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Conwy

Conwy
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  • Blog Post: Look east for ducks

    It might seem odd to start this week's blog with news of what isn't here, but I thought it worth an explanation! There are relatively few ducks on the lagoons at the moment, and I was discussing this at the weekend with one of our volunteers, a retired meteorologist. He pointed me to this website...
  • Blog Post: One swallow doesn't make a winter

    The Bridge Pond has been the birding hotspot recently, with our two firecrests still regular throughout the week, several chiffchaffs (including one that looks 'interesting' as a potential visitor from Russia), and the Cetti's warbler , although it hasn't been seen since Monday (1st)...
  • Blog Post: Firefly

    The end of November, we have our Countdown to Christmas event on Sunday, and we have still barely had a frost. But we know it must be Winter because a couple of firecrests have taken up annual residence. Both are females (judged by those who have studied the photographs), they tend to inhabit the...
  • Blog Post: A small explosion by the pond

    Our Cetti's Warbler (or one of them, as two have been reported) has become more vocal during the week. It's started to sing rather than just call, its 'explosive' song heard from some distance: if you're not sure what they sound like, listen here . The area around the Bridge Pond...
  • Blog Post: And finally some rain!

    The September drought broke in style on 4th October, and the water levels on the Shallow Lagoon rose an incredible 15 cm in just 3 days. This couldn't have been timed better for us, as some areas of the lagoon were starting to get a little dry and cracked, but everything is looking spot on again...
  • Blog Post: Bumper berry crop pulls in the birds

    You can't have failed to notice that the bushes are weighed down with berries this year. The good spring, followed by a warm and damp (but not soaking) summer created prime conditions, and the blackberries are especially abundant. Some days have brought lots of blackbirds to feast on them, whereas...
  • Blog Post: A closer look: binocular and telescope event

    Chris Lusted from our shop is passionate about helping people to see wildlife, so he has helped to organise our first Binocular and Telescope Day in The LookOut on Sunday 5 October. He’s written a blog to highlight how optical technology has improved in recent years. Our event is a great opportunity...
  • Blog Post: A fruitful month

    September is always a fruitful month. Fruitful because the reserve is rich in the autumn fruits, with blackberries and rosehips especially plentiful this year. and fruitful because autumn migration peaks, with lots of birds heading south - some departing, others arriving. There have been lots of waders...
  • Blog Post: Water + mud + midges = birds

    When we had those months of rain and wind last winter, the lagoons filled with more water than we had seen for years (see, for example, this post from 9 February). Actually, this was pretty good news, as it meant that the islands were surrounded in Spring, making it hard for mammals to get to the places...
  • Blog Post: Egrets, we've had a few...

    Over recent years, little egrets have become a common sight around the estuary, and feeding on the lagoons. Yet, it was only at the turn of the Millennium that these Mediterranean herons first nested in North Wales, and only a few years previously that they first nested in Britain. There are two egret...
  • Blog Post: Shall I compare thee to a... brick?

    The rest of the country may find it hard to believe but, with the exception of a couple of days, we've had weeks of wall-to-wall sunshine at Conwy. Flowers have bloomed, insects have buzzed and birds have bred successfully in the warm conditions. Now, as we head into the summer holidays, the water...
  • Blog Post: It's getting 'Otter...

    The reserve is so alive at the moment, it's wonderful. As soon as the day warms and the sun shines, the flowers open and the insects fly. There are at least four orchid species in flower: bee , pyramidal , southern marsh and early marsh . Ask at the Visitor Centre for details, but come prepared to...
  • Blog Post: With apologies to Damon Albarn

    "All the beetles, so many beetles They all go hand in hand. Hand in hand through their... Pond Life" I went for a walk at lunchtime; the sun was out and I took a walk around our small ponds, looking for dragonflies. A broad-bodied chaser had been seen yesterday, but I was happy enough...
  • Blog Post: Counting, mapping, and fooling water rails...

    With breeding season in full swing, I've been busy carrying out all the surveying to help us find out just what species are breeding here, how many of each there are, and how well they do at fledging young. So, how do we go about this? First we need to decide which species to survey each year;...
  • Blog Post: One good tern deserves another

    We have had a busy week at the reserve, with lots of families enjoying the good weather through the Easter holidays, and lots of migrant birds to see and hear. We've had large groups of sand martins feeding over the lagoons all week, and each day there have been a few more swallows and house martins...
  • Blog Post: To let: Available for immediate occupancy

    The next few weeks are very busy if you're a bird, animal or insect. The explosion of food that comes with warm weather mean that you have to find a mate, and a home, and plenty of food to bring up your young. We have seen lots of our resident birds, such as blackbirds and blue tits , carrying nest...
  • Blog Post: Green is the colour

    For me, green is the colour of spring time, of blackthorn bushes bursting into leaf, the yellow flower-heads of the cowslips pushing through the green crown of leaves, and the first shoots of this year's reed growth poking their heads above the water's surface, amid the straw-coloured stems of...
  • Blog Post: Is this the last blog of winter?

    Tomorrow is St David's Day, our national day, and there seem to be plenty of daffodils already blooming in the Conwy Valley, which always signals to me that our spring is early. The hedgerows already have that faint hue of green that, if the weather remains mild, is a prelude to the blackthorn bursting...
  • Blog Post: Rising waters

    It'll surprise no-one that the continued rain and storms have dominated this week. Principally, our thoughts are with all those affected by the serious flooding in southern Britain, particularly in the Somerset Levels where RSPB staff, volunteers and supporters live. I've heard some rather odd...
  • Blog Post: Bramble bashing

    This week we finally achieved something that I've been itching to do for the last few years - tackle some of the really dense bramble at the far end of the reserve near the railway line. This area hasn't been touched since the reserve was created, and has developed into a thick block of impenetrable...
  • Blog Post: Good weather for ducks

    Blwyddyn newydd dda! Happy new year! The calendar may have changed but the weather has not and it’s been a frustrating week for those who hoped to get outside during the Christmas break. The wind and rain has made it hard work to find small birds in the bushes, but the mild temperatures and the...
  • Blog Post: Stormy days and badger nights

    You may have noticed that it's been a bit stormy recently! Conwy escaped the worst of the tidal surge on 5 December, and when we saw pictures of some of our reserves in eastern England, we felt relieved (for a report about the effects on our reserves in Norfolk and Suffolk, read Steve Rowland's...
  • Blog Post: Lovely weather for ducks

    A little burst of colder weather and we very quickly saw a change in the birdlife. On the water, we've had plenty of ducks. The stars have been three scaups , a bird more usually found feeding in inshore coastal waters, but these three immature-type birds have been here since Friday 15th, usually...
  • Blog Post: Munch, munch, munch....

    The last few weeks have seen us welcome the ponies back on to the reserve, and we're now back up to the full complement of six. Instead of our customary Carneddau ponies, this time we have some Welsh cobs in the mix, and they look huge compared to our usual short stocky ponies. But they're definitely...
  • Blog Post: Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow...

    Over the last few months, quite a few visitors have been surprised by how low the water level is, particularly in front of the Coffee Shop. As Sarah explained in an earlier blog , lowering the water level during the late summer and autumn is exactly what we want to do, so that we can provide lots of...