I paid a visit to Llyn Coed-y-Dinas near Welshpool today which is a reserve managed by the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. What a cracking place this is. The hide is well situated overlooking a decent sized pool. The most obvious bird here is the black-headed gull which breeds here in good numbers and their raucous cries fill the air. I was really impressed with the variety of bird species I saw the water birds alone were enough to please the wildfowl enthusiasts and included species such as shelduck, Canada geese, wigeon, tufted duck, mallard, moorhen, coot and chicks, great crested grebes. Who needs to go to Slimbridge to look at waterfowl! There were lapwings too and a common sandpiper feeding at the water's edge. Cormorants rested on one of the islands in the pool. I watched a stock dove making feeding forays from a nest box affixed to a mature oak. In the reeds directly below the hide I was enthralled by the reed warblers which emitted their rattling song and gathered nest material. These were the best views I have had of this species. I also saw a female reed bunting. The surrounding trees and scrub were alive with the songs of skulking warblers such chiffchaff, blackcap or garden warbler. There were song thrushes and blackbirds too.
I reckon every community in Britain should have a wild area like this on its doorstep such reserves not only provide a haven for birds and other wildlife but allows people to get active in the countryside. It is an indication of what can be achieved by the creation of a man made environment for the benefit of wildlife. When I was in the hide I was joined by a party of jubilant schoolchildren and their teachers who were apologetic for the intrusion and the noise level created by their progeny but I think its great to see kids out and about enjoying the local environment a bit of 'green therapy' can be beneficial and help them understand the natural World. Another thing I liked about this reserve is its accessibility to disabled persons. If you are wheelchair bound then this is a great place to visit. There are large perspex windows in the hide which allows good observation of this watery gem and its attendant bird-life.
After returning home from my journey to Welshpool I noted that my windscreen was plastered with dead insects clearly a sign that there is plenty of food around for our insectivorous birds.