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  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 9th -15th February 2015

    Hi, Of the five British owl species, the Barn Owl is one of the most nocturnal in habit, therefore a day flying Barn Owl observed hunting over Covert Coch (10 th ) was a real treat and a personal highlight for me on the reserve this week. Another sign of Barn Owl presence on the reserve are their...
  • Blog Post: A snowy end to January.

    29th January Snowed heavily overnight which left a good covering of snow in the morning. Inspite of a strong westerly wind blowing, a hardy workparty turned out for a gorse coppicing detail on the saltmarsh. Some comfort would be gained from the bonfire which they soon got burning.There was very little...
  • Blog Post: Continuing a theme...

    A young Peregrine was having a whale of a time out on the pools today and was practicing his hunting skills of all the terrified wildfowl. Bob Cooper was in the right place to get some wonderful shots. You can feel the speed and adrenaline of the massed flight.... and no he did not catch anything! ...
  • Blog Post: Flurry of activity at the feeders

    The feeders at the back of the visitor centre are a flurry of activity at the moment, with great spotted woodpeckers and tree sparrows making regular appearances, so it's definitely worth a peek when you're heading onto the reserve. Among the more common blue tits , great tits and coal tits ...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 19th-24th January 2015

    Hi, In a week with large high tides fingers were crossed that a few goodies would turn up on the reserve. We weren’t left disappointed with 1x Bean Goose in amongst a flock of 25x Greenland White-fronted Geese (viewed from Poggles Bench, 24 th ), 2x Slavonian Grebe (Estuary, 22 nd ) and 1x Glaucous...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 23.01.2015

    Yet another busy week on the reserve this week, scrub work underway on the old canal bank/footpath side of the reserve and the new small pedestrian bridge is now open. This will eventually allow access to a new hide (the Avalon Hide) which will be built behind the wood diagonally right of the first platform...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall 16.01.2015

    Happy New Year Everyone!! Welcome to the first sightings blog for 2015!!! Firstly, apologies for the lack of blog last week - I simply just ran out of time. It was notable by its absence - as many of you picked up on the fact it wasn't there and quizzed me - I should of known I wouldn't get away...
  • Blog Post: Happy New Year from Bowland

    With little movement from Burt and Highlander since my last update (still residing in North Cumbria and the South Pennines respectively), this blog is simply an excuse to share some photographs (all my own unless stated otherwise) and experiences with you of a place that is really special to me. I’m...
  • Blog Post: Beautiful beards

    Or perhaps that should say "magnificent moustaches?" Either way, I'm talking about the same species. One of our most sought after birds. One of our most beautiful birds. And one that seems to be putting on a really good show this week. I am, of course, talking about bearded tits. Tiny...
  • Blog Post: A most magical sight

    The UK’s smallest bird of prey, the merlin , has been seen dashing around the reserve recently. You can tell merlins apart from other falcons ( kestrels , hobbys and peregrines ) because of their relatively long, square-cut tail and rather broad-based pointed wings, shorter that those of any other...
  • Blog Post: Top Predator

    As promised here are some of Russ Sherriff's astonishing Peregrine shots from just before New Year. The pylon pair have been seen daily and are often to be seen now, perching out in the middle of Aveley Marsh as well as on their trusted look outs... Simply sensational... 2-1-15
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 19.12.2014

    This will probably be the last blog before the Christmas break arrives - it will return in January!! The biggest news of the week is that we have opened the new car park. There's still some finishing touches to do but we wanted it to be open in time for Christmas, as this will be a busy time with...
  • Blog Post: New visitors at Nagshead

    If you visit the woods at Nagshead over the festive period, you will be sure of a big surprise thanks to art students from the Royal Forest of Dean campus of Gloucester College. The students have created six sculptures specifically for Nagshead as part of their course, which can be found around the Visitor...
  • Blog Post: Counting down

    It's an exciting time in our household, as in many around the country, as we count down the days until Christmas. Advent calendars are opened to reveal festive pictures, chocolates, or in our case little Lego toys that will make a lovely Christmas scene when finished. With only seven more sleeps...
  • Blog Post: A Reflection on 2014

    As expected, 2014 got off to a good start at Tollie with the number of red kites coming in to feed reaching double figures, along with the usual mob of buzzards, crows and gulls. As spring developed, we started to see bonding activities as the resident kites at Tollie started to reaffirm their pair bonds...
  • Blog Post: Winter has arrived on the Dee...

    Winter has arrived, with the first snow flurries falling at the reserve and snow on the Welsh hills visible from the reception hide. Recent sightings on the reserve have included two ring tail hen harriers , brilliant to have these stunning birds back for the winter months on the estuary, two marsh...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 1st-7th December 2014

    Hi, Finally catching a glimpse of an Ynys-hir otter has to my personal highlight on the reserve this week. The otter, viewed from both the Domen Las and Marian Mawr Hides, was busy foraging on the estuary and successfully caught atleast one big flat fish whilst I was watching, excellent stuff! ...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 05.12.2014

    The Starlings have yet again dominated the headlines here this week with the main bulk of the roost dropping into the Waltons section of the reserve. It is likely that the cold weather will swell the numbers further as birds arrive from the north & east of the continent. The rail path or the Tor...
  • Blog Post: Nothing 'otter than an otter

    From frolicking otter cubs to bold bitterns , Leighton Moss has some truly stunning wildlife views to offer at the moment. One of our resident female otters has had two cubs this year. They are keen to play all day, often right in front of the hides. This unusually bold behaviour offers both fantastic...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings from RSPB Ham Wall - 28.11.2014

    The main talking point this week has been - not surprisingly - the Starlings. Numbers are beginning to swell and the latest "guesstimates" seem to be in the region of as many as 750,000. There has been a smaller roost on Shapwick Heath but the main bulk of the birds seems to be at Ham Wall...
  • Blog Post: The Dee’s the place to be

    I was only a kid, ten or eleven I think, but I can still picture it now – my first ever hen harrier. My mum used to take me there on Sunday afternoons hoping to catch a glimpse of a bird I’d dreamt about seeing in real life after drooling over the plates of it in my Mitchell Beazley bird...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 9th-15th November 2014

    Hi, We’ve just had another fantastic week on the reserve with the key sightings being a fine drake Green-winged Teal (Ynys Feurig Hide, daily since its discovery on the 11 th ), two Otter (Domen Las Hide,10 th ) and a big bull Grey Seal (Domen Las Hide, 12 th ). This Green-winged Teal...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 2nd-8th November 2014

    Hi, The spectacle of thousands of wetland birds feeding and roosting on the Breakwater field over high tide has to be one of the main highlights over the past week. With the high tides being over five metres most of the saltmarsh was inundated with seawater pushing the estuary birds over the railway...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 25th October- 1st November 2014

    Hi, The Dyfi Estuary plays host to the only regular wintering flock of Greenland White-Fronted Geese in the whole of Wales and England, therefore news of our first returning birds, ten on the 28 th October, was a real highlight on the reserve this week. The geese were sighted regularly throughout...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 24.10.2014

    A week similar to the last at Ham Wall this week. It still feels as though we are in a bit of an autumn lull before the bulk of wintering birds arrive. There's plenty to get excited about though, as we are privileged enough to have a fine selection of resident birds here in the Avalon Marshes to...