Archives for April 2010

Bank holiday wash out?

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 15:43 UK time, Friday, 30 April 2010

The bank holiday weekend is upon us and I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that there is more rain and heavy showers on the way!

We've enjoyed some very pleasant and warm weather this month but May is going to get off to a cool and unsettled start with low pressure over us and chilly winds from the Arctic will bring a drop in temperature on Sunday and Monday.

This evening rain and showers will slowly die away so drying-up overnight. The wind falling light with a few mist and fog patches. Lowest temperatures between 3 and 8 Celsius.

Saturday should see a dry start for much of the country. Mist and fog patches will lift. A little sunshine is likely but showers will brew up and if you catch one, it could be heavy with thunder.

Some longer spells of rain are likely during the afternoon. If you manage to stay - dry consider yourself lucky! Top temperatures 11 to 14 Celsius with generally light winds.

The sea temperature is around 9 or 10 Celsius.

Most of us could be in for a good soaking tomorrow night with 1 to 2 inches of rain possible in places.

On Sunday it's an improving story. The rain will gradually clear and it will turn drier and brighter. Mind you it will feel chilly with a moderate to fresh north to north-easterly wind. Highs only 9 to 12 Celsius.

Monday should be a better day. Cool but apart from the odd shower most places dry with some sunshine. Temperatures below average 9 to 12 Celsius with a northerly breeze.

Despite the weather, there's plenty going on this weekend: 

The Newport Bay Spring Festival is in full swing in North Pembrokeshire.

The Mumbles Blues and Jazz Festival is on until Monday.

And if you're in Swansea, head to the Big Screen and have a go at reading the news in English or Welsh between 11am and 3pm on Sunday and Monday.

The RDP Welsh Rally, is running on Sunday 2nd May on the Mynydd Epynt military ranges, with the competitive stages starting at 9 am. Access for spectators is via the A40 at Llywe.

The Aberdovey Rowing Club's mens team are competing in the Celtic Challenge rowing race from Arklow in Ireland to Aberystwyth, rowing across the Irish Sea tonight and arriving in Aberystwyth early on Saturday morning.

Four of the rowing club's ladies members are combining with Aberystwyth ladies to form a team and are competing in the same gruelling race.

Some rain and showers are forecast but with light to moderate winds the sea shouldn't be too rough. Good luck!

You can find more things to do this weekend in Gull's blog.


Things to do this bank holiday

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 09:52 UK time, Friday, 30 April 2010

The weather forecast is predictably grim for the long weekend but never fear - I'm sure it will be hot and sunny again once we're all back in work next week...

Make the most of your time in between the showers though. Here are a few ideas from around Wales that you might like to try:

North West Wales has plenty going on, ranging from the Llandudno Transport Festival to red squirrel spotting at Plas Newydd.

In North East Wales, Mold celebrates it's historical importance with the first ever Bailey Hill Festival on 2 May whilst if you prefer your cross dressing and folk! - Holywell's, Cadi Ha Festival is probably more up your alley!

If you fancy some free live music, then pop along to the Butetown Jazz Festival down in Cardiff Bay. You can see music at Mermaid Quay on Saturday and Monday and at the Millenium Centre on Sunday.

If you're out and about in South West Wales then why not join the Sea Trust on a free porpoise picnic on Monday from 2.30pm at Strumble Head.

If the weather brightens up as expected - you might just see some, as well as seals and sea birds so pop along with binoculars, food and friends. But if the weather turns sour - don't bother!

In Pembrokeshire at Freshwater West beach you can watch the best surfers in Wales, battling it out at the National Surfing Championships on Saturday and Sunday.

The following divisions will be held: Junior U18, Cadet U16, Youth U14, Grommet U12, Junior Girl U18, Longboard Junior U18 and Masters. The surf forecast looks pretty good so heats will begin early on Saturday.

In Mid Wales at Lake Vynwy, peregrine falcons can be seen nesting at the north end and an osprey has also been spotted so call into the RSPB centre for more details. It's a beautiful spot and well worth a walk around the reservoir.

Feeling adventurous? Download one of the RSPB 'Trails in Wales' and give your walking boots a work out.

You might also find shelter from the showers in the Dolaucothi Gold Mines in Carmarthenshire, where a Roman water wheel is being unveiled - 2,000 years after the Roman miners left this part of Wales.

The wheel has been painstakingly recreated by a young local craftsman, and is based on an original fragment found buried deep in the mines during the 1930's.

The BBC has a save the bee campaign coming up soon, so if you spot any whilst out walking or in the garden - take a photo and send it in to our Flickr group.

It's also International Dawn Chorus Day on 2 May so get up early and listen to the larks in your area. Visit the website to find your nearest location or just stand in your garden!

That's it for now. I'll update more as when things come in.

Enjoy your time off and drive safely


Scoter around Camarthen Bay

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 13:50 UK time, Thursday, 29 April 2010

Common Scoter sea ducks came in their droves to Carmarthen Bay this winter, smashing previously recorded numbers. There are usually around 20,000 birds in the Bay but this winter it was an astonishing 43,000!

The numbers, revealed by the Countryside Council for Wales, were recorded as part of the Countryside Council for Wales' programme of work to monitor wildlife in marine areas of European importance for wildlife.

Dr Bill Sanderson, CCW Marine Monitoring Ecologist said: "It has been a remarkable year for Common Scoter in Carmarthen Bay. The cold winter probably contributed greatly to the size of this year's flock, with birds from Scandinavia being displaced and settling in our relatively warmer waters".

"Overall, this winter's results show the importance of our sustained monitoring work in understanding the condition and sensitive management of Carmarthen Bay."
WWT Consulting's surveyors, on behalf of CCW, counted the birds from cliff tops and other good vantage points around the bay.

James Darke, of WWT Consulting, noted that most of the ducks were recorded in a 8km long dense, continuous band extending from close to Pendine sands near the Three Rivers estuary around to west of Dolwen Point. 

Cold spell for bank holiday

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 10:32 UK time, Thursday, 29 April 2010

Most of Wales enjoyed its warmest day of the year so far yesterday thanks to southerly winds from Spain.

Rhyl in Denbighshire was the hot spot with a high of 21 Celsius, 70 Fahrenheit - On a par with Palermo in Sicily and well above the April average!

Unfortunately, though, the warm spell is not going to last through the Bank Holiday weekend and waterproofs and a jumper will come in handy.

It's already feeling cooler today and it's going to turn even colder on Sunday and Monday when brisk north to north easterly winds from the Arctic will bring a drop in temperature.

