Birds and Badgers in South Wales.

11th August.

It has to be said that the drive from the Midlands to South Wales across the Heads of the Valleys is not great at the best of times, but this time the traffic (due to endless road works that seem to involve actually removing the mountain completely in places) was even worse than usual AND it rained! Still we had been promised Kittiwakes, Mediterranean Gulls and BADGERS in the coming weekend - definitely worth the effort although some sun might be nice...

We need not have worried as Adam and Emma (see his blog at had arranged for dry weather and even some sun on the Saturday when we arrived at Mumbles Pier to marvel at the kittiwakes that still nest on the rapidly disintegrating infrastructure connecting the land with the impressive new RNLI boat-house. One wonders what the future must hold with no progress being made in the quest for vital funds for rebuilding the pier and adjoining infrastructure. Still, for now the kittiwakes are wonderful to see and Mediterranean Gulls can be enjoyed on the near-by beach.

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Kittiwake inspecting the pier.

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Mediterranean Gull.
A meal at a local hostelry then prepared us for the highlight of the day - the month even - a couple of hours watching badgers in the evening light at Dinefwr National Nature Reserve thanks to the National Trust. The National trust organises these badger-watching sessions each year - book early however to avoid disappointment!

We were entertained by up to 10 badgers at any one time enjoying peanuts and peanut butter provided by the warden. With the sky only filled with light reflective clouds the conditions were as good as anyone could hope for photographing these charming animals.

A badger emerges from the set in front of our hide.

A general view of the set and woodland glade.

There's one in here somewhere: I can smell it!
All too soon the two hours were up and we had to leave. All was not over however as we were treated to Fallow Deer in the fields as we returned to our cars.
This in a place we must return to next year...

So, was that it?
Not at all, as a walk the following day (Sunday) delivered great views of a Little Owl at Kenfig NNR although the weather was not really ideal for insect watching - as a funnel cloud descended toward us...

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Little Owl at Kenfig NNR.

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"Should we be worried"?
The drive back over the Heads of the Valleys road seemed much shorter after such a great weekend!

You are encouraged to visit for a great insight into the wonderful wild-life opportunities of South Wales.

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