• Recent Sightings Spring 2021

    What a changeable Spring it has been. April as we know, was the driest and coldest on record for quite a few years with a frost nearly every night, and though the days were sunny the air did not warm up. This then has been followed by one of the wettest May's on record for Wales and it has only been in the last week that it feels like Summer might be here.

    So how has this affected the birds?

    Well to begin with the…

    • 3 Jun 2021
  • Nature's natural fireworks

    It seems fitting that this, the 50th Anniversary of RSPB Ynys-hir with it’s wonderful sessile oak woodlands, should be what is called a “mast” year for acorns. A year when trees produce an abundance of their “seeds”. This is the year when the oaks are quite literally showering us with their abundance.

    Acorns have been raining down on the woodland floor for the last few weeks at Ynys-hir and…

    • 27 Oct 2020
  • Autumn visitors begin to return

    As we enter the beginning of October there is a definate feel of the seasons turning. September turned out to be a beautiful month with warm sunny days bringing out lots of dragonflies and damselflies such as the black darter, southern hawker, common darter, golden ringed dragonfly,small red damselfly and common blue damselfly.

    The leaves are now beginning to turn their yellows and oranges and with a drop in temperature…

    • 4 Oct 2020
  • August Travel

    August can quite often be a time when it feels as if there is little to see out on  a walk around. However, it is a time for movement, of birds leaving us after a Spring and Summer breeding and raising young, a time of passage when birds which have breed further north use the area as a stop off on their way south, then a time of return, as birds which left us in the Spring to head north to their breeding grounds come back…

    • 27 Aug 2020
  • All about bracken

    Bracken covers much of the lower slopes of the Foel, and it provides nesting opportunities for birds such as nightjar, tree pipit and meadow pipit (the nests of which are parasitized by cuckoo). The caterpillars of the Dark green, and Small pearl bordered, fritillaries use bracken litter for hibernation and aestivation. Bracken can provide a protective nursery for young trees, and there are now hundreds of rowans on the…

    • 21 Jul 2020
  • We're Open

    We are open!! Along with many other RSPB reserves Ynys-hir has been able to re-open with the lifting of some Government restrictions, however not all staff are back in work and so as with many of our sites, we are on reduced hours. Open Wednesday through to Sunday 10am-4pm. The car park and reserve will be shut outside of these hours.

    Also our Welcome area is for the time being outside near the picnic benches, the Visitor…

    • 12 Jul 2020
  • News from y Foel

    Many of you will be familiar with a part of the reserve known as Y Foel. This is the hill that forms the stunning backdrop to the view from the picnic tables by the visitor centre. There are public footpaths up here and the walk is well worth it, not just for the stunning views over the main reserve, the Dyfi estuary and the southern mountains of Snowdonia, but alo for the wildlife.

    News from Neil, our Assistant Ward…

    • 22 Jun 2020
  • #BreakfastBirdWatch #BrecwastgwylioAdar

    As we all adjust to life at home during Covid-19 the RSPB is asking people to join in weekdays with #BreakfastBirdwatch #BrecwastGwylioAdar on it's various social media pages (follow us on Facebook RSPB Mid Wales and twitter @RSPBYnys_hir) from 8am-9am and share the birds you see in your gardens or out of your windows. The team at Ynys-hir have been doing that fron their various homes in Mid Wales. Here are some of the…

    • 7 Apr 2020
  • Greenland white fronted geese better protected when they next visit Wales

    New legislation, which comes into force today, gives greater protection to one of Wales’ rarest birds. RSPB Cymru Head of Species, Julian Hughes, and David Anning, Site Manager at RSPB Ynys-hir, explain why Greenland white-fronted geese need help.

    As the first swallows and warblers start to arrive in Wales, the longer days also trigger a restlessness in our winter migrants to head home.

    For Greenland white-fronted…

    • 1 Apr 2020
  • Ynys-hir and Covid-19

    Hello everyone, As I write this the country is under strict Government guidelines to try and prevent the spead of the Coronavrus and Covid-19, that includes all of us at the RSPB. Our reserves are now closed. We hope you are all staying safe and keeping well at home. Yet it is Spring and for nature lovers this is one of the most loveliest times of the year. If you can take a walk from home as your daily excercise have…

    • 31 Mar 2020
  • Treecreepesr singing

    Treecreepers singing

    “I can never remember the songs and calls” is what people often say when I’m talking about birds.

    Make it personal, I say, like the visitor on a dawn chorus walk a few years ago, listening to a wood warbler: “That sounds like a washing machine I once had, on its spin cycle”.

     “I can’t pick out one from the other”. Don’t worry about it - it’s more important to be out there…

    • 7 Feb 2020
  • Marian Mawr

    Of our five hides, Marian Mawr is the most accessible, and the most popular. Look North at this time of year and you might see barnacle geese feeding on the saltmarsh, or shelduck on the Dyfi. Look West to the freshwater pools, and you may see teal, redshank and little grebe. We want people to come here and be impressed with the wildlife spectacle – large numbers of ducks, waders and geese – but this is not always the…

    • 30 Jan 2020
  • How will you #BigGardenBirdWatch?

    This weekend (25th-27th January 2020) is the annual RSPB's Big Garden BirdWatch. Now in it's 41st year with over a million people taking part in it last year.

