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Conwy

Conwy
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  • Blog Post: All the young dudes

    It's a great time of year to be out on the reserve. The ground is a blaze of floral colour, and there are lots of young birds, starting out on a new life. Each morning, more fledglings leave their nests, and take their first flights. After a few days, they're pretty confident and the willow...
  • Blog Post: The colours of Summer

    Twenty-three years ago, when the first warden Dave Elliott, stood on the bare mud that would open to visitors just three years later, could he have imagined what an amazing home for all sorts of nature RSPB Conwy would become? "It looked like the moon," he says, describing the three million...
  • Blog Post: There's a whole of nesting going on

    There are birds everywhere: lots rearing chicks, some already fledged, and some parents already sitting on their second clutch of eggs. We were delighted to see a brood of four little grebes here this week, the first here for several years. Tiny little stripy balls of fluff, their dedicated parents...
  • Blog Post: Tiny chicks and tiny eels

    It's been a week of hatchings at the reserve, with our great crested grebes hatching two tiny, stripy chicks from their nest near the Coffee Shop on Monday, swiftly followed by three mute swan cygnets - keep a look out for them on the Shallow Lagoon if you're here this week. The first moorhen...
  • Blog Post: Ne'er cast a clout.......

    It may already be May, and all our summer migrants are in, but the weather seems to think it's winter still most days, and so it seems do some of our birds. A few of our winter visitors are still with us, including 2 male and a female pochard . Small numbers of pochard breed on Anglesey, so maybe...
  • Blog Post: Of birds and bats

    Spring has arrived in a rush, with good numbers of many summer migrants already here. It amazes me how quickly, having made the long journey from sub-Saharan Africa, these tiny birds get straight into the business of nest-building. Last Thursday, for example, I saw the first whitethroat of the year,...
  • Blog Post: The Daily Osprey

    We've had a busy week at Conwy. The glorious sunshine has brought thousands of people to the reserve, getting out and enjoying nature. It has also brought lots of summer migrants to the reserve, and the breeding season has really started to get into full swing. Our great crested grebes have built...
  • Blog Post: It smells like Spring

    April - a new month, with new improved weather. Fewer days of gale-force winds, and more days of Springtime nature. We hope... It has certainly got off to a good start, with daily arrivals of summer migrants. We heard our first willow warbler this morning, a bit earlier than usual, and our first white...
  • Blog Post: All change!

    The days are almost as long as the nights, there's a hint of warmth when the sun shines and the breeze drops, and the first swallow has been seen here. Does that make it Spring? This week has seen our first summer migrants, with sand martin on Friday (13th), singing chiffchaffs and a single swallow...
  • Blog Post: A murmuration over the reedbed

    "In like a Lion," says the old proverb about March, and with chilly winds and snow today, there's still something fierce about the winter. But the promise of milder weather is on the horizon, so it may yet go "out like a lamb". So many of our traditional sayings, in both Welsh...
  • Blog Post: Signs of spring - but winter's not done yet

    February has already thrown snow and gales at us, but with settled weather this week, it has felt slightly like Spring, and we're eagerly looking for the first frog spawn in the ponds or the first butterfly on the wing. Several song thrushes are in full song each morning, their repeated melody ringing...
  • Blog Post: Juggling with water

    Have you ever looked at the measuring pole in the water in front of the Coffee Shop and wondered what we actually use it for? At this time of year, our conservation management focuses on pumping plenty of water onto the Shallow Lagoon so that we have enough to keep us going through the summer. The only...
  • Blog Post: Windhover gets a rough ride

    In midwinter, it can be tempting to wrap up in a duvet and curl up until spring. But the new year brings fresh impetus for birders; the yearlist is wiped clean and we start again for 2015. Top of many local birders' list is firecrest , at least one of which is still here today, though keeping low...
  • Blog Post: Choughs - the commendable crow

    When I was a child, the RSPB Film Show coming to town was a highlight of my autumn. Other kids might have looked forward to the funfair coming to town, but that was the kind of child-geek I was. Each November, the Prince of Wales Theatre in Colwyn Bay (now Theatr Colwyn ) would be packed with people...
  • 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...