Some rain and showers are likely too but it should brighten up on Sunday. At the moment, Bank Holiday Monday looks dry with some sunshine but chilly and next week there's a risk of some ground frost.


Lovely tits spotted

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 16:19 UK time, Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A pair of birds - whose nearest relatives live in the high-altitude bamboo forests of Asia - have been found at RSPB Conwy nature reserve in Llandudno Junction.

Two bearded tits were found in the reedbeds at the reserve yesterday afternoon by local birdwatchers Alex Humprheys-Jones and Julian Wheldrake.

It's the first time that the bird has been seen at RSPB Conwy, and more than 40 years since the species bred in North Wales!

A bearded tit by Keith Williams:

Bearded tits are a type of 'babbler' and, despite the name, not related to blue tits and great tits that are common in local gardens and woodland.

They are a species of conservation concern, with a UK population of around 550 breeding pairs.

Numbers crashed in the 20th century following wetland drainage and cold winters, though they have never been abundant in Wales, arriving here sporadically from England and the Netherlands during 'irruptions' of young birds in the autumn.
In recent years, Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve - which is owned and managed by the Countryside Council for Wales is the only place where these birds have nested and bred.

Keep your eyes peeled for tits around Wales and let me know if you spot any.


Medieval walking festival

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 09:40 UK time, Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Staying with walking festivals...

There's a medieval theme to the Prestatyn and Clwydian Range walking festival happening in May which you might like to take part in, if you live in North East Wales.

Find out more on BBC News Online.



Preseli Walking Festival

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 13:28 UK time, Monday, 26 April 2010

I hope you had a good weekend. I went to the Gwaun Valley in North Pembrokeshire to launch the 3rd Preseli Walking Festival on Saturday afternoon.

Around 50 people turned up for a short circular walk led by writer and geologist Dr. Brian John.

Brian shared his knowledge of the area and explained the history of the route. Fortunately, the weather was kind to us, fine and warm with hazy sunshine.

After the walk we enjoyed a cream tea at the Gelli Fawr Hotel in Pontfaen.

The month long festival during May offers a huge choice of walks for all ages and abilities, from two mile rambles for the whole family to 17 mile navigation treks across the blue stone hills for experienced walkers.

The festival links together many other events and festivals taking place across North Pembrokeshire during May.

It begins with the Newport Bay Spring Festival and ends with the Fishguard Folk Festival but there are also events taking place in St. Dogmael's and Maenchlochog.

Find out more at the

On Sunday, I climbed to the top of Carn Ingi  and enjoyed wonderful views over Newport. I've been to Pembrokeshire several times but this was my first visit to the Gwaun Valley which is a hidden gem and I hope to go back one day soon and explore the area further.

The weather over the next few days looks largely dry with high pressure close by and some warm sunshine too.

However, some coasts and hills in the south and west will be cooler with low cloud, mist and spots of drizzle.

On Thursday and Friday, it looks like it will turn cooler and fresher with a few showers.

At the moment, the Bank Holiday Weekend looks chilly with some sunshine and a risk of ground frost.


Nature and outdoor news

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 16:01 UK time, Friday, 23 April 2010

A quick round up of nature and outdoors news from this week:

Farming Awards

Alun Wyn Evans has beaten off stiff competition to be named Wales' winner of the Nature of Farming Award, a competition run by the RSPB and Countryfile magazine.

Mr Evans's 55-hectare farm in Meirionnydd, NW Wales is a haven for breeding lapwing and attracts yellowhammer and curlew, which are all in serious decline in Wales.

His farm is also home to a variety of plants such as the eye-catching marsh orchids and yellow irises.

It looks like the three week wave drought is finally over! as low pressure heads our way on Sunday and into next week. Surfing widows everywhere will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief.

The Welsh National Surfing Championships are scheduled to take place from 1-3 May at Freshwater West in Pembroksehire - a real testing ground for any surfer. More on that next week.


The first in a series of 9 guided walks in 9 different locations over the coming 9 months
led by the National Trust on Gower took place this week.

30 people joined Sarah Stevens, the local National Trust Warden, for a leisurely paced walk around the cliff tops of Worms Head, FallBay and Mewslade.


The next walk is on Sunday 30 May taking in Pennard Cliffs, Pwll Du and BishopstonValley.


There is a charge of £3 per person and booking is essential. For further information please call 01792 390636


A small corner of Anglesey will explode into colour next week as the rhododendron garden at Plas Newydd comes into bloom. Over 50 varieties are crammed into the 5 acre garden owned by the National Trust, which is open from now until the end of June.

Bird spotting

The BBC Osprey cam is once again operational so you can spy on the osprey's nesting at Glaslyn. Apparently there are three eggs in the nest now so great news


Unless you've had your head buried in the sand over the last fortnight you'll be aware that the volcanic eruption over in Iceland produced some spectacular sunsets thanks to all the ash floating around in the atmosphere and a lack of rain. The gallery we compiled with your photos featured some spectacular shots.

Skomer Marine Nature Reserve

Celebrated it's 20th Annniversary and I popped along to see if I could photograph a puffin from a boat - I had mixed results!. You can read all about it in a previous blog.

Fake eggs are good for business

Fake eggs are being offered to businesses by Cardiff Council to cope with nuisance seagulls during breeding season.

Traffic in SW Wales

There's been a bad accident on the M4 west bound between J33 and J35 which has been closed off. The M4 section is due to open again later this evening.

That's it for now. Hope you've enjoyed the blogs this week.

If you've got anything you'd like me to feature in this blog, then e-mail me at and I'll do my best to give it a mention.

Have a great weekend and slap on plenty of sun cream!


London marathon weekend weather

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 15:24 UK time, Friday, 23 April 2010

Despite plenty of sunshine this week, it hasn't been all that warm and you may have had the heating on as the nights have been particularly cold with some frost.

At Capel Curig in Snowdonia the temperature dropped to -5 Celsius, on the morning of 22 April.

The good news is that I think we've seen the worst of the frost for a while because its going to turn warmer over the next few days.

Saturday looks the best day of the weekend for sunshine with highest temperatures between 16 and 19 Celsius, (61- 66 Fahrenheit). Some coasts will be cooler where the wind is coming in off the sea.

Don't forget the sun is strong enough to burn and if you're suffering from hay-fever this may be due to high levels of pollen from ash and birch trees.

Much of Wales has been dry now since 5 April but the drought will be broken on Saturday night when a drop of rain is expected!

Sunday will bring a mixture of cloud with some sunshine and scattered showers. Top temperatures will be around 16 Celsius but cooler on the south and west coast with a sea breeze.


