habitats such as grassland, woodland and wetlands, restored from its previous status as an opencast coal mine.
During the summer, the fields near to the Visitor Centre are ablaze with colour as oxeye daisy, ragged robin, orchids, fleabane, red bartsia and numerous other beautiful wildflowers come into bloom.
Here we have Common Spotted and Southern Marsh Orchids
Its too wet and windy for photography today, but I did find this great download Orchid guide from The Natural History Museum.
Inland waterways such as this canal flowing through Cardiff can be a great place to get close to nature.
Here a mother Coot and her chick pay no notice to people walking along the bank, just feet from the nest.
The chick is very young, just a couple of days old I’d guess.
Continuing my visits to local reserves, Magor Marsh, run by The Gwent Wildlife Trust.
This is another of my favourites, and is great for birds and Water Voles.
Magor Marsh is the last relatively natural area of fenland on the Gwent Levels. From the fleeting glimpse of a kingfisher, to the sight of colourful dragonflies darting over the reens, this is an inspiring place to visit. In autumn and winter the reserve is particularly attractive to birdwatchers, as the pond provides a sanctuary for wintering wildfowl and passing migrants.
I was contacted by another 30 days wild participant Tim Young who painted this lovely picture from my photograph of a Goldfinch above.
Also spotted was, I think, a Whitethroat, with a Crane Fly
Evidence that the Water Voles have been out and about. Throughout the site, there are floating feeding platforms and shelter tunnels for the Voles.
So, week one wrapped up already.
Fingers crossed the weather will pick up over the weekend as I’m of Badger watching at Dinefwr.