21 Apr 2015

Elusive Badgers

Colin Miles

Conservation Group Walk 14 April 2015 Weather – Dry,cloudy with sunny intervals,cool breeze

‘With 10 of us looking it should be easy to find the Badger set.’ So said Keith. But it wasn’t and we didn’t! However, before then we set off through Trawscoed wood in search of various wild flowers, including the Dog Violets that we had planted last year. These were to provide food for the Marsh Fritillary Butterfly. Alas, no sign of any Violets despite the loving care we gave them. So the plan this year is to collect seed and sow them instead.

Moving on into the Meadow itself, the latrine at the path crossroad doesn’t seem to have been used. But what we did find later on towards the Beech stump were lots and lots of scruffed up patches. Badgers looking for worms and pignuts.

But we were interested in finding the set, any set! So off we went following the well-worn paths that the Badgers use. In the Meadow itself this merely led us to the boundaries of the Garden and the Deer fence at Pont Felin Gat – though we did find more Badger poo in various places. A trip into the section leading toward the Lodge and even fresher poo and tracks leading out of the Garden.

So back into the Meadow and off into Pont Felin Gat to see if we could find anything there. No luck, but we did discover a new (to us) path which broadened into a carriageway. Definitely somewhere to investigate further.

Meanwhile Anne, Jan, Hazel and the others had been listening to the birds and monitoring the flowers and insects. With the first Bluebells, Lady’s Smock, Swallows and House Martins Spring has really arrived.

Anne’s bird notes:
14 April 2015 Cloud clearing to a beautiful sunny day.
Morning: Spring Woods: Willow Warbler
Trawscoed Woods: Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Wren, Nuthatch, Blackcap, Great Tit, Dunnock, Robin, Blue Tit, Wood Pigeon.
Corporate Car Park: House Martins, Swallows and 5 Ravens overhead, Goldfinch.
Track to N.E. Lodge: Pr Blackbird, Nuthatch, Willow Warbler, Dunnock, Wren, Pr Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Wood Pigeon, Blackcap, Robin, Great Tit, Pied Wagtail flew over.
Biomass Area: House Martin, Swallow flew into the building.

Pont Felin Gat: 4 Buzzards wheeling, Coal Tit, Blackcap, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Pr Goldcrest with male displaying crest, Mistle Thrush. 2 male 1 female Orange Tip Butterflies
Gatehouse Cafe: Heron landed other side of fence.

Hazel’s notes:
1. The usual groups of wood anemones and primroses near the car park.
2. Common Dog Violets at the beginning of the path into Traws Coed Woods.
3. Masses of Wood Anemones and Lesser Celendine in the wood.
4. Also more primroses.
5. There are no violets further down in the wood, not even those planted last year.
6. Out of the wood there are possible signs of deer almost opposite the large tree stump.
7. Towards the side of the meadow, near pole with purple top there is a large area of badger scrapings.
8. More scraped areas the other side of the pole.
9. Some badger latrines further on towards the side of the field.
10. More badger latrines past the beech tree and fox poo on top of discarded badger bedding.
11. Fresh badger dung nearby.
12. Badger trails from the latrines down the slope, through the brambles and under the fence.
13. Another badger trail from the latrines in the opposte direction into brmables on the other side.
14. Lovely clump of violets under the tree on the corporate acces road next to the road hump.
15. More primroses and violets by the road behind the glasshouses.
16. Derwydd daffodil behind the car park at end of road past compost heaps.

Many thanks as always to John and Peter for their splendid photos and Hazel, Anne and Marie for their 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.