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Lakeside news from Vyrnwy

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:46 UK time, Monday, 10 May 2010

RSPB warden - Sioned Jones has been in touch to give us an update on life from the Lake Vyrnwy reserve in Mid Wales.

April was buzzing with lambing season in full swing on the farm and over 200 adults and children passing through the farm gates to meet the new arrivals.

Field teacher, Janet Evans with a new lamb:

1 April was the first day of the Date With Nature (DWN) campaign at Vyrnwy.

The peregrines have nested on the cliffs at the northern end of Lake for nearly 30 years and have been almost entirely successful throughout that time.

However, there was no sign of them towards the end of March and Gary, the DWN Officer, was beginning to think he was part of an elaborate April Fools joke. Then, right on cue, the peregrines arrived.

However, as with all things in life, there have been a few setbacks. A second pair of peregrines arrived in the shape of a juvenile male and a mature female which caused unrest in the camp.

Battles began at the beginning of April, with both pairs fighting for territory on the cliff side but as the days wore on, it seemed that age and experience would prevail.

The adult pair have now settled on the cliff side and we are hoping for a nest pretty soon, so watch this space.

The lakeside hide, has become home to both staff and volunteers monitoring the peregrine's nest who are on site to talk visitors through the triumphs and tribulations of these beautiful birds.

A sunset view of the lake from Springwatch 2009. Image by Martin Aaron:

Visitors have been lucky enough to see them on hunting sprees, stooping at speeds in excess of 150 mph and striking their prey in mid air.

It is not just peregrines stealing the limelight either. On 2 April, the lake's illusive osprey swooped down over the water where it's been spotted regularly.

One of the resident otters also popped its head up and swam right in front of the hide too - much to the delight of the visitors.

Other migrants that have made their way back to Vyrnwy include ring ouzel, redstarts, pied flycatchers and willow warblers.

A pied flycatcher:

Warden Jim reports: "Goshawks are looking promising this year and crossbills are here in high numbers and breeding well but chiffchaff numbers are a little low."

Black Grouse counts are now under way with the monitoring of hen harrier and merlin following closely behind. Fingers crossed on all counts!

You can follow the team on Facebook or Twitter under 'RSPB Lake Vyrnwy'.



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