The Ynys-hir RSPB nature reserve is positioned beside the Dyfi estuary in Cardigan Bay and covers 550 hectares supporting a variety of habitats extending inland from mudflats and a salt marsh through farmland and pools to oak woodlandand hillside scrub. There is a small visitor centre and seven hides.The various habitats support numbers of breeding birds including lapwing, redshank, egrets, herons, redstart, wood warbler, and pied flycatcher.
Wintering birds include many species of ducks such as shelduck, wigeon and teal and waders such as oystercatcher and curlew. There are smaller numbers of Greenland white-fronted goose and barnacle goose.
The beasties which can be spotted include otter, polecat and the hazel dormouse.Taking advantage of the wetlands and pools are various dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies and the scarce weevil Procas granulicollis.
The bird and beastie spotting starts even before you pay the entrance fee as picnic benches skirt the visitor centre and provide excellant views over the nearby pool. We spotted this family of squirrels taking advantage of the leftovers from the bird feeding station.
If you are an occasional visitor you’re most likely better visiting when the centre are hosting one of their guided walks. For more information visit Ynys-hir’s bit of the RSPB website for when these are.
Directions to Ynys-hir
Postcode: SY20 8TA
The reserve is situated between Machynlleth and Aberystwyth. Turn off the A487 in the village of Eglwys-fach and proceed for one mile to the car park. Keep your eyes peeled for the sign!
The reserve is open from dawn to dusk. The visitor centre is open daily 9 am – 5pm from April to October and 10 am – 4 pm from November to March. Please note that the visitor centre closes for Christmas (23rd December – 31st December).
Free for members. For non-members – £6 adult, £3 child, £12 family