Wildlife Watch Walk January 2023

January Wildlife Watch Walk – 17/01/2023

6 or 7  members of the public joined us on our January walk. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a bird expert with us, so we were unable to identify many of the birds we heard from their song. Despite this, we saw a good number of different species of birds across the site. It was a frosty day and it had just stopped snowing as we started our walk.

We saw more spring bulbs peeking through the soil in the Jenkinson Garden. We noticed catkins on branches near the main entrance, along with molehills on the path verges. Buds are starting to form on many of the trees and bushes. As we walked along the woodland path, we saw a male blackbird, a robin, a wood pigeon and a flock of chaffinch. There was a jay amongst them too. A mob of crows flew into the tree tops and we saw a female blackbird and a great tit as we walked along the path.

When we decended to the bottom path, we stopped at the side of the Bishop’s Pond and 3 squirrels came down from the trees to the bushes at the side of the pond. Despite the fact that last week’s flood had receeded, the pond was still very full. Some areas of the pond still had large blocks of ice floating on it, despite it being the middle of the afternoon. We saw a mallard swimming on the pond and a moorhen on the island. We crossed onto Y Waun Fawr, the floodplain meadow, which was frozen solid on the pond side, but very wet on the park side, following the previous week’s floods, which saw water up to the top of the five bar gate twice in a few days. There were still hips on the hedgerow and we saw catkins on an alder sapling in the hedge. We saw and heared a mistlethrush here, along with a blue tit.

Some of the group walked further on to the first fenceline and a number of them found themselves with wet feet, as the gound was still saturated following the floods! We noted that the holly berries that were still on the trees last month had gone.

As the group walked along the bottom path, they saw some daffodil bulbs coming through, along with buds on a number of the ornamental plants around the museum. There were snowdrops and primroses coming into flower and a sparrow was seen as the group returned to receptions.