Monday, 23 November 2009

The Birds and The Briohny

The Marine and Coastal Access bill was passed on November 12th ensuring coastal areas of Great Britain will be protected.
Environmental groups such as the RSPB Cymru have welcomed the act and are encouraging the Welsh Assembly to act swiftly to create marine conservation zones.

With this in mind I joined Stella Wells from the RSPB on one of the nature walks at Forest Farm along the Taff Trail in Cardiff.

It was a cold and damp morning and I didn't know what to expect from a nature walk, especially as it involved bird watching. I'm going to be honest when I think of bird watchers I think of people with too much time on their hands wearing silly hats. I used to class bird watchers in the same category as train spotters and stamp collectors. Not any more.
For one, as it was raining I found myself wearing a silly hat and even though it was a miserable morning I had rather a good time!
We met at the Warden's office on Forest Farm road and from there took a short walk around Forest Farm to see what birds we could spot.
Whenever someone spotted a bird we would all stop and get our binoculars out to see what was flying about. I have to say, on this particular, there was not much. Because of the recent heavy rain the river was high so there were no birds perching on stones to hunt for food. I think all of the birds were hiding in the undergrowth to get out of the rain and wind. They must have had a good laugh at us all walking around trying to be as quiet as possible trying to catch a glimpse of our feathered friends. As a complete novice when it comes to spotting birds I was extremely impressed with the amount of bird knowledge that was circulating the group.
Stella managed to identify different species by their colourings, shape and of course bird song. I was amazed and slightly envious of her skills. But we did manage to see a few birds including long tailed tits, jays and of course the friendly robin.
We did get some rather odd looks from other walkers as we all stopped and gazed through the undergrowth to spy on a lonely heron that stood perfectly still staring back at us. By this point I was genuinely excited as I have never been so close to a bird with such posture and character. It wasn't the use of binoculars that opened my eyes on this journey but the enthusiasm of the group that surrounded me. If it weren't for these people it would be harder to know different species of bird that live in hear in Cardiff.
Walking around Forest Farm it was not easy to ignore the litter and rubbish that was clogging up the habitats of these beautiful creatures. It's not just the birds that are affected but whole ecosystems that are swung out of balance. The walk finished after a couple of hours and I felt humbled by the experience.
I'm glad there are bird watchers in this country that will fight to keep Britain's sky full with birds.

I spoke to Stella about the Marine and Coastal Act to get her thoughts on the matter.
Stellainterview by bribriwilliams

You can also watch a little bit of the walk on You Tube

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