If you're taking part in the London Marathon on Sunday, some sunshine is likely. Conditions will favour spectators rather than the runners, with some sunshine and warm, humid conditions during the race.

Coverage of the race begins from 8.30am on BBC Two.

Highs of 19ºC are expected for the afternoon, with the small chance of a shower in the afternoon which could hit the slower runners.

Next week we could be in for a taste of summer when temperatures could hit the magic 21 Celsius or 70 Fahrenheit.

Goodluck if you're entering the marathon. 



Slow mow

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 14:25 UK time, Thursday, 22 April 2010

Now here's something we can all willingly help out with this summer.

Not only does it give nature a helping hand - it also gives 'the mowers' amongst us a very good excuse not to mow the lawns quite so often! ;)

RSPB Cymru are asking us not to mow our lawns quite so much and to spare a thought for the wild flowers that may or may not be springing up in the middle of your lawn.

Not only do they look nice but they provide valuable pollen for our insect friends and we all know how much trouble our bees are in currently.

A hoverfly feeding on a daisy by Gareth Morgan:

And let's face it, the flowers tend to be past their best after a couple of weeks anyway, (depending on the species) so enjoy them while you can.

I've recently spared two types of primrose and some rogue 'forget-me-nots' and my lawn is pretty small.

So, longer lawns = more flowers = more insects = more food for our garden birds = more food for chicks.

Another tip is to shorten the blades on your lawnmower so the grass remains a little longer after cutting.
Now, if all this sounds like too much hard work (I can't believe it would) but if it does, then how about setting aside a little area in your garden for some longer grass? It could just be a foot square but left a little longer for a couple of weeks.

Thrushes, blackbirds, dunnocks, finches and house sparrows all love to feed in longer grass.

It's not just us though...The RSPB are also urging local councils to leave roadside verges to grow for a few more weeks, before they're trimmed.

I've noticed loads of dandelions lately as I drive home from work and they bring a lovely splash of colour to an otherwise dull roadside. They also provide a valuable source of nectar for bees.

Fancy turning your garden into more of a wildlife haven?

Visit the RSPB website and BBC Breathing Places for some simple ideas that will make a big difference in your garden.

If you've tried any of these out then take a picture and send it in or let me know what you've been up to in the comments area.



Happy 20th birthday for marine reserve

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:02 UK time, Wednesday, 21 April 2010

I was lucky enough to join in the 20th Anniversary celebrations for the Skomer Marine Nature Reserve yesterday afternoon, down in Martin's Haven, Marloes in Pembrokshire.

Various wildlife bodies from all over Wales had gathered at the Countryside Council for Wales(CCW) offices nestled inside of Wooltack Point, to celebrate the successes of the marine reserve so far and to look at what lies ahead for one of the world's greatest nature reserves.

View of the island from the boat:


Skomer is best known for it's puffin population that arrives each spring but it also has an incredibly complex eco-system beneath the waves and CCW are keen to educate people more about what they can't see. Pop into the visitor centre and you'll be amazed by the displays and images on display there.

Phil Newman, Marine Nature Reserve officer - explains the 3D mapping exhibit:


The marine nature reserve - the only one in wales was established back in 1990 and has provided invaluable data to marine biologists, scientists and universities over the years.

The complex data collected almost daily from the waters around the island helps form the evidence needed to advise on policy for the Welsh Assembly Government and aids long term trends and advice.

Dr Robin Crump - Chairman of the Advisory Committee reflected on the last twenty years and noted that one of Skomer's biggest successes was that "it was still in as pristine a state now, as it was back in 1962" when he first dived there.

Dr Robin Crump making a speech:


A notable turning point came in 1985 when scallop dredging was filmed by a team of divers. The footage clearly showed the damage being done to the ocean floor and caused enough concern to enable the South Wales Sea Fisheries Committee to introduce a by-law to ban scallop dredging and commercial fishing here altogether.

The rest is history and the ocean bed now thrives with fish, scallops, lobster, sea squirts, starfish, crab, sponges, coral and even 50-100 year old sea fans.

You don't have to dive deep to see the real beauty of this place either. With excellent visibilty, most species can be seen between 5-10 metres down - easily accessible for snorkelists.

Naturalist, Iolo Williams also popped in to share his island insights and having visited the island 46 times, realised he'd been seeing it "with only one eye open" on previous filming visits.

The team and Iolo Williams (far right) displaying the winning photographs:


Diving here really opened his eyes to the amazing world of colour and life beneath the surface and he ranked this reserve right up there amongst the world's best.

With speeches over and a quick photography competition winner announced - (the winning shot was of a stunning cuckoo wrasse by Tom Moran), we boarded a boat and had a quick tour of the southern side of the island.

A camera shy puffin:


I first visited the island as a boy obsessed with wildlife and birds in particular, so it was lovely to see the island again and try to remember where I'd walked - tricky from a boat though!

The sea was a bit choppy and a chilly N wind kept us on our toes but with blue skies and a shiny golden orb above us - nobody was complaining. We even saw a plane flying over?!

Amazingly, horses used to be swum across to the island and judging by the eddies and rips we encountered, they must have been strong swimmers...

Seals entering the water:


As ever, all eyes were on the look out for those colourful clowns of the sea - the puffin, which were buzzing around furiously, as if their lives depended on their wings not touching water.

We saw countless puffin 'derrieres', as they careered away from the boat at speed.

Whenever I readied my camera, they'd disappear underwater - never to seen again. But I did eventually manage to get a few shots.

Another puffin flying away from my lens:


I also had a good chat with the new warden here - Chris Taylor who will spend the next 5 years living on the island, for up to 9 months at a time. They have a reprieve in winter time as supplies are hard to get shipped over.

One thing I never realised was just how many manx shearwaters visit the island - an estimated 165,000 pairs and I thought Bardsey Island had a lot!

The lantern:

lantern.jpgAnd then of course there are the 6,000 puffins who arrive each year to lay a single egg and raise their chick before heading off to warmer climes for winter.

Rounding the corner we passed by 'the lantern' - a stunning natural sea cove, and popular spot for seals to give birth to their pups.

On our way back to Martin's Haven, we pulled into the picturesque bay where the passenger ferry normally lands and there in the adjacent cove - around 40 seals stared blankly in our direction.

Just as I raised my camera, a few lost their nerve and suddenly they all began charging down the shingle beach and into the water before realising that we were no threat.

Splashing over we watched the pups on the beach for a while and spotted a few guillemots on the steeper cliffs.

