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Conwy

Conwy
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  • Blog Post: Time for chicks

    This is a tense time for wardens on nature reserves - there are lots of young birds around, and they won't all survive, so how are ours doing? The great-crested grebes still have both chicks on the Shallow Lagoon, now around half the size of the adults. The youngsters still try to hitch a ride on...
  • Blog Post: Fluffy chicks, red damselflies and a walking weatherman

    After the rush of Spring migration, nature is now settling into its breeding season. Some of our waterbirds have chicks, and it's a delight to watch the two stripy-headed great-crested grebe chicks poking their heads from beneath the parental wings, soliciting food. Thanks to Rita Jones for sharing...
  • Blog Post: Our week in pictures

    We've had some wonderful wildlife on the reserve this week, including a few local rarities. And our visitors have taken some wonderful pictures, so rather than writing a long blog, we thought we'd showcase some of the best we've seen. A blue-headed wagtail (the continental race of yellow...
  • Blog Post: Birds and bees

    Imagine being a chick. For the last few weeks, you've been cosseted in an egg, warmed by the downy feathered lining of your nest and the warm belly of your parent(s). Most birds - generally females - have a 'brood patch' of bare feathers so that eggs and chicks get warmth from the adult's...
  • Blog Post: Sounds of Africa - in Conwy's reedbeds

    April has dawned with its typical weather of sunshine and showers. But between the rain and hail, new birds are arriving and Spring bird migration gets properly underway. So, what's the consensus about arrivals so far? The first sedge warbler (Friday 8th) was earlier than the average, though not...
  • Blog Post: The first Spring-kling of migrants arrive

    Typically, as soon as the schools broke for Easter, the weather broke after almost a month without rain. But the rather grotty weekend weather didn't deter people from getting out and seeing wildlife. This was our first week of 'proper' Spring migration, with small groups of sand martins...
  • Blog Post: How many millions of litres of water does it take to top up a lagoon?

    There's definitely the feel of change in the air at the moment, with more signs of spring being seen daily. A chiffchaff has been singing away, cowslips are starting to peek above ground, yellow coltsfoot flowers speckle the grass, and the leaves on the wild privet bushes are unfurling along the...
  • Blog Post: Waves of starlings fill the sky

    February will be remembered here as one of the best months for murmurating starlings for many years. By the end of the month, at least 30,000 (and that's a conservative estimate) were coming in to the reedbeds to roost, preceded on calm evenings by spectacular displays across the sky. This band of...
  • Blog Post: Doing a great job for nature

    Improved weather over the weekend has encouraged more people to get outside, and made it easier to see some of the smaller birds. Firecrests have been seen in several places over the weekend, suggesting that at least three are present, while the water pipit was seen on the Shallow Lagoon islands today...
  • Blog Post: Peacocks, coltsfoot and chiffchaffs - the weird winter continues

    We've no idea where January went! We've been busy on the reserve, planning our events for this year, making some alterations to the kitchen in the Coffee Shop, cutting back bramble along the trails and creating new micro-habitats, and installing solar PV panels on the roof of the Visitor Centre...
  • Blog Post: New year, new birds and a new offer for schools in North Wales

    Is it boring to start with the subject of rain? Today is our 60th consecutive day of rain at the reserve - the last dry day here was 11 November! Some of the paths are now pretty wet, and we recommend wellies or walking boots over the next few days. But there is snow on the peaks of the Carneddau mountains...
  • Blog Post: Higher water levels brings us a wisp of snipe

    Thankfully, the Conwy Valley flooding hasn't affected the reserve, except that it's created some new ponds where we didn't have them before. The levels in the lagoons are rising back towards where we want them to be for the forthcoming nesting season, and this has pushed feeding snipe from...
  • Blog Post: Good times for ducks

    Will it ever stop raining? The last 24-hour period we had without rain was 11 November, and today has been another day of wind and rain. It doesn't encourage you to get out and see wildlife, so well done to those who have donned their waterproofs and gone for a walk. On the upside, the weather has...
  • Blog Post: One swan doesn't make a winter

    Although it feels more wintry feeling around the reserve today. with no frost (yet!) a few summer flowers continue to bloom, and there are still midges and wasps around. A flock of around 20 siskins are regular in the alders near the Tal-y-fan Hide, and a smart lesser redpoll was busily feeding on the...
  • Blog Post: Raining firecrests

    OK, so perhaps an exaggeration, but in a week that several places in North Wales had multiple firecrests , the reserve took its share with at least five at one time (on Saturday 31st). There were still two this morning (Friday 6th), so who knows how many have passed through? Some may stay for the winter...
  • Blog Post: The week the Lepelaar visited

    The biggest surprise of the week was the appearance of three spoonbills on Sunday; after commuting up and down the estuary for a few hours, they quickly settled on the Deep Lagoon and fed hungrily. The three stayed until Wednesday morning, when they headed west, being reported over the RSPB's Malltraeth...
  • Blog Post: Creating a home for waders

    We got busy with the digger last week and reprofiled the islands in front of the Carneddau Hide. It has created lots more shoreline habitat for waders, and denuded them of vegetation that was deterring birds from using them. It's also really opened up the views, both across the islands and more widely...
  • Blog Post: Equinox, and winter beckons

    The Autumn Equinox has passed, so nights are slightly longer than days. The nights are cooler, leaves turn from green to red and yellow, and there are fewer insects to be found. It will be October soon, and our summer visitors are racing south, heading to Africa before the northern food supply runs out...
  • Blog Post: Racing around Conwy

    I'm Rhianna Braden, I'm 14 years old and I am currently volunteering at RSPB Conwy as part of my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. I will be blogging about some of the reserve's events, such as the Wildlife Explorers Group that meets monthly at the reserve. Wildlife Explorers is the junior...
  • Blog Post: We love mud!

    Firstly, a few words about our water. Every year, during the summer, the water in the lagoons drops as a result of evaporation (the sun and the wind) and transpiration (the reeds that grow in the water). Each day (without rain) through the summer, the water level drops by 1cm. This is replaced only by...
  • Blog Post: A murmuration of swallows?

    Today is the last day of the meteorological Summer, but for many of our visiting birds, Autumn is always well underway. Swallows are gathering at the reserve each evening, finding a safe roost in our reedbeds before they continue their journey south. Watch Ian Collier's short video taken here last...
  • Blog Post: It looks a bit ruff

    Late August is an 'anything can happen' time, as both songbirds and waders drop in to rest and feed up as they travel from north to south, on their global journey, for which our geo-political boundaries mean little. Their home at Conwy may only be for a few days, but it's just as important...
  • Blog Post: Conwy is buzzing

    It's starting to feel a bit like autumn, isn't it? Sunrise is that bit later, it's getting dark by 9.30pm, and there's a dew on the grass in the mornings. Birds know that it's autumn too, and that's a time of change. Some mornings this week, there have been lots of small birds...
  • Blog Post: Name that moth in five (or six)

    One of the highlights of a walk round the reserve trails at the moment is the sight of little red-and-black 'bombers' zipping from flower to flower. They love the ragwort , thistles and teasels , but what are they? Most are burnet moths , and we have three types here: six-spot , five-spot and...
  • Blog Post: Where does the water go?

    It's that time of year when we need to explain about the water levels in the lagoon outside the Coffee Shop. During the winter, we take advantage of the rain (it sometimes does that in Wales) to fill the lagoon. We rely on rain that falls directly into the lagoons, but can also pump from the Afon...