This meadow is conveniently near to the Stable block and the visitors car park and both it and its surroundings offer a a range different habitats. So it is likely to become the focus for research on a wide variety of subjects in the coming years.
This Tuesday, apart from one brief shower, turned out gloriously sunny, almost Spring-like. Unfortunately the overnight weather had been pretty grim so that our newly acquired Moth trap contained nothing at all – not surprising really.
Going out from the visitors car park into the Welsh wood we stopped to admire the Snowdrops beyond the stream which was flowing so vigorously through there. No sign of any other wild flowers in bloom though it looks as if the Saxifrage will not be long in appearing.
A brief stop to wait until the shower had passed over and on into the Meadow itself. And out in the middle on the old Oak stump we stopped to admire the beautiful, fairy-like Devil’s Matchstick Lichen which we first discovered on here nearly a year ago. Then, to our surprise a little creature scurried out from one hole to another – a Pygmy Shrew. It showed itself again a little later but was camera-shy.
Walking on a bit further and the Fairy Ring was quite easy to see, though the colours are nothing like those shown in the photo below!
[nggallery id = 517]
On to our favourite fallen Beech, rapidly decaying and abounding in lots of beautiful Fungi – and the Hornets nest from two years ago is still there. By now we were fully enjoying the rare and glorious sunshine, which is possibly what the Badgers might have enjoyed a little earlier, as evidenced by the very recent use of their latrine which we found a little further on.
[nggallery id = 516]
This part of the meadow is covered in long, lank grass which holds the water a little too well and gives rise to lots of standing pools and rivulets. We did spot a Red Kite there and also disturbed a male Pheasant, but apart from Blue and Great Tits we didn’t see many birds at all. Neither did our two bird-spotting members who had gone off to see what they could find in Pont Felin Gat.
We then ventured though the gate along the path towards North Lodge. Here we found lots of Bamboo copses as well as many Red Elf Cups and other Fungi. A really beautiful and quiet part of the Garden which is little known to the general public. A quite unusual find was a ‘garden in a bottle’, complete with lots of moss and other greenery and a snail.
[nggallery id = 518]
Out of the gate and back towards the Stable block and time to admire the male Hazel Catkins and perhaps the first sighting of the tiny female ones. Then off to the restaurant for the usual tea, lunch and a long chat.
[nggallery id = 515]
Thanks to John for the photos and if any volunteer or member is interested in joining us please send an email to Colin Miles – you DON’T have to be an expert in anything, just interested. If you click on any of the images in these blogs, or anywhere else you will see a larger picture. And if you click on the Wildlife Walks heading on the left-hand side under News you will see a list of the last 10 Wildlife Survey blogs
If you find an injured bird, hedgehog or other wild animal and want help and advice then phone the Gower Bird hospital. on 01792 371630.