If you've never been then it's a must visit. Besides the puffin, guillemot, razorbill and seals - you'll also find at least four pairs of peregrine here as well as rare slow worm and the odd rabbit.

Later this year, Skomer Island will become one of Wales' first Marine Conservation Zones as part of the Marine and Coastal Access Act.

A network of marine protected areas within the UK will now be possible and could be in place as early as 2012. 

It's not too late to nominate your own site for protection too, so visit the Marine Conservation Society website for details or vote for one of the 73 sites they're recommending. 

I'll definitely be returning soon for a closer encounter with those elusive puffins.


CCW - Skomer Island
Monitoring and diving off the marine reserve - A BBC Local SW article
Skomer Island walk on BBC Local South West
Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales - Skomer Island

A frosty reception

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 09:39 UK time, Wednesday, 21 April 2010

You will often hear me and other weather forecasters referring to 'ground frost' and 'air frost' during our weather bulletins but probably wondering what the difference is?

At night when the skies are clear, the ground surface cools down rapidly and heat from the sun, escapes quickly into the atmosphere.

The air in contact with the ground cools down a lot but because air is a good insulator i.e. the higher up you go, the lesser the cooling effect.

So on a calm, clear night, a thermometer on the ground will normally read several degrees colder than one positioned a few feet higher up.

Meteorologists measure standard temperatures (the ones you see on forecasts) at a height of around 1.5 metres or 4 feet above ground in a Stevenson screen.

So, if the forecaster says "a low of 3 Celsius tonight" they mean the temperature at about 'shoulder height'.

Air frost:

When the temperature in the Stephenson screen reaches zero, there is said to be an 'air frost'.

Even with an air frost, the ground can sometimes stay above freezing. This often happens in early autumn, when the soil still retains some of its Summer heat.

Normally though the temperature at ground level will be significantly colder!

Ground frost:

Sometimes the air temperature at night dips to 3 or 4 Celsius, but the forecaster still warns of a 'ground frost' and the need to scrape the frost off your car windscreen in the morning.

This is because the ground can reach freezing while the air temperature remains above.

The next few days are looking fine and settled with plenty more sunshine.

However, the nights will turn cold with more ground frost and in some rural areas a slight air frost is likely too, with temperatures falling just below freezing.

Gardeners should continue to cover up any delicate plants or bring them indoors just in case.


The dry spell continues

Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 13:58 UK time, Monday, 19 April 2010

I hope you managed to get out and enjoy the sunshine over the weekend. I went for a short walk on Sunday in the Vale of Glamorgan - from Broughton down to the beach, followed by lunch in the Plough and Harrow pub.

The weather was stunning with hardly a breath of wind. The temperature in the shade was only 15 Celsius with a gentle sea breeze but the sun was still strong enough to burn.

In case you were wondering - the last time we had any rain to speak of in Wales was on 5 April.

Apart from the odd shower today and tomorrow, the rest of this week looks dry with high pressure taking control again.

This means more sunshine but with cooler air trickling down from the north, the nights are going to be cold with some ground frost.

There may even be pockets of air frost so if you're a gardener it would be a good idea to cover-up any delicate plants or bring them indoors.

If you want rain, it looks like you'll have to wait until next Sunday (April 25th) at the earliest.

Volcano update:

The volcano in southern Iceland was still erupting ash to a height of approximately 3 km at 10am today.

There are reports of thin deposits of ash reaching the ground. I noticed a sandy-grey dust on my car this morning so gave it a quick wash.

More ash is expected to reach us this week but hopefully there will be an improvement over the weekend with a change in the wind direction.

The wind is predicted to turn into the south and southwest on Saturday which should help to blow the ash away from Britain.

Current eruptions are weakening but, for the time being, weather patterns continue to blow volcanic ash towards the UK.


Fossil hunting

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:45 UK time, Monday, 19 April 2010

I hope you're all enjoying the summer so far. It's been a great weekend.

I managed to get out and about with the family this weekend and took a wander down to Monknash on the dropping tide for a walk.

Plenty of fisherman down there so I think there must have been a competition on. Either that or news had gotten round of a freak shoal of tuna?!

Here's a photo of one of the fossils found by Sennen.

Pholadromya-glabra circa 190,000,000 years old:

According to Professor John Cope of Cardiff Museum, this is one of the nicest specimens to have come out of Monknash and quite a rarity in terms of the fossil register for that area.

The cliffs were, as ever spectacular and I spotted a few fulmar nesting high up on the cliffs, whilst others soared along the cliff tops riding the thermals.

As usual - fossils galore and recent cliff slides had helped. My friend's son, Sennen - seemed to have an uncanny knack of finding them with 'Devil's Toenails' coming out of his ears by the end! A young 'Indiana Jones' in the making me thinks...

Volcanic dusk at Penclawd by Eiona Roberts:

The sunset and sunrise gallery has been taking shape on the nature & outdoors portal and we've got11 nice pics in there now, for your viewing pleasure. I'll update as and when they come in - details on how to send in your best pics are on the website.

I hope you haven't been stuck in an airport somewhere during this sunny spell.

More nice weather on the way but a change is coming towards the end of the week so I might finally get to go surfing again.


Bloomin' marvellous weather

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 15:18 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

We've enjoyed some beautiful weather this week and there's more fine weather to come over the weekend too.

Saturday will be the sunniest day and pleasantly warm. Top temperatures 16 Celsius with light winds. Sea breezes will keep some coasts cooler.

Sunday will be cloudier with a few showers in the north otherwise dry. The best of the sunshine in southern counties. Highs around 15 Celsius but nearer 11 on the north coast.

The RHS Spring Flower Show is on at Bute Park Cardiff this Saturday and Sunday and the weather will be blooming marvellous! But if you're a gardener the nights will turn chilly with some ground frost likely over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the ash cloud is likely to produce some vibrant sunsets and after yesterday's blog, I've received a few photographs that offer a hint of some extra-colourful scenes witnessed across Wales.

Sunset by Rosemary Williams, Waen, St Asaph:

As far as the volcanic eruption on Iceland is concerned, the main ash cloud is being carried eastwards from southern Iceland as shown by the bright reddish colour.

A plume between 20,000 and 30,000 ft can be seen over the North Sea and Denmark. Ash dust has been detected in Scotland, South East England and as far south as Exeter.

Current predictions show that winds high in the atmosphere will turn more westerly over the weekend taking the ash away from our part of the world.


However, next week winds blowing from the north could bring further ash across parts of the UK.

