As our Wildlife Hub and team settle into the National Botanic Garden of Wales, we now begin our monthly round-up of what wildlife has been seen. August is typically the time of year where we see our juvenile birds hopping around the bushes, but we’re also seeing our summer migrants begin to leave ahead of our autumn and winter birds returning.
The well-loved Redstarts which were the topic of many conversations have successfully fledged 3 young from their nest on Waun Las NR. It has also been a good year for Blue Tits, Long-tailed Tits and Great Tit with roaming flocks now moving around the trees near Llyn Mawr. Little Grebe and Moorhen have also successfully fledged young with a couple of pairs now breeding around the Garden’s lakes. Have a listen out for Nuthatches who continue to be very vocal around Llyn Mawr as you leave Fairy Woods. The Swifts that nest in the new boxes around the Apothecary have also had a good year with 7 boxes having nests in them, August was the final time we saw our Swifts before they begin their migration back to Africa. Final highlight of the month was a male Pied Flycatcher on the 30th August near the Waterfall trees, it’s not often we see them around but was a lovely sight and ended the month perfectly.
Nothing too unusual on the mammal front around the Garden for August. Fallow Deer continue to use the wood’s near to Llyn Canol although we still have no idea where they go during the day! Wood Mice and Yellow-necked Mouse are regular sights around the Waun Las farm buildings and around the workshops and a sneaky Field Vole ran along the woods near the Waterfall.
Butterflies & Moths:
The Double-walled Garden has been a hot-spot for butterflies throughout August. The Buddleja has been a huge hit with various butterflies but Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoishell and Large Whites have all been seen using the various plants. Honey Bees, Buff-tailed Bumblebees and a European Hornet have also been seen in the area.
Whilst we’ve not been paying that much attention to the critters on the soil during August, our river dippers where out in force ready to discover what lurks in the lakes. Highlights from our month of river dipping were; countless Stonefly Larvae, Whirligig Beetles, Greater & Lesser Water Boatman, particular group highlights were large numbers of Water Scorpions, Three-spined Sticklebacks and a few lucky people even caught Smooth Newt Nymphs. Our staff highlight was a Water Stick Insect which is a great find for the site!
Orchid season is officially over for the year with many of the species having gone-over. Fungi has been beginning to raise it’s head once more with Artist’s Bracket in prime condition in a log near the gate between Llyn Mawr and Llyn Canol, the conservation volunteers have put out a sign to highlight the log. Elsewhere in Fungi we have several clusters of Turkey Tail and Oak Bracket which are two favourites of the team, and there are several groups of Birch Brown Bolete especially near the Bandstand.