11 May 2015


Colin Miles

May 5th 2015. Apart from a few spots of rain Tuesday morning defied the forecast and remained dry, though increasingly windy. But the overnight rain had meant no Moths – Marigold didn’t want to be faced with all those drowned ‘Mother of Pearl’ moths like she had had in the bottom of the black box this time last year. And with only seven of us this week we decided that a gentle stroll around the Garden examining some of the Refugia (tin sheets put out as shelter for reptiles, etc) would be the best idea.

So off through Millenium Square and out past the Apothecary’s garden, pausing to consider all the plants and flowers there and another look at the names on the labels – they don’t always match up. And in going across the grassy slopes below the we came across Dog Violets and were all commenting on what a good year it has been for them – Bird’s Foot Trefoil (Bacon’n’Egg) was also putting in an appearance. Of the 3 Refugia only one of them had anything underneath – the same Toad that Jake had photographed the previous week.

Off down past Spring Woods and a quick check on the Bees. Very little activity, unlike the previous week. Also commented on was the lack of Swallows and House Martins. We saw a solitary Swift on the way to the Garden and a few House Martins or Swallows perched on telegraph poles in the back lane – maybe the winds haven’t been in the right direction for them to make their migration.

Down past the very brown looking stream by the Gatehouse and John examined his camera. No Otter photos, indeed, nothing. Then on to examine the 2 Refugia behind Plant sales – again nothing. But lots of Borage and Comfrey around the Garden entrance and car parks. The Tree Bumblebees, first spotted this in the Garden only four years ago, certainly liked them. Meanwhile Marigold and Maud had wandered off up the visitors car park to look at the Refugia in the top field. Again nothing to report apart from a nest, possible Vole or Wood Mouse.

So on through the Woods behind the Aqualab to the Dipping Ponds. In Pwyll Yr Ardd just a solitary Coot and a pair of Moorhens. And on a post by the Dipping Ponds a single Mushroom of a Fungus, still to be identified. W
During our walk we had been looking out for Fungus but this was the only one we saw, no doubt due to the dry April.

Finally out along the path by Llyn Uchaf – very little in the way of Waterfowl – and the find of the day. A solitary Early Purple Orchid, first seen last week and the first record within the Garden.

Many thanks as always to John and Peter for their splendid photos. 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.