The Met Office are monitoring the situation closely and you can keep up to date with developments online at


Volcanic dust over Wales

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 13:40 UK time, Thursday, 15 April 2010

As you may already know - ash from an erupting volcano on Iceland is causing major disruption at airports across Britain today.

You can see an incredible satellite image of the eruption happening here.

Many flights have been cancelled as the ash cloud - between 20,000 to 35,000 ft high in the atmosphere, threatens the safety of airliners.

It's been reported that no air traffic will be permitted in or out of U.K Airspace from midday to 1800 BST on 15 April so the majority of UK airports are closed or closing including Cardiff International Airport.

The cloud of volcanic ash can clog up aircraft engines and reduce pilots visibility.

Clouds of smoke and ash coming from volcano in Iceland on 14 April

In the past, large volcanic eruptions have had a massive effect on our weather...

In 1815 a huge eruption on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa caused freak weather conditions throughout the world.

Mount Tambora spewed out massive amounts of sulphur dioxide which combined with water vapour to form a sulphuric acid mist that reflected sunlight away from the earth!

That caused such a drop in temperatures that 1816 became known as "the year with no summer".

Crops failed due to low daytime temperatures, late frosts and abnormally high rainfall which led to food riots, famine and disease.

Ireland had 142 days of rain that summer. France lost it's grape harvest and North America had snow in summer.

Fear not though - the current eruption on Iceland is relatively small so any changes in temperatures are likely to be insignificant.

Strong winds high in the atmosphere are carrying the ash towards us and rain would normally wash some of the dust down to the ground. 

However, there is little chance of this happening now, as high pressure will keep things dry over the next couple of days and the ash will slowly disperse.

However, the ash cloud could lead to some stunning sunsets and sunrises! So keep a close eye on the sky over the next few days.

Take a look at our dramatic volcanic skies gallery


More on this story from BBC News Online

Quarries and Coves

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 11:31 UK time, Thursday, 15 April 2010

Don't forget, Weatherman Walking - Series 3 is currently being repeated on BBC Two Wales at 7.30pm tonight.

In tonight's episode I visit the Ceredigion coast and keep an out for dolphins and hillforts as I make my way along the coastal footpath between New Quay and Llangrannog.

Next up, I hit the Trefil trails to visit the historic and spooky 'Chartist's Cave', uncover an ancient Bronze Age burial cairn and discover a nearby Doctor Who location.

Sci-fi fans can find more Doctor Who locations in Wales on a new map featured on the BBC Wales Arts portal.

See some photos from each of tonight's walks:

New Quay walk photo gallery

Trefil walk photo gallery


You must be kidding?

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 13:35 UK time, Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Wild goat herds on the Great Orme in North Wales were rounded up and given contraceptive jabs to control their numbers, and so far results have been good.

A majestic looking, Kashmir goat on the Great Orme by Sharon Jones-Williams:

The number of 'kids' being born this year is down by almost two thirds, so local gardeners will be relieved.

More on this story over on BBC News.


Spot the difference?

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 11:59 UK time, Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Just for fun, can you spot which species of bird looks out of place in this flock?
The pic was sent in by Tony Llewellyn.

Leave your guesses in the comments area below and I'll let you know the answer on Friday.


Another beautiful day in Wales

Post categories:

Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 19:47 UK time, Tuesday, 13 April 2010

It's been another beautiful day in Wales with bright skies and sunshine and a large range in temperatures too.

At Hawarden in Flintshire the day started with a slight frost this morning but by the middle of this afternoon the temperature had rocketed to 14 Celsius.

That's typical for this time of year - with warm, sunny afternoons followed by clear skies at night causing temperatures to plummet, bringing frost and havoc to the garden!

If you're hoping for a drop of rain, bad news I'm afraid as there is no sign of any on the horizon. The weather is set to be fair over the next few days with a ridge of high pressure over us.

If you've got any plans for the weekend, at the moment Saturday looks fine and sunny but on Sunday it may turn cooler.

Northerly winds will be bringing a big drop in temperatures along with some frost and a few showers.

And for those of you with green fingers, the BBC Dig In road show will be in Castle Square, Swansea this Friday and Saturday, so pop along.

Get some advice from the expert gardeners there, and pick up some free Dig In seeds as well!


Lick an otter today

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 14:09 UK time, Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Ever fancied or licking an otter? (legally of course) or perhaps keeping a bat in your wallet to scare your friends with?

Well now you can...

The Royal Mail have released a series of stamps featuring ten British mammals that are currently considered to be in decline.


These range from the sleepy dormouse to the prickly hedgehog as well including monsters of the deep, such as the mighty sperm whale.

Find out more about it on the Guardian website or see them at the Royal Mail's website.

The stamps go on sale today.

Fangs for the memory

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:19 UK time, Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Shane Jones posted up this amazing macro photo of a spider to our Flickr group recently.

The spider as you can see, has rather large fangs and was fairly aggressive when disturbed - raising it's front legs and showing it's fangs.


Shane was unsure of what species it was, so I contacted the British Arachnological Society for identification.

John Partidge and Peter Harvey were both kind enough to reply saying that "it was one of the two Dysdera species - 'crocata' or 'erythrina', known as the woodlouse eaters."

"They do differ in size, with 'crocata' being the larger of the two"

But a proper study would be required to determine which of the two it was.

These spiders do not make a web and hide by day in silk cells hidden under bricks and in garden sheds etc.

At night they come out and hunt woodlouse, piercing their armour shells with those impressive fangs.

Although harmless, they are one of the few British species of spider, capable of giving you a painful bite so best left alone.

This explains why I had so many dead woodlouse laying about in an old lean to in my previous house. I'd always assumed it was an opportunistic wolf spider making the most of what was available during the winter.

Little did I know that my woodlouse were living in fear of their lives each night!


If you go down to the woods...

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 15:33 UK time, Monday, 12 April 2010

Today, you're sure of a big surprise.

Eiona Roberts from our Flickr group certainly had one, when she heard a strange bird call coming from the woods.


Having successfully tracked the call, she stumbled across a large guinea fowl sat on a fence between some houses and Glyncollen woods, just north of Swansea and took about 20 photos.


Apparently someone used to breed them years ago and it appears that one or two have escaped.

Guinea fowl are originally native to Africa but are now found all over the world since being domesticated.

You can even order them in different colours commercially nowadays - pearl, lavender, mulberry, chocolate - presumably to match your curtains and scatter cushions?

Unbelievable but true


British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 14:04 UK time, Monday, 12 April 2010

Here's something that may interest all you budding wildlife photographers out there, as well as our own BBC Wales Nature Flickr group members.

