21 Apr 2014

First Bluebells

Colin Miles

We were very pleased to find that the Moth trap set up in Trawscoed Meadow had actually worked.  The results weren’t that spectacular but fascinating to those of us who were newcomers to Lepidopterology – the study of Moths and Butterflies.  In all we had 6 Hebrew Characters and 2 or 3 Clouded Drabs.  Imagine my surprise and delight the next day when I found a Hebrew Character whilst digging in a bare patch of earth in my garden.  These weekly walks really are such an excellent way to learn all manner of wildlife delights!  [nggallery id = 557]

This week was also time for our monthly bird count and we reversed our route and set out towards the entrance to Waun Las.  Here, on the bridge overlooking what had been Llyn Mawr offers an excellent spot to see and hear all manner of birds.  But the ones we were really interested in were the Dippers.  And they didn’t disappoint.  Indeed, a couple of times one of them flew over us. [nggallery id = 558]

Then, down on one of the rocks in the stream Jan spotted what she thought was Otter Spraint, confirmed by Howard wading in the stream to get a sample.  And not far away there was a Wren flitting back and forth between the banks. Not the place you would normally expect to find a Wren nesting.

Going on and looking at the Lakes it was somewhat puzzling to see so few Waterfowl.  No Teal or Coots, just 3 Canada Geese, a couple of Mallards and a Little Grebe in Llyn Canol and 1 Canada Goose and a few Moorhens in Llyn Uchaf.  It has to be the nesting season so maybe we will see the results next month.  But in a tree above Llyn Canol Chris spotted a Reed Bunting.

Further on by Spring Woods we found the first Bluebells just appearing and, flying over the Apothecary’s Garden the first House Martins, although they had previously been spotted in various places in Carmarthenshire a couple of days ago on the Sunday. And the first Cuckoo was heard, but not in the Garden I’m afraid!

As well as the birds which Hazel and Jan have listed below, various Butterflies were in evidence, including several Green-Veined White and Orange Tip as well as Bumblebees – Buff-Tail, White, and Red Tailed. But of greater interest was the Emperor Moth Pupa Case that Jan found in Trawscoed Meadow. It really is quite enormous and looked more like the skeleton of a small mammal. [nggallery id = 559]

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.

Birds seen or heard: Blackcap, Song Thrush, Wren, Nuthatch, 2 Dippers, Blue Tit, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Canada Geese, Mallard, Little Grebe, Grey Wagtail, Wood Pigeon, 3 Buzzards, Jay, House Martin, Robin, Tree Creeper, Great Tit, Reed Bunting, Moorhen, Carrion Crow, Willow Warbler, Blackbird, Starling, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Raven, Collared Doves.