On The Wild Side
( Images are on their way soon) On the wild side of nature it as been a wonderful year with the weather being so good. Insects have been plentiful and the higher ratio of insects the higher the population of birds and there young of which feed on insect. Now winter is with us all of the summer migrants have gone south for the winter and the winter migrants have arrived geese and ducks in there thousands. But let's cast our minds back to the summer what did you see. Maybe a dragonfly on the wing these are one of my favourite insects of all. From the time they lay there eggs it can take up to four years for them to become adults. First the adults lay the eggs then the eggs hatch out into nymph which are feared by other water dwellers including small fish on which the will feed upon. Once it is time for the nymph to change into an adult it will climb out of the water up a reed and change into a adult dragonfly by braking out of the shell of the nymph where it with dry in the sun and fly off to feed and mate. And give us the delight of seeing a dragonfly in action.
(Mating common darters)
There are also damselflies which are also as colourful with there blues reds and greens there are several species of blue damselflies , the southern, northern, Irish, azure, variable and the common. But the most spectacular are the Beautiful Demoiselle and the Emerald Green
During the summer I have seen lots of butterfly small coppers, painted ladies, red admiral peacocks and small blues along with several day flying moths the painted ladies will travel from as far as Africa all the way to Iceland at 10 miles an hour but not all of them will make it back this is to do with the weather as at the end of summer they will migrate but them the weather colds down and some of them may die
Painted ladies are migrants and small copper are native to Briton
In the woods of parc slip I came across a tawny owl, they are such a majestic bird I watched it for a little time, it was scanning the woodland for small mammals to eat like vole and mice which make up a large part of there diet.
The young will start to fledge around October and so you may hear them making a very loud screeching noise during October and November.
The summer as been full of wild flowers flee bane, orchids, and vetch to say the least. At parc slip they have made a new flower meadow which was spectacular. In the meadow there were some sunflowers which looked beautiful in the sunshine. There where lots of orchids this year more than usual I found a white bee orchid which is not so common in south Wales.
(White Bee Orchid)
Autumn as arrived and the leaves have turned bright orange, red and yellow and with that fungi have appeared, shaggy ink caps also know as lawyers wig are out there are also common puff balls, penny bun, chantarelle and sulphur tuft may fungi are edible but a lot are not so if you do want to eat them you should always ask an expert for advise or contact your local wildlife group and ask them if they do course on fungi the wildlife trust run many course on a wide range of thing so get involved with wildlife and your world will change and you will also become fit and active Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year