Welcome back, and a happy new year to all! January again, and time for another Big Garden Birdwatch. This year it runs from the 28th-30th January, and you can register to take part - as well as find all the information you need - on the RSPB's website http://bit.ly/2g4ua6f. In preperation, Ynys-hir is running an event on the 22nd from 11am-3pm at which you can make bird cake and swot up on garden bird ID, and handily our visitor centre feeders have been particularly active recently, with most of the usual suspects present including greenfinch, siskin, goldfinch, and nuthatch. No better place to practice!
Nuthach, Sitta europaea (Tom Kistruck)
Blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus, and Coal tit, Periparus ater (Tom Kistruck)
If you're tremendously lucky, and have suitable berry bearing trees in your garden, you may be fortunate enough to have waxwings in your garden in time for the Big Garden Birdwatch. A decent sized flock stripped the rowan trees outside the library in Machynlleth earlier this month, and with the weather looking unsettled over much of the UK in the next few weeks, perhaps now is as good a time as any to keep an eye out for them. This article on Birdguides covers a highly interesting waxwing ringing project in Aberdeenshire, shedding light on the movements of the remarkable influx this January http://bit.ly/2jEysOW.
To finish, other recent sightings include a female goshawk near the visitor centre on the 12th, as well as merlin, hen harrier, marsh harrier, and peregrine about the reserve. A good variety of wildfowl are still present as well, including teal, pintail, shoveler, wigeon, and the Greenland white-fronted geese are still roving the estuary.
Until next time!