Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Wales.... 21st-23rd August 2011

Lake Vyrnwy

Lake Vyrnwy in Oswestry, Shropshire was visited enroute to Wales. A very picturesque area. A good RSPB Visitor Centre is based there with plenty of information on local walks etc and the usual goodies on sale. The weather soon closed in as the last photo shows, fortunately the gloom and drizzle soon passed over and the sunshine returned. Just a short visit here and strangely only a Cormorant on the edge of the water was seen.


The Dunes and Estuary at Ynyslas and Cors Fochno (Borth Bog) are part of the Dyfi National Nature Reserve. On two short visits to Ynyslas birds seen were Black-headed and Herring Gulls, Oystercatcher, Stonechat, Wheatear, Linnet, Meadow Pipit and the stars of Ynyslas for me were the Gannets and Manx Shearwaters on and over the sea. Manx Shearwaters and a raft of Scoters ( I presume all Common) were viewed on the sea at Borth.

Juvenile Stonechat.
Linnet and Wheatear.

A tough plant that grows low to the ground binding the sand as it spreads.

Banded snail.

Abundant in the grey dunes.

Cors Fochno (Borth Bog)

This passage has been taken from 'A Dyfi Discovery ~ Ynyslas And Beyond' :

This rare 'raised' bog is so called because the growth and decay of peat and moss over thousands of years has created a dome or hump. It is amongst the most impressive lowland raised bogs in Britain and, along with the saltmarshes of the estuary, has been designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve, the only one in Wales.

Cors Fochno (Borth Bog) is an interesting and very scenic area. I had acquired a permit (compulsory) from Ynslas Visitor Centre to visit the Bog. The main path is a boardwalk and an occasional bark footpath, the footpaths must be kept to given the hazardous environment. I would say Spring and mid-winter are the best times to visit here. Plenty of Dragonflies were flying around also Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper and Speckled Wood butterflies. Several skeins of Canada Geese flew overhead, Robin and Blue Tit were the only other birds seen on this visit. The wide expanses of Heather looked a real treat in the sunshine and the Sphagnum mosses were also good to see. Willow and Silver Birch trees were amongst trees growing on the drier edges of the bog and Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil was plentiful. It was good to walk in a different habitat from Woodlands and Wetlands.

Common White Wave

Common Darter
Black Darter

Sphagnum Moss.
Fourteen species occur here.


Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil


RSPB Ynis-hir

RSPB Ynis-hir is a delightful reserve, I just wish I lived closer to it.lol! There are Woodland, Wetland, Saltmarsh and a Boardwalk trail, the boardwalk trail takes you to the boggy woodland. Highlights seen in no particular order were Oystercatcher, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Mallards, Goosander, Canada Geese, Raven , Kestrel, Common Buzzard x 4, Curlew, Little Grebe, Willow Warbler, Robin, Blue & Great Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Nuthatch x 3, Treecreeper and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Countless Swallows and Martins were seen in several locations throughout trip, also Starling flocks.

Common Darter

Red Admiral

Dyfi Osprey Project
Two visits were made to Dyfi Osprey Project and the 3 chicks were seen (through bins and scope) on each occasion including the Male Osprey, the female has already migrated to her wintering grounds. A wonderful sight to see the chicks and a great achievement for all involved in the management of the project. Hopefully future years will be as successful as 2011 has been.
The reserve is a mixture of bog, swamp, wet woodland and scrub. A walk around the circular boardwalk gave great views of several Common Lizards sunbathing on the edge of the boardwalk and a Toad also enjoying the warm sunshine!

A great few days were enjoyed in a lovely part of Wales with spectacular scenery and Wildlife.


  1. Looks like some really interesting places you visited there Pam...I might have to do a trip over that way at some point.

    Cracking Common Lizard photos by the way!

  2. They are interesting places Jason, with some great scenery thrown in to boot!

    The Lizards were obliging as long as you kept your distance.lol!

    Thank you very much for your kind comment Jason!

  3. Looks like you had a good time Pam!
    I visited Lake Vyrnwy earlier in the year (cracking place!) and went to Anglesey back in June - I wouldn't mind a trip to the RSPB site at Ynis-hir next year though.

    I've been to the less exotic Upton Warren several times recently and also popped into Middleton Lakes and I went to Bradgate Country Park near Leicester for the Deer the weekend just gone (videos on my page at http://www.talkwildlife.com/profile/rjmartin)

    I'm off to Hillers Garden Centre this weekend near Redditch to visit the hide they have there - hoping for a glimpse of a Muntjac!

    Keep up the top blog!

  4. I enjoyed reading all about your latest trip into Wales Pam,we love Ynis Hir and Vyrnwy also. Glad to hear that you got to see the Ospreys at Cors Dyfi.....when we called they hadn't started to breed....I think this is the first sucessfull year isn't it?
    Your pics are as always a pleasure to view,doesn't the sun make a difference to water and what a change at Vyrnwy!
    Love the Lizards,Toad and Dragonflies too!

  5. This is a large post, Pam. It looks like you had a good time. Some interesting images, too. I spent a week on a small wetland in Broad Haven: a real busman's holiday.

  6. Thanks Rob!
    You would enjoy RSPB Ynis-hir Rob, you could easily spend a whole day there and with plenty of walks and hides still not see the whole reserve! You have been busy yourself by the sound of it this summer. Your videos are great and I especially enjoyed seeing the Fallow Deer with it's Fawn. I shall have to pay a visit to the Deer Park at Hagley Hall again soon, it has been a while since I visited. Hope you have some luck this weekend with Muntjacs!

    Thanks Ruth! It is the first successful year for the Ospreys at Cors Dyfi! I have read this morning that the eldest juvenile Osprey arrived in Spain last night! A well timed visit by me before their migration started.lol!

    Thanks Mike! A large post indeed, it took me forever to do.lol! If the information has given food for thought than my post has been well worth the effort and of course it is for my own personal record.
    Your busman's holiday sounds good, I hope you enjoyed every minute in a very scenic part of Wales!
    .............................. .......
    Thank you all very much for your kind comments!