Updated 28 September 2018 - New blog post - The #PeoplesWalkforWildlife

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Day 30 - 30 Days Wild - Beach combing in the Gower

For our last day we decided to pop down to Gower to do some beach combing. It was a beautiful evening to finish our #30DaysWild.

Here are some pics from out final day in June...

Great advice!
Beautiful backdrop of Worms Head, Rhossili
Lots of flotsam to explore on the shoreline
Spider crab shell!
Sand hopper
Got no idea what this! Possibly a sea slug?
Huge jellyfish

Small jellyfish
A selection of our booty!
#30DaysWild written in the sand :)
Another large Jellyfish in the sunset

Monday, 29 June 2015

Day 29 - 30 Days Wild - Have you ever wondered what a baby pigeon looks like...

On Day 29 we had a lovely surprise - pigeons have been nesting under a footbridge on our way to work. We heard quite a lot of squawking coming from the nest and when we looked up there were two chicks! This is the first time I have ever seen baby pigeons (apart from Springwatch a few weeks ago).

Check out the pics and video of them...

Mum with the chicks
The two pigeon chicks

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Day 28 - 30 Days Wild - Rockpooling in Mumbles

On Day 28 we decided to go rockpooling in Bracelet Bay, Mumbles. It so beautiful down there with plenty of rock pools and the 18th century lighthouse as the backdrop. 

We went a few hours before low tide and here are some pics of our finding...

Bracelet bay with Mumbles Lighthouse in the background
The rockpools
Common periwinkle among the seaweed
Loads of seaweed here
Exploring under rocks trying to find marine life
Dan searching the rock pools nearer the sea
One young lad had a bit better luck than us - Thanks to him he let us take a pic of the crab he found
Lots of different shells and crab legs on the beach
Purple Topshell
Cuttlefish shell
A bit of pebble artwork dedicated to 30 Days Wild
A young raven on the beach
A sparrow in a nearby bush
When we got back to the car we saw what we thought was two black headed gulls, but on closer inspection we realised they were two different birds. One was indeed a black headed gull but the other one was a Mediterranean gull. We noticed it had a ring on it's leg with some number and letters. So we came home and did a bit of research by searching for the number and was surprised there had already been a lot of sightings in Mumbles some dating back to 2009. I have reported my sighting to the BTO and hope I get a history of it's life back soon :)

A black headed gull
A ringed Mediterranean Gull

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Day 27 - 30 Days Wild - Update on the garden birds

Today on Day 27 I thought I would sit and observe the activity in the garden. Firstly I have to say this year we have had more birds than previous years visiting the garden and we are spending an absolute fortune on bird food - we don't mind though, they are almost like our wild pets with the same birds visiting each day.

We usually get sparrows, collared doves, wood pigeons, jackdaws and magpies, but the last few day we have seen more and more starlings visiting.

Here are some pics of our typical day in the garden...

A pair of collared doves
Female sparrow with mealworm
Male sparrow hogging the seed dish
A baby jackdaw getting fed...
...and isn't he cute!
A collared dove, wood pigeon and jackdaw wait for the seed bowl to be refilled!
So how many starlings can fit in this dish?
A juvenile and adult starling foraging in the lawn
A young starling gorging on the coconut feeder.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Day 26 - 30 Days Wild - Bug update in the garden

Day 26 - the garden is now getting really wild - I am afraid to cut anything back because there are insects everywhere.

I spotted the first cinnabar moth caterpillar by the pond and I remember last year there were hundreds in the garden, so hopefully he will have some friends soon. The highlight of the garden was the Mullein moth caterpillar on the buddleia. I remember taking a photo of it back on Day 11 and he was tiny, now he is at least 2" in length - never seen them in the garden before.

Cinnabar moth caterpillar
Mullein moth caterpillar
The garden seems to be thriving with moths and caterpillars and I spotted this yellow shell moth on the crocosmia and a small micro moth (I am yet to ID) near the pond.

Yellow shell moth
Micro moth I am yet to ID
Other insects worth a mention were common field grasshopper and garden spider, both developing fantastic patterns. I haven't seen that many garden spiders yet this year but the female spider as a tragic life. After she has mated she becomes swollen with eggs.  She then builds a egg sack and dedicates her life to protecting them, She is unable to leave the eggs to feed so she dies in the autumn before her babies hatch out in the spring. 

The shield bugs have stopped mating and I could only see one or two in the garden now. 

Common field grasshopper
Garden spider
Shield bug

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Day 24 - 30 Days Wild - Urban wildlife & Foxy is back!

Day 24 and once again we had a foxy visitor in the early hours - 3:37am to be exact, he (or she) was enjoying some peanuts we had put down the night before. The camera is great and has many features that we need to master...one of the best wildlife gadgets we have bought to date.

In our lunch break we once again ventured around the city, this time Swansea Marina - Earlier in the month we had seen cormorants on the waters so we were hoping to see them once more.

Around the marina all we could see were mostly seagulls and pigeons.

Swansea Marina
One of the pigeons having a rest
As we walked around the Marina we started to see a few other birds, including one mallard and a solitary swan, 

Female Mallard
Near the sail bridge (where we originally saw the cormorants) were numerous amounts of seagulls - herring and black back gulls.

A row of gulls on the River Tawe
Lesser black back gull & herring gull
Juvenile herring gull
Not far from them, on a walkway near Sainsbury's, we spotted someone feeding the pigeons - there were loads of them!

The person feeding the pigeons 
Lots of them!
Then the seagulls came in for some lunch!
Close up of a herring gull
There were a few other birds trying to get some food - sparrows, starlings and a beautiful young carrion crow. But the majority of birds today were definitely pigeons!

Young carrion crow 
The pigeons! There's no escaping them :)