Sighting: Otter

The otter has always been one of my favourite creatures, but being such an elusive animals and still relatively rare here in the UK, I never expected to see one in the wild. That was until reports began to surface on local wildlife groups of a new resident on the nearby waterways. As more and…

Winter waders

Winter is a great time to see migrant birds here on the coast of Aberystwyth. Birds such as turnstones who arrive here from their homes in the northern Canada and Greenland, to enjoy the relative warmth of our shores until spring returns to the Arctic Circle. A turnstone in winter/non-breeding plumage I don’t have to…

Sighting: Wren

The wren is the most common breeding bird in the UK with an estimated 8.5 million birds. Unsurprisingly then, you can find wrens just about anywhere from farms and woodlands to our gardens and urban spaces. I last saw a wren down in the harbour ‘gap’ a few years ago, but after several months this…

Deja vu

Bird photography often requires a lot of patience and many hours of sitting in silence, hardly moving, sometimes in the freezing cold or in some pretty uncomfortable situations and even then you are rewarded with nothing but a fleeting glimpse of your subject. Sometimes however you have a lucky break and the wildlife literally wanders…

World Kindness Day

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ― Mahatma Gandhi As today is World Kindness Day what better way to spend the morning than to spread a little kindness myself by feeding the local bird population. I have a particular affection for the…

Opportunists

The humble house sparrow may not be the most glamorous of our garden birds, lacking the showy colours of the blue tit or the twinkling song of the goldfinch, but nevertheless they have a beauty and charm all of their own. Several weeks ago, during a spot of lunch at a peaceful riverside cafe we…

The Magic of Life Butterfly House

It was one of those rare Saturdays where both myself and Barrie had a day off together, with the added bonus of glorious sunshine! Keen not to waste the fine weather we decided to visit the Magic of Life butterfly house, just a few miles outside of Aberystwyth. After a short drive through the rolling…

Late arrivals

Summer is almost at an end and the breeding season is now over for much of our wildlife. The mallards here in Aberystwyth however appear to be having a late boom, with several new broods including this adorable bunch I encountered a few days ago. After the disappointment of the mute swans’ breeding failure this…

A helping hand

I am a great believer that you can find nature everywhere, providing you take the time to look for it. Sometimes however nature quite literally turns up on your doorstep, like this minuscule damselfly which found itself trapped inside my front porch a few days ago. It was a blue-tailed damselfly, a common species which…

WWT Llanelli: Geese & Swans

Whilst the Hawaiian geese were certainly the star attraction during our recent visit to Llanelli Wetland Centre there is no shortage of other geese species, as well as swans and a few surprises! One of the first geese we encountered during out time here was a pair of striking red breasted geese with bold black,…

WWT Llanelli: Close encounters

Llanelli Wetland Centre offers a unique experience to get up close and personal with many of it’s residents, including many rare and endangered species. With most of the birds here very tame and approachable the centre provides the opportunity to hand feed it’s ducks and geese with bags of seed supplied by the visitor centre….

The rarest goose in the world

Whilst Llanelli WWT is home to many beautiful, fascinating and rare species of wildfowl, none is perhaps more precious than the ‘nene’ or Hawaiian goose, the rarest goose in the world. The nene is a very tame, gentle bird, a trait which led them to be an easy target for hunters. Destruction of their habitat…