Trip reports

Visit to Ynys Hir

Visit to Ynys Hir
Warmest, place on the reserve (Photo: Peter Berrill)

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Lambs frolicked in the fields and the birds called from every song post. Then, I woke up, had breakfast left home in the pouring rain to meet the, all too few, other hardy travellers sheltering under the ring-road flyover waiting for the coach.

Overhead signs on the M6 informed us it was closed J6-J7 but we carried on to discover the overnight repairs had finished and it was open. Not much traffic about and Telford services, on the M54, were deserted.

The Welsh countryside still looks pretty impressive through the pouring rain from a warm dry coach. At the reserve visitor centre we were greeted by the staff and spent longer than usual watching the many siskin, chaffinch, goldfinch, greenfinch, blue tit, great tit, coal tit and lone great spotted woodpecker.

Advised to stay in the shelter of the woodland we made our way to Marian Mawr hide immediately finding our first pied flycatcher of the day, while blackcap and willow warbler sang from the path side.

From the hide oystercatcher fed on the estuary with a pair of curlew, and a little egret flew towards us. A small flock of swallows battled against the elements landing to pick the non-flying insects off the saltmarsh. Lunch was taken here to avoid the, now heavy horizontal, rain which also made it impossible to view the osprey nest site at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve further up the valley.

Retracing our steps to the Visitor Centre we watched a pair of redstart and several pied flycatcher, the latter plucking insects off the path and tops of walls.

Warm, dry and topped up with hot chocolate we walked to the reserve entrance and beyond. Down to the small stream we crossed over on the way in, one of our group thought they spotted their 'bogey bird', a dipper. Alas, no dipper could be found but at least this area was sheltered from the wind and we picked up a few more pied flycatcher and had a brilliant view of a red kite.

Fifty-two bird species were recorded, not bad when you consider the atrocious conditions. The rain finally abated around Telford for about twenty minutes but when we were forced to slow down at Corley, the passing cars looked like speedboats.

Peter and Lesley Berrill