A record-breaking year in Wales
I’m proud to say that it’s been a record-breaking year in Wales. We have more members here than ever before, raised our highest community fundraising total, engaged more children with nature, employed satellite tagging technology for the first time on two species and some of our birds have hit new highs on our reserves. Read on!
News from species in Wales
As of 2017, the largest breeding colony of lapwings in Wales can now be found at RSPB Cors Ddyga on Anglesey. From a handful of pairs when we bought the land, there are now 76 pairs of lapwings on the reserve, up from 42 in 2016. This accounts for 15% of the Welsh breeding population.
Following years of conservation work, a pair of bitterns and a pair of marsh harriers both bred on our reserves in Anglesey in 2016, following their decades-long absence as breeding birds in Wales. In 2017, both species returned to breed again with the great news that there were two confirmed pairs of bittern last year and four "booming" males in the spring of 2018. This means we can confirm that bitterns are now officially a regular breeder in Wales.
Satellite tagging reveals secrets
We are always keen to find out more about our most threatened species, and thanks to funding from Natural Resources Wales we worked with a number of partners to satellite tag two Greenland white-fronted geese. Back in the 1990s, over 150 of these beautiful birds used to winter on the Dyfi in mid-Wales.
Now only 20 or so birds return every year. This technology enabled us to gain a better understanding of these birds’ migratory journeys and their use of the various areas around the Dyfi. To our surprise, one of the tagged birds flew over to join a population of the geese in Ireland, suggesting that the wintering population of these birds in the UK is more mobile and dynamic than we originally thought.