Skip navigation
Weather today


Where is it?
View map
Right, let's go...
Plan a visit Visit
Print page

Recent sightings

  • 5 June 2014

    Sunny at Ynys-hir

    Really busy day with lots of fledged birds about. I did a survey this morning and saw pied flycatchers and a newly fledged family of redstarts. Around Caer Berllan lake there were reed, sedge and grasshopper warblers and a lesser-spotted woodpecker was calling from the trees. The lake was quite, but I did find a gadwall in with the mallards, an unusual bird in west Wales.

    Posted by David Anning

  • 21 January 2014

    Lesser-spotted woodpeckers

    It must be the warm winter weather that has resulted in the early start of one of the most frustrating events in the birdwatching calandar- looking for lesser-spotted woodpeckers. Ynys-hir is a particularly good spot for them, but they annually cause frustration, annoyance and stiff necks to many of our visitors. Firstly one has to find the right place to stand, that's easy at Ynys-hir as we helpfully tell you where to go to give you the best chance of seeing one! Then one needs the right weather, ideally a bright sunny morning in late winter or early spring. After that it is down to luck! If you are fortunate the fluty chatter of woodland birds is broken by a harsh pe-pe-pe-pe call, then creeping along the branches high in the canopy you may see the tiny lesser-spot. Sometimes if you are very fortunately they may come out into the open and even chase each other round. However, often, as what has happen this week, one hears a short snatch of song followed by....nothing!

    Posted by David Anning

  • 6 December 2013

    Todays sightings at Ynys-hir

    A good count of water birds on the reserve today. The Breakwater fields were particularly good due to the high tides. Highlights include: 321 barnacle geese, 255 teal, 46 pintail, 275 wigeon, 31 shoveller, 1 scaup, 5 Goldeneye, 256 lapwing, 205 curlew, 2 bar-tailed godwits, 4 black-tailed godwits, 85 redshank, 1 spotted redshank, 2 greenshank, 2 green sandpipers, kingfisher, goshawk and a peregrine.

    Posted by David Anning

  • 28 November 2013

    Otters at Ynys-hir

    After working in conservation for 17-years I am in a privalaged position to enjoy nature every day, but every so often one sees something that is truely inspiring, like this morning.... Taking a short cut to work I crossed a bridge over a small ditch, a movement caught my eye and I turned to see an arched back, with a luster like wet slate, disappear beneath the floating flot grass. I knew immediately what it was- an otter! I waited, hoping I would get a second look and I was rewarded when it poked its head up through the grass, a second later another head appeared, two otter cubs within a few meters of me. They seemed completely oblivious to me as they fished beneath the floating weed and squabbed together. The various pants, coughs and squeaks they made was amazing, incredable noisy creatures. After a few minutes they disappeared behind a bramble bush, only to emerge again with a third cub. They then carried on up the ditch towards me and under the bridge I was standing on, at one point the smallest cub was within five-feet of me! Eventually they swam out of sight, although there snorts and chattering where still to be heard.

    Posted by David Anning

  • 15 November 2013

    Where do you go to my lovely?

    On Tuesday BTO ringers from the SCAN ringing group and RSPB staff at Ynys-hir caught and ringed 25 barnacle geese from our increasing winter flock. Barnacle geese breed in Greenland and Svalbard with small populations in Finland and Denmark, a large proportion of these winter in Britain and Ireland. In addition, there are substantial feral populations in England. The Dyfi birds arrive annually in early to mid-September and leave by early January we do not know where they come from or go to. Since the flock has increased in number and now numbers 300-400 birds it was felt important to know if it was a new, wild wintering population or just feral birds. Of the 25 birds, 23 were adults and two were juveniles. Each was ringed and measured and had a special plastic colour ring added so that it could be easily identified in the field. It is hoped that birdwatchers in the UK and across Europe will look out for these birds so that we can find out more about this beautiful bird.

    Posted by David Anning

  • 4 November 2013

    Todays sightings

    A count of wildfowl on the reserve today came up with some really interesting totals: 320 mallards, 937 teals, 266 wigeons, 59 pintails, 21 shovellers, 294 barnacle geese, 115 curlews, 134 oystercatchers, three greenshanks, 134 lapwings, two black-tailed godwits and 300 golden plovers. Other birds include a hen harrier, 100+ redwings, five bullfinches, 30 reed buntings and two kingfishers.

    Posted by David Anning

  • 18 October 2013

    This weeks birds...

    A busy week for birds. Highlights include a female merlin, a female hen harrier, 300+ barnacle geese, c50 pintail, c300 wigeon, c300 teal, the first goldeneye of the autumn, 20 grey plovers, a ruff, two curlew sandpipers and three black tailed godwits. The best hide has been the new Ynys-Feurig hide, although the Saltings and Breakwater hides have been good too.

    Posted by David Anning

  • 11 October 2013

    The redwings have arrived!

    A quick look around the Saltings hide was well worth it with incredable views of barnacle geese. Overhead about a hundred redwings flew over, all heading westward-autumn has truely arrived!

    Posted by David Anning

  • 23 July 2013

    Exciting Wildlife times at Ynys-hir

    I know a Blog is meant to be up to the minute information, however I thought it would be useful to have a brief summary of recent sightings here at the reserve.

    Starting with our Lapwings, 54 nesting pairs this year, now dispersing around the lowland areas of the reserve.

    In addition a week or so ago we were visited by a pair of Great White Egrets which stayed for a few days.

    At present there is a rich diversity of wildlife, birds and plants to be seen, including Redshank,Sedge Warbler, Weasel,Thrift, Grass Snake,Spotted Flycatcher, Four Spotted Chaser Dragonfly, Yellow Flag Iris, Redpoll, Kingfisher, Whitethroat, Cotton Grass, False Bullrush, Brimstone Butterfly, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Wood Warbler, Reed Bunting, Common Toad, (hundreds if not thousands of little toadlets!) and Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly.

    Last weekend a visitor to the reserve set a moth trap and was able to identify over 70 species of moth.

    So you can see a great diversity, so come and visit us soon! 

    Posted by Roger Whiteway

Your sightings

Grid reference: SN6896 (+2km)

Black Tern (1)
29 Aug 2014
Goosander ()
24 Aug 2014
Kingfisher ()
24 Aug 2014

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 52.54672,-3.94516
  • Postcode: SY20 8TA
  • Grid reference: SN682961
  • Nearest town: Machynlleth, Powys
  • County: Ceredigion
  • Country: Wales

Get directions

Note: Some reserves are not served directly by public transport and, in these cases, a nearby destination (from which you may need to walk or take a taxi or ferry) may be offered.


Living classrooms