• 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
  • Show the love

    A scattering of interesting sightings over the past few weeks, including an unconfirmed report of a great grey shrike near Domen Las, flyover crossbills near the visitor centre on the 2nd, and a brambling on the 7th near the feeders.  Of particular note, lesser spotted woodpecker activity appears to have increased recently, and it is definitely worth keeping an eye out for them calling, drumming, and busily foraging, especially…

    • 10 Feb 2017
  • Big Garden Birdwatch

    Welcome back, and a happy new year to all! January again, and time for another Big Garden Birdwatch. This year it runs from the 28th-30th January, and you can register to take part - as well as find all the information you need - on the RSPB's website http://bit.ly/2g4ua6f. In preperation, Ynys-hir  is running an event on the 22nd from 11am-3pm at which you can make bird cake and swot up on garden bird ID, and handily…

    • 13 Jan 2017
  • Mixed seasons....

    Mid-December and the weather has become truly unseasonal. Whilst many winter visitors remain on the reserve, the milder conditions mean my walks home are accompanied by bats. Lake Vyrnwy has been reporting them as well, and I recently saw some active in broad daylight in Dolgellau, so I'd be interested to know how widespread this emergence is. Some homework for me.

    About those winter visitors. The great white egret…

    • 14 Dec 2016
  • Recent sightings 16/11/2016

    The woodlands at Ynys-hir have looked spectacularly autumnal over the past couple of weeks as the leaves turn, a much appreciated dash of colour as we wait for temperatures to drop and bring in large numbers of wintering wildfowl and waders. Sightings of note include a female long tailed duck on Marian Mawr pools, first spotted on the 11th, and still present on the 16th. A very scarce visitor to the area, a quick browse…

    • 16 Nov 2016
  • Recent sightings 27/10/16

    No doubt many of you will be aware of a red breasted goose on the reserve recently, which continues to be present at the time of writing. Having appeared to arrive with the feral Barnacles from Cumbria, it seems unlikely to be a wild bird. WeBS count on the 18th recorded 51 lapwing, 550 teal, 459 wigeon, 2 green sandpiper, 1 spotted redshank, 31 pintail, and 14 shoveler, amongst others. A whooper swan on Breakwater on…

    • 27 Oct 2016
  • Breakwater hide closure

    The following message is from Dave Anning, site manager.

    I am sad to say that we have had to close the Breakwater hide at RSPB Ynys-hir. We appreciate that this hide is very popular with local bird watchers and the decision to close it was not taken lightly. For several years now we have been monitoring the condition of the hide closely and in our most recent inspection new signs of rot and subsidence were found and…

    • 18 Oct 2016
  • Recent sightings 12/10/2016

    October began with an astonishingly insightful fungi walk on the 2nd, lead by Ray Woods. Although unfortunately not many fungi were located (general consensus seems to be that this year will prove a poor one for seeing fruiting bodies), we did find chicken in the woods, turkey tail, hairy curtain crust, glue fungus, dead man’s fingers, and oysterling, among other species. Of particular interest was the discovery of…

    • 12 Oct 2016
  • The Cwm yr Esgob oak

    Before the next recent sightings entry, a shameless plug. The Cwm yr Esgob oak, at RSPB Carngafallt, Rhayader, has been nominated for the Woodland Trust Wales' Tree of the Year Award. It is a wonderful tree, thought to be at least half a century old, and boasts many classic features of veterans, of which a rather large rowan air tree is perhaps the most immediately striking. I urge you to vote for it! For more details…

    • 5 Oct 2016
  • Recent sightings 26/09/16

    Ceredigion Moths were back with us on the 11th this month, trapping some of the more autumnal species such as pink-barred sallow, centre-barred sallow, and frosted orange, which gave a seasonal feel to the session. Other species included; copper underwing, common marbled carpet, angle shades, pinion-streaked snout, canary-shouldered thorn, September thorn, flame carpet, gold spot, small phoenix, spruce carpet, and rosy…

    • 26 Sep 2016
  • Recent sightings: August 2016

    Hello all,

    Welcome back to the Ynys-hir recent sightings blog. Over the next 10 months Ryan and I (the new residential interns) will aim to provide fortnightly updates on wildlife activity at the reserve.

    We start with the Big Wild Sleep Out event, which began on Saturday 30th July with an evening walk lead by Dave Anning in a glorious low sun. The following morning Ceredigion Moths ran a number of traps for the campers…

    • 6 Sep 2016
  • New life bursting forth...

    It's the time of year when everywhere around the reserve springs into life! Seasonal highlights include the migrant songbirds which have been wonderfully active, giving visitors great views. After their unexplained absence last year wood warblers have returned en masse, singing from all corners of the reserve, it’s a joy to have them back again.

    The estate team are seeing their efforts rewarded after spending…

    • 14 Jun 2016