AWEG Trip to Montgomery Canal & Llyn Coed y Dinas Nature Reserve
With grey skies and a rainy forecast, thirteen members of AWEG (Audlem Wildlife & Ecology Group) travelled to the small but interesting Claypits Nature Reserve at Wern, just north of Welshpool.
Here there was ample parking adjacent to a stretch of the Montgomery Canal, along which we planned to complete a short circular walk to Burgedin Locks before joining a section of the Guilsfield Arm, a branch off the main line of the canal. This disused section is now in part a nature reserve.
First we took the opportunity to look round the small Claypits Reserve, where we discovered a lush undergrowth surrounding the main pond area. This contained many species of wild flowers, some flowering and some still in the green. There were also a number of bird boxes spread around including an owl box and though we did not see many birds we were accompanied by birdsong and in particular the sound of the chiffchaff.
The circular walk provided us with some further interesting flora in a canal that was crystal clear because the section is not currently used. There were several aquatic plants, both submerged and floating including cresses and yellow water lilies. Added to the towpath flora this made for an interesting walk. From Burgedin Locks we crossed the B4392 and joined the Guilsfield Arm (long disused) and made our way south before recrossing the B4392 and returning to our cars.
Amazingly, the promised rain never materialised and everyone had worked up an appetite for lunch, which we took at the Coed y Dinas Garden Centre, a short distance south of Welshpool.
Somewhat refreshed we travelled the few hundred yards to the Llyn Coed y Dinas Reserve, a former gravel pit, sitting in the apex of two main roads and yet a haven of peace for many aquatic birds.
Here we took up position in a very conveniently placed hide from where we could view the whole area of the lake and surrounds. Some larger birds were present such as mute swans, cormorants and Canada geese with goslings. It was also home to many black headed gulls. Other water birds included great crested grebe, tufted ducks, mallards, coots and moorhens.
Perhaps the highlight was the reed bed, immediately in front of the hide, where reed and sedge warblers darted here and there, occasionally stopping long enough for the photographers.
A thoroughly enjoyable day.
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