3 Mar 2015

Two Years on

Colin Miles

Feb 24th 2015. It is now two years since John, Jan, Keith and myself started on the first weekly wildlife walk. Now we have about 15 fairly regular volunteers, many of whom are starting to ‘walk’ the Garden and Waun Las on other days of the week. Back then it was difficult to imagine where we would be now, or even whether we would still be doing it. Indeed, the weekly nature of it was open to question. Of particular concern was the weather and if we had had too many wet days I suspect the whole project might have died. But, as we all now know, for the past two years Tuesday morning has been the best time of the week to plan an outing in the Garden. And this Tuesday morning was no exception being bright and sunny to start with, albeit with a cool breeze.

The intention had been to look for possible places in Woods of the World where we could put out more of our Refugia (tin sheets) for Amphibians and Reptiles but as always we found other things of interest along the way – like 3 Fieldfares in the meadow below the Great Glasshouse. And although we did start out along the path to Woods of the World Michael soon found another area of much greater interest which few of us had been aware of before. As can be seen from the photos below, from here you have a really special view of the waterfalls. Not quite as spectacular as those in Waun Las, but well worth viewing and a photo opportunity for visitors without the need to walk all the way to Waun Las.

Apart from this delight we had a very different view of stream, Llyn Canol and the surrounding areas. Rather boggy in places and will no doubt be overgrown with nettles in the summer but interesting nevertheless. Lots of Scarlet Elf Cups now appearing and, much to our surprise, a bright green Caterpillar, possibly a Sawfly Larva.
A Willow or Marsh Tit tantalised myself and Chris – we just couldn’t decide which it was and Julian later told us that he could help us, if we had a spare two days to explain the differences.

Meanwhile Anne and Jan were busily monitoring the bird life – see below – and Anne and Marie did another survey on the Wednesday at Allt Goch Farm, the ‘prize’ there being the Woodcock.

Over in the Great Glasshouse the Frog Spawn was still there – not in the main pool but to the side. And it apparently appears there every year, the Frogs residing under the wooden planks. I doubt if any of them will survive but who knows.

24 February 2015: Birds seen on and around Llyn Uchaf: Fieldfare 3,Song Thrush 1, Buzzard 1, Canada Goose 4, Moorhen 9, Mallard Pair, Heron 1

Birds seen on and around Llyn Canol: Dunnock 1, Blackbird Pair, Blue Tit 1, Nuthatch 1, Goldcrest 1
Marsh/Willow Tit 1 Moorhen 20, Mallard 2 Pairs, Little Grebe 1, Shoveler 2 male 1 female, Teal 1 female.

25 February 2015: 1.30 pm, Cloudy, damp, mild

Birds seen in Allt Goch Wood: Woodcock 1 flushed from wood along entrance path, Robin 2, Coal Tit 1
Blue Tit 2, Great Tit 4, Wren 2, Song Thrush 1, Raven 1
Bluebells showing leaf
Dormice Boxes: No 1 Full of dead leaves, No 2 Empty, No 3 Missing, No 4 Empty,
No 5 1 Pygmy Shrew – Round ball of moss
No 6 Full of moss, No 7 Missing, No 8 Missing, No 9 Empty, No 10 Full of moss and dead leaves

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.