The first ever Ynys-hir newsletter is here with news and events listings to keep you up to date.
You can download a copy now by clicking on the blue link below.
Ynys-hir Spring Newsletter 2011.pdf
Cylchlythyr RSPB Ynys-hir Gwanwyn 2011.pdf
If you have problems downloading the file we will have a limited number available in the Visitor Centre from the end of next week.
This week sixteen cadets from 1429 Squadron came to Ynys-hir to plant 70 trees in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Air Training Corps and 100 years of the RSPB in Wales. They planted a mixture of crab apple, alder buckthorn, blackthorn and hawthorn to create a dense scrub area to provide shelter and lots of berries for the birds. We are also hoping to increase numbers of brimstone butterfly as alder buckthorn is the only food plant for the caterpillars of this scarce species.
The cadets did a fantastic job and planted the trees in no time so they spent the rest of the day helping our staff and volunteers to pull up birch saplings from the Covert Coch bog. Thanks to 1429 Squadron for all their hard work and look out for us in the Cambrian News next week.
Local artist Chris Wallbank has done some incredible illustrations of birds and scenery at Ynys-hir. My favourite is the barnacle geese at Spring tide. They look amazing! Check out his blog http://cwallbank.blogspot.com
Even our herd of 12 hardy Welsh mountain ponies has been struggling with the exceptional weather lately.
Their ability to thrive (where other stock would decline) on the demanding conditions of some of our wetlands, and their grazing habit makes them invaluable for keeping vegetation under control, allowing the rarer and less competetive wetland flowers to flourish.
Normally, they shun additional feeding such as hay, but recently due to the prolonged and intense cold, they have taken to munching happily on the organic bales on offer. No doubt they will return to their old habits at the first sign of a spring flush.
Charming as they undoubtably appear, we would like them to remain as wary of humans as reasonable and for them to maintain their semi wild habits. To this end we ask visitors on no account feed them tidbits, tempting though this might be!
Warmer (though wetter) weather has seen an upsurge in bird song with both great tit and mistle thrush singing away this morning. Very close to the Visitor Centre a lesser spotted woodpecker has started drumming on the same dead branch as last year, giving most visitors excellent views; the first sightings of this elusive resident since November. It should now drum on most mild mornings and is one of the highlights here for many birdwatchers. A spotted redshank and a greenshank were present on the flooded fields near the Breakwater hide with our winter barnacle and Greenland white-fronted geese still present on the salt marshes. The highlight today though was a bittern in plain view on the pools below the reserve car-park. Another elusive species it is not often seen well but this one stalked into the open, neck stretching occasionally, for a full fifteen minutes before slowly dissapearing into thick rush.