• October and November highlights

    A variety of interesting species have been seen on the reserve over the past month including a Lapland bunting which was present from 17/10 to 22/10 around the southern end of the estuary track (photo by Zak Spaull). This was only the second record of this species here, following a bird that was only seen briefly flying over in October last year. A cattle egret on 19/10 was also only the second reserve record following…

    • 19 Nov 2023
  • Autumn sightings

    The last few weeks of autumn migration have produced a nice variety of species for the reserve and some interesting highlights.

    A cattle egret on 26/9 has to be the most notable record, being a first for the reserve and certainly long overdue here given the frequency of sightings in areas such as the Dee estuary and the Cefni valley on Anglesey in recent years (library photo by Ben Andrew, RSPB images).

    Raptors included…

    • 14 Oct 2023
  • July and August sightings

    Autumn migration has certainly been picking up over the last few weeks with some of the highlights being a hobby on 10/8 (library photo by Ben Andrew, RSPB Images), yellow wagtail with sightings of individuals on nine dates, an osprey over on 20/7, and a green sandpiper on 17/8.

    Wading birds have also included greenshank on four dates with four birds on 3/8, individual knot on 19/7 and 24/7, ringed plover on four dates…

    • 18 Aug 2023
  • Summer sightings and the beginnings of autumn migration

    With autumn migration already underway, the variety and number of birds around the reserve has been gradually increasing again over the last few weeks.

    One of the highlights from the past month has been a spoonbill which roosted on the lagoons on 6/7 and 7/7 (photo by Zak Spaull). Spoonbills are relatively scarce here with only five previous records, the last one being just over five years ago in June 2018.

    A 2nd year…

    • 14 Jul 2023
  • May and June Sightings

    Late spring is a great time to see flowering plants on the reserve, with carpets of bird's-foot trefoil and creeping buttercup creating a blaze of yellow across the open grassland areas, and a variety of orchids in flower including numerous southern marsh and smaller numbers of common spottedearly marshpyramidal and bee orchids among them (library photo by Julian Hughes). 

    There’s also been a nice variety of other wildlife…

    • 11 Jun 2023
  • Spring migration continues...

    It’s been another busy few weeks of sightings on the reserve with more summer migrants arriving, an interesting variety of passage birds moving through, and increasingly more insects being seen as we move further into spring.

    The appearance of a red-rumped swallow on 11/4 was undoubtedly the overall highlight (photo by Sophie Dorman), another species normally found no closer than southern Europe, with their breeding…

    • 6 May 2023
  • Alpine swifts and other spring arrivals

    It’s been a busy few weeks for sightings with summer migrants beginning to arrive and many other birds moving through on passage, but the overall highlight has to be the presence of up to two Alpine swifts (photo by Steve Culley), part of a large influx into the country that has been making headline news in the bird world since mid-March. Individuals were seen over the reserve on 28/3 and 29/3, then two were seen…

    • 3 Apr 2023
  • February Sightings

    A good variety of wildfowl has remained on the reserve over the past month with highlights including the long staying female scaup which has been here since 8/11, a drake common scoter on the deep lagoon on 20/1 and 21/1, and a drake pintail (library photo by Ben Hall, RSPB Images) which has been present on the shallow lagoon since 4/2. Pochard have gradually increased in number through the winter with a maximum of nine…

    • 19 Feb 2023
  • Water rails and other winter birds

    The new year has begun with a nice selection of winter birds around the reserve, with water rails being a particular focus of attention (pictured). This charismatic species is more often heard calling from the cover of the reedbeds than it is seen, though the reserve certainly offers a better than average chance of catching a glimpse of these elusive birds as they creep around the lagoon edges while feeding.

    Water rails…

    • 20 Jan 2023
  • It's definitely winter again!

    While the weather may have changed considerably from milder conditions to sub-zero temperatures with snow and ice in recent weeks, the variety of birds around the reserve has remained fairly consistent with a nice selection of winter species present.

    Two female long-tailed ducks both remained up until 17/11, when the first bird left, which had been present for just over a month since 13/10. The remaining bird which arrived…

    • 17 Dec 2022
  • Good weather for (long-tailed) ducks!

    After a hot and dry summer with little rainfall, the last two months have been considerably wet, allowing us to put some much needed water back into the lagoons. With the water levels steadily rising, the numbers and variety of wildfowl has also increased.

    Long-tailed ducks have been a particular highlight since around mid-October, with one bird present from 13/10 and a second bird joining since 7/11 (photo by Mike Spence…

    • 11 Nov 2022
  • Re-landscaped islands, more autumn migrants and signs of winter

    With the water levels still very low following a hot and dry summer, the opportunity to carry out some major re-landscaping work on the islands in the lagoons has been one not to be missed.

    When the reserve was originally developed around the early 1990s, many areas were reshaped to the RSPB’s specification following the industrial process of dumping material on to the site that was dredged from the Conwy estuary during…

    • 9 Oct 2022
  • Kingfishers, autumn migrants on the move and scarce butterflies

    Water levels in the lagoons may be at their lowest that we've recorded here for many years, but this certainly hasn't deterred the presence of a good variety of autumn migrants and other bird species around the reserve. 

