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 conditions have slowed the rate of arrival of continental birds so far this autumn. The mild weather seems to have benefited other bird species with 1x Greenshank (over visitor centre pools, 28th), 1x Green Sandpiper (Domen Las Hide, occasional), 1x Common Sandpiper (Domen Las Hide, 30th) and 1x Chiffchaff (Wetland Trail, 30th) still present on the reserve. Whilst a Red Admiral (28th), Painted Lady (30th) and bats (29th) also remained active.
There has been some great light for photography as can be seen from this excellent Mallard photo (Many Thanks to Keith Roberts).
Two of our stars from the last sightings blog prolonged their stay on the reserve with the drake Green-winged Teal last sighted from the Ynys Feurig Hide on the 16th. The Great Northern Diver was occasionally seen on the estuary at high tide with the Saltings Hide providing most of the observations.
Whilst creating viewing lines into the reedbed infront of the Covert Du Hide the conservation team observed an otter trail, heard at least two Water Rail and had lunch with a Robin who has discovered that the inside of the hide provides some easy pickings in the form of trapped flies (28th).
Role-reversal? The Robin then observed the conservation team whilst they were busy cutting reed.
Other interesting sightings included, 1x Pink-footed Goose (saltmarsh, regular), 4x Gadwall (Marian Mawr Pools, 29th), 35x Shoveler (Ynys Feurig Hide, 30th), 3x Goldeneye (Domen Las Hide, regular), 11x Goosander (Domen Las Hide, 30th), 3x Red Kite (Covert Du Hide, 28th), Merlin (saltmarsh,occasional), 1x Kingfisher (Marian Mawr Pools, regular), Black-tailed Godwit (Domen Las Hide, regular), 10+ Fieldfare (Wetland Trail Boardwalk, 18th) and 40+ Lesser Redpoll (Wetland Trail Boardwalk, regular).
Up to three Goldeneye have been seen feeding in front of the Domen Las Hide.
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 stripe near the breast which is one of the main plumage differences between Green-winged and Eurasian Teal (Many Thanks to John Davis for the photograph).
This huge bull Grey Seal caught an equally impressive salmon infront of the Domen Las hide during the week (Many Thanks to Keith Roberts for the photo).
Another excellent find was a Great Northern Diver, first seen from the Domen Las Hide on the 11th. The bird, which ranged from the Breakwater Hide to the Domen Las Hide, was regularly seen feeding on the estuary at high tide throughout the week.
Highlights from the November Wetland Bird Survey (WEBS count) undertaken on the 10th included, 341x Barnacle Geese, 1x Pink-footed Goose, 7x Greylag Geese, 246x Mallard, 2x Gadwall, 16x Shoveler, 168x Wigeon, 5x Goldeneye, 15x Red-breasted Merganser, 21x Little Egret, 52x Redshank, 1x Spotted Redshank, 5x Snipe, 6x Bar-tailed Godwit, 15x Black-tailed Godwit, 388x Curlew and 2x Kingfisher.
A nice selection of raptors continued to hunt on the reserve including, 3+ Red Kite (daily), 3+ Common Buzzard (daily), 1x Sparrowhawk (Wetland Trail, 12th), 2x Kestrel (daily), 1x Peregrine (saltmarsh, daily) and 1x Merlin (Ynys Feurig Hide, 13th).
With their main feather moult now complete the reserve's Red Kites look even more stunning whilst patrolling over the saltmarsh (Many Thanks to Keith Roberts for the photo taken from the Domen Las Hide).
On the non-avian front the mild weather allowed a few Common Darter dragonfly, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Peacock and a single Brimstone butterfly to remain active. A report of a Water Shrew, all be it dead, was a good record for the reserve at Ynys Edwin.
Other interesting sightings this week included, 6x Goosander (Domen Las Hide, regular), 1200 Lapwing (Ynys Feurig Hide, 11th), 39x Dunlin (Ynys Feurig Hide, 12th), 1x Little Stint (Ynys Feurig Hide, 12th), 7x Greenshank (Ynys Feurig Hide, 11th), 1x Water Pipit (Saltings Hide, 11th & 12th), 3x Chiffchaff (Wetland Trail Boardwalk, 12th) and Crossbill (heard calling behind Visitor Centre, 14th).
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-members, and please remember to bring waterproofs and suitable footwear as some of the trails may be muddy.
Many Thanks to Keith Roberts for the photo of Black-tailed Godwits, a popular sighting on recent guided walks.