• 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
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 8th-13th December 2014


    After nearly a month’s absence, the return of 26 Greenland White-Fronted Geese to the reserve was a real highlight this week. The flock sighted on the saltings from Poggles bench (Wetland Trail, 13th) showed well in the winter sunshine. However, where they have been feeding over the past four weeks remains a mystery.

    The most unusual sighting of the week has to go to a Chilean Flamingo! The juvenile first…

    • 13 Dec 2014
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 1st-7th December 2014


    Finally catching a glimpse of an Ynys-hir otter has to my personal highlight on the reserve this week. The otter, viewed from both the Domen Las and Marian Mawr Hides, was busy foraging on the estuary and successfully caught atleast one big flat fish whilst I was watching, excellent stuff!

    The Domen Las Hide proved to be a productive spot during the week with a single Bittern being particularly noteworthy on the…

    • 8 Dec 2014
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 16th-30th November 2014


    If I were to use one word to describe the last fortnight on the reserve it would be settled. The reserve’s wildlife cast remained relatively similar however with mild and calm conditions dominating it made for some pleasant viewing on the reserve.

     The suns late autumn glow illuminating the Ynys-hir landscape.

    A couple of Woodcock sightings, including a bird from the main drive, were notable given that mild…

    • 30 Nov 2014
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 9th-15th November 2014


    We’ve just had another fantastic week on the reserve with the key sightings being a fine drake Green-winged Teal (Ynys Feurig Hide, daily since its discovery on the 11th), two Otter (Domen Las Hide,10th) and a  big bull Grey Seal (Domen Las Hide, 12th).

    This Green-winged Teal from North America could possibly be the same individual recorded on the reserve at the end of May this year. Note the vertical white…

    • 16 Nov 2014
  • Ynys-hir Guided Walks


    We’re offering weekly guided walks every Wednesday morning at ten o’clock. Tom, one of our interns will be pointing out some of the wildlife and explaining about the management work done on the reserve.  

    If you are interested please ring us on: 01654 700222, to book a place. Alternatively, you can just turn up at the visitor centre at 9:50 Wednesday morning.

    Its £2.50 for RSPB members and £5 for non…

    • 13 Nov 2014
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 2nd-8th November 2014


    The spectacle of thousands of wetland birds feeding and roosting on the Breakwater field over high tide has to be one of the main highlights over the past week. With the high tides being over five metres most of the saltmarsh was inundated with seawater pushing the estuary birds over the railway line and onto the wet grassland. Peak counts from the Breakwater field over the past week included, 20x Shoveler (8th)…

    • 8 Nov 2014
  • Pool With A View 2


    The conservation team have been back out undertaking habitat management around the Marian Mawr pools. On this occasion we were busy cutting back vegetation on the islands, a continuation of work which began last winter. Regular visitors to the reserve will remember the substantial amount of scrub which was removed from the large island in front of the Marian Mawr hide in the hope of getting the area into top condition…

    • 6 Nov 2014
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 25th October- 1st November 2014


    The Dyfi Estuary plays host to the only regular wintering flock of Greenland White-Fronted Geese in the whole of Wales and England, therefore news of our first returning birds, ten on the 28th October, was a real highlight on the reserve this week. The geese were sighted regularly throughout with 3 on the Breakwater field (29th) and at least 10 on the saltmarsh, viewed from the Ynys Feurig Hide (1st).

    A superb male…

    • 2 Nov 2014
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 11th-24th October 2014


    Welcome to an eventful fortnightly addition of the sightings blog. With so much going on at this time of year it’s been difficult to pick a highlight, however two daytime sightings of otter, one from Domen Las Hide (20th) and one from the Ynys Eidiol viewing screen (23rd) is exciting news for those (including me) who are trying to catch a glimpse of these elusive critters on the reserve.

    Wintering birds continued…

    • 24 Oct 2014
  • Pool with a view


    If you have dropped into the reserve recently you may have spotted the conservation team working around the water bodies in front of the Saltings and Marian Mawr hides. The team have been busy cutting the vegetation around the pool edges in order to open up the vista for feeding wetland birds and of course you the visitors.

    Fellow intern Tom focussed on strimming the wetland edge near the Saltings hide

     The vegetation…

    • 16 Oct 2014
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 4th-10th October 2014


    A combination of sporadic heavy showers, strong gusts and the month’s highest tides always had the potential to spice things up on the reserve. They certainly did when 3x juvenile Arctic Terns were spotted from the Breakwater Hide (6th). The reserve also played host to some late passage birds around the Breakwater Hide which took the form of 1x Whinchat, 2x Wheatear and 5x Chiffchaff (8th).

    The Breakwater…

    • 14 Oct 2014
  • End of Summer Exhibition


    Becky, our artist in residence has been busy creating some wonderful pieces of work over the last few months. From majestic landscapes to dosing ducks her varied subjects can now be seen on display in the visitor centre, where an assemblage of comfy seats next to a roaring fire could provide you with the perfect setting to take in the images which shall be here until the end of the month.



    • 13 Oct 2014
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 27th September- 3rd October 2014


    Flowering ivy and the plethora of insects it attracted was a real highlight on the reserve for me this week. One particular ivy covered tree next to the picnic benches in the carpark was a hive of activity with a quick glance on the 3rd October producing 9x Red Admiral, 2x Comma butterflies as well as a plentiful supply of wasps and other flies.

     Flowering Ivy was a big hit with the reserve's insects this week.…

    • 4 Oct 2014
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 20th-26th September 2014


    A Great White Egret first seen from the Domen Las Hide on the 21st takes the accolade of top sighting this week. The bird roamed widely across the reserve however seemed to favour the saltmarsh for foraging. With any luck the egret may prolong its stay into next week where visitors should look out for a bird similar in size to a Grey Heron.

    The Saltmarsh Trail was particularly productive with 70+ Pintail (Domen…

    • 27 Sep 2014
  • Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 13th-19th September 2014


    The run of fantastic weather continued for yet another week, however winter wildfowl continued to filter onto the reserve with Wigeon peaking at 249 (Domen Las Hide, 14th) and Pintail 22 (Domen Las Hide, 17th). Teal are now frequent on most of the reserve’s water bodies including birds utilising the pools along the Wetland Trail Boardwalk. As we welcomed the winter visitors it was also a week for making the most…

    • 19 Sep 2014