Trip report: Dinas RSPB Reserve, mid Wales (9 June 2013)

Eight members gathered on a glorious morning in this most stunning of locations. We were soon on our way along the board walk. Were those singing birds Blackcaps or Garden Warblers? Well both, which either helped or confused! That challenge was soon forgotten as we listened to a Redstart and eventually saw it. A Willow Warbler fussed around us – it had a nest nearby, no doubt. Then a Pied Flycatcher caught our attention before Nuthatches took over. They were feeding chicks in the same nest box as eight years ago! We were then looking at the River Towy/Afon Tywi but apart from Grey Wagtails and a Buzzard overhead it was just a stunning vista. A fantastic male Redstart showed itself off just as we started the rocky footpath around the hill. There were many Wood Warblers but they mostly eluded our gaze although one lucky member had a good view. A freshly fledged family of Treecreepers stopped us as we watched the busy parents passing over freshly found insects. How many were there? two, three, four, well possibly seven, including the parents. Marsh Tits were heard, but proved elusive. Goosanders were spotted flying down stream along the Tywi. Then at a clearing a Tree Pipit rewarded us with a song flight, a Cuckoo called from the far mountainside and the bluebells were magnificent. After lunch six of us decided to explore the broad combe on the south-west side of the Gwenffrwd. This turned out to be quite an exploration! The pathways had fallen into disrepair but at least the bridge over the Gwenffrwd stream was still standing. We battled on up and up and eventually got to the open well maintained track. It was all downhill from here, fording the stream this time…wet feet! But, on the home stretch Red Kites gave excellent views, so it was worth the struggle. Thank goodness Richard Brown still had his old map from the previous visit; it was a great help.

(PS. I have since spoken to the RSPB to confirm that the Gwenffrwd is still in the reserve, but that access is too expensive to maintain.) Thanks for leading, Robin.