Lake Vyrnwy Trip

My first trip with the group, my first visit to Lake Vyrnwy, and it seemed right to offer to write this, my first report….so..

It’s a beautiful stretch of water, seen in stunning weather. What good fortune!

My first sighting was of flocks upon flocks of motorcycles, all emitting a different raucous “call” and with vastly variegated plumage.

The first hide, Coed y Capel, produced what we were really there for…a constant fluttering of numbers of tiny Siskin at the feeders, who occasionally permitted sparrows and chaffinches to join the feast. A nuthatch was present too and we had an excellent close up of a greater spotted woodpecker. It was lovely to see children in the hide, taking an interest in the birds and being gently coached by Mum and Dad.

My fellow newbie and I decided out of total ignorance to try the high path through conifers in order to search for a crossbill or two, but were thwarted as that path is closed. The rest of the group had dispersed, but on rejoining them at the minibus, Nick kindly offered to reveal to us  over a walking lunch what they had seen …a nesting pair of marsh tits, pied flycatchers and a most obliging tree creeper, who refrained from scuttling to the other side of the tree trunk the minute we spotted him.

We drove then to the other end of the lake to the Centenary Hide. This produced little at first. I think birding is much like going to the theatre…one waits, the curtain goes up, and suddenly, centre stage, is something wonderful. In our case it was a pied flycatcher, full frontal, on a nearby branch.

Could this be bettered?

We drove up a very narrow road, due to be closed the following day, in the direction of Bala. Once on the moorland we got out, erected scopes, and waited. Above a cairn on the skyline we spotted a red kite, then a buzzard, and finally hobbys and merlins which rose to mob it.

You might think this was spectacle enough, but suddenly Andy cried “hen harrier!” and we followed its white shape as it strafed the heather, rose up and continued to swoop parallel to the ground. 

That ended a superb day. Thanks to Nick and Mike for driving us so far and finding suitable places for short pauses on the way.