Wildlife Blog

Oak Bracket – characterised by the weeping of amber liquid

Fascinatingly frustrating fungi

Permit me to start with a rather cheap gag.   The first rule of fungi is that many of them cannot be identified in the field.   The second rule of fungi (and you’re waaay ahead of me here I can tell) is that many of them cannot be identified in the field.   This is highly frustrating (especially if you have a list orientated mind) but nature has obviously decreed that there shall be umpteen little brown fungi that look like they should be unique but sadly aren’t.…
Lapwing Ian Rose

Lapwing Champions needed at Parc Slip!

Lapwing Ian Rose The Lapwing is an iconic farmland bird which has undergone drastic declines in populations as a result of loss of breeding habitat. Today the lapwing is a U.K. and Wales priority species requiring urgent positive action. Over the next few months, we will be working hard to reverse the decline at Parc Slip Nature Reserve, through a series of habitat creation and management projects. These will include the creation of wetland scrapes and cryptic nesting sites to the appropriate management of wetlands, meadows and arable fields.…
A nectaring Comma by Graham Watkeys

Buzzing Ivy

We’ve all done it, some of us wish we didn’t, but we all do. That buzzing noise somewhere behind your left ear causes that involuntary freeze and cringe (with optional arm flapping) response followed by trying to see behind your left ear without moving anything. A nectaring Comma by Graham Watkeys It took me a while to realise that the loud insistent buzz wasn’t coming from behind my ear but from the Ivy covered tree a few metres away, the whole tree was buzzing.…
Eristalis pertinax – one hoverfly that did co-operate

A morning in the life of a volunteer warden

20mins watching a large four spotted orb weaver make a web, half an hour stalking hoverflies, 10 mins being harassed by a southern hawker repeatedly trying to land on my head (this actually happened), 5 mins chasing a moth, 10 mins cursing at said moth, 15mins further aimless bimbling, 8 mins chasing another moth, 5 mins photographing said moth, 1 min trying to remember how many crane flies had got in the shot (a lot), 4 mins pleading with hoverfly to turn around, 30 secs cursing said hoverfly for not once turning around, 20 mins more aimless bimbling, 10mins stalking interesting new ichneumon, 16 mins directed bimbling, 20 secs deciding whether to bother chasing another moth which promptly then disappeared anyway (beware the Moth in the sun!), 5 secs cursing said Moth, 20 mins aimless bimbling, 13 sec removing large garden spider discovered hanging from shirt, went home.…
The Fly Agaric – the most recognisable Toadstool of them all.

The Taf Fechan fabulous fungi furtle

Now is a great time for fungi and visit from the Glamorgan Fungus Group to Taf Fechan Nature Reserve showed us just how many different fungi there are out there. Identifying Fungus – photo by Graham Watkeys The discoveries started early with a patch of Sulphur Tuft growing on the wooden steps down into the reserve, this opened the floodgates as species after species kept turning up, a truly bizarre but beautiful slime mould was followed by green elfcup and a large patch of sheathed woodtuft.…
Nemophora cupriacella a new record for Breconshire by Graham Watkeys

The Rare Beasts of Taf Fechan

Animals (and plants for that matter) don’t know (or particularly care) where they are “supposed” to be. They don’t read species lists or look at old maps they just live where they are able to live and everything has to live somewhere (this highlights somewhat the importance of habitat diversity and conservation but that’s another argument). This stubborn biological refusal to be entirely and completely predictable makes getting out in the countryside and looking at wildlife such a rewarding experience because you never really know what you are going to find.…