Any time of year is great for visiting Llanerchaeron – in spring, flowers carpet the woods; in summer, the estate is full of song and colour. Autumn brings beautiful colours to the woods, while winter sees early birds nesting in unusual places.
The first sure sign of spring is the crows carrying sticks in their beaks and flying with real purpose. By February, herons return to their nests high up in the trees in the woods. The snowdrops arrive for a short time, closely followed by wild daffodils and wood anemone, carpeting the woods with yellow and white. The fantastic ground flora in the woods is one reason it is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
In mid spring, the tiny goldcrests’ song tinkles, the blackbird’s flutey melody fills the estate and the bluebells arrive. When they carpet the woodland slopes it is a sure sign the swallows will arrive back in our barns, nesting in the milking sheds and chattering up above. You may spot a pair of red kites, unmistakable with their forked tails, passing food between one another. One will daringly flip beneath the other to pass food between the talons.
By summer, the meadows will be full of pink, whites and yellows flowers, tiny florets appear in panicles on grasses beneath skipping butterflies and the swifts will be screaming overhead. Redstarts and nuthatches nest on the estate itself – in buildings and old tree holes. This is a good time to spot otters on the river in the early morning. In the evening, brown long eared bats unfold their ears and fly from the top of the house, noctule and serotine bats feed along the hedgerows and Daubentons bats swoop over the river.
In the autumn, a calm begins to descend over the estate as the leaves in the woods turn to fire, ochre and bronze. Glowing gems of crimson, saffron, white and emerald appear on our lawns, waxcaps fruiting and creating a sea of jewels before the winter arrives. The quiet in the winter can be deafening among the veteran trees in the meadow, but soon the herons and crows will return