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Springwatch Wales

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 09:00 UK time, Friday, 27 May 2011

I'm out walking again for Weatherman Walking currently so just wanted to remind everyone that Springwatch starts on Bank Holiday Monday at 8pm on BBC One.

I've added a few key species that I've heard from the team will be featured this year so have a look if you have time.

The fantastic 700 hectare Ynys-Hir nature reserve is set in a stunning location at the top of the Dyfi Estuary, flanked by the Cambrian Mountains.

The reserve is a true wildlife haven, offering a huge variety of different habitats for us to explore - Welsh oak woodland, wet grassland and salt marsh, reed beds, heathland, rivers and ponds.

From the wet meadows to the mountain tops, the reserve is absolutely bursting with wildlife. As well as managing all these habitats for a diversity of wildlife, the RSPB actively works to conserve a number of priority species, including breeding lapwings, redshanks, reed buntings, skylarks, curlews, Greenland white-fronted and barnacle geese, brown hares and otters.

For the first time, Springwatch are planning to broadcast live pictures from a heronry of nesting grey herons and little egrets.

In the woods, they're hoping to feature some of our most spectacular returning migrants, like redstarts and pied flycatchers, alongside resident song thrushes and blackbirds as well as some Springwatch firsts, like wood warblers, nuthatches and maybe even elusive bullfinches.

They will also be looking out for greater and lesser spotted woodpeckers, birds of prey like ospreys, hen harriers, merlins and goshawks and of course red kites - so they have cameras on them too.

The team also be staking out the rivers, waterfalls and freshwater ponds in and around Ynys-hir, hoping to follow dippers, kingfishers, sedge, reed and grasshopper warblers and the occasional bearded tit.

The bankside cameras will be poised and ready for river inhabitants like otters and grebes. But it's not just birds and mammals that the camera teams will be tracking down - Ynys Hir is home to 19 species of dragonfly, 26 species of butterflies and over 400 species of moths as well as reptiles like grass snakes.

Whatever happens, Chris, Kate and Martin will be keeping an eye on daily developments and bringing you all the day's news over the three week event.

For week two, wildlife expert Iolo Willams will be live from Skomer Island off the western tip of Pembrokeshire - home to thousands of sea birds, the Skomer vole - found no where else on Earth, one of Britain's most spectacular floral displays and rich marine life.

Designated as one of only three of Britain's marine nature reserves, it is unique, truly stunning, and beautifully magical.

Springwatch camera teams have been on the island since early April as the first puffins, razorbills and guillemots arrived back from their long winter at sea so expect some great footage.

Iolo will also go under the waves to reveal the rare sea fans, corals and inquisitive grey seals in Skomer's underwater world, as well as the sand eels that feed and power much of the breeding action back on shore.

The team will attempt to film the Skomer vole, find out why bluebells flourish on an island with no woods, calculate how many sand eels puffins can gobble down in a season and discover what manx shearwaters get up to at night!


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