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You may be surprised to learn that birding trips aren’t always dominated by birdwatching.

180517 near Cefn Cadlan

Last Sunday’s Glamorgan Bird Club trip saw 22 people striding firstly around the high moorland near Cefn Cadlan, north of Cardiff on the way to Brecon, and then exploring nearby Cwm Cadlan National Nature Reserve, an area renowned for the rare plants that thrive in its wet grasslands.

180517 lane to Cwm Cadlan

Of course, we were on the trip primarily to look for birds – and I saw my first Redstarts for the year (always on distant tree tops) and heard my first Cuckoo (exactly a year since my very first Cuckoo).

180517 Redstart

You’ll just have to believe me when I say that the dot in the centre of this photo is a Redstart

But, when the birds proved elusive, our team of talented amateur naturalists turned their attention to all the other wildlife and wildflowers that surrounded us. We saw frogs and a hare; speculated on what had left its footprints in the mud; enjoyed all the Green-veined white and Orange-tip butterflies that were nectaring on the abundant Cuckkoflowers …

180517 Green-veined white

and we turned our heads downwards to admire all the special wildflowers that surrounded us. It was a glorious sunny day, the scenery was stunning, and the flora and fauna superb.

180517 Common butterwort

Common butterwort, not yet in flower

180517 Dog violet

Dog violet

180517 Greater stitchwort

Greater stitchwort

180517 Lousewort


180517 Marsh marigold and Micropterix calthella

Marsh marigold, and the tiny moths are Micropterix calthella

180517 Native bluebell

Native bluebell

180517 Opposite-leaved golden saxifrage

Opposite-leaved golden saxifrage

180517 water avens

Water avens, a very beautiful plant and a new one for me

180517 Wood sorrel

Wood sorrel