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GWENT WI LDL I F E TRUST


include uncommon puffballs, milkcaps and boletes. I like to look for small clusters of Scarlet Elf Caps on decaying sticks and branches buried in leaf litter or moss on the woodland floor. Also known as fairies’ baths, they make a tiny puffing sound when they release their spores into the air.


There are only three British mammals that truly hibernate: The Bat, Dormouse and Hedgehog, so if it snows, or even if it’s just damp and muddy underfoot, spotting and identifying tracks can be good fun on a walk. Fox, Badger, Deer, Rabbit, Squirrel as well as lots of birds should all be readily identifiable and reveal the presence of animals otherwise rarely detected.


Wherever you choose to explore, I hope you enjoy some wonderful wildlife encounters this winter – if you take any good photos, please don’t forget to share and tag @gwentwildlife on Social Media!


Andy Karran, Senior Ecologist at Gwent Wildlife Trust provides these Three Wildlife Wonders to look out for in the Wye Valley this Winter. 1.) Dippers singing – Not many birds sing in the winter, perhaps we just hear the melancholic song of the Robin in our gardens. However, if you take a walk by many of our rivers you may well be surprised to hear Dippers singing their hearts out. Dippers are early breeders and sing throughout the winter to establish their territory on a stretch of stream.


2.) Roving small bird flocks –The stillness of a winter woodland is a great experience in itself. However, the calm can be interrupted by


twittering flocks of finches or roving flocks of tits following each other from tree to tree. At this time of year many species can group together with various species of tits, Nuthatches, Goldcrests or Treecreepers flitting after each other through the woodland in their constant search for food. As suddenly as they arrive, they move on, leaving it quiet again. At this time of year the lack of leaves allows for particularly good views.


3.) The first flowers – The flower rich meadows of summer are still a long way off but our first plants will begin blooming at the start of the year. Snowdrops are famously early to flower but keep an early eye out for other species such as Lesser Celandine, Sweet Violet and Primroses, which may all start gracing our woodlands with a splash of colour as early as January.


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