(English) First of the Year
Well not quite as there was a walk last week but little to report apart from the putting together of the new Moth trap. But this week on a cloudy, cold but quite pleasant day we set out on the first bird count of the year, following the same route as the previous one in December.
So off past the Millenium square and towards Spring Woods and, as the ground was distinctly icy we split into two groups, one on the flat ground below the Woods and the other above. The generally mild weather so far this winter contrasts very much with the freezing conditions in January 2013 and this seems to be reflected in the wild life and fauna. A clump of snowdrops already out, though frozen, as was the Jelly Ear Fungus on one of the bushes and a pair of Robins disputing territory.
Obviously different species frequent different habitats and certain species will tend to appear in specific places in the Garden. Thus as we walked up past Spring Woods the Green Woodpecker again put in an appearance and, much later in the walk, a Greater Spotted Woodpecker landed on the top of exactly the same tree by Llyn Canol as he had in December.
Bird numbers were generally good, especially on the lakes which abounded in Mallards and Moorhens, together with Coots, Teal and at least 4 Little Grebes. And in the meadow above the Slate Beds we could see at least 4 Song Thrushes at any one time and rather more Blackbirds. A flock of Long-tailed Tits were again spotted flitting amongst the trees and bushes near the bottom of Llyn Uchaf and, in the wood behind the Aqualab a Nuthatch was calling. Later on, as can be seen from the slideshow, another Nuthatch was very busy apparently trying to enlarge one of the nest boxes – this was down by the bridge leading to Waun Las. Even better, in the river there we saw and heard a couple of Dippers calling to each other.
Of course it is not only birds that we observe on these walks, as can be seen from the fungi photos. We are closely monitoring the Ghost Forest to see what fungi like African Trees and we have, as previously noted, already found one new one to the area, though not an African species. As for mammals, not sign of any Otters down by the Gatehouse or elsewhere, but a Fox was spotted hunting down by the marshy area near Woods of the World.