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The Celtic Rain Forest RSPB Gwenffrwd-Dinas

Common Redstart (Male) One of the most unique and incredible places to birdwatch in Wales has to be RSPB Gwenffrwd-Dinas (Dinas) The reserve is situated around a hill named "Dinas" in mid-wales a few miles outside the town of Llandovery. The hill ( I can't help but call it a mountain) which is 331 meters high has steep slopes that are covered in predominantly Atlantic Oak and Alder Trees and other areas covered in scrubland. I did some research about Atlantic Rainforests and according to the Woodland Trust , this type of habitat is found in places that have high rainfall but with low variation in temperature throughout the year. I have been visiting Dinas with my three amigo friends for the last couple of years and I must admit it is one of the only places that I have been to that has thousands of Oak trees densely packed around a mountain like this. When I walk into the woodland I imagine I am in something out of J R Tolkiens Lord of The Rings. It really is magical. Din

Ians hide is a real hoot

I spent yesterday evening at my friend Ian Howells Owl hide in Cwmbran.

I've visited it before on a number of occasions , my first experience photographing Tawny Owls there back in June 2017. Last year it was raining and we had two visits from the Tawny Owls. I got some great pictures despite the rain and was extremely happy with my first ever pictures of these enigmatic birds.

Ian has put a huge amount of effort in to build from scratch a fantastic set up that allows you to get close to the birds without being seen and causes absolutely minimal disturbance.

There has been a lot of thought put into the hides setup and I must admit he has thought of things to ensure you get the best pictures possible that many professionals would learn from.

This was my second visit to take photos of the owls. I wasn't disappointed. The weather was perfect, clear skies and no wind. We had four visits from what we think are the male and female over a four hour period.

 Wildlife rarely obeys the script and wild animals are rightly wary , nature photography always requires a lot of patience - and being quiet.

I think I was really fortunate to get the photos I did . However I credit the good photos I got to Ians hard work and daily dedication to maintaining the hides and his knowledge of photography- especially setting up the flashes. Ian knows how to set up both Nikon and Canons.

I would recommend to any of my friends to consider a visit. The fee is very reasonable and covers Ians efforts maintaining the hides and knowledge.

Contact Ian at


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