It has been a very eventful start to the ‘summer’ as I start a new reserve list from the 1st April to 30th September. Nothing came of the final week of ‘winter’, mainly due to the weather which was foggy and wet so ended on 90 species.

Given the 1st of April was a Saturday I was able to spend the day searching for birds to add to my new list. It turned out to be a productive day with 49 species recorded. The highlight were 4 ring ouzel along the Dinas Mawddwy road and a peregrine swooping in scattering the poor birds. Also up this valley were a few redwing and fieldfare which have now headed back to Scandinavia but were useful additions to the list. Other species of note were a pair of great black-backed gulls off the tower (rarity for Lake Vyrnwy), a black-headed gull off the old village and the first singing willow warbler of the year by the Centenary Hide.

3 of the 4 ring ouzels along the Dinas Mawddwy road by Gavin Chambers

Day 2 produced another 5 species including the first swallow of the year.

For Day 3 I was up on the moorland surveying and got nice views of a pair of hen harriers and 2 other new species.

Day 4 only produced a kingfisher along the edge of the lake near the tower and some crossbill behind the RSPB shop.

The highlight for Day 5 was a flyover osprey which headed west over the RSPB shop around midday, thanks to Mike for the shout on the radio which had me dashing out of the office! Also added lesser redpoll to the list.

Great grey shrike along Bala road by Gavin Chambers

Failed to find anything different on Day’s 6 and 7 but made up for it with 4 new species on Day 8 with great grey shrike at Fedw-ddu along Bala road, merlin along Dinas Mawddwy road, a grey heron and the first house martins of the year.

Day 9 produced the bird of the year so far. A female type marsh harrier over forestry just outside Abertridwr harassing a goshawk and then being chased out of the area by the goshawk. The bird was also wing-tagged and though was too distant to read has probably come from Norfolk. The first blackcap and tree pipit were also heard singing.

Marsh harrier (right) harassing goshawk (left) by Gavin Chambers

On top of all this the first pied flycatcher and redstart were seen during the week but have so far evaded me. So a total of 68 birds seen so far with more summer migrants still to arrive it’s shaping up to be a good year and I’ve not even mentioned hoverflies, moths or fungi!

Don't forget, we have a fantastic opportunity for you to experience lambing live on our RSPB farm with events throughout April, check out our website for more details – Booking is essential as space is limited and days are filling up!

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