You may be surprised to learn that birding trips aren’t always dominated by birdwatching.
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.
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).
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 …
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.
Common butterwort, not yet in flower
Marsh marigold, and the tiny moths are Micropterix calthella
Opposite-leaved golden saxifrage
Water avens, a very beautiful plant and a new one for me