PENARTH HEAD’S WOODLAND RESIDENTS ENJOY THEIR DEVELOPMENT REPRIEVE

A green European woodpecker and her mate seen hu8nting for ants yesterday have been residents of Penarth Head since mid-summer

This  green European woodpecker and her mate (seen hunting for ants yesterday)  have been residents of Penarth Head since mid-summer l

The local wildlife – or what remains of it – on Penarth Headland may not have known much about last week’s historic planning committee decision – which has preserved their environment at least for now – but they have been out and about enjoying the weekend.

Many people aren’t aware of just how much natural wildlife there still is in this small forested area along the headland and  in adjoining gardens, but envir0nmentalists say the constroversial proposal to fell several trees to make way for the controversial Northcliff Lodge apartment development could well have tipped balance and forced the birds and animals to leave the Headland forever – had it gone ahead.

The woodpecker - with her distinctive red marking on her hear - drives her bill into the damp earth to extract ants

The woodpecker – with her distinctive green plumage and red marking on her head- is seen driving  her bill into the damp earth to extract ants yesterday  Sunday January 8th 2017.

Spotted on the Headland yesterday was this female European green woodpecker – believed to be one of only 52,000 breeding pairs in the UK.   The species is the largest of the three different types of woodpecker which live in Britain.

The woodpecker and her mate have been spotted on trees and around the Penarth Head several times since mid-summer but also feed on the ground – hunting for ants. The decision to reject the Northcliff Lodge development may well result in the woodpeckers – (a species far rarer than humans) to remain the in the area.

This Penarth Head squirrel seems to be trying to decide whether to eat the nut he's holding or - bury it to eat later

This Penarth Head squirrel – spotted on January 3rd 2017 – seems to be trying to decide whether to eat the nut he’s holding – or to bury it somewhere to eat later

The relatively warm winter has also promoted activity by local squirrels who have been spotted busy burying winter fare in local gardens – and even in plant pots.

This year the  squirrels seem in good condition and are obviously finding enough food locally to get-by on.

There was a brood of foxes on Penarth Head in May 2015 - and they may still be around.

There was a brood of foxes on Penarth Head in May 2015 – and they may still be around.

There may also still be a small fox population in and around the headland – more likely to be heard rather than seen.

Missing lately however is a pair of local owls who used to call to each other at night. They haven’t been heard since the summer.

 

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14 Responses to PENARTH HEAD’S WOODLAND RESIDENTS ENJOY THEIR DEVELOPMENT REPRIEVE

  1. Anne Greagsby says:

    There are certainly foxes around. Spotted one strolling through our garden yesterday!

  2. Lindsay says:

    I hear that a few dinosaurs have also been spotted in the area.

  3. Joe blow says:

    I see foxes once a week or so, they are well established round the head/St augustines area.

  4. bizzilizzi says:

    An important aspect for wildlife is that a “corridor’ exists allowing travel over a wider area. There is a corridor down to the parks on the front and another across to the trees which remain above the marina and St Augustines church where wild life has been surveyed and work planned to protect this.
    Small habitats need “joining up”.
    Moreover trees protect us from pollution.

  5. Chris David says:

    Great news- the Green Woodpecker (which is a dinosaur for the benefit of the ignorant) lives and breeds in several Penarth areas, but yes they are rare and its great the headland habitat been saved. The missing Tawny Owls is a bit concerning- even suspicious, so lets hope some more move in now. They’ve been a fixture for some time and are (were) a joy.

    • Jane Foster says:

      I also miss the bats with their wonderful dusk aerobatics (see what I did there) and collecting Spring fruit from the trees by the children’s park. But The Headlands is still a lovely place to live despite all the attempts to eradicate nature and any vestiges of our Victorian heritage.

      Does anyone know what the large post was for on Paget Place right by where the entrance of the planned flats was going to be? I was wondering if it was an old sewer gas outlet but my elderly neighbour thinks it was something to do with stabilising the cliffs.

  6. LJS says:

    There are many foxes in Penarth, Victoria Rd and Square and another family on the head.
    The family of foxes on the head are fed and monitored by a lady who lives nearby. She has looked after them for many years and sees them every night. She recognises each individually.

  7. Hollywood regent says:

    Green woodpecker spotted a few times in my garden on Plymouth Road over last few weeks.

  8. snoggerdog says:

    the duchess of fyffe has seen that woodpecker on on top of our weathervane & no she hadnt been drinking,anyroad up she said hadnt !

  9. Richard says:

    I can’t get over that woodpecker – thank you for the wonderful photographs. Very much agree with Jane Foster’s lovely post about the bats and collecting fruit – “despite all the attempts to eradicate nature and any vestiges of our Victorian heritage”. Very sad the way so many people appear to not give one damn about wildlife.

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