Wildlife Blog

Interesting brown fungi  later IDed as a Goblet

A Morning In The Life Of

A morning in the life of a volunteer warden (winter edition): 10 mins mentally debating whether to bring gloves, 15 mins watching Goldfinch feeding on thistle seeds, 5 min aimless bimbling, 2 mins listening to a soap opera of kronking Ravens, 5 mins photographing interesting brown fungi, 30 secs deciding ”yes I should have brought gloves”, 1 and a half mins warming my fingers, 20 mins aimless bimbling, 2 mins trying to watch a Goldcrest as it zips through a Hawthorn, 30 secs being followed by horses, 3 mins contemplating the experience of hail bouncing off my ears, 10 mins aimless bimbling, 30 mins stalking interesting fungi (this is way more difficult than it seems), 4 mins cursing slugs for eating all the interesting fungi, 30secs wondering what the heck they put in slug pellets if all these poisonous fungi seemingly have no effect whatsoever on slugs, 10 secs wondering whether Taf Fechan has indestructible slugs, 5 secs thinking “yes gloves would have been a good idea”, 20 mins directed bimbling in the direction of home.…
Puffins Hit Hard by Last Winter’s Storms

Puffins Hit Hard by Last Winter’s Storms

As the first storms of the winter turn the Atlantic into a gargantuan washing machine, research is revealing the harsh consequences of last winter’s storms for seabirds in Wales. Dr Matt Wood, from the University of Gloucestershire, is helping to uncover the consequences for thousands of puffins on Skomer Island, in Wales. Dead puffin at Caswell Bay Around 50,000 dead seabirds, including puffins, guillemots and razorbills, were washed ashore in a severely emaciated state – they’d basically starved as storm after storm prevented them from catching enough fish to eat.…
A common lizard basking in the sun

Taf Fechan Reptile survey 2014

This is not a scientific analysis but here are some observations about this year’s Taf Fechan reptile surveys. There were 23 surveys completed this year which was, for various reasons, somewhat less than last year’s 33.   The survey season didn’t get off to a great start when a grass fire was set on the slope sometime before the 19th April but looking at the survey results this didn’t seem to drastically affect numbers (at least not immediately although I am sure some reptiles perished in the flames) as a survey on the 19th found 22 slow worms (including some very much alive under refuges in the burnt area) which was broadly similar to results before the fire and the next few surveys after the fire were also similar.  …
Not a cigarette but Green Woodpecker droppings

What are your average winter colours?

In a season not famed for the range of its colour palette things tend to stand out especially if they offer something for the eye to latch onto. Of course what they do latch onto isn’t always pleasant as the hidden detritus of humanity rise like dropped zombies from the undergrowth in the form of long hidden cans and crisp packets. Alternatively more interesting things also appear; the white thing in amongst the grass is unlikely to be a daisy so a slight detour to investigate and this time it turned out to be some (this may be one for the birdy purists) Green Woodpecker poo! …
Jewel anemones by Sally Sharrock

Wales takes the plunge into protecting seas

Today (Friday 12 December) the Welsh Government designated its first Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ).  This announcement means that the seas around Skomer Island off the coast of Pembrokeshire will become Wales’ first MCZ.   The Wildlife Trusts welcome the designation of Wales’ first MCZ as an important step forward in striving for an ecologically coherent network of protected areas around UK shores. People in England will have a chance to have their say about potential MCZs in English waters in the New Year.  …
Kestrel box going into place

The North Ceredigion Kestrel Project

As you are probably aware, the Megan Jones Legacy enabled a project led by Mike Hayward to get under way providing nest boxes for kestrels. Mike writes about the first year’s work:- The status of the Kestrel – Cudyll coch – in Ceredigion has been one of a steady decline in breeding pairs, especially over the past few decades. Undoubtedly some of this decline can be attributed to changes in farming, especially the intensive grazing of the hills and uplands, and to the loss of habitat due to forestry plantings.…
Reed warbler

Songbird survival in the face of starvation

Many of the migratory songbirds that visit our shores in the summer to nest and raise their young spend the winter in the heart of Africa. Reed warbler A team of ornithologists from Cardiff University have recently discovered some of the surprising survival strategies that these birds use to avoid starvation in the arid regions on the fringes of the Sahara desert. One example is an unassuming small brown bird, the reed warbler, which leads a remarkable double life. Normally thought of as wetland species, reed warblers actually use a wide range of habitats in Africa.…