• 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
  • A confusion of Seasons!

    As I write this up it is on a day when we have seen everything from hail, snow and now sunshine, truly a mixed bag of weather for the end of April. It is also an interesting time for the birds, we now have all the expected summer migrants here (including pied flycatchers, redstarts, wood warblers, willow warblers, chiff-chaff, black cap, grasshopper warblers etc) apart from spotted flycatchers, which are always a little…

    • 27 Apr 2016
  • Visitor Centre

    Just to let you know, our Visitor Center will be closed for 2 days, Tuesday November 3rd and Wednesday November 4th 2015.

    Don't let that put you off a visit, the reserve will be open as usual - well worth a visit, stunning at the moment, and as already posted, waders showing well.

    • 2 Nov 2015
  • Autumn High Tides - Come and see the Waders!

    RSPB Ynys-hir: Autumn high tides over the last couple of days and the first of the Wetland Bird Surveys (WEBS) Dave our Site manager has the reserve section to count and here are some of his highlights seen from Ynys Feurig hide where we have recently being undertaking work to extend the scrape and pool area. 
    1100 teal, 320 curlew, 82 redshank, 77 dunlin 2 greenshank and a spotted redshank. The high tides continue over…

    • 31 Oct 2015
  • Seasonal changes...

    The last few weeks the weather has been stunningly beautiful here in Mid Wales, marking the return of children to school and the change of season from summer to autumn. Many things happen on the reserve at this time of year – we have said” goodbye” and “bon voyage” to Joe and Christelle, our 6 month summer interns who head off to Lake Vyrnwy reserve,  and welcome Roz and Dave who will be with…

    • 15 Oct 2015
  • Stunning Invertebrates in Ynys-hir

    It has been a long time since I published a post on the blog. Internet connection issues and a nice holiday kept me away from it but now I am back and it is great. The conservation team has been busy mainly doing practical work, maintaining the estate but that is not all. At the same time we got the chance to observe a great variety of wildlife. Birds are mostly finished  with their job of raising young: most of  the chicks…

    • 19 Aug 2015
  • 8th - 14th of June 2015

    Last week, the Conservation team completed varied tasks. 

    - The third round of nest box surveying has started. Pied-Flycatcher chicks now have long feathers as you can see on the photo below. A bit more patience and soon we will know the overall numbers of nesting birds in the nest boxes for this season, in terms of species and productivity.

    Pied Flycatcher chicks (Ficedula hypoleuca)


    - Due to poor weather conditions…

    • 17 Jun 2015
  • 1st - 7th of Jaune 2015

    This last week the volunteers mainly worked on the estate maintenance. We however managed to spot some great wild life :

    Wet grassland – Penrhyn Gerwen

    Yellow-rattle is flowering. Some fields are displaying yellow flashes. The Yellow-rattle is an indicator of unimproved grassland. As it is semi-parasitic onto grasses, it promotes broader-leaved grasses diversity.

    Yellow-rattle (Rhinanthus minor)

    The raised…

    • 9 Jun 2015
  • 25th - 31st of May 2015

    - Round number two of the nest box survey is over.  The Blue and Great Tits are growing up.  Most of them now have long feathers although some younger ones in pins have been observed.

    Great Tit (Parus major) chicks

    Important information has been collected during this second round of nest box surveys: Redstarts are nesting!  A female has been spotted flying out of a box with eggs in it. We will have to wait a bit longer…

    • 2 Jun 2015
  • 18th - 24th of May

    - Every nest box has been checked once and the second round has started this week!  At the end of the season every nest box will have been checked at least three times.  The Great and Blue Tit chicks are developing and the Pied Flycatchers are still incubating their eggs.

    Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) chicks.


    - On Lodge Farm, the electric fence has been adjusted to allow Lapwing chicks to move from field to field…

    • 24 May 2015
  • 11th - 17th of May 2015

    - The nest box survey has started!

    Over the breeding season, 297 nest boxes will be monitored. Most boxes shelter blue or great tit eggs or even chicks. The eggs are white with brownish spots. The chicks mostly blind and naked will start to develop feathers this week. On average, blue and great tits produce 7 to 13 eggs and incubation time lasts between 12 and 16 days.

