Monday, 24 August 2015

A visit to Ynys Hir (RSPB)

Last week saw us trek over to mid Wales and 3 nights on  a Group On deal in a village just outside Aberaeron. The weather wasn't looking great so we thought we could dodge the rain and use the numerous hides at RSPB Ynys Hir to stay dry.

In fact it all turned out rather well! It was definitely a wet start to the day so we took it easy and had a 45 minute drive up to Ynys Hir. This was our first visit to the reserve and luckily for us it had more or less stopped raining when we arrived, so after chatting to the volunteers we set off for the short loop that takes you the closest to the river Dovey estuary. Just as we got to the first hide the heavens opened for a real down pour:
So we had no choice but to sit it out and watch the Little Egrets, a solitary Black-tailed Godwit,
a Little Grebe and a couple of Herons around the pools, while we had a coffee of course. The fields behind this hide looking out to the distant estuary were full also full of Canada Geese. As the rained eased after about an hour some small birds made an appearance, Goldfinch in the bushes along the bank to the right and some Stonechat in the scrub on the land separating the two pools.

As soon as the rain stopped we went to the next hide over the other side of these pools picking up a Reed Bunting on the way, but little else was seen.

We detoured then through the trees to the hide nearest the river again there were plenty of Egrets and Canada Geese, plus Oystercatchers and a single Common Sandpiper. We had another coffee here and waited with the only other additions being 3 male Goosander:
The dull weather and distance from the birds was making photography difficult so there won't be many pictures in the post I'm afraid!

After this the weather improved slightly and we took the opportunity to complete the loop and start the walk around the woods and boardwalks and check out the other hides. On the way we came across a young male Redstart, this was our first of the year so that was good, but not showing well enough for a photo so we just enjoyed watching. Shortly before this we had seen our first Red Kite on the reserve although we had lost count of the number we had seen on the drive to the reserve.

We eventually got to the hide and had a late lunch, again not a lot to trouble the score board, a couple of Teal in front of the hide, but then in the distance I spotted a bird of prey on a distant post, so put the scope on it. We were delighted to see an Osprey tucking into a fish, so nice of it to join us for lunch.
Even though we had good views through the scope this photo is just for the record. I think you can just make out that it is an Osprey!

Once we had finished our very late lunch the weather started to look a bit ominous so we decided to head back. So our Ynys Hir list comprised:

Black-headed Gull
Black-tailed Godwit
Blue Tit
Carrion Crow
Collared Dove
Common Sandpiper
Great Tit
Greater Canada Goose
Grey Heron
Herring Gull
House Sparrow
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Little Egret
Little Grebe
Pied Wagtail
Red Kite
Reed Bunting
Willow Warbler

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