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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

Dippers on the Afon Llwyd

I recently returned to one of my favourite locations along the Afon Llywd River to watch Dippers.

Dippers are fascinating birds to watch. They are the only aquatic song birds in the UK. Its outside breeding season now so I can try and get a closer look at them without causing any disturbance. One of the birds was quite confiding and I spent quite a bit of time making a video of it feeding.

You can see it diving into the water and popping back up with a caddis fly larvae.

It then shakes the larvae to get its gravelly shell off it and then eat it.

I find Dippers easy to find but hard to get a good sharp picture of them. The light is often poor along the river and not ideal. The video footage actually came out quite well. I recently went to a Gwent Ornithological Meeting and listened  to a great presentation about Dippers. When I watch this Dipper I noticed that it seemed to wash its beak every time before diving back into the water to hunt for more larvae.

Dippers are a key indicator species for water quality. This bodes well for the Afon Llwyd which in the past was one of the most polluted rivers in Wales.

Dipper , Afon Llwyd

Dipper, Afon Llwyd

Dipper , Afon Llwyd

Dipper, Afon Llwyd

Video of Dipper Feeding

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