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 the 19th represented Ynys-hir’s contribution to a handful of records across the county during mid to late October. It was most likely an Icelandic bird, as it is thought that far more whoopers from Iceland arrive in the UK each winter than from the continent and Fennoscandia. A goshawk was seen over Breakwater on the 18th, lapping the field a few times before moving on, and a great white egret was on the pools in front of the visitor centre on the morning of the 25th, before relocating to the saltmarsh. Not an annual feature in Britain before the 1970s, by 2013 the average wintering population of great whites in Britain was thought to be around 30 individuals, although it was not until the 2000s that the British wintering population outnumbered birds visiting during the spring. With all this focus on wetland birds, it’s worth remembering that the deciduous woodlands are still well worth walking through, with many bird species taking advantage of the seasonal food available, including a large number of redwing feasting on rowan berries on the 27th. A late swallow was seen at Ynys Edwin on the same day.  

Until next time...

Great white egret, Ardea alba (Tom Kistruck) 

Curlew, Numenius arquata (Karen Burns)

Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis (Karen Burns)