Updated 2 June 2020 - New blog post - A walk down Briton Ferry Canal

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Butterfly Count at Crymlyn Bog

Date:  22 July 2020
Location:  Crymlyn Bog
Weather:  Sunny and warm :)

Today we decided to do a butterfly count as from 17th July - 9th August it's the Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count

We decided to go to one of our favourite nature reserves Crymlyn Bog as we know it is always quiet and great to get away from people. This is what we saw...


Brimstone Butterfly

Gatekeeper Butterfly

Large Blue Butterfly

Speckled Wood

The butterfly count sheet

The results for our butterfly count was:
5 Speckled Wood
1 Brimstone
4 Common Blue
2 Meadow Brown
4 Gatekeeper
2 Large White
2 Ringlet

Damselflies & Dragonflies

Azure Damselflies

Common Darter Dragonfly


Juvenile common lizards

Juvenile Common Lizard

Adult Common Lizard

Adult Common Lizard basking in the sun

This Adult Lizard as lost it's tail :(



Chiffchaff (Pic by Dan Turner)

Buzzard (Pic by Dan Turner)

Other critters spotted...

7 spotted ladybird

Common White Wave (Pic by Dan Turner)

We were very happy with our finds today, we have never seen so many lizards (I think we counted well over 30) and we noticed that signs were up to with guidance of social distancing and one way system around the boardwalk. 

My Garden

The butterfly magic didn't stop when we arrived home - in the garden was a Holly Blue, Large White and a red admiral (which I couldn't get a pic).

Holly Blue butterfly in the garden

Large White butterfly in the garden

There is still time to do the Big Butterfly Count, all you need to do is download the butterfly ID chart from the following address, sit in a sunny spot for 15 minutes  then record which species you see. Next add your counts on the website or you can download an app. It's important to give them this info as they can access the health of the environment by counting the amount of butterflies and moths we see. 

Friday, 10 July 2020

Leaping lizards I can travel further than 5 miles!

Date:  10 July 2020
Location:  Llyn Llech Owain Country Park
Weather:  Overcast with a little bit of sun :)

On 6th July 2020 the Welsh Government announced they have dropped the 5 mile restriction rule so Dan and I decided to take a little ride to Carmarthenshire - the first time I had been the car since March!

The weather was a little overcast with a bit of sun.  It was nice and warm and we wasn't disappointed with the amount of lizards (both juvenile and adult) - here are some pics what we saw...


Common Lizard

Juvenile Common Lizard

Common Lizard

Common Lizard

Large Skipper moth

Saturday, 13 June 2020

There is a wolf in my garden!

Lockdown Garden Wildlife - Day 82

Date:  13 June 2020
Location:  Garden, Neath, South Wales
Weather:  Quite warm but cloudy

Who would have thought there were wolves in my garden? Well the Wolf Spider! There are lots of them out at the moment basking in the sun and most of them are carrying egg sacs. They are agile hunters with excellent eyesight and mostly live in solitude and hunt alone. 

Wolf spiders carrying their egg sacks

Wolf spiders are unique in the way they carry their eggs in a sac at the end of their abdomen. Once the spiderlings emerge they clamber up their mother's leg and crowd together on her. They are carried around for several weeks before they are large enough to disperse and fend for themselves. No other spiders are currently know to carry their young on their backs.

(Above and below) Wolf spider with spiderlings

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

A walk down the canal

Date:  2 June 2020 (Day 2 of #30DaysWild 2020)
Location:  Jersey Canal, Briton Ferry
Weather:  Sunny, warm...beautiful :)

Today was the first time I ventured out for a walk since lock-down. I feel ashamed as I have a beautiful canal less than 5 minutes from my home and only today I went down there.

Today was also the first time Dan could come around and sit in the garden since lock-down. It was such a great feeling being outdoors among nature. The canal as changed a lot since I was last there. The paths have been resurfaced and even the dirt path towards Neath is now paved. 

We took the path towards the old Wern works and it wasn't long before we spotted our first bird: The moorhen, she was with two chicks walking among the lily pads (that were flowering and look splendid).


Moorhen chick

We walked a bit further and spotted the swans with their 2 week old cygnets. they were really close to the bank and we were unable to see or get good pictures of them, so we decided to keep walking and hoped we would get better views on the way back. We did spot some domestic ducks, mallard and more juvenile moorhens. Plus some horses grooming each other!

Domestic ducks

Female Mallard with juvenile Moorhen

Horses grooming each other

After we walked past the horses I looked back and took a shot of the canal..it truly is a beautiful place. Our next stop was the big rock (nb: trying to find out some history regarding this rock, is it there for a reason? let me know), I always look in here to see if there is any fish or tadpoles.

The beautiful canal

The large rock...why is it here? Is it some sort of sundial or just decorative?

It was nice to see none of the foliage had been cut back so time to explore for bugs...I didn't see many butterflies just a Small Blue and a Meadow Brown. I did see a few dragonflies and damselflies, but couldn't get a pic of either. I also spotted a ladybird larvae on some brambles. 

Small Blue Butterfly

Meadow Brown Butterfly

Seven spotted ladybird larvae

Interesting rock face

Just before the end of the canal is the old Wern Works. There were a few deliberate entrances so I managed to get a pic of the colourful graffiti inside. In March there had been an illegal rave in there where more than 200 people joined together for an all-night rave. You can read the article here: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/briton-ferry-rave-wern-works-17845656

The old Wern factory

The canal pretty much ends here so we turned around and walked back. We was so happy to see the swans were now on the bank and you could see the parents and 7 cygnets clearly. We never brought any food, but it wasn't long before someone arrived and they all made a beeline to her for their supper :)

So this was pretty much the end of our first walk in three months. It was lovely to be out, exploring and taking photos of what we find. I am hoping to pop down once a week to see how the swans are getting on :)