Damsel fly silhouette by Ross Hoddinott:
An exhibition featuring the very best of British wildlife photography will be visiting North Wales from 3rd April to 23rd May 2010.

The British Wildlife Photography exhibition featuring all winning and commended entries from the competition last year will be on show in the gallery at Penrhyn Castle, Bangor.

The exhibition features around 70 stunning images including 'Damsel fly silhouette', the overall winner of the British Wildlife Photographer category.

You'll also be able to see an image of a red squirrel taken in Kielder Forest in Northumberland by 14 year old Will Nichols who won the Young British Wildlife Photographer under 18 category.

The photographs will be exhibited in Penrhyn Castle - an enormous 19th-century neo-Norman castle which sits between Snowdonia and the Menai Strait.

The castle is crammed with fascinating items including a one-ton slate bed made for Queen Victoria!

Visitors can also explore the house and 60 acres of grounds during their visit.

Backyard raptor kill

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 14:00 UK time, Monday, 12 April 2010

Graham and Dot Roberts from Pembroke Dock have just e-mailed in these shots of a sparrowhawk catching it's prey on their back lawn.

In this case, dinner was a pigeon, which seems to be a particular favourite of these predators. Perhaps it's the French influence?


It just goes to show though, that you don't have to be stood in the middle of nowhere, waiting in a camouflaged bird hide for hours, in order to see a spectacular wildlife event unfold before your very eyes. Just try looking out of the window from time to time ...


The last time I saw a sparrowhawk was when one almost took my head off whilst I was digging over my spuds...

It flew straight past me at warp speed, before ploughing head first into a garden fence panel behind me.

I assume he went for a sparrow and missed or thought a 'gull' might be fair game ;)

Either way - we were both a bit shell shocked. I carried on digging. He made his excuses and left.


A big boost for the Welsh coast

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:44 UK time, Monday, 12 April 2010

Great news for anyone who loves the coast as much as I do - as a £17.5 million initiative to improve facilities has just been announced by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Political wranglings aside - this is a much needed and well overdue investment in one of our greatest assets in my opinion - our coastline and beaches.

I know the residents of Porthcawl have been awaiting this kind of news for quite some time...

As a fairly new resident myself, 'potential plans' have had people talking for about the last 10-15 years! The most recent came in the form of the Seven Bays Project in 2007.

But it looks as if things are finally set to change, with developments planned for the old harbour and improving facilities at Rest Bay as well as an 'Adrenalin Coast Festival'.

Porthcawl Harbour being battered by large surf. Image by Tim Wood, on Flickr:

The original harbour was around three times the size of the one we see today and was a hive of activity during the golden age of coal export from South Wales.

Sadly, the working harbour lost out to business from the bustling ports of Cardiff and Barry in the early 1900's and was eventually filled in. Nowadays it's used as car park adjacent to Coney Beach.

There are also plans for developing Swansea Bay where a new watersports centre will be built, attracting people interested in kitesurfing, surfing, rowing, kayaking etc.

A new low-carbon centre is planned for Aberdaron which will aim to promote tourism around the Llyn Peninsula - a truly stunning part of North West Wales.

Pembrokeshire will also benefit with a large grant, aimed at linking the county's attractions together.

Developments include new low water landing stages at Tenby, Angle and Dale as well as improved facilities at Solva, Porthgain (one of the most picturesque harbours in Pembs imo) and Coppet Hall near Saundersfoot.

All this comes at a time when Welsh beaches have picked up 50 environmental awards from the Green Coast Awards.

Confused by all the different awards and flags? Click on the links below for a full explanation of what each one actually means:

Green Coast Awards

Blue Flag Awards

Seaside Awards


Heating up for the Grand National

Post categories:

Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 15:21 UK time, Friday, 9 April 2010

The cricket season has got off to a fine start this year and there's plenty more fine weather to come over the weekend too, thanks to a ridge of high pressure.

If you're heading out, it might be an idea to take a hat because the sun is as strong now as it is in late August.

The nights will turn chilly with a touch of ground frost in places but it will warm up nicely during the day with plenty of April sunshine.

In fact, tomorrow is set to be the warmest day of the year so far in Wales. Top temperatures reaching highs of around 17 or 18 Celsius in the afternoon although some coasts will be cooler with sea breezes.

If you're off to Aintree for the Grand National, the weather will be perfect with dry, bright skies and sunshine.

Racing action today:


You can see a photo gallery on BBC Sport from Ladies Day at Aintree today.

The highs will be around 17 Celsius with hardly a breath of wind and the going will be good to soft. I've got my eye on two horses - 'Snowy Morning' and 'Cloudy Lane'!

Sunday will be dry with a good deal of sunshine. Top temperatures 13 to 16 Celsius with slightly more breeze from the east or northeast, most noticeable in the south and east of Wales.

The Laugharne Music and Art festival is on this weekend.The weather again will be fine and dry but take a coat for the evening as it will turn chilly once the sun goes down.

Next week will bring more dry weather but turning cooler and cloudier with a noticeable east to north-easterly breeze in the south.

Have a great weekend


Don't look up!

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 14:43 UK time, Friday, 9 April 2010

The fastest bird on the planet is probably marking you out as 'potential prey' from high above, especially if you're shopping near the Capitol shopping centre ;)

The peregrine falcons are back - nesting on the clock tower at Cardiff City Hall again for the fourth year running.

These amazing falcons can fly up to three times faster than a speeding cheetah and have been clocked doing 200 mph!

Peregrine image courtesy of the National Museum Cardiff:

As usual you can catch all of the aerial action either by using a good pair of binoculars or by popping into the National Museum Cardiff and watching them on a display screen via a live webcam.

It's thought there are eggs in the nest as the female has been seen, sitting frequently - so watch this space for updates.


Glaslyn osprey lay first egg

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 09:34 UK time, Friday, 9 April 2010

If they'd just been a few days earlier I could have had a witty strap line about Easter eggs but never mind, it's still great news!

The first egg was spotted yesterday morning and the RSPB are expecting another two eggs to be laid over the next few days.

Osprey image courtesy of RSPB:
The eggs will be incubated for around 37 days now and should begin to hatch around mid May.

Ceri Thomas from RSPB said: "Over the past few days the female osprey was seen leaning on her wings and chest with her tail feathers wiggling high up in the air, while digging down into the nest with her feet to make a cup to hold the eggs"

Osprey image courtesy of wildlife photographer Andy Rouse:

You can pop along and see all the action for yourselves at the Glaslyn Osprey Project which is open from 10am - 6pm daily until the end of August and it's free to get in.

