We will be joining in with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in our garden at By the Wye. Why don’t you join in the fun for an hour with nature and discover the wildlife on your doorstep.

Big Garden Birdwatch Instructions

  1. Pick a time
    You can choose any hour between 29th and 31st January to complete the Big Garden Birdwatch.  So whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, you can still take part.
  2. Tell the RSPB what you see 
    During the Big Garden Birdwatch you simply sit and count the birds you see in your garden or from your balcony*.  Ignore any birds that are still in flight.  To avoid double-counting, just record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not a running total.
    *This year the advice for the Big Garden Birdwatch is to take part in the safety of your own home. This could include a birdwatch from your window if you overlook a green space or courtyard.
  3. Submit your results
    Online: You can submit your Big Garden Birdwatch results online at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch from 29th January until 19th February.
    By post: If you’d rather send your results by post, you can download a submission form here. Please post your results to the RSPB before 15 February.

Every count is important so, if you don’t see anything, please still submit your result. Finding out which birds don’t visit your area is as important as understanding those which do!

Follow this link – resources for printable bird ID sheets to help you, or posters you can display to show you’re taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch.

Sign up for all you need to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, help with identifying what you see, and expert advice on feeding the birds. Plus, you’ll also receive 20% off in the RSPB shop and free delivery*.

Birds at By the Wye

By the Wye is a natural woodland space, open to public enjoyment and we are committed to the conservation and enhancement of the biodiversity of the woods for generations to come. Every year at By the Wye we commission a bird survey of the woods where the glamping site is located. The bird survey from 2019 revealed good abundance and breeding presence of a range of typical woodland species. The intention in 2020 was to carry our a repeat survey concentrating more fully on the spring/summer period.

About the Woodland Site

The woodland is south facing, steeply sloping down to the River Wye, and includes both the Wye Valley Walk and Offa’s Dyke long-distance walking routes along its northern boundary. The site extends downstream from Hay Bridge and is approx 400m in length. Some felling and clearance had occurred during the winter and early-spring prior to the 2020 bird survey, but this was limited in extent. Additional planting of trees had also taken place, with provision of a few good and varied selection of designs of bird boxes so suit species with differing requirements.

Results of the 2020 survey

A total of 43 species have been recorded in, adjacent to or over the woodlands in the two summer seasons. This included Blue Tits, Chaffinch, Treecreeper, Chiff Chaff and Tawny Owl. Approximately 30 species have either been confirmed breeding, or probably breeding, within the woodlands. The woodland has a typical range of bird species that are resident all year in Welsh woodlands. This is supplemented in summer by common summer migrants (Warblers and Flycatchers in particular). None of the resident species found surprised the surveyor, although it was pleasing to find such diversity of breeding species.

Birds of the Riverbank

Several riparian species were located confined to the riverbank, or the airspace above, including Swans, Heron’s, Sandpipers and Egrets. Those species probably do not use the woodlands at all, but they have been included as they are among the species to be most noted by guests at By the Wye.

Discussion

Of the species found in 2019 only Pied Flycatcher and Marsh Tit were not found in 2020. Conversely only Tawny Owl and Magpie were found solely in 2020. All four of these species were believed to have bred in their year of appearance. This illustrates how breeding avifauna are subject to continuous change. After all, the survey site only covers 400m of riverbank woodland and pairs will roam widely in spring looking for suitable nest boxes.

New nesting spots

In 2019 erection of nest boxes attracted Pied Flycatcher, and rather surprisingly, the horizontal structures of beams and supports for the completed chalets available from 2020 provided ideal nest ledges for species such as Black bird, Wren and Spotted Flycatcher. These ledges may have been responsible for attracting a fourth breeding pair of Spotted Flycatchers as two pairs bred successfully on the chalet beams. The relatively open woodland structure, newly created by the site-owners, provides ideal foraging conditions for Spotted Flycatchers in particular, and the provision of both open-fronted boxes and protected ledges under buildings have proved attractive for this species.

Summary

Having not surveyed the site’s birdlife prior to change in ownership and carrying out initial works for this development it is hard to comment on the ‘before and after’. However, the opening-up of the western and eastern section by taking out some broad-leaved trees and much of the dominant Holly, has, in the view of the surveyor, improved the diversity of breeding species, and probably their abundance too, in the steep woodland. Maintaining the central portion of the woodland as a SSSI has contributed to this by providing dense cover close by for protection from predators, and, especially post-breeding, for fledged young in family parties to forage in safety.

Birdwatching Breaks at By the Wye

Are you looking for a gorgeous getaway with lots of luxury and complete seclusion tucked away in the woods?. By the Wye, with its riverside accommodation, is the perfect place to bird watch. We have just 5 uniquely styled safari tents elevated in the tree canopy. You’ll be amazed at what you might spot. From Goldfinch to King Fishers, Herons to Swifts and listen out for Tawny Owl calls on a still summer’s evening. Take the binoculars from your tent and see what you can spot along the river. Come for a nature break at By the Wye. A place to unwind on the treetop decking and see what passes by.

Keeping up to date with the latest news and updates

Subscribe to our mailing list

Book Online