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

Saturday, 8 April 2017

A river walk along Cwm Du Glen, Pontardawe

Date:  8 April 2017
Location:  Cwm Du Glen, Pontardawe

It's been so beautiful in South Wales the last few day and today was not an exception. Blue, cloudless skies and finally a temperature that brought out a bit of colour in my cheeks. We didn't really know where to go, being a Saturday we knew most places would be busy.

We decided on a place I had only recently discovered through volunteering called Cwm Du Glen, in Pondardawe. An easily accessible walk from the heart of Pontardawe. Unfortunately, we learnt through a sign on the noticeboard that part of the walk was closed, we decided to go anyway to see what wildlife we could see. 

We were instantly greeting with the song of this pretty Wren before we even started walking.
The start of the walk, with plenty of information on the notice board (including a pic of me with other volunteers)
There were quite a few butterflies out including this Speckled Brown. I also spotted an Orange-tip and Brimstone too,

Lots of nice fungi around like this turkey tail.

The gorge is very beautiful and we spotted something landing in a tree...
...first time I have managed to get a Grey Wagtail still in a tree :) - A new one to add to the bird count
In the same tree a rather large Wood Pigeon
The path up to Glanrhyd Plantation
Unfortunately, this is where our walk had to end. so we sat here for awhile and was once again was treated to...
...another lovely Grey Wagtail
It wasn't long before he was joined by an other familiar bird we see on local rivers - a Dipper
The Dipper collecting nesting materials
The beautiful gorge

Bird watching at Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, Brecon Beacons

Date:  8 April 2017
Location:  Ogof Ffynnon Ddu National Nature Reserve

After our visit to Cwm Du Glen we decided to venture up to the Brecon Beacons to a Nature Reserve not to far from Craig-y-Nos Castle. Last year we spotted a cuckoo there, so we were hoping to have a repeat sighting.

The nature reserve is famous for it's cave system and is one of the most extensive in Europe; more than 45 kilometres of passages have been found. The caves are home to bats and insects, whilst little white blind fish reside in the underground steams. It is also the sight of past industrial activity with quarries, tram roads and bricked buildings remaining.

But we were here for the wildlife and birds...this is what we discovered:

This was taken near the car park, one of the first Swallow I have spotted this year!

Lots of Wheatears around (this one is a male)
Impressive quarry

Scene from the higher ground of the moorland
"I can see you" lots of lambs around this time if year
Female Stonechat
Sheep against a fantastic backdrop
Great views of Fan Hir which is part of the Carmarthen Fans

Lambs on the path

Path Blockers!
Male Wheatear
Female Wheatear
Meadow Pipit
Amazing landscape from the higher points of the reserve!