Friday, 7 November 2014

Fygyn Common. New ringing site

A few weeks ago Carmarthen County Council organised a walk on one of the many bogs higher up the mountain from where I live. The Council have secured funding from the Welsh Government Resilient Ecosystems Fund for a project focusing on the six commons in Central Carmarthenshire. All six of these Bogs/ Commons are within a few miles from where I live. All the sites are under the Priority Habitat section 42 list and all classed as having significant areas of raised bog habitat.

Bogs provide us with fresh water by filtering out air pollution and act as sponges reducing the risk of flood through storage and slow release of rain water. This explains why the River Sannan at the bottom of my garden has never been flooded, yes the water levels have been high occasionally but nothing to cause concern.

It was a very interesting walk especially to understand that peat under foot could be as much as 7 metres deep. We dipped the bog in several places along the walk and the bottom was reached at 3 metres. Apparently it takes 1000 years for one metre of peat to form. Bog land supports many native wildlife species including important wetland plants such as cranberry and rare sphagnum mosses, and are habitats for bird species such as Curlews, Hen Harriers and many Passerines.

Speaking with the organisers of the walk it soon became apparent that the full Biodiversity of the bogs/commons was not well known, including birds. I asked if it was possible for me to try and help in understanding what birds were living in the area by developing a bird ringing site. After a few emails the following day they were in agreement and supportive of my intended activities. A few discussions with the BTO and support from them meant I now had my own and first ringing site. The site is called Fygyn Common adjacent to Brechfa Forest as can be seen on the map is about 2 miles north from my home in the village of Llanfynydd and this bog is also the source of the River Sannan  which runs through our village..

As you can see in the pictures it is pretty bleak. However over a couple visits to the site I have seen Stonechat, Bullfinch, Snipe, Woodcock, Bullfinch all the usual tits Redpoll, Reed Bunting and a few other common species. So there is something to go at, but choice of ride location will be important.
I hope to get it up and running within the next week or so. 


  1. Plenty of scope there, Charlie. Don't forget single and double panels will come in useful, too, on a site like that. Good luck.

  2. Thanks for the advice Errol. I have just ordered 4 x 1.8m 3 shelf nets from Ecotone.I used these nets whilst ringing in Norway in September and was impressed with them.To arrive next Wednesday. I have managed to find some areas with a little cover from Gorse bushes and observed Stonechat, Reebu, Bulfi, 3 species of tits and a few other passerines as well. There are Snipe and Woodcock there, lifted two Snipe and one Woodcock walking around last week. This type of environment is new to me so there will be a big learning curve. Really excited by the whole project. There is also Meadow Pipit and I am told Groppers in the summer. Looks a good area for passage of migrants as well.

  3. I started off with Groppers when I was a kid. Magic. Good luck with the project.