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 the Mediterranean and western Europe, but a pair at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg in 2016 became the first record of a successful breeding attempt in Britain, raising two chicks. Also on the afternoon of the 23rd three bewick swans took refuge from Doris on the saltmarsh, but stayed only briefly. A single hen harrier on the 12th, and two on the 28th over Rushy Field complete the sightings of interest.
Distracting us from the stormy weather,the burst of spring and summer flowers that we are all looking forward to at the reserve is being foreshadowed by the yellow splashes of lesser celandine, which is just coming into flower. A member of the buttercup family, lesser celandine is commonly found in woodlands and hedgerows in damp soils, and is an excellent nectar source for early emerging insects. Wordsworth was a fan, writing not one but three poems about them (evidently he preferred them to daffodils), describing the timing of their blooming as 'soon as gentle breezes bring news of winter's vanishing'. Warmer weather to come then!
Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)
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