The visitor centre has live images of the nest and osprey beamed onto a large plasma screen for you to watch.

Osprey links:

BBC Wales osprey archive videos

RSPB guide to osprey

Find out more about Andy Rouse's osprey encounter on his blog.

High pressure and sunny skies

Post categories:

Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 15:43 UK time, Thursday, 8 April 2010

High pressure is working its magic across Wales today. Ideal weather for a walk in the Brecon Beacons. Clear, blue skies and excellent visibility.

Mind you it was a cold start this morning with a frost on the ground. Temperatures at Tirabad in Powys fell close to freezing and then rose to a very pleasant 14 Celsius this afternoon.

More ground frost is expected tonight so if you're a gardener cover up any delicate plants.

Tomorrow will be fine and sunny again and the weekend is looking good too.

Lance Tucker from Little Mill took this stunning shot of Pentwyn Reservoir earlier today:


High pressure will be keeping things dry and settled with lots more sunshine. It will be pleasantly warm too, with mainly light winds but some coasts will be cooler with sea breezes developing.

It may only be April but the sun is as strong now as it is in August so it might be an idea to dig out the sun cream and wear a hat!



Your first swallow of the year

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 13:21 UK time, Thursday, 8 April 2010

They're out there... swooping into farmers barns and out buildings as we speak, buzzing along cricket pitches and showing off their latest aerial displays - learnt on the wing in Africa.

So have you seen your first swallow of 2010? If so, have you managed to capture one on camera yet?

Not sure what to look for? Watch some video clips.

'Steve B' from Cardiff snapped this one rummaging in the mud in May 2009:

We've had our first sand martin pic sent in and had a few reports of house martins and swallows arriving...but no evidence.

If you've snapped one or just seen some, then get in touch and leave a comment. The login process is dead easy and takes seconds to complete.

Any pics can be submitted to our Flickr group as usual and I'll feature some of the best ones. Alternatively you can e-mail your pics to me here at

It'd be nice to try and build up a picture of their movements as they return to Wales and see when and where they arrive first.


Perfect waves for Wales

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 09:23 UK time, Thursday, 8 April 2010

The surf has been perfect recently and surfers all over Wales have been making the most of it.

I even surfed twice yesterday for some reason - before and after work? The warmer weather and sunnier skies, have definitely helped with motivation and the sea is warming up nicely.

We've recently reached a balmy 7.7°C so it won't be long before we're in summer wetsuits and removing all traces of boots and gloves.

Bill Webber, from Pembroke sent in these photos of Manorbier beach from yesterday showing some lovely, clean lines wrapping into the bay:

Look at the colour of that water - it resembles the Bahamas! Something us Bristol Channel surfers can only dream about...

Freshwater West - One of Wales' finest surfing beaches is to have lifeguards for the very first time this summer. The beach has vastly increased in its popularity in recent times, mainly due to the increased profile of surfing in the UK.

Surfing is now one of the biggest growth sports in the world, bringing in millions of pounds to the UK economy alone.

Once upon a time we'd have to wait for other surfers to arrive at this beach before we'd venture out if the waves were big. Nowadays, you struggle to find a parking spot down there, even in the winter.

The beach can be dangerous though and like many surfing beaches, does have strong rip currents and softer quicksand at the north end, so this is great news for everyone.

The lifeguarding runs from June until September for around 10 weeks.

Last weekend saw the 'Border Control Challenge'. Two surf clubs - West Coast (WCSC) from Porthcawl and Aberavon battled it out at Aberavon beach in a friendly surf contest.

This year, the event was blessed with excellent surf as a solid 2-3 metre swell pounded the coast and made for classic but tricky conditions, especially for the longboarders who had to paddle their 9ft boards out into the 6-8ft waves.

Local surf photographer Claire Beach was on hand to capture the action. In this shot, local surfer - Richard Perkins drops into a good sized wave at 'the peak':

Aberavon won the contest this time around but it was a closely fought battle.

Staying in South Wales - there are two surfing competitions planned for Rest Bay, Porthcawl this weekend - 'The Longboard Classic' which also features a retro surfboard event (that I'm hoping to enter), and the Welsh Inter-club Contest where regional surf clubs from around Wales battle it out for the crown.

Unfortunately, I've a sneaky feeling that they will both be cancelled due to a lack of surf. The current spate of high pressure will be turning the ocean into a calm, placid lake over the next few days.

It might be time to dust off the BBQ's, as this could be our summer. Blink and you'll miss it ;)


A month of two halves

Post categories:

Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 16:37 UK time, Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Looking back, March 2010 was a 'month of two halves'. The first half was cold and very dry with some sharp frosts.

At Capel Curig in Conwy, the temperature dropped to - 8 Celsius on 8 March but by day there was plenty of sunshine.

However, during the second half of the month - the weather turned milder, wetter and more unsettled in the last week, bringing rainfall totals closer to the normal average.

Across Wales, 95.4mm of rain fell, 80% of the long term average. March was also sunnier than normal with 132.2 hours, 135% of the long term average.

Maximum temperatures were higher than normal but minimum temperatures were lower than normal because of the clear skies during the first half of the month which led to low night time temperatures and frosts.

Looking ahead, the next few days are looking fine and settled with high pressure over us :)

It will become warmer too but given that the sea is still chilly - some coasts will be cooler where the wind is blowing in off the sea.

Also, if you're gardener - beware, the nights will turn chilly with a risk of ground frost in rural areas and the countryside.

Meanwhile - Karen and Rob Hordley from a farm in Haverfordwest have been in touch to report their first swallow of the year which flew in on Easter Monday and was later joined today by a few house martins today.

Ashley Cohen, North Wales sent in this pic to our Flickr group, of a sand martin returning to it's nest on 3 April:



Cooking up a storm

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 11:40 UK time, Wednesday, 7 April 2010

A fifth series of BBC Two Daytime's Great British Menu has just started, and viewers in Wales can look forward to seeing three Welsh chefs being challenged to source ingredients in and around National Trust properties in Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Bangor. 

The series kicked off with a double bill at 6.00pm on Tuesday, 6 April on BBC Two and the Wales round will be broadcast later on in the series. 

The series will follow three chefs each week as they unearth the very finest produce from the farms, gardens and neighbourhoods surrounding their local National Trust house or countryside location.

The Wales edition will feature the following chefs:

  • James Sommerin from The Crown at Whitebrook near Monmouth who will be sourcing his ingredients from the National Trust property at Stackpole in Pembrokeshire.

  • Aled Williams from Plas Bodegroes, Gwynedd who will be working with ingredients from the 18th century Welsh gentry estate at Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion.

