January at Y Byddwn

Tremella foliacea, Leafy Brain Fungus

Tremella foliacea, Leafy Brain Fungus

January Highlights

Aside from working on Y Byddwn, a local Farmer has allowed me to coppice very tall and shade forming hazel along a 200 metre stretch of his dismantled rail track that runs towards the road near Groesffordd. In a sense by allowing more light into this area this has extended the reserves potential for increased flora and fauna by hopefully encouraging an exchange of species from the reserve to the road. I am very much looking forward to seeing how the changes to both reserve and dismantled rail track develops over the coming spring and summer.

With pleasant weather on January 8th a Wildlife Trust work party assisted me clearing and burning brash from the beech that Steph felled before Christmas.Work part brash burning

We also prepared for a little hedge laying and Steph cut back overhanging branches and a fallen tree from the land beyond the reserve.

A visitor book is now attached to the information board on the reserve so please add your comments etc. should you visit.


In all 42 bird species have been seen or heard with resident robin and great tit both singing while mistle and song thrush have been heard singing from nearby trees.

Best birds were a merlin flying low over on the 3rd, Sparrowhawk on 2 occasions, a male hunting on the 5th and a female flying low over on the 30th. Red kites appear to be roosting somewhere just north east of Y Byddwn and 8 were seen at dusk on the 12th.

Gulls have been very evident with about 1000 lesser black-backs in the field next to the reserve on the 8th and about 600 black-headed feeding in fields by the A40. Both these species have been in good numbers all month whilst 2 herring gulls joined the black-backs on the 27th.

Redwings have also frequented the area throughout with highest counts of 300 on the 10th and 200 on the 30th. meanwhile just 1 fieldfare showed.

The dipper that was singing at the end of 2018 reappeared on the 23rd and again on 30th along with a grey wagtail feeding by the pond. 1 or 2 herons have also been sighted.

Starlings are often fly overs but 200 on the 28th and 400 on the 29th fed in nearby fields. 3 and then 4 stock doves flew over on the 28th and 30th respectively.

A new record for the reserve was house sparrow, 2 on the 23rd. They breed at a house 200 metres away at the end of the dismantled rail track that I worked on this winter.

The only other interest at present are mammals and fungi. Fox, badger, rabbit and mole have left there tale tale signs whilst grey squirrel has been observed on a regular basis

The fungi photos are of 2 winter species.

Flammulina velutipes, Velvet Shank