Ashdown Forest in late June

First light exposes the tall pines on the ridge; dawn is warm with no mist in the valleys that run down off the high heathland plateau or dew drenching the purple moor grass, heather and bracken. Midsummer arrives to the sound of churring nightjars and fluting song thrushes. A cock pheasant is caught in theContinue reading “Ashdown Forest in late June”

Cors Fochno

Cord Fochno, is a raised mire; a great lens of peat next to the Dyfi estuary a few miles to the north of Aberystwyth. At its heart, there is no solid ground, just layers of compressed Sphagnum mosses laid down on a freshwater wetland since the end of the last Ice Age. In the past,Continue reading “Cors Fochno”

Llyn Brenig and Llyn Bugeilyn

7th and 8th July 2018 On the way to the Elenydd mountains to check a merlin’s nest on the edge of a forest of Sitka spruce that has sadly failed, we stop at a small village hall to try to catch breeding swifts.  There are perhaps 10-15 pairs and they come and go flying inContinue reading “Llyn Brenig and Llyn Bugeilyn”

A Few Jars

The nightjars in the clear fells within the conifer forest are slowly being located. Late on a damp, cool night, heavy with cloud, suffocated by the humid air and an irritation of midges, we immediately find one of the four radio-tagged males. Tony knows he is likely to be sheltering the first brood, with the female somewhereContinue reading “A Few Jars”

Hinterland

The weather is uniform grey again in West Wales and the coast desolate and uninviting. This stretch of coast south of Aberystwyth was where the sad-eyed detective from the television series ‘Hinterland’ had his isolated mobile home. Beneath the long grass slope, the lively, lime green shoe-box looks out of place in front of theContinue reading “Hinterland”

Ringing Breeding Birds in Wales

Friday evening near Llyn Brenig in the Sitka spruce forests of North Wales. The warm, humid air that brought storms has been replaced by a chill northwesterly and clearing skies. In the clear-felled forest, the nightjars ‘churr’ at dusk and we try to lure a male to a large mist net with a recording of theContinue reading “Ringing Breeding Birds in Wales”