Saturday, 7 May 2011

It’s official, Springwatch is coming to Ynys Hir

It’s finally been announced that the RSPB reserve I have started volunteering at has been chosen as the location for the BBC Springwatch program for the next 2-3 years. Ynys Hir is a cracking little reserve between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth, it has ancient oak woodland descending into a wetland reserve and onto the Dovey estuary. I had a fab day yesterday as I was allowed to join the nest box inspection team who weekly check the 300 nest boxes to log the nesting activities.


John and Neil checking a box amongst the Bluebells


I was lucky to check the first box on the reserve to contain chicks, which weren’t much bigger than my thumbnail! This one was a Blue Tit nest.

The rest of the day was spent constructing a ramp to the new overflow car park to accommodate the influx of visitors expected once Springwatch starts. Our workshop at the reserve is currently being transformed into the main studio for Humble and Packam, but as of yet I haven’t been asked to do any ‘spots’ on the show itself, but it can only be a matter of time.


After being taught the technique for checking nest boxes, we decided to check the three boxes I put up at Banceithin. I made a little cork stop to put in the hole prior to opening the box. This is to stop any bird flying off, as they don’t tend to fly out of the lid when that is opened. We luckily have two boxes with tiny little Blue Tit females sitting on their eggs. At this stage we can’t tell how many eggs there are, but there can be up to 10! We have also had the House Martins return and are busy nesting in the eaves, a Magpie nest in a tree by the back door, and a Red Start building a nest in the loft, which is very unusual. There are lots of Swallow but I have yet to track down their nesting sites. We have also got some great news about our Barn Owls, but Philippa is going to dedicate a full post on that!

1 comment:

Sue Doran said...

Fascinating fact that birds don't fly out of the top of birdboxes when they're checked!

I'm excited about all the nests you have (and a bit impressed about Springwatch!) :-)