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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

Dinas Blues

I was feeling very blue after a trip with my birding pals Paul and Nicola to Gwenffrwd-Dinas. The RSPB reserve is situated in a secluded part of the world near Llandovery, mid-Wales.

The reserve covers quite a considerable area around a small steep sided peak and its one side includes a gorge that is cut by the fast flowing upper reaches of the River Twyi.

The river flows down from the Lyn Briane reservoir that is upstream.

Photo of the reserve map.

Oak Trees dominate the landscape. Its amazing to see such a spread of ancient Woodland. Alder Trees also feature a great deal to create a fantastic habitat for wildlife.

What attracted my attention immediately though was the huge carpets of blue bells.

Ancient Oak Woodland covered in a carpet of blue bells.

British Blue Bells

The woods were full of the calls of Blackcaps, Pied Flycatchers, Wood Warblers and Redstarts but actually getting a glimpse of one was a struggle.

Perseverance did pay off,we did get some pictures of Wood Warblers, Common Redstarts, Pieds and a Yellowhammer at the reserve car parks picnic tables.


Wood Warbler


Male Pied Flycatcher

Yellowhammer at a feeder that is situated near some picnic benches

 Whilst walking along the river we caught glimpses of Dippers and a Common Sandpiper.

The visit left me feeling rather blue. Despite the fantastic scenery actually finding birds to take a photograph proved quite difficult.

I don't know what it is this month, but generally everywhere I have visited, numbers of birds across the board appear to be down and breeding is certainly several weeks behind compared to last year. I guess better luck next time but it was a great day out with good company.

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