13 Dec 2023

Wildlife Highlights – Deceivers, Bird Boxes and December Moths

Conservation Volunteers

October 31st

Chris, John and Jean

A green woodpecker flew from Ann’s Wood, next to the Circle of Decision. We regularly see and hear green woodpeckers in the Garden, usually around the Science Centre and Wild Garden near the bull sculpture.

There were great tits on sapling apple trees in the new orchard, and nuthatch, great and blue tits in the Aqualab Woods.

A red admiral butterfly flew through pampas grass near Llyn Canol.

Gary, Colin and Angela

We straightened up about a dozen of the saplings along the side of Llyn Mawr.

November 7th



I saw a heron flying near Pont Felin Gat and two yellow wagtails playing along the Rill.  A small tortoiseshell butterfly was also resting on the wall of the Great Glasshouse.

Gary, John, Chris, Howard

Removed 6 black bin bags of rotting leaves from the large dipping pond. These would have added too many nutrients to the pond, harming its biodiversity and the quality of our pond dipping. We’ll be putting a wire mesh covering over the pond next year to catch the falling leaves.

November 14th

Chris, Colin, John, Finley, Dafydd and others. 

Nest boxes in Anne’s Wood and in the Aqualab examined and cleaned out. One had completely rotted, a couple had had nests.

November 22nd

Laccaria laccata


Huge amount of common deceiver fungi Laccaria laccata under the oak in front of the Stable Block – they come out here every year. Snowy waxcaps Cuphophyllus virgineus on lawn around the Great Glasshouse. Their lack of any smell distinguishes from cedarwood waxcaps. Glistening Inkcap Coprinellus disseminatus in Trawscoed Wood.

November 28th

Cuphophyllus virgineus


A group of us visited the wood adjacent to the Snipe Marsh to check the condition of the 3 nest boxes. The front panel of one had been damaged, so we converted it to a robin-friendly box.

There were few water birds on Llyn Canol.

On Llyn Uchaf, there were 13 teal, a handful of moorhens, and around 20 mallard.

We saw two redwings fly into the lakeside trees.

Quite a few blackbirds, all seemed to be the native species rather than the migrants we often see at this time of year.

We also checked the remaining bird box in the small wood adjacent to the second-hand book library. This had been knocked onto the ground during recent trashing to install a metal storage container.  We intend to put a new box at this location.

Ruth and Marie saw a treecreeper and a bullfinch in the beech tree in Cae Brwyn

December 5th

The moth group found December moths in the trap. These appear every winter, when they lay their eggs on twigs in broadleaved woods, surviving the cold with well-insulated hairy thorax. Only male moths today – they have distinctly feathered antennae.