Trip report - north and mid Wales

09th May 2017
Dates: 6th to 8th May 2017

Destination: north and mid Wales

Purpose of trip:

The purpose of my trip was my annual visit to the region to see bird species that are not found on a regular basis in Essex or East Anglia, particularly summer migrants.

Primary target areas:

The primary target areas for birdwatching were:

“Worlds End”, Berwyn Mountains, Denbighshire

Aber Ogwen NWWT reserve, Ogwen Estuary and Traeth Lavan, Gwynedd

Beaumaris to Penmon Point, Anglesey

Holyhead harbour, Anglesey

South Stack RSPB reserve, Anglesey

Cemlyn Bay NWWT reserve, Anglesey

Conwy RSPB reserve, Conwy

Nant Ffrancon valley, Snowdonia, Gwynedd

Ynys-hir RSPB reserve, Ceredigion

Aberystwyth to Rhayader via Devils Bridge, Cwmystywth and Elan valley

Gilfach RWT reserve, Powys

Carngafallt RSPB reserve, Powys

Getting there and getting around:

I rented a car for the whole trip.

On 6th May 2017, I stayed at the Ty Dderw Country Inn in Moelfre, Angelsey. This is a centrally located guest house on Anglesey which was ideal after a day in north Wales and on Anglesey itself. Despite being a nice property and room, my experience was poor due to the appalling lack of sound insulation plus the noise from the bar and outside until nearly midnight. As such, I could not recommend it and I would not stay there again. Rather than eat at Ty Dderw, I had my evening meal at The Ship Inn, Red Wharf Bay which is an historic inn set in a stunning location right on the shore of the huge Red Wharf Bay near Benllech.

On 7th May 2017, I stayed at Beili Nueadd located just outside Rhayader. This is an exceptional bed and breakfast in terms of the welcome, the property and room and the location and surrounding countryside. It is highly recommended and I would definitely include it in a future Wales trip. I had my evening meal at The Triangle Inn which is another historic inn in Cwmdauddwr just outside Rhayader.


The weather was dry and mostly bright and sunny. Temperatures were generally warm with day maxima of 19°C.


During my trip, I was able to record 105 bird species and 3 mammal species.

Trip list - north and mid Wales

With regard to the birds, I was able to add 27 species to my 2017 list.

The following summarises the notable wildlife species seen on my trip.

“Worlds End”, Berwyn Mountains, Denbighshire: Black Grouse, Red Grouse, Red Kite, Peregrine, Cuckoo (heard only), Whinchat, Willow Warbler (heard only), Red Fox

Morfa Aber, Gwynedd: Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler (heard only), Chiffchaff (heard only), Swift

Aber Ogwen, Ogwen Estuary and Traeth Lavan, Gwynedd: Sandwich Tern, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Eider, Shelduck, Mallard, Willow Warbler, Blackcap (heard only), Sedge Warbler (heard only), Nuthatch

Beaumaris to Penmon Point, Anglesey: Sandwich Tern, Whimbrel, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Common Redshank, Ringed Plover, Eider, Shelduck, Cormorant, Shag, Atlantic Grey Seal

Beddmanarch Bay, Anglesey: Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Oystercatcher

Holyhead harbour, Anglesey: Black Guillemot

South Stack RSPB reserve, Anglesey: Chough, Raven, Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Gannet, Shag, Greater Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Wheatear, Stonechat, Linnet, Swallow, House Martin

Cemlyn Bay NWWT reserve, Anglesey: Osprey, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Gannet, Whimbrel, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Turnstone, Red-breasted Merganser, Shelduck, Mallard, Swallow, Willow Warbler (heard only), Common Whitethroat

Conwy RSPB reserve, Conwy: Sandwich Tern, Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Heron, Little Egret, Shelduck, Teal, Mallard, Cormorant, Wheatear, Whinchat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler (heard only), Chiffchaff (heard only), Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Reed Bunting

Nant Ffrancon valley, Snowdonia, Gwynedd: Ring Ousel, Wheatear, Stonechat, Common Redstart, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Cuckoo (heard only), Grey Wagtail, Swallow, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Lesser Redpoll, Meadow Pipit

Ynys-hir RSPB reserve, Ceredigion: Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff (heard only), Blackcap, Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo (heard only), Nuthatch, Siskin, Swallow, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Egret, Common Redshank, Lapwing, Goosander, Shelduck, Mallard, Little Grebe, Grey Squirrel

Aberystwyth to Rhayader via Devils Bridge, Cwmystywth and Elan valley: Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Wheatear, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit

Rhayader area: Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Pied Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Blackcap (heard only), Nuthatch, Grey Wagtail

Gilfach RWT reserve, Powys: Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Tree Pipit, Dipper, Cuckoo (heard only), Stonechat, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Linnet, Red Kite, Kestrel, Raven, Stock Dove, Grey Squirrel

Carngafallt RSPB reserve, Powys: Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Wood Warbler, Garden Warbler (heard only), Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff (heard only), Blackcap, Tree Pipit, Cuckoo (heard only), Red Kite

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