April at Y Byddwn

Hazel Leaf-roller Beetle

Hazel Leaf-roller Beetle

April at Y Byddwn has been all about birds and nest building. Many of these species are regular residents. Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Crow, Nuthatch, Robin (2 pairs), Wren and Woodpigeon while Dunnock, Goldfinch, Treecreeper and possibly Mallard may well be nesting on the reserve or close by. Buzzards probably breed nearby and Song and Mistle Thrush both sing not far away. Summer migrants in the form of Chiffchaff (1 or 2 pairs) and Blackcap (2 pairs) are both building nests on the reserve while Redstart and Whitethroat sing within 200 hundred metres of the reserve.

Last year taking advice from a Nature Reserve warden in Devon to attract Pied Flycatchers we erected 4 nest boxes on trees in a square each about 10 metres from the other, the holes were drilled in sizes to suit different species. The usual culprits Blue and Great Tit took up residence in a box each but then would not tolerate another of their own kind nesting close by so this left 2 boxes for either Nuthatch, Redstart or Pied Flycatcher. The Nuthatch chose a tree hole and the Redstart hadn't shown so when I saw and heard a male Pied Flycatcher singing on the 21st my hopes were raised as 2 boxes still seemed to be unoccupied. It was then on the 30th to my great delight that I observed a female carrying nest material into one of the empty boxes and so its now just a case of watching and waiting to see if they are successful in rearing a family.

Amazingly on the day the Flycatcher sang a Cuckoo also sang and passed through the reserve whist a Willow Warbler sang on the 30th but also moved on. One other good sighting for April was a lone Marsh Tit on the 6th.

Insects were a little scarce throughout the April but Orange Tip, Comma, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies flew on the warmer sunny days and with flower blooms such as the vetches now appearing bees will definitely increase along with many other insect species during May.

Another bird that has bred on the reserve is the Spotted Flycatcher and they will hopefully return from Africa very soon now.

Finally for anyone who wishes to visit the reserve there is a visitor book for your name and any comments or interesting species you may see and there is a bench to sit on and enjoy the wonderful views of the mountains but try to avoid days when South West winds blow strong.