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Neath Port Talbot County Borough

Pochard Aythya ferina ©Chris Thomas

Birding Neath Port Talbot

Neath Port Talbot (Welsh: Castell-nedd Port Talbot) is a county borough and one of the unitary authority areas of Wales. Neath Port Talbot is the 8th most populous local authority area in Wales and the third most populous county borough. The actual population taken at the 2011 census was 139,812. The coastal areas are mainly English-speaking, however there are many Welsh-speaking communities in the Valleys to the north of the borough.

The county borough borders the other principal areas of Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taff to the east, Powys and Carmarthenshire to the north and Swansea to the west. Its principal towns are Neath, Port Talbot and Pontardawe. It stretches from the coast to the borders of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The majority of land is upland or semi-upland in character, and 43% is covered by forestry with major conifer plantations in upland areas. Most of the lower lying flat land is near the coast around Port Talbot. An extensive dune system stretches along much of the coast, broken by river mouths and areas of development. The upland areas are cut by five valleys: Vale of Neath, Dulais Valley, Afan Valley, Swansea Valley, Upper Amman Valley.

There are five local nature reserves at Eaglesbush Valley, Pany-y-Sais Fen, Swansea Canal, Bryn Tip and Cwm Du Glan & Glanrhyd Plantation. Crymlyn Bog National Nature Reserve is also a RAMSAR, SAC, SSSI

Top Sites

Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir

Information

Satellite View

This site doesn't look particularly exciting, with the huge Corus Steelworks forming the backdrop, concrete sides, and with considerable disturbance from boats. Nevertheless, it has a reputation for coming up with the goods, and is definitely worth a visit if you're passing by, especially in winter. Many birders combine a visit here with a trip to nearby Kenfig Pool. There are always a few birds present here - usually Little Grebes, Pochard and Tufted Ducks. In winter, however, pretty much anything can turn up, with birds like Goosander, Smew, Long-tailed Duck, Scaup and Great Northern Divers being reasonably regular.

County Recorder

Philip Bristow - East Glamorgan County Recorder

2 Forest Oak Close, Cyncoed, Cardiff CF23 6QN

07769 973 890

phlbrstw@gmail.com

Useful Reading

Birds of Glamorgan

Clive Hurford & Peter Lansdown | Hurford & Lansdown | 1995 | Hardback | 228 pages, 30 col & 17 b/w photos, line illus, maps

ISBN: 1872808344

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Organisations

Glamorgan Bird Club & Gower Ornithological Society

Website

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…

Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (Glamorgan Wildlife Trust)

Website

We manage 11 nature reserves in east Glamorgan, Cardiff and the Valleys.

Reserves

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

LNR Bry Tip

Article

Satellite View

Until recently (2012) the council-owned tip, which is the site of the old Bryn Navigation Colliery, was an eyesore used by 4×4 drivers and motorcyclists as an off-road venue. Today, thanks partly to the hard work put in the Bryn Residents Action Group (Brag), the area has been fenced off and has a seated picnic area with information boards relating to the site’s history and the wildlife and plants that have returned to there. It is popular among walkers, dog owners and nature lovers.

LNR Cwm Du Glan & Glanrhyd Plantation

Information

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LNR Eaglesbush Valley

Information

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Eaglesbush Valley is a steep-sided wooded valley located in the Melincryddan area of Neath. The site is a mix of ancient semi-natural woodland habitats dissected by the Crythan brook. The 11 hectare site is protected in recognition of its importance for biodiversity and to the local community

NNR Cors Crymlyn (Crymlyn Bog)

Information

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Cors Crymlyn is a nature reserve and a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest of international significance, near Swansea,. It is the largest area of lowland fen in Wales and lies immediately to the eastern side of Kilvey Hill just north of the industrial area of Crymlyn Burrows. The reserve is a haven for birds. Predatory visitors like the hen harrier, buzzard, hobby and the occasional marsh harrier visit the site regularly. The site provides an important refuge for a range of wetland birds like the bittern, water rail, sedge and reed warblers, bearded tit and grey heron, which can often be seen or heard there.

NNR Pant y Sais

Webpage

Satellite View

Pant y Sais National Nature Reserve shares many similarities with the nearby – but much larger – Crymlyn Bog to the west. The reed and sedge beds are home to a range of wetland plants, birds and insects. The best way to experience the reserve is to follow the boardwalk into the heart of the fen.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Bwthyn Y Saer Holiday Cottage

Accommodation

Bwthyn Y Saer Holiday Cottage is an ideal countryside base for those on a birding tour or walking holiday in the UK. The hillside farm is eight miles from the coast and contains a wide variety of habitats including an area of award winning broadleaved woodland, coniferous woodland, grassland, hedgerows and upland streams. The green pastures give way to high moorlands with superb views of Swansea Bay…

Trip Reports

CloudBirders

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.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Wales Holiday Cottages

Accommodation

Our family-run self catering holiday cottages, Swansea Valley Holiday Cottages, are situated on the home farm of the historic Plas Cilybebyll Estate, between Brecon Beacons National Park and Gower Peninsula…

Other Links

NPT Wildlife

Facebook Page

NPT stretches from the coast to the borders of the Brecon Beacons National Park. It covers a total area of 44,217 hectares. The majority of land is upland or semi-upland and 43% is covered by forestry upland areas. Most of the lower lying flat land is near the coast around Port Talbot. An extensive dune system stretches along much of the coast, broken by river mouths and areas of development. The upland areas are cut by five valleys: Vale of Neath, Dulais Valley, Afan Valley, Swansea Valley and Upper Amman Valley. Together these factors make NPT an amazing place for wildlife!