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Merthyr Tydfil County Borough

Red Kite Milvus milvus ©Chris Thomas Website

Birding Merthyr Tydfil

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough (Welsh: Merthyr Tudful) has been one of the 22 unitary authorities in Wales since 1996. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough today has a population of c.60,000. It is located in the historic county of Glamorgan and takes its name from Merthyr Tydfil town. The County Borough consists of the northern part of the Taff Valley and the smaller neighbouring Taff Bargoed Valley.

It is located in a South Wales Valleys environment overlapping into the south of the Brecon Beacons National Park, and this, along with the area's rich history, means it has huge potential for tourism in Wales. The Fforest Fawr Geopark, designated in 2005 in respect of the area's outstanding geological and cultural heritage, also falls within the northern border of Merthyr Tydfil.

There is about 2889 ha of open common land within the borough. The Taf Fechan Reserve situated in Cefn Coed and a second reserve, Pontygwaith which is privately owned lies in the southern end on the Borough. Penmoelallt Community Woodland and Cilsanws Nature Reserve are managed by the Merthyr Tydfil & District Naturalists Society, and work with the community and Forestry Commission to conserve and promote the natural environment.

County Recorder

Philip Bristow - East Glamorgan County Recorder

2 Forest Oak Close, Cyncoed, Cardiff CF23 6QN

07769 973890


Useful Reading

Birds of Gwent

by WA Venables, AD Baker, RM Clarke, C Jones, JMS Lewis and SJ Tyler | Helm | 2008 | Hardback | 416 pages, line drawings, 32 pages of colour photos, distribution maps

ISBN: 9780713676334

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Gwent Bird Report 2015

Buy Direct


Glamorgan Bird Club & Gower Ornithological Society


The Glamorgan Birds Website, a joint venture between the Glamorgan Bird Club and Gower Ornithological Society. The main function of these bodies is to produce the annual bird reports for the East and West of the county of Glamorgan. This website features a number of online services aimed at making your birding in Glamorgan much easier. There are links to a number of pages that will be useful to anyone with an interest in birds, from the casual birdwatcher to the keenest of birders…

Gwent Ornithological Society


TJ Russell, The Pines, Highfield Road, Monmouth, Gwent NP5 3HP 01600 716266 - Home Page for the Gwent Ornithological Society (GOS) now up and running with news, the latest newsletter, meetings dates, links and more…

Gwent Wildlife Trust


Gwent covers the lower Wye and Usk river valleys and the Severn Estuary in South East Wales. In the last fifty years Gwent has lost two thirds of its ancient woodland and the lowlands surrounding the Severn Estuary are threatened by industrial development…

Merthyr Tydfil and District Naturalists' Society


The Society was formed in 1977 when a group of like-minded people came together to share their love of Natural History and the countryside.Renowned for its industrial heritage Merthyr Tydfil and the country side around give rise to a rich variety of natural habitats; a wide range of geological features; many fascinating reminders of our human pre-industrial presence and some rare and endangered species including the Sorbus Leyana trees in Penmoelallt Community Woodland, some of the rarest trees in the world!


Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

MTDNS Cilsanws Nature Reserve


Satellite View

Larches and Scots Pine grow along the Western margins of the reserve, with more unusual rowan or mountain ash trees springing up on the higher ground. The Rowans attract species such as thrush, starlings and blackbirds, and swifts, swallows, house-martins, buzzards and kestrels are commonly present. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a peregrine flying by.

MTDNS Penmoelallt Woods


Satellite View

Worthy of sensitive management, Penmoelallt has been sympathetically rejuvenated by the Merthyr Tydfil and District Naturalists’ Society (‘The Nats’) in partnership with Forestry Commission Wales.

WTSWW Pontygwaith


Satellite View

The nature reserve is located in Rhondda Cynon Taff, next to Quakers Yard railway station. It is located either side of the Trevithick tram road, and is bounded on one side by the River Taff.

WTSWW Taf Fechan Nature Reserve


Satellite View

Ancient broadleaved woodlands, calcareous grasslands, river, and cliffs. The river has eroded the limestone into a narrow gorge in the centre of the site. A mosaic of deciduous woodland on the slopes with a canopy of Beech, Birch and Ash, gives way to Alder and Grey Willow closer to the river, together with Hawthorn scrub, calcareous grassland, heathland, wet flushes, and tufa formations. The valley is one of the best recorded sites for bryophytes in Glamorgan. The woodland attracts a variety of birds such as Tawny Owl, Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Nuthatch, and Treecreeper, while Dipper and Grey Wagtail are frequently seen, and breed, on the river Taff Fechan.

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.


3 Valleys Birding


Covering Cynon Valley ( Aberdare & Mountain Ash ), Merthyr Tydfil and the Pontypridd area north west of Cardiff. A blog by M.Bevan, Mark Evans, Martin Bell, Michael Hogan, Phil Hill & Robert Gaze