Friday, 27 April 2012

Ynys hir

I was away last week in mid Wales in a cottage close to Tregaron but had no internet connection, hence the lack of posts. Was lucky with the weather by all accounts but on Friday morning headed off in torrential rain for the RSPB reserve at Ynys hir which is situated overlooking the Dyfi Estuary. What a marvellous place to visit if you are ever in the area. With a mixture of ancient Oak woodland, wet grassland and salt marshes the place has just about everything. I had forgotten that Springwatch was broadcast from here last year and will be coming into your front room again soon starting on 28th May,  Mondays to Thursdays for three weeks from the same location.
A room with a view !
 The rain abated around midday and as a consequence most of the bird life stayed under cover with the exception early on of a pair of Pied Flycatchers and Blackcaps close to a stunning pond which i'm sure would have been teeming with Damselfly and Dragonfly nymphs underwater seeing as the reserve boasts 19 species. I had seen a single Large Red Damsel a couple of days earlier at Cors Caron but there was no hope of anything today.
My one and only Damselfly. I had dozens while here last year.
Having left the woodland area and the sound of Willow Warblers everywhere but Wood Warbler less, i headed across the wetlands with Lapwings and Skylarks lifting all around and large numbers of Canada's scattered far and wide. A brief stop off for bait in another of the seven hides i had to choose from and views of the Cambrians as a backdrop.
The views were spectacular.

The rain had stopped and the sun had broken through so the waterproofs were put away. With the heavy rain the camera had remained under wraps except for when in the hides so it was nice to be able to have it at the ready when i came across my birds of the day, a couple of Ravens. One was frequenting a small wooded area at the edge of the wet grassland while the other remained out in the open initially.
An imposing specimen
The bird in the trees spotted me but seemed unperturbed and as it hopped about in the branches actually made its way closer. I spent at least ninety minutes in their company and privileged at that. Slowly moving about trying to get a clear shot through the overgrowth i managed a few images.

The second bird came to join us in the trees and i managed a couple of classic in flight Raven shots. As i left i noticed a huge nest slightly away from where i had been. Passing under the construction around thirty five feet up in an Oak i stood for a second with arms outstretched and i reckon it was between five and six feet wide and over two foot deep.
All fingers and no thumbs.

I continued my tour of the reserve but everything else was an anti climax. At the far end there had been sightings of Osprey in the Dyfi Estuary but i didn't see them.


  1. Sounds like the type of reserve that I would enjoy John.
    There's an article about a volunteer at Ynys-hir in the RSPB Birds mag which has just dropped through my door today. Cheers.

  2. Cracking place. I remember on my last visit watching a mole appear beneath the feeders at the entrance, presumably to take some seeds. I'll be there again in the May :)

  3. I remember my only visit to Ynys Hir about 40 years ago. A huge Hereford bull was roaming around the reception centre, spooking the visitors.

    It's a great part of Wales to be.

  4. Cheers Dick,
    The images just took care of themselves. I was hoping the Damsel might get you going !!
    A marvellous place Brian,
    I would be interested to read the article when you've finished with it.
    Lucky you Tim,
    I was in the same cottage last year and explored in a totally doifferent direction. I wish i had found it then. I sat at the feeders for 20 minutes while getting sorted for my departure and had a couple of Blackbirds tangling with a Grey Squirrel underneath them. No Mole though, sadly.
    I reckon your due a return visit Andrew,
    I had never been to Wales untill last year and had to return. Totally blown away by the place. I actually didn't see any cattle on the reserve at all. There were some strange looking ponies though.
    Cheers guys.

  5. John,

    great pics mate, specially nice to get an early crawly/flying thingymajig. Hope to see you soon


  6. Thank you sir, you're a gentleman AND a scholar (2+2 IS 4) Catch up with you soon.