Quarterly Wildlife Report – Autumn 2023

Written by FoTV youth committee member – Cornelius Jones

Scarlet Cup

It’s a busy time of year for wildlife. Migratory birds are coming from Scandinavia, Iceland and Greenland, many mammals are preparing to hibernate, and others are gathering food to eat throughout the cold winter months.

In the Tawd Valley Park, this is no different. Flocks of Redwing can be seen flying about the Valley, or else feeding in treetops – listen for their high-pitched, single-noted whistling call. Pink-footed Geese can be seen above the Valley, streaming across the sky in the morning as they head out to feed on local farmland and wetlands. A flock of 15 Whooper Swans – an Icelandic migrant – was also sighted migrating over the area. It’s not all about migration, though – in the past few days raptors such as Sparrowhawks and Buzzards have been seen in the Valley, and the ‘Conny Kingy’ Kingfisher continues to steal the show on the pools outside the shopping centre. Great-spotted Woodpeckers and Grey Wagtails continue to show nicely in the treetops and on the river respectively, and our finches and tits are busy feeding in the Valley’s shrubs and trees.

Roe Deer recently spotted in the valley

A female Roe Deer was photographed walking through the Valley recently, an animal which is rarely sighted within the Park. This is a great sighting, as it shows that even large mammals can find a suitable home in the centre of our town – one of many positive outcomes of our work as FoTV. Grey squirrels are active in the Valley, no doubt searching for nutritious nuts to store as a food cache for the colder, harsher months. Evidence of foxes has been found in the Valley, although these are animals are very difficult to see. Hedgehogs are now preparing for their annual hibernation in the Valley and will soon disappear from our trail cameras for the winter.

Common Newt*

Fish can still be seen on the Half-mile Lake feeding on flies and our resident newt populations will soon be leaving our waters and finding warm cover to hibernate in.

Have you seen any interesting wildlife in the Valley lately? Feel free to share any sightings or photographs with us on social media.

We eagerly look forward to reading Cornelius’ winter wildlife report in the coming months. Watch this space.

Photo Credits – Dave Gibson and Mike Flaherty