Exploring parks – Margam Country Park

Parks are usually found within every town or city. In Wales, we have many Country parks around with one either side of my city. One of my favourites is Margam Country Park in Port Talbot because it’s a major part of my childhood, but also it adds a sense of nature and tranquillity to the industrialised town.

There was an abundance of wildlife found within the Park, some of which I know is there from nocturnal surveys with bat groups and others observed today with family members. We first ventured down towards to castle itself and the surrounding grounds, I love the vast collection of trees found in this area – all of which have they own plate attached to make identification easy so it’s a great way for me to look at the structure and leaves of trees I’m not that familiar with. After spending some time here, we moved down towards the main track towards the Farm Yard Track where they have different breeds of sheep, horses, pigs and cattle. DSC03582 (2).jpg

I was more interested is looking for Spawns within the pig pens which we came across a huge mass of Frog Tadpoles! It’s usually black at first before changing to a light brown, but Frog Tadpoles usually clump together in a large black wiggly mass.

From this area, you walk through some gates into open land where you can usually find the deer. Margam Park is home to three species of deer: Fallow Deer, Red Deer and Pere David’s Deer which is extinct in the wild. After walking some way down the track listening to Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and watching Wrens wizzing past carrying nesting materials, we came across a large group of Pere David’s, once sitting up on a bank we saw the considerably smaller Fallow Deer sunning themselves next to them.

We continued our walk through the more wooded area where I was trying to spot the drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, and came across a smaller group of Fallow Deer with one being borderline Melanistic in colour. Further up the very hilled park were the ever large group of Red Deer but a couple had already had their young so never want to get too close!

As always, my trusty DBA_VHD binoculars from Opticron were to hand to look at birds, butterflies and of course the deer. They provide amazing quality and take in so much light to make everything crystal clear. There was so much wildlife around, there was a huge amount of butterflies flying around including; Orangetip, Small Tortoiseshell, Holly Blue, Common Blue, and Comma. And also White-tailed bumblebee and Red-tailed bumblebee, it’s amazing how much wildlife you can find if you just sit and watch an area of land for a little while.

I love exploring parks in cities, it amazes me how much wildlife you can find by just looking in Wild Spaces within urban areas aswell as the more likely places like National parks, coastal sites and open spaces designed for wildlife.

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