Friday, 21 June 2013

Ospreys and Ynyshir

Osprey photographed by the roadside in Canada

With better weather promised we moved north first to pay a visit to the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust's Osprey viewing point on the Dyfi.  We had heard and seen so much about these birds and the site that we wanted to see for ourselves.  We were very impressed with the site and the friendly welcome.  The live images of a sitting Osprey in the visitor are very impressive and the best I have seen of any similar display.  The hide was also a friendly place but we were a bit surprised how far away we were from the nest.  At least twice as far as similar places like Loch Garten and the Loch of Lowes in Scotland.  We smiled a bit at this because in Canada we have seen osprey nests on telegraph poles and bridges by the roadside and here the birds tolerate traffic and people walking right underneath them.  Nevertheless this site holds one of only two known nesting pairs of Ospreys in Wales and is worth the effort of paying a visit.  It does occur to me that we need more artificial nest platforms and I think we could increase the number of this species in Wales quite considerably.

Birds on the feeders

Lesser Redpoll

A real attraction outside the hide were the bird feeders with the usual hordes of Greenfinches and Goldfinches but also good numbers of Siskins and especially Lesser Redpolls. We took a short stroll along the boardwalk noting Sedge Warblers, Reed Buntings and a Stonechat and heard some Crossbills calling in the distance.

RSPB Ynyshir

We then moved on to the RSPB reserve at Ynyshir.  After a picnic lunch took a walk through the superb woodland where we found good numbers of Pied Flycatchers feeding young out of the nest.  The same could be said for Great Spotted Woodpeckers which made a very noisy presence.  We also noted a few Treecreepers and Common Redstarts.

Male Common Redstart
We also enjoyed walking along the large boardwalk through a very boggy fen with a tremendous display of Yellow Flag Iris and Cotton Grass.

The boggy fen at Ynyshir

Cotton Grass
It was a most enjoyable day and a tremendous boost after the cold weather of the previous day.

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