Trip report- north, mid and west Wales

11th May 2014
Dates: 7th to 10th May 2014

Destination: north, mid and west 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

Conwy RSPB reserve, Conwy

Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey

South Stack RSPB reserve, Anglesey

Nant Ffrancon valley, Snowdonia, Gwynedd

Ynys-hir RSPB reserve, Ceredigion

Elan valley, Powys

Carngafallt RSPB reserve, Powys

Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire

I had additionally planned trips to Skomer Island and Ramsey Island in Pembrokeshire plus Cwm Clydach RSPB reserve near Swansea and Nagshead RSPB reserve in the Forest of Dean but the poor weather and issues with my car rental forced me to return home early.

Getting there and getting around:

I rented a car for the whole trip.

I had originally planned a camping itinerary but the poor weather meant that “plan B” came in to operation.

On the 7th May, I stayed at the Pont-y-Pair Inn in Betws-y-Coed.

On the 8th May, I stayed at the Crown Inn in Rhayader.

On the 9th May, I stayed at the Travelodge in Pembroke Dock.


The weather was generally very poor with a lot of heavy rain and strong winds but there were also a few bright and sunny periods.


During my trip, I was able to record 95 bird species , 5 mammal species, 1 reptile species and 1 amphibian species.

Trip list - north, mid and west Wales

With regard to the birds, I was able to add 22 species to my 2014 list and 3 species to my Wales life list.

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

Worlds End, Berwyn Mountains, Denbighshire: Black Grouse, Whinchat, Wheatear, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Cuckoo, Lesser Redpoll

Conwy RSPB reserve, Conwy: Little Egret, Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Wheatear, Reed Warbler

Valley Wetlands RSPB, Anglesey: Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin

Beddmanarch Bay, Anglesey: Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Red-breasted Merganser, Shelduck, Great Northern Diver (probable)

Holyhead, Anglesey: Black Guillemot

South Stack RSPB reserve, Anglesey: Chough, Raven, Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Stonechat, Swallow

Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey: Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Shelduck, Swallow, Common Whitethroat, Common Buzzard

Nant Ffrancon valley, Snowdonia, Gwynedd: Ring Ousel, Tree Pipit, Wheatear, Common Redstart, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Cuckoo, Common Buzzard, Grey Squirrel

Ynys-hir RSPB reserve, Ceredigion: Pied Flycatcher, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Swallow, House Martin, Sedge Warbler, Siskin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Squirrel

Cwmystwyth area: Brown Hare

Rhayader area, Powys: Red Kite, Common Buzzard

Elan to Llanwrthwl area including Carngafallt RSPB reserve, Powys: Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Raven, Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Wood Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Tree Pipit, Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Common Sandpiper, Great Spotted Woodpecker

Nant-y-Arain near Ponterwyd, Ceredigion: Red Kite

Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire: Manx Shearwater, Gannet, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Razorbill, Fulmar, Cormorant, Swallow, Swift, Linnet, Harbour Porpoise, Atlantic Grey Seal

Fishguard harbour, Pembrokeshire: Sandwich Tern

Elegug Stacks, Pembrokeshire: Guillemot, Razorbill

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