    The Big Garden Bird Watch gives an annual snapshot of the birds in our gardens and community greenspaces, there has been some striking changes over the years. While sightings of blue titst have increased by 68% since the first Birdwatch back in 1979, starling…

    • 23 Jan 2020
  • Frosty morning

    Cold first real heavy frost this morning saw ice spreading out on the pools.

    Highlights of recent days include the female smew on Marian Mawr.

    Geylag geese from saltings, usual flocks of teal and wigeon, female merlin on the saltmarsh. Red kites and buzzards.

    Sparrowhawk from the visitor centre and lesser spotted woodpecker in the woods behind the centre.

    Stunning views across the reserve in the winter sunlight.

    • 19 Jan 2020
  • January days

    Mistle thrush song

    The weather in January can make for a difficult month if you work outside a lot, and I have to make a real effort to find things that make me feel happy. When I arrive at the reserve in the mornings, I often hear a mistle thrush (MT) singing from the top of a huge Douglas fir in Cae’rberllan woods. For me, the MT’s song is not as clear or as varied as the song thrush’s, nor as tuneful and sweetly voiced…

    • 19 Jan 2020
  • Amazing Views

    Amazing views from Y Foel today.


    Checking the ponies each week is a personal victory for me, a small victory in the whole scheme of things, but a victory nonetheless. When I was four years old I was bitten on the face by a horse, (I was also, in another incident, licked by a giraffe, but that is another story) and I have been scared of horses ever since (but I have always loved giraffes). Checking the 7 Welsh mountain…

    • 13 Jan 2020
  • December Delights...

    This time of year most of the birding action is out on the estuary, our pools and the wet grassland and saltmarsh. Wrap up warm against the winds and a walk out to these areas can be a delight. So far this month visitors (and volunteers!) have been able to enjoy a variety of bitds including: flocks of wigeon and teal, lapwings, curlew, barncale geese, pintail, goosander, and osyster catchers. Other recent sightings i…

    • 9 Dec 2019
  • Hightide Highlights

    The last few days it has been good hightides at the reserve, and even better it has been dry and bright too.

    We are still waiting for the return of the Greenland white fronted geese, it seems groups have been arriving in Coll and Western Scotland so it should not be too long before they arrive here.

    In the meantime visitors hav ebeen enjoying flocks of redwing and fieldfares passing through just before the cold spell…

    • 30 Oct 2019
  • Worth a wet walk...

    It has definitely been a week maninly full of rain but wrap up well and a walk out to the Ynys Feurig hide is entertaining visitors at the moment.

    The water in the fields in front are attracting some nice sightings: shovelar (15), up to 40 pintail, 2 Freat Egreats have been around for well over a week now, a couple of ruff, cetti's warbler(2) water rail 1 and views of sparrowhawk and hen harrier.

    Following the heavy…

    • 4 Oct 2019
  • Nightjars churring

    During the last week, Neil, one of our Wardens, has been busy spending his evenings on part of the reserve known as Foel Fawr, the hillside inland of Ynys-hir viewed from the picnic benches


    Not only does this provide stunning views across the lower reserve and out to the sand dunes at Ynys-las of the pretty seaside village of Aberdyfi, it is an important part of the overall jigsaw mix of habitats at Ynys-hir. However…

    • 7 Jun 2019
  • Unusual Spring visitors

    It has been a busy Spring at RSPB Ynys-hir. Our interns are gone and the warden team are busy with surveys.

    This year waders are a focus so early mornings out on teh estuary, slatmarsh and lowland wet grasslands.

    Our regular volunteers have also been busy surveying the 300 plus nestboxes on the reserve.

    Pied flycatchers, are back and very much in evidence along the route to Marian Mawr hide as well as along the woodland…

    • 13 May 2019
  • Springtime at Ynys-hir - a Site Manager's reflections

    Spring time at Ynys-hir is very special. There are the breeding lapwings, the woodland birds in full song, sheets of bluebells and life abounds everywhere. For the staff who manage the reserve it is also a time of reflection. How well did our management work turn out? Will numbers of our key species increase? What can we do next winter to make things better?

    Perhaps now is as good a time as any to look back on some of…

    • 29 Apr 2019
  • Time of movements..

    Middle of April is a time of year on the reserve when the migrants are heading back. In the last week we have had redstart in very small numbers, pied flycatcher and willow warbler. Still waiting for these to arrive in large numbers and for other species to put in an appearance such as sedge warbler and wood warbler. Other sightings these last few days include osprey, great white egret, little ringed plover and little…

    • 12 Apr 2019
  • Caught on Camera

    During my internship at Ynys Hir, I was given the opportunity to set up and run my own project, and so, in collaboration with the Vincent Wildlife Trust, I set up a number of camera traps around the reserve. The goal of the project is to see whether pine martens have started using the reserve following the VWTs Pine Marten Recovery Project.

    Between 2015 and 2017, a total of 51 pine martens were captured in Scotland,…

    • 2 Apr 2019
  • Winter birds at RSPB Ynys-hir

    Winter is now in full swing at Ynys-hir, the woodlands are increasingly quiet but for the odd burst of activity from mixed flocks comprised of various tit and finch species, Lesser Redpoll, Siskins and the odd, elusive Brambling.

    In contrast the wetlands are alive with activity, large numbers of wildfowl and waders have made their journey south from Northern Europe, the freezing temperatures there forcing them south for…

    • 5 Dec 2018