Trip report - north and mid Wales

14th June 2016
Dates: 11th to 13th June 2016

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:

Nant Ffrancon valley, Snowdonia, Gwynedd

South Stack RSPB reserve, Anglesey

Cemlyn Bay NWWT reserve, Anglesey

Ynys-hir RSPB reserve, Ceredigion

Gilfach RWT reserve, Powys

Carngafallt RSPB reserve, Powys

Gigrin Farm Red Kite feeding station, Powys

Dinas RSPB reserve, Carmarthenshire

Getting there and getting around:

I rented a car for the whole trip.

On the 11th May 2016, I stayed at the Cardigan Bay Guest House in Aberystwyth.

On the 12th May 2016, I stayed at the Royal Oak Inn in Rhandirmwyn in the upper Twyi valley 7 miles north of Llandovery. I have stayed and/or eaten here on several occasions and it is highly recommended for its value for money accommodation, food and real ale and wonderful location.


The weather was very mixed and included bright and sunny periods, cloud, drizzle and heavy rain. Temperatures were generally warm with day maxima of 18°C to 20°C.


During my trip, I was able to record 98 bird species and 5 mammal species, the latter including Harbour Porpoise and unfortunately dead Polecat and Hedgehog.

Trip list - north and mid Wales

With regard to the birds, I was able to add 20 species to my 2016 list and 1 species (Goshawk) to my UK and Wales life list.

This trip was a month later than my normal mid-May visit due to my trip to Estonia, Finland and Saint Petersburg during the period 8th to 31st May 2016. It was quite noticeable that many of the woodland and countryside birds had already stopped singing so regularly with the advance of the breeding season. This made finding some of the target summer migrants much more challenging than usual although all were successfully seen eventually.

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

Nant Ffrancon valley, Snowdonia, Gwynedd: Wheatear, Common Redstart (heard only), Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Treecreeper, Cuckoo, Raven, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Goosander

Beddmanarch Bay, Anglesey: Curlew, Oystercatcher, Shelduck

Holyhead, Anglesey: Black Guillemot

South Stack RSPB reserve, Anglesey: Chough, Manx Shearwater, Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Shag, Rock Pipit, Stonechat, Linnet, Skylark, Common Whitethroat, Swallow, Harbour Porpoise

Cemlyn Bay NWWT reserve, Anglesey: Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Oystercatcher, Red-breasted Merganser, Shelduck, Swallow, Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler (heard only)

Dolgellau area: Common Redstart

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

Devils Bridge to Rhayader: Whinchat, Wheatear, Stonechat, Common Buzzard, Curlew (heard only)

Rhayader area, Powys: Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Common Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Common Sandpiper

Gilfach RWT reserve, Powys: Pied Flycatcher, Tree Pipit, Dipper, Cuckoo (heard only), Stonechat, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, Blackcap, Willow Warbler (heard only), Chiffchaff (heard only), Swallow

Elan village and area, Powys: Red Kite, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Wood Warbler (heard only), Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker (heard only)

Carngafallt RSPB reserve, Powys: Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Tree Pipit, Wood Warbler, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Redpoll, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker (heard only)

Gigrin Farm Red Kite feeding station, Powys: Red Kite (c.300), Common Buzzard

Dinas RSPB reserve, Carmarthenshire: Goshawk, Red Kite, Raven, Cuckoo (heard only), Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Tree Pipit, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Treecreeper, Siskin, Swallow, House Martin

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