Recent Wildlife Sightings – 31/03/2024

Written by: Cornelius Jones

A month into meteorological Spring, the Tawd Valley Park is alive with signs of the warmer months beginning. The Pink-footed Geese skeins have vanished, and Redwings are no longer calling from the treetops, having returned to their breeding grounds in Greenland and Scandinavia, respectively. However in their place, Chiffchaffs are singing constantly, laying claim to their territories, and birds such as Nuthatches have been spotted at their nesting sites. Tawny Owls have been heard calling throughout the Valley, too, and Grey Wagtails are now being commonly seen in pairs. Soon, most birds will become illusive – once the nesting season is thoroughly underway, many species chose to remain unseen to protect their young.

Rabbits continue to be seen in the Valley, as well as Grey Squirrels, and the tracks of rats continue to be found along the River – enticement for any raptors thinking of settling down in the Valley this year. Aside from these, it has been quiet on the mammal front, with the Roe Deer having abandoned the woodland not long ago having overwintered here.

Tadpoles have appeared at a few sites, including Yewdale – showing yet another successful breeding season for the Valley’s population of frogs. Smooth and Palmate newts are still exhibiting mating behaviour on the Manfield Allotments, and it is hoped that soon, the young of both species will be abundant in the multiple ponds on this site. Furthermore, Toads are being seen here, although no spawn has been found.

Over the next month, it is expected that Blackcaps should return to the Valley, as well as Willow Warblers and Spotted Flycatchers. Ducklings should begin to appear on the Half-mile Lake, as well as Moorhen and Coot chicks, and, if they are breeding, Kingfishers may become more active along the River as they hunt for their young. So keep an eye out when you’re down in the Valley – and make sure to let us know if you see anything of interest.