31 Jan 2015


Colin Miles

Jan 27th 2015.  When the Garden was first established a number of different varieties of Snowdrops were planted in Spring Woods.  Over the years the labels have been lost or misplaced and Bruce had suggested that it might be a good idea to try to identify the different varieties.  Easier said than done as we discovered.  In fact, it is possible that over the years they have hybridised and it was very hard to distinguish the differences between them.

But all over the Garden there are masses of Snowdrops. Indeed they seem to have appeared in many new places, possibly a tribute to last year’s mild weather and lack of frosts.

And on the Saturday (31st), garden designer Naomi Slade, author of ‘A Plant Lovers Guide to Snowdrops’, gave a talk in Theatr Botanica about various aspects concerning Snowdrops, including Garden design and the different varieties there are. She also passed around a dozen or more different varieties for us to look at.

One of the other ideas that we had for this Tuesday had been to see if Iolo Williams’ idea of tempting Wood Mice and Bank Voles with Peanuts and Sunflower seeds would work. But no – almost certainly too cold and we didn’t stay around long enough.

Still no sign of any Otters on John’s camera – indeed, no sign of anything on it. Well, it did take me 18 months before I finally captured a Polecat there!

But on around the lakes to see if our solitary male Tufted Duck had managed to attract a mate. Unfortunately not, but there is still time. As John noted, when he dives he stays down for at least 20 seconds. And we also have a solitary Coot, mainly on Pwyll Yr Ardd – Coots have previously nested in the reeds at the back of the weather stations. And I was very pleased to get a good look at a couple of Fieldfares with my new binoculars!

Other waterfowl are far more numerous, particularly the Mallards and Moorhens, but there are at least a couple of pairs of Teal there as well, though no sign of the young Heron we saw a few months ago. And no sightings of any Dippers, Grey Wagtails or Kingfisher. The latter is probably down by the sea. And all around the Garden we came across Robins, some almost tame enough to feed from hand.

Peter has now become our keenest Fungi ‘expert’ and cannot resist photographing any that he finds, as can be seen below.

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.