Monday, 1 April 2013

March gales cause devastation at Coedydd Aber NNR

The gales of March 21st/22nd which brought deep snow drifts to North Wales also wrought havoc in Coedydd Aber National Nature Reserve. Many trees (possibly at least 100) have been blown down on the steep slope above the path from the carpark at Bont Newydd to the footbridge crossing the river. Mike Klymko and I visited today to assess damage to the nestboxes used by Pied Flycatchers here; Mike’s photos bear witness to the devastated scene we encountered. One tree has come down onto the footbridge, smashing the handrail on either side, so this section of path will be out of use until the rails are repaired.

Several sections of path leading to the nestboxes in this part of Coedydd Aber are blocked by fallen trees, and this probably means that the lowest 10 boxes cannot be inspected this season. Other boxes are still attached to fallen trees, with others no doubt smashed during the gales. The whole site shows the damage which can be caused by exceptional weather, and I fear that such events may happen more often as climate change really gets going. I suppose the only positives are that the Pied Flycatchers have not arrived yet, and the tits which also use the boxes will have been deterred from starting egg-laying by the very low temperatures.

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