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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

Cuckoo Cuckoo

At long last I have got a photograph of a Cuckoo. It required a very early start and the sharp eyes of my friend Paul Joy.

This mornings weather up the Blorenge was bleak. Only a week ago I was wearing practically a T-Shirt and Shorts. Today it was like winter up on the mountain and with a bitter wind blowing. Visibility was not exactly what you call clear either with a mist at the top of the Blorenge.

Lower down the slopes of the mountain it was somewhat better. We heard two Cuckoos calling across the valley to each other and we started trying to triangulate there location.

Paul caught sight of one bird flying off towards the Punchbowl and we headed after it to chance our luck.

After a bit of a wait we finally saw a Cuckoo settle on top of a tree. It was amazing to watch it calling and actually see it doing it for a change.

The bird then moved from tree to tree, swooping down low very Sparrowhawk like before landing on a bit of a perch.

We managed to get some reasonably close view of it before it took off. It gave us the run a round in the area keeping its distance.

Cuckoo

The weather began to deteriorate so we took a trip up to Pwll ddu.

When we arrived there we were greeted with a horrendous site of a pile of rubbish. Fly-tipping is absolutely outrageous and a horrible stain on the landscape.

Fly-tipping at Pwll Ddu
The rain and wind picked up once we started to look for Wheatears on the hill.

The Wheaters were not too hard to find despite the weather conditions and I was able to get some nice pictures of them on a dry-stone wall.

That was before another blight on the landscape turned up - off-road motorcycles grrr.


Wheatear
Finally after starting to return to the car after the motorbikes scared the Wheatears away we saw another Cuckoo and watched it for a short while before it got mobbed by a Meadow Pipit and flew out of sight.

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