Hello! At last, we hear you say...here is our latest Conwy Connections bulletin!
If you haven’t been to visit us since last year, well, you’re in for a surprise! Just as expected, we are very excited and pleased with the redveleopments...but there’s still some work to be done.
For the latest update, click below to open the bulletin:
Still not sure about investing in new equipment then put your worries to rest and call in and see us on Saturday 30th March for the best in service and support. Buying any new equipment should be taken seriously; just because it has a great review doesn’t mean that it will work for you. We always advice a hands on trial of any considered equipment; you may be surprised at the outcome. We carry a wide range of equipment from our great value Puffin range of binoculars to our Hi Tec HD binoculars. With telescopes ranging from our AG60 and AG80 kits complete with tripod to our stunning 82mm HD scope with 25 – 50x zoom eyepiece and case with lots in between, we even have a cleaning cloth that can help with your ID skills! We will be in the Education Room 10 until 4 on Saturday 30th March.
Over the Easter weekend we will be holding a binocular and telescope day on Saturday 30th March. With the Easter break a few weeks away it’s still cold and snowing as I write with just a few signs of spring starting to show. People are starting to make enquires about new binoculars and scopes in time for the start of the new breeding season. We get a vast range of enquiries about the best to use, the brightest or the lightest along with many other questions. We all have different preferences and requirements and recommended that you always try before you buy, trust your own hands and eyes and take your time making your choice.Call in and see us for the best advice on choosing your equipment, whether a first purchase or upgrading we will have the full range of RSPB and selected items from Viking and others for you to try hands on. We are enthusiastic, experienced users with a good knowledge of our range, we are not here to sell you the greatest, latest or most expensive, we want you to have the right equipment for you.So don’t forget one day only Binocular and Telescope day Saturday 30th we look forward to seeing you.Can’t make it on the day then you can book your own one hour one2one demo with a member of staff. Call us on 01492 584091.
Sorry that it's been a while since the last Sightings blog, but it's been a tad busy here with all the Conwy Connections work going on! Every day when we look out at the work on Y Maes we see something different and new, and it's been the same out on the reserve - change is definitely in the air.
We've still got some of our winter visitors, with the firecrest continuing to be seen by those with either a little patience or a lot of luck, but numbers of most wintering birds are starting to drift down. Red-breasted merganser numbers peaked at 27 but are now starting to decrease, goldeneye have gone down from 12 to 3 and we've only occasional sightings of jay now, but our pair of stonechat on the Estuary Path are still with us - they seem to particularly like following us around when we've been brushcutting some of the rank grass and bramble on the Estuary Path, no doubt grateful for some of the invertebrates we've uncovered. Other wintering birds seen in the last month include a whooper swan on 23th February, 3 jack snipe on 24th February and we still have plenty of snipe around. On one of our wintering water rail surveys this year, as well as finding far more water rails than we thought were there (we peaked at 18 birds), we also counted more than 50 snipe feeding quietly in bits of the reedbed that you don't normally see - just goes to show how much is hidden away even in tiny reserves such as ours. We've just bought a trail camera and bat detectors for the reserve, which we'll be using on a special summer event called CreatureQuest (keep your eyes peeled for details soon on our Events page) which we hope will help us detect even more of the hidden side of the reserve.
Spring is clearly on its way now though, a relief given that winter this year seemed to start last July! Migrant waders are now passing through, with sightings of up to 3 greenshank, 6 black-tailed godwits, the occasional bar-tailed godwit, up to 8 knot, a handful of dunlin, up to 511 redshank, a spotted redshank on 8th March and a green sandpiper on 15th March. The first frog spawn was spotted a while back, a chiffchaff was singing on 26th February, and a blue tit was seen carrying nesting material into one of our Visitor Centre nestboxes last week. It may not seem like it, with a big dump of snow on the Carneddau hills this morning, but the birds know that we've nearly made it through the winter for another year. And there's nothing to lift the spirits more of a morning than the tumbling lapwings displaying over the islands on our lagoons.
Photo: Green sandpiper
This month, as part of the new projects on the reserve, the Wildlife Explorers Conwy worked on a cool new feature – Tegi the Earth Dragon.Tegi is made from mounds of earth. A builder made Tegi for kids to play on and it was our job to lay grass seed on Tegi.We were each given a bit to work on. First we picked out big stones from the earth, then we got a gardening fork and gloves and started turning over the earth.Then we raked the stones down, gave it a quick water and then got given a box of grass seed which we scattered across the earth in our area.We covered the seed with a thin layer of soil and then we gave it a quick water and then we were done.In about a month Tegi will turn green with grass and kids will be able to play on Tegi soon.
By Derwen Fay age 10