Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Story of Rhyd-y-blew

This site is one of the places that really got me into birding but to look at it now you would wonder why the hell it would inspire me. The sites a perfect example of how authorities can ruin a brilliant place for wildlife.

This site used to be home to nearly 50 pairs of Lapwing and they were relatively successful making them the second largest colony in Wales. This was until the local authority and the Welsh development agency decided to level it ready for some factories to be built on it. As you may have noticed from the above picture there ain’t a factory on it!

Even though Lapwing doesn’t breed there anymore other species have taken up residence. Most of these were found a 2 years ago when the local council wanted to turn it into a temporary car park for the Eisteddfod. The wildlife had only just started to recover from the last disaster, so several members of the local biodiversity group spent hours surveying to find something that would stop this development. Again, as you can clearly see from the picture that it isn’t a car park, so what did we find?

Reptile and amphibians were the main things plus a few nice birdies such as breeding Grasshopper Warbler, Reed bunting, Stonechat and I even got a spring Sedge Warbler there (probably should point out that these are rare in this area!). Butterflies were also well represented with the pick of the bunch being Dingy Skipper. So even though the site is rubbish for pewits it’s now very good for some Wildlife as least. I must also mention that the RSPB were heavily involved back when it was first ‘developed’ and have been ever since and have had a Lapwing officer employed for a few year to help with the recovery of Lapwing in the area and its working, well… a bit. A mitigation site was created a few years ago and I been there this morning and so far during my visit to Wales this is the only place I’ve seen displaying lapwing.

Really apologies for the wordiness of the post but it really is an interesting story (to me at least!). Plus it shows that with a little determination you can actually stop local councils doing what ever they want.

Just thought that I should also spell the name of this site phonetically for you folks down south. Read e blew.

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