24 Mar 2015


Colin Miles

Mar 17th 2015: A nice dry, mild day for our walk over to Pont Felin Gat to meet up with the Badger surveyor. But before we even got into the Garden Badgers were very much on our mind. The newly awakened set near the back entrance had obviously been active on the Sunday night, but on the Monday night the activity had been pretty frantic judging by the excavations around more than one of the holes.

Starting out this week through Trawscoed wood we first came across the start of another hole, probably started by a Rabbit, then more Elf Cups in the ditch – they are really starting to flourish now in this late Spring. Our Dog Violets are still progressing, slowly, as are the Bluebells.

Into Trawscoed Meadow and immediately we were somewhat surprised to find a Badger Latrine – 13 newly dug holes, 3 of which contained free poo, or nearly contained fresh poo. The theory amongst the ladies was that the ones that missed were done by the males. And the dung flies are now active, a sure sign of warmer weather to come.

But where was the set? A couple of years ago we had attempted to monitor a set further on in what was originally one of the lakes. Possibly now that there is clearance around that area they have moved out and established themselves elsewhere.

More signs of Spring with the sound of a Woodpecker drumming away in the distance, Nuthatches repeatedly calling, Great Tits ‘teaching’ , Robins, very loud Wrens, Chaffinches, Blackbirds, Crows, Blue Tits……

And of course the Flowers. Snowdrops are still with us. Indeed, some clumps were looking very fresh. And Primroses, surely the sign that Spring really is here.

Into Pont Felin Gat and an abundance of Bluebell leaves. Now that a lot of the Cherry Laurel has been cleared there is a lot more light in some areas which may encourage other plants.

Near the bridge we came across a pair of Dippers, one of which was carrying nesting material. And a very interesting revolving branch one end of which dipped in the stream and constantly rotated in a very regular manner.

On up the stream and some large, very deep red Elf Cups, then further on Wood Anemones and more clumps of Snowdrops. And of course we couldn’t forget the Spring Lambs.

Many thanks as always to John and Peter for their splendid photos and Anne for her notes. 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 find an injured bird, hedgehog or other wild animal and want help and advice then phone the Gower Bird hospital. on 01792 371630.

Anne & Hazel’s Notes, 17 March 2015, Mild, dry, no wind, diffuse sunlight

Trawscoed Woods
Possible start of rabbit burrow, Scarlet Elf Cups, Turkey Tails, Primroses in flower

Trawscoed Meadow
Badger Latrine – 13 holes 3 with fresh poo
Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga sp.) Sounds of Woodpecker hammering in the distance.

On way to Pont Felin Gat
Wren, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Pr Goldcrests, Pr Coal Tits, Grey Wagtail top of tall tree, Dipper carrying nesting material.
In flower: Early Dog Violet, Snowdrop, Dandelion, Lesser Celandine, Opposite leaved Golden Saxifrage. Showing growth: Bluebell, Dog’s Mercury, Common Dog Violet

In Pont Felin Gat road entrance by 1st bridge -Dipper with nesting material – Large intensely red Elf Cups not far from 2nd bridge.

Stream by entrance to Waun Las – pair Grey Wagtails.