• 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

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    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
  • Sluices in September

    There are lots of challenges when it comes to managing lowland wet grassland, the biggest and most fundamental is control of water levels, if you get water control right then everything else becomes much easier. Waders that breed on wet grassland, in particular, Lapwings, require fields with short vegetation and shallow pools with exposed bare mud around the edges. Holding water in the fields through the breeding season…

    • 20 Sep 2018
  • New Team Members

    After the long hot summer . . . It’s time to introduce our new  Interns at RSPB Ynys-hir.

     

    Here at Ynys-hir we offer two 6-month  internships. A  internship catapults aspiring conservationists on to the front line of work undertaken by the RSPB. This can include anything from helping with bird surveys, to getting involved with large scale land management projects. Teaching and inspiring the next generation of wardens…

    • 17 Sep 2018
  • Season's Turning

    The end of the school  holidays signals a change in the Seasons.Most of the visiting summer migrants such as the redstarts and pied flycatchers have left to make their journeys south. Last week saw  the leaving of this season's Dyfi Osprey Chicks, one visitor was lucky enough to watch one of the 3 young catch a fish and devour it before heading south. Barnacle geese began arriving back  at the end of August and we have…

    • 10 Sep 2018
  • Nesting Birds Round up - Naomi Davis

    Naomi Davis, volunteer at RSPB Ynys-hir summarises how the nest box survey and other nests has gone this year...

    Small nestbox monitoring comes to an end for another year. The late cold-snap pushed back the breeding dates of the blue and great tits to coincide with the pied flycatchers, normally the tits nest 2 weeks earlier, but didn’t appear to affect our later continental migrants too badly. Our woodlands of ancient…

    • 20 Jun 2018
  • Spotting Spring Arrivals

    We are just at the beginning of the best time to see our key woodland species, knowing a little bit about the habitats these birds use and their behaviour can be the key to getting to see them. Below I will go through some of the best places to spot one of our key species and how to give yourself the best chance of memorable encounter. Pied Flycatcher’s are the species a lot of people come to Ynys-hir wanting to see,…

    • 17 Apr 2018
  • Nest Box Spring Clean

    Did you know, we have just over 300 nest boxes at Ynys-hir for our small birds? In the past few weeks we’ve been busy cleaning out all boxes and mending any problems before the birds start surveying for potential nest sites in the coming weeks. Raising a brood of chicks can leave a box looking (and smelling) pretty bad so we give the birds a helping hand by removing any old nest material from the previous year, this helps…

    • 13 Feb 2018
  • Greenland White Fronted Geese

    My intention was to write a blog all about the wonders of the Greenland White Fronted Goose, their journey from their breeding grounds on the low arctic tundra of Western Greenland to the Celtic fringes of Britain via southern Iceland. And trust me they are fascinating birds, like a lot of other goose species they are highly social, have a fascinating life cycle and are extremely site faithful. It is this last fact that…

    • 23 Jan 2018
  • Ringing the changes

    Seasons have shifted and there any many changes to report on at Ynys-hir since the last blog. Firstly, August saw the welcoming of 3 interns for their 9 month posting; Darran, Philippa and Naomi. All will be working on site creating homes for nature and improving the experience for visitors.

    Our recent conservation work has focussed on clearing large areas of bramble, holly, and rhododendron from our broadleaf woodland…

    • 12 Dec 2017
  • Sunny days

    It's that time of year when the woods go fairly quiet for birds. Pied flycatchers have fledged and dispersed into the top canopy making them almost impossible to spot., and it's a similar story for the redstarts. Yet there is still plenty of wildlife to see. We are enjoying yet more sunny weather at the reserve which is great for butterflies, emerging dragonflies and damselflies,not to mention the reptiles such as grass…

    • 18 Jul 2017
  • A royal visit...

    First off, apologies for the delay in this posting, it would have been sooner but we've spent a couple of weeks without internet after the gales. As it is, June is the beginning of the silly season for birdwatchers with many of the spring migrants now much less visible as the breeding season winds down, and attention starts to wander to other parts of the natural world. The Dyfi ospreys are still to be seen from the reserve…

    • 23 Jun 2017
  • Migrant birds and bony plants...

    With the increase in temperature, most of the regular migrants have been accounted for over the past month, including pied flycatcher, redstart, whitethroat, cuckoo, sedge warbler, grasshopper warbler, garden warbler, and swallow among others. The reserve (and the woodlands in particular) resounds with birdsong, and having a good ear for songs and calls (something I'm still practising) is more useful than ever at this…

    • 3 May 2017
  • Spring arrivals

    A wealth of sightings for you as Spring gleefully unravels it's way into the seasonal procession. We seem to be hearing more and more singing chiffchaffs on a daily basis, and the reserve has also recorded it's first wheatears and sand martins of the year. There is much to be seen still on the raptor front as well, with one of the Dyfi ospreys (Blue24) returning on the 24th, and the continued presence of hen harriers…

    • 29 Mar 2017
  • Storm Doris and the approaching Spring

    Ynys-hir has had it's fair share of the recent gull activity in the county, with a 1st winter glaucous gull on the 26th, as well as first winter and adult little gulls on the 23rd, which associated with the black headed gulls and fed on the river whilst avoiding the worst of Storm Doris. In Europe, little gulls typically breed on freshwater marshes in the Baltic states and Scandinavia, wintering in coastal areas along…

    • 1 Mar 2017