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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

Zooming in on the birds

"Bandit at 12 Clock" that is probably what was going through the thoughts of the birds on Monks Lagoon yesterday evening. Attacking out of the sun just like a World War 2 fighter plane stooped "Zoom" the Peregrine. From the size of it we think its a female.

She shot like a bullet towards a flock of ducks, Avocets and Dunlins. It all went crazy for a moment. Lapwings went into mob mode and bravely tried to deter her. It appeared to work and the falcon flew right above the heads of Nev and me who were standing on the Redshank Platform.

Dunlin and also some Ringed Plover.


After circling above us she gained height and headed away towards the sea wall. It was great to watch but a shame in some respects as biggest flock of Dunlins I have seen this year over 130 birds evacuated the lagoons.

"Zoom" the Peregrine


That is how it goes I suppose. Nature gives in one way and takes away in another.

There was plenty of birds despite the loss of the Dunlins. On Becs (Lagoon 2) was a big flock Curlews 60+ birds and 11 Whimbrel accompanying them. The flock was skittish and at one point the whole lot took to the skies before gradually returning in drips and drabs.

Curlews and Whimbrels


The Spoonbill was on Becs Lagoon. It was showing well at a distance from the Seawall Hide.
Its a great bird to watch feeding as it sweeps its huge bill back and forth in an effort to catch small fish and invertebrates.


The island on Becs had quite a few waders on it that appear to be brooding. Hopefully this year they will have a better season than last year. The chicks were heavily predated. If you happen to witness any predation of waders and their chicks please report it. There will be a form on the GOS website that can be submitted so that some analysis can be done to work out what is responsible for taking the birds.

Talking of predators. A female Marsh Harrier came rolling in across the Pill and caused havoc. The Curlews, Whimbrels , Spoonbill and just about everything feathered took to the skys . Some birds panicked others like the shelducks, avocets and lapwings tried mobbing the big raptor.


Marsh Harrier female with an escort of Shelduck on the defensive

Spoonbill takes flight with Avocets and Shoveler Ducks.

Curlews and Whimbrels

Curlews


Whatever they did was successful and resulted in the Harrier slowly making its way out of the reserve.

It was a busy evening with lots of birds on show. Now I am looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend.

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