From my new home on the wonderful isle of Anglesey I have been lucky enough to be immersed in Welsh wildlife. Since moving here I have met so many wonderful people who also have a passion for British wildlife and thought this would be the ideal way to share my enjoyment of the natural wonders of the island and further afield with anybody who cares to listen!
I have spent the summer working for the RSPB on the South Stack reserve and had a month off visiting the Isles of Scilly and Barcelona before starting my two jobs for the North Wales Wildlife Trust and Clive Mattock Fundraising (on behalf of the RSPB). This week, although not chasing after the rareities on Scilly I have still had plenty of wildlife “moments” – that’s what’s great about nature, it’s wonders show themselves everywhere.
I started the week fundraising at the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay. Two things struck me about this visit: the amount of native birds utilising the zoo and that I don’t like seeing Tigers in cages. The latter point being no big statement about zoos; I think the conservation work they do for endangered species is often vital, it’s just that having never been to Asia it seems unnatural to look into the eyes of that majestic creature. It was an honour to be gazed upon by one of the zoo’s Sumatran Tigers and I was filled with emotion from the experience. The upshot of this being that I could talk to a lot of the visitors about the RSPB’s work in Sumatra to conserve an area of the rainforest there where these Tigers are native. I had arrived at the zoo earlier than the first visitors and had a close-up encounter with a beautiful Grey Wagtail bobbing around on one of the ornamental ponds (with waterfall of course!) just two metres from me. I also noticed that one of the exhibits appeared to be a collection of House Sparrows. I love how resourceful our birds can be, squeezing in through the mesh of the aviary containing the Amazon Parrots. With a little help from the kiddies at the zoo I compiled a ‘zoo list’ of British birds, including a Nuthatch, Mistle Thrush, Raven, and the good old Herring Gull.
Later in the week I was working around the mouth of the Alaw estuary near Valley on Anglesey. Here I saw the congregations of Starlings that are beginning to gather and several Mistle Thrush on their way through. Visiting this area was a reminder to myself to call again soon, it’s an amazing location for wading birds and I can’t wait to see what turns up there this winter!
I will try and get out and about one morning with my good friend Ken to see if I can catch some more of the visible migration, I’ve already caught up with the Redwings and am hoping to see a Ring Ouzel or two and maybe even a Brambling!
Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!!
P.S- well done to my Dad for catching up with the young Squacco Heron at Attenborough Nature Reserve near Nottingham. I’ll eagerly await your pictures!