    Blue or great tit eggs


    Tit chicks, still…

    • 18 May 2015
  • Ynys-hir through the new interns' eyes

    The last two months have been busy for the new interns: Joe and myself. It definitely is the best time to discover the reserve: spring has sprung!

    The woods are now really colourful with bluebells, red campions, wood anemones, wood sorrel and greater stitchwort. The redstarts and pied flycatchers can be heard singing and like all other birds, they are busy getting their nests sorted.


    Carpets of bluebells, indicator…

    • 7 May 2015
  • The Latest from the Reserve

    Hi everyone. We all here at Ynys-hir miss Adam who has done sterling work with this blog, and indeed around the Reserve in the 6 months he was with us. Many thanks Adam.

    Well. spring must be here, indeed the weather in recent weeks has been excellent and I am pleased to say sightings on the reserve, including many migrants, is exciting at the moment.

    Among many species we have Little Ringed Plover, Sandwich Tern, a…

    • 20 Apr 2015
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 16th -22nd February 2015


    During my final week as a Mid Wales Conservation Intern it was the large high tides that produced excellent wildlife watching. An early start in the Breakwater Hide on the 20th produced good wader numbers on the Breakwater field including, 105+ Dunlin, 100+ Redshank, 16x Bar-tailed Godwit, 100+ Curlew, whilst a scan of the estuary produced 3x Goldeneye, 17x Red-breasted Merganser and 3x Great Crested Grebe. Meanwhile…

    • 24 Feb 2015
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 9th -15th February 2015


    Of the five British owl species, the Barn Owl is one of the most nocturnal in habit, therefore a day flying Barn Owl observed hunting over Covert Coch (10th) was a real treat and a personal highlight for me on the reserve this week. Another sign of Barn Owl presence on the reserve are their pellets, which consist of the indigestible parts of meals. Pellets are frequently left in a number of the reserve’s hides and…

    • 16 Feb 2015
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 2nd -8th February 2015


    Temperatures plummeted as high pressure took charge this week, this led to all of the reserve’s waterbodies freezing over and the wetland birds moving to the estuary in search of open water. The highlight on the main reserve was a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull which roamed the saltmarsh between the Breakwater and Domen Las Hides in search of food.

     This Glaucous Gull spent the week searching for food along the estuary…

    • 8 Feb 2015
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 19th-24th January 2015


    In a week with large high tides fingers were crossed that a few goodies would turn up on the reserve. We weren’t left disappointed with 1x Bean Goose in amongst a flock of 25x Greenland White-fronted Geese (viewed from Poggles Bench, 24th), 2x Slavonian Grebe (Estuary, 22nd) and 1x Glaucous Gull (Breakwater and Domen Las Hide, 22nd), being great finds by visitors to the reserve.

     The view from Poggles Bench…

    • 24 Jan 2015
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 12th-18th January 2015


    A calm frosty start to the 18th provided the perfect opportunity to head out onto the reserve and do a bit of wildlife watching. On arrival at the Visitor Centre a Water Rail skidded across the frozen pools below. A Woodcock rose up from a small woodland pool on the lower Green Trail. Further along four Mistle Thrush were feeding on the short turf around the Ynys Edwin Pool with one bird later singing high up in…

    • 21 Jan 2015
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 5th-11th January 2015

    Hello and Happy New Year to you all!

    I’ll begin with an update on “JNA” a drake Teal with a lime green nasal saddle. The bird sighted on the Ynys Edwin pool back in December was ringed in 2012 on the Gironde estuary near Bordeaux, France. Over 160 Teal remain on the Ynys Edwin pool however there was no sign of JNA this week. Other species at Ynys Edwin included, 4x Mute Swan, 7x Shoveler, 1x Gadwal…

    • 15 Jan 2015
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 14th-20th December 2014


    With thousands of wetland birds now wintering on the Dyfi estuary there is a true wildlife spectacle to be witnessed on a stroll around the reserve. A large number of birds utilise the Breakwater field for feeding and roosting where great viewing can be had from the Ynys Feurig Hide. Totals from this hide during the week included, 5+ Shelduck, 11+ Shoveler, 193x Wigeon (20th), 4x Pintail (18th), 5x Gadwall (17th

    • 23 Dec 2014