    Kingfisher sightings have been regular over the past month as they often are at this time of year, with sightings on 12 dates including two individuals seen together on 3/9 (library photo by Ben…

    • 5 Sep 2022
  • Autumn migration gets underway

    With the breeding season drawing to a close, autumn migration is already well underway with large numbers of birds on the move. The low water levels in the lagoons due to the warm and dry weather in recent months are providing extensive additional areas for birds to roost, particularly around the deep lagoon. This seems to have resulted in some relatively high counts of birds, particularly black-headed gulls (pictured…

    • 5 Aug 2022
  • Orchids, new moths, rare butterflies and birds

    As spring has gradually turned into summer, a nice variety of plants, insects, birds and other wildlife have been abundant around the reserve with some interesting species recorded.

    The past few weeks have seen the peak time of year for orchids here, and it seems to have been a particularly good one for bee orchids with 162 spikes counted on 7/6 (library photo by Julian Hughes). There have also been several white variant…

    • 7 Jul 2022
  • Birds, otters, butterflies, orchids...

    As we move further into the spring things certainly get busier on the reserve with more insects emerging, plants coming into flower and birds feeding their young, while spring migration continues to produce the unexpected.  

    A significant highlight over the past month has been a Spanish wagtail (Motacilla flava iberiae), a race of yellow wagtail normally found on the Iberian peninsula which was present from 6/5 to 8/5 and…

    • 29 May 2022
  • Migrant birds continue to arrive

    The summer migrants have really started to roll in over the last few weeks with all the regular species now recorded along with one or two unexpected highlights.

    A black redstart on 13/4 was perhaps the most interesting sighting being only the third record for the reserve and the first in almost 12 years, seen by several visitors around the far end of the river Ganol. Some other passerines of particular interest have…

    • 29 Apr 2022
  • Early Spring Arrivals

    It’s been a while since the last update from the reserve and there’s been quite a few developments and notable wildlife sightings during this time as spring migration gets underway.

    A particular highlight was the presence of five garganey including four males and a female which put in an appearance on the shallow lagoon on 19/3 (library image by Ben Andrew, RSPB Images). This is an unusually high number to…

    • 26 Mar 2022
  • Winter work continues...

    The new year has begun with a variety of work going on around the reserve. Some significant changes are currently taking place in front of the coffee shop where we have been deepening part of the shallow lagoon so that the area immediately in front of the building will hold water throughout the year, while the edges are being re-landscaped to provide a shallow margin for feeding water birds.

    Another contractor has been…

    • 22 Jan 2022
  • Wildfowl and winter work

    The highlight of the past few weeks has undoubtedly been a redhead smew which was present on the deep lagoon from 29/11 to 6/12 (photo by Peter Sutton). Smews, along with mergansers and goosanders are in a group of water birds known as sawbills due to the serrations on their bill which allow them to easily catch and eat fish. Their breeding range extends from northern Scandinavia across Siberia and small numbers reach…

    • 23 Dec 2021
  • Winter birds continue to move in

    The arrival of goldeneye on the reserve is always a sign that winter is just around the corner. We have a small number of these birds over-wintering here each year, and a female seen on 15/10 was the first of this winter (library photo by Ben Hall, RSPB Images). They breed in forested areas by lakes and rivers in Scotland, Scandinavia and across Siberia where they usually nest in holes in trees.

    The variety of wildfowl…

    • 27 Nov 2021
  • Celebrate your inner Robin on our adventure trail this Christmas!

    (Credit Aardman/Netflix)

    We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix and Aardman on 
    Robin Robin, a half-hour, stop-motion, festive story for the whole family, about a young robin trying to fit in. It’s debuting on Netflix on 24 November – get the date in your diary! 

    To celebrate, we’re inviting you to join exclusive Robin Robin-themed adventure trails right here at RSPB Conwy this Christmas season…

    • 13 Nov 2021
  • Dathlwch eich robin goch mewnol ar ein taith antur y Nadolig yma!

    (Credit: Aardman/Netflix)

    Rydyn ni'n falch iawn o fod yn bartner gyda Netflix ac Aardman ar Robin Robin, sy’n stori gerddorol stop-ymud newydd ar gyfer y Nadolig ac sy’n adrodd sut mae robin goch ifanc yn ceisio darganfod ei le yn y byd. 
    Mae’n ymddangos am y tro cyntaf ar Netflix ar Tachwedd 24 – felly rhowch y dyddiad yn eich dyddiadur! 

    I ddathlu, rydyn ni’n eich gwahodd i ymuno â theithiau antur unigryw ar thema Robin Robin yma yn RSPB Conwy y Nadoli…

    • 12 Nov 2021
  • Autumn migrants and winter arrivals

    A mixture of autumn migrants passing through the reserve, along with winter birds arriving has resulted in a nice variety of bird species present over the last few weeks.

    Water rails have been particularly prominent with regular sightings of up to four birds being seen together, often along the edge of the shallow lagoon in front of the coffee shop (library photo by Dave Williams).

    A good variety of waders have included…

    • 15 Oct 2021
  • Autumn migrants on the move

    Autumn migration has brought a good variety of birds to the reserve over the past few weeks, with some of the main highlights including an adult black tern which appeared briefly over the deep lagoon on 29/8 and up to two garganey, at least one of which has been present since 26/8.

    A variety of scarce waders have made appearances including a little stint which has also been present and regularly seen since 26/8, ruf…

    • 12 Sep 2021