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, catching a variety of species including triple-spotted clay, smokey wainscot, scalloped oak, yellow-tail, and a pair of popular northern eggers.

Dave leads the campers in an investigation of the reserve's wildlife; Ryan Astley


Bird news over the past month includes a female hen harrier on the 30th July, a water rail near Breakwater hide on the 3rd August, as well as an osprey on the same day near farm corner, eventually soaring away towards the Dyfi at altitude. No doubt one of the recently migrated Dyfi pair. A small flock of barnacle geese were a welcome addition to the WeBS Count on the 5th, a young wheatear was seen by Domen Las on the 8th, most likely on passage, and a trio of black-tailed godwit from Ynys-feurig on the 10th. Green sandpipers were intermittently visible feeding on the exposed mud in front of the visitor centre for a sustained period over the middle of the month, hinting at the wader movements to come. These eventually manifested on the 20th August when 4 little stint, 12 curlew sandpipers, a wood sandpiper, 14 black-tailed godwit, 30 ringed plover, 5 bar-tailed godwit, and 140 curlew were recorded on Breakwater fields, accompanying 450 dunlin. As a side note, Gilbert White refers to the green sandpiper Tringa ochropus in his diaries as both green sandpiper and ‘white-rumped sand-piper’, which, as many of you will know, is the current common name for the North and South American wader Calidris fuscicollis. Perhaps an interesting example of how species names have become more fixed since White’s time. 100 barnacle geese visible from Saltings, and a greenshank from Ynys-feurig, all on 5th September, complete the bird news.

Adders have been seen on at least two occasions recently (on the 3rd and the 13th August), and common lizards (including juveniles) have been increasingly active on the Covert Coch boardwalk on warmer days. Reports of southern hawker, small red damselfly, as well as common, ruddy, and black darter continued throughout the first half of the month. It is particularly good to see the small reds, as although its increasing population trend means it occupies a position of least concern on the British Dragonfly Society’s red list, it’s scarcity in the UK still marks it out as a nationally important species.

Common lizard (Lacerta vivipara); Liam Olds

Black darter (Sympetrum danae); Liam Olds


Lastly, an appeal for photographs! If you are happy to share photographs of wildlife from Ynys-hir on the reserve blog, please send them to ynys-hir@rspb.org.uk. Your work will, of course, be acknowledged.

Until next time…


Blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus; Ryan Astley