  • Richard Davies who lives in Bridgend but who works at the Manor House Hotel & Golf Club, Wiltshire. He will be sourcing ingredients from PenrhynCastle near Bangor, Gwynedd.

After putting their culinary skills to the test in the kitchen, each dish will be judged by a former Great British Menu champion. 

The eight regional winning chefs - including the Wales winner, will compete in the final round, to create a magnificent British meal that the judges consider fitting for the finale banquet for The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

With over 200,000 hectares of farmland, the National Trust and National Trust for Scotland are the UK's biggest farmers - providing access to a wealth of delicious local ingredients from growers, farmers and other producers linked to the estates.

Tune in this morning

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 09:59 UK time, Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Madeleine Havard - a wildlife expert who used to work for the Countryside Council for Wales is taking your wildlife questions this morning on the Jamie and Louise show on Radio Wales between 10-11am. Tune in and ask a question!

Listen live on BBC Radio Wales

High pressure coming our way

Post categories:

Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 17:34 UK time, Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Well, I hope you had a good break over the Easter holiday weekend. I spent a few days in Ceredigion and despite being full up with a cold managed to do a few walks.

I was lucky with the weather too. There were a few showers on Good Friday when I walked from Cwmtydu to New Quay, even the odd rainbow, but most of the time it was dry. I also did a circular walk from Aberaeron to Aberarth. Mwnt beach:


The best of the weather came on Easter Day, Sunday, when I went to Mwnt, which is well worth a visit with its wonderful beach and church.

However, despite the sunshine it was chilly. The temperature only 8 Celsius with a breeze off the sea.

Yesterday I braved the gusty winds and went for walk in Cwm Rheidol followed by a stroll in Borth before heading home via Aberystwyth and a walk on the prom:


If you're planning on getting out and about this week, the weather is set to improve.

High pressure is heading our way bringing a few days of dry and settled weather. Some sunshine and higher temperatures too reaching 16 Celsius on Friday and Saturday.

Mind you, the nights will turn chilly with a risk of ground frost, especially in rural areas.


Crossbill country

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 14:46 UK time, Tuesday, 6 April 2010

These photos have just arrived in our Flickr group and feature a resident but rarely seen species in Wales - crossbill.

Crossbill are a chunky member of the finch family and as the name suggests, have a bill that crosses over at the end.

They are normally found in pine forests, flitting from cone to cone feeding. As you can see from the photos, the male birds are a bright reddish colour whilst the females are a greeny /brown colour.

Female crossbill:

Male crossbill:

Scotland has his own endemic species of crossbill - (found nowhere else in the world) but it's very hard to tell apart from regular crossbills, using just the naked eye.

These birds were snapped by Adrian Foster in Llyn Brenig, Denbighshire.

Skeletons out of the closet

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 13:53 UK time, Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Not complete skeletons, but some interesting and very old bones, conserved by the National Trust on Gower and Cardiff University are now on display at Rhossilli.

All of the bones were discovered around Gower's coastline and many belonged to animals which are now extinct - including an upper molar from a straight tusked elephant, thoracic (chest) vertebrae from a narrow nosed rhinoceros and a fallow deer antler.

Some of the bones are up to 120,000 years old and will be on display for the first time, in the National Trust Visitor Centre at Rhossili.

As well as the original bones, there are replicas available which any one can hold and feel.

Easter egg hunt

Post categories:

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 09:28 UK time, Thursday, 1 April 2010

The National Trust is offering Easter egg hunts at historic houses, castles and gardens across Wales - so you'll be able to combine your love of history and chocolate in one go.

The Easter egg hunts will take place from 2-5 April. Egg hunters will be able to follow maps around their local National Trust properties, visiting points and collecting clues as they go.

Decorated Easter eggs hanging in trees:

Here's a list of locations which you can visit with the family this Easter:

  • Bodnant Garden, Conwy 2-5 April 10am-3pm. Follow the trail around the Garden, track down the clues and solve the puzzle to win your tasty chocolate prize. Face painting for children on Sunday and Monday. Admission + £2
  • Erddig, Wrexham 2-5 April 11am-4pm .Fun for all the family with children's garden egg hunts. Admission + £2
  • Chirk Castle nr Wrexham 2-5 April 10am-5pm. Fun for all the family. Find the clues hidden in the garden and collect your prize. Admission + £2
  • Plas Newydd, Anglesey 4-5 April 11am-4pm. Easter Egg trail, family play area, story telling. Some charges may be applied for the trail.
  • Penrhyn Castle, Bangor 3 April 12-4pm. Easter Egg trail, family play area, storytelling. Admission + £1.
  • Ty Isaf, Beddgelert, Gwynedd 5 April 11am - 4pm. Come and join in the fun on our Easter trail. £1.50.
  • Plas yn Rhiw, Pwllheli, Gwynedd 3-4 April, 11 am - 4 pm. Easter egg hunts in the garden. Admission + £2.
  • Powis Castle & Garden, Welshpool 2 -5 April 11am-5.30pm. The annual Easter trail in the garden. Admission + £2.
  • Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion 4 April 11am-3pm. Easter egg trail. Admission + £1.50.
  • Dinefwr Park and Castle, Carmarthenshire 2-4 April 12-4pm. A weekend of extra special family fun. Explore the park on an easter egg trail, storytelling, facepainting, spring craft making sessions. Admission + £1.50.
  • Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Carmarthenshire 2-15 April. There's fun for everyone at Dolaucothi Goldmines this Easter. Hunt for Easter eggs and try your luck at gold panning - anything you find is yours to keep! Easter childrens' activities and Easter egg trails.
  • Aberdulais Falls, Neath 4-5 April 10am-5pm. Follow the trail, find the eggs, win a prize. Plus face-painting and other family fun. Admission + £2.00
  • Cilgerran Castle, Pembrokeshire 2-5 April 10am-4pm. Take part in a fun family Easter trail and explore the castle ruins and grounds. £1.50.
  • Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire 2-5 April 11am-3.30pm. Fun for all ages with our popular Easter trails in the woodland garden. Admission + £1.50.
  • Tudor Merchant's House, Tenby, Pembrokeshire 2-5 April 11am-4.30pm. Hunt the chick - find the toy easter chicks hidden around the house and win a delicious prize. Admission + £1.50.
  • Rhossili Visitor Centre and Shop, Gower 4 April 11am - 3pm. Magnificent moths Easter trail. Join in the family fun around Rhossili. Learn all about moths and win a chocolate Easter egg.
Happy egg hunting.


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