Fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael yma.

They say good things come to those who wait. This is certainly true for the team at the RSPB Cors Ddyga on Anglesey. For 25 years, they have been working hard to restore the wetland habitats of the Cefni Valley. Their efforts have paid off and in the past few years, some pretty special wildlife has made the site their new home.

Savi’s warbler nest for the first time in Wales

This summer, we received very exciting news with the announcement that Savi’s warblers are nesting on the reserve. Not only is this a first for RSPB Cors Ddyga but the first ever to be recorded in Wales. A single male Savi’s warbler was spotted by Warden Ken Maurice on 14 June and another bird was spotted a month later and volunteers witnessed the birds carrying food into an unseen nest.

Savi’s warblers are a common sight on the European continent but they seldom visit Wales. They only make fleeting visits, and don’t usually hang around for more than a few days. Males have a long, buzzing trill which can often be the only clue to their presence.

Bitterns return to Wales

When RSPB Cors Ddyga was formed in 1994, we had one specific goal in mind. We wanted to attract bitterns back to Wales. These mysterious birds are rarely seen out in the open. They’re hard to spot among reedbeds due to their excellent camouflage and cryptic plumage. They last nested in Wales in 1984 and we formed RSPB Cors Ddyga to create the ideal habitat for them, to draw them back.

After years of hard work to restore the wetlands, a pair of bitterns nested on the reserve in 2016, the first time in Wales for 32 years. Since then, they have nested here every year and successfully fledged chicks.

 Marsh harriers make their home among the reeds

A pair of marsh harriers also settled on the reserve. In 2016 they nested here and fledged four chicks. They have nested on the reserve every year since then and bred successfully.

During the breeding season, these large birds of prey perform stunning aerial, courtship displays called ‘sky dance’ - they fly high up in the sky and dive towards the ground while tumbling.

Hard work paying off

These conservation successes would not have been possible without the hard work of our dedicated and passionate staff and volunteers at the reserve. They have been instrumental in restoring the area into a nature-rich wetland that provides a home to all kinds of amazing wildlife.

The endless work of the reserve team varies from practical, hands-on conservation methods to recording and monitoring species. A big bulk of the work was to install sluices to hold water back in the reedbeds. This project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the WREN Biodiversity Action Fund, has created a mosaic of reedbed, wet grassland and wet woodland. The team has also created visitor trails that weave through the reedbeds and a very eye-catching bittern sculpture made by local sculpturist Duncan Kitsen appears on one of the trails. Take a walk along one of these, you might see colourful dragonflies and butterflies flying with the breeze, otters and water voles navigating the waterways, or stunning floral displays.

Over the next few years, work will continue to make RSPB Cors Ddyga a haven for nature. The site is also set to expand with the acquisition of 39 acres of land to the north of the reserve. We wonder what’s next to settle down in this gem of a place on Anglesey!

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