15 Dec 2014

Allt Goch

Colin Miles

Nov 25th 2014

For once we were indoors – and the weather was still fine! Philip Jones had kindly agreed to give us a talk on Fungi, how to identify them and other tips. For this we gathered in the Aqualab, complete with mugs and a tin of lovely biscuits courtesy of the Carmarthenshire Wildlife Trust raffle from the previous Thursday. A truly inspiring talk for which we were very grateful.

Dec 2nd 2014

Following on from our first foray and attempt at looking at Waun Las, we drove over to the volunteers centre at Pantwgan farm, a place that we hope to use far more next year. From there we walked a little way up towards the hill, using the Glastir maps to familiarise ourselves with the names of the fields. Very useful as it gave us all a whole new perspective on Waun Las and the Garden. And it was good to see the Coleg Sirgar students making themselves useful by drenching the sheep.

A couple of days later Huw Jones, our farmer, saw a Peregrine Falcon this morning sitting on a fencepost on the track next to Cae Du Dau and Snipe amongst the rushes on Cae Du Tri (two fields just up the hill from Pantwgan). Perhaps even more interesting was his report on another day that he watched a female Pheasant kill then eat a Vole! There is a farm about half a mile from the Garden breeding Pheasants and we are now frequently seeing a pair within the Garden itself, along the Broadwalk and other places. And down on Pwyll Yr Ardd David Hardy was initially very excited to see a blue-beaked duck. This turned out to be a Tufted Duck, perhaps a migrant from Europe or more likely a ‘stray’ from the Wetlands Centre where they are fairly common. It has been seen a couple of times more and it will be interesting to see if it attracts a mate and stays to breed.

Dec 9th 2014

Despite the promise of a very wet morning it was only slight drizzle to start with and we drove to another new venue for many of us – Allt Goch farm. The main target here was the wood just beyond the farmhouse and adjacent to the road. Here we found evidence of copicing from some years ago around the time of the creation of the Garden. Some of this wood had been use for creating charcoal and the old bins were still there.

More interesting were the Dormouse boxes which Jan had set up about 10 years ago. Examination of these revealed moss in one – Blue Tits – and a few with evidence of Wood Mice. Michael opened up one of these to find a Wood Mouse staring at him, but John only managed to properly photograph the back end of one!

In addition we were pleasantly surprised to find a wide variety of Fungi, which we still haven’t named – John has sent the photos to Philip!

It was also surprising dry and almost ‘cosy’ in the wood, but coming out afterwards we ventured out into the field towards Hangman’s wood and the rain started to pelt down. But a very interesting little quarry there which will bear further investigation, particularly the old car dumped there!

Many thanks as always to John and Peter for their splendid photos. And if any volunteer or member wants to join us please send an email to Jane Down– you DON’T have to be an expert in anything, just interested. 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.