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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

A return to the North

The North Gwent uplands have an incredible amount of biodiversity. Especially at this time of year as the summer migrants return to breed.

Yesterday my friend Paul and me toured some great upland locations scouting them out for the spring bird arrivals. I must confess I've not ventured North of the county this year so it was a nice change from the wetland habitats I have been concentrating on.

We did not hear or see any cuckoos. They are sure to arrive soon and this year they are one of my target species for a photograph.

The weather was fantastic. Warm and sunny for a change.

The rising thermals attracted several Buzzards and a Red Kite to the area.

We were treated to some aerial displays from the Buzzards right above our heads.

On the scree slopes around the old quarries the Wheatear's showed well, but remain in low numbers. The numbers will no doubt increase over the next few weeks.

The Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were found in good numbers. I love to see the Skylarks rise into the sky and start singing. Really feels summery when you hear their song.

Ravens were croaking around the hill and keeping a wary eye on our progress around the hill.  I feel Corvids are so under-rated. They are amazingly versatile clever birds. I am sure they love to play in the thermals, showing off their aerodynamic skills.

After patiently waiting near some Gorse in another upland location we were rewarded with Yellowhammers and Redpolls. These are not birds you tend to see every day and I cant wait to photograph them again on another occasion.


Red Kite







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