County of Powys
Powys is a local-government county and preserved county in Mid Wales. It is named after the successor Kingdom of Powys, which formed after the Romans withdrew from Britain.
It covers the historic counties of Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire, most of Brecknockshire (Breconshire), and a small part of Denbighshire — an area of 2,000 square miles, making it the largest unitary authority in Wales by land area and about the same size as the country of Trinidad and Tobago. It is bounded to the north by Gwynedd, Denbighshire and Wrexham; to the west by Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire; to the east by Shropshire and Herefordshire; and to the south by Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire and Neath Port Talbot.
Powys is a very large mostly mountainous county including a number of medium sized towns and a lot of open country with bleak mountains, bog, Coniferous Forest Plantation and many streams and lakes or man-made reservoirs. The most natural and rich habitat are hanging woodlands - wooded slopes and gorges typically consisting of oak and much favoured by the speciality birds of the area, wood warbler, pied flycatcher and redstarts as well as all three woodpeckers and typical upland stream birds such as dipper and grey wagtail.
It is, too, famed as the stronghold of the remnant red kite population that survived the extinction in the rest of the British Isles. Now much expanded and already cross-breeding with the newly re-introduced English populations.
It is home to a national park, more than sixty local nature reserves, a dozen national nature reserves and several RSPB reserves including the vast man made Lake Vyrnwy.
The Black Mountains (Welsh: Y Mynyddoedd Duon) are a group of hills spread across parts of Powys and Monmouthshire in southeast Wales, and extending across the England–Wales border into Herefordshire. Bleak hilltop areas that can hold merlin, whinchat, red grouse, skylark, passage Golden plover etc. (Also rumoured sightings of hen harrier & red kite)
Walk along river at Crickhowell: park in small lay-by on B4558 at SO214183. Cross over River Usk, and turn onto Bullpit meadows through the gate on the left. Footpath follows river for one and a half miles. Species which can be seen: Dipper, Kingfisher, Goosander, Grey Wagtail, Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, Little Owl, Buzzard, Hobby, Water Rail(easier in winter); Goshawk, Siskin, Redpoll, Treecreeper, etc.
Craig y Cilau
Located off an unclassified road above Llangattock (I think park on the verge just after the cattle-grid) Path leads round the hillside on an old tram-road (loads of historical sites); past cave entrances (lesser horseshoe and Greater Horseshoe bat roosts); above a bog. Tawny Owls, Redstarts, Peregrines, the odd Kite in winter. Probably lots more.
Famed for the Pied-billed Grebe twitch of a couple of years ago. At SO133261 there is a small parking area for 10+ cars. Walk west along lake. Hide at about SO 126263. Winter: ducks, grebes, the odd harrier. Spring: passage osprey, terns. Summer: water rail, etc. Large flock of Canada geese. Reed warbler, and lots more. There is a much larger area on the other side of the lake at SO128272, with sailing club, boat hire etc., which the footpath from eventually reaches. Llangorse village with a nice pub nearby.
Mynydd Ddu Forest
Forestry Commission land with: roding woodcock, tree pipits, redstart, long-eared owls, etc. The forest of Mynydd Du lies in the upper reaches of the Grwyne Fawr on the southern side of the Black Mountains. Until the 19th century the valley was intensively settled with over 30 farmsteads surrounded by small stone-walled fields.
River Wye [Glasbury to Hay]
Beautiful natural area. The usual Welsh river birds expected. Woodlands hold redstart, wood warbler and Pied flycatcher.
Tom Chinnick (Gwent)
Pete Jennings (Radnorshire VC 43)
The Old Farmhouse, Choulton, Lydbury North, Shropshire SY7 8AH
Mike Haig (Montgomery)
Tynewydd Ketch, Llanfyllin, Powys SY22 4EU
Andrew King (Breconshire)
Heddfan, Pennorth, Brecon, Powys. LD3 7EX
Number of Species
County Bird - Red Kite Milvus milvus
Radnor Bird Group
c/o Pete Jennings (County Recorder)
Welcome to Brecknock Birds. This site has been set up to encourage interest in bird watching and ornithology in Brecknockshire.
Brecknock Wildlife Trust
A local charity working for the protection of the wildlife habitats and species in the old county of Brecknock. We manage 18 nature reserves including stunning ancient woods and wildflower meadows. Join us and support our work
Dyfi Osprey Project
The Dyfi Osprey Project is one of Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust's flagship projects based on our Cors Dyfi Reserve near Machynlleth on the west coast of mid Wales.
Dyfi RSPB Wildlife Explorers
This group provides children and young people with a programme of activities that develops their interest in birds and wildlife.
Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
The Trust has eighteen nature reserves, is active in campaigning for better wildlife protection in Mid Wales, and works hard to make Montgomeryshire a better place for wildlife and people. Founded in 1982, we now have over 1000 members, publish our own magazine.
Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust Bird Group
If you're interested in birds then why not come along to the next Montgomeryshire Bird Group meeting? The Group meets on the third Wednesday of each month between September and March.
MWT Bird Group
Secretary: Terry Puzey, Four Seasons, Arddleen, Llanmynech, Powys, SW22 6R) 01938 590 578
Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
Radnorshire Wildlife Trust is one of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK and one of 6 Welsh Wildlife Trusts. We are a registered charity dependent on donations and the support of our members.
Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)
Brecknock Wildlife Trust Reserves
Brecknock Wildlife Trust has 18 nature reserves across Brecknock covering a range of habitats.Use the map below to find a Wildlife Trust nature reserve near you. A black button with a number indicates that more than one reserve is located in this section of the map.
BWT Coed Dyrysiog
This is a lovely place to come for a peaceful woodland walk with just the sound of the Nant Bran below you and the woodland birds above you. Both the great spotted and the rarer lesser spotted woodpecker have been recorded at the reserve. In the damper parts of the wood, woodcock can be seen, although their brown colouring gives them ideal camouflage. They have a long slender beak and, when flushed, a clattering of wings is heard. Summer migrants such as pied flycatchers nest here.
BWT Drostre Wood
Drostre Wood is a small mixed deciduous woodland containing oak and birch. Below the canopy of the tallest trees there is a wide range of smaller tree species including aspen, elder, yew, hawthorn, blackthorn and rowan, with shrubs such as holly and honeysuckle.
BWT Glasbury Cutting
This nature reserve used to be part of the railway line from Brecon to Hereford. Parts of the railway were built along the line of the earlier 1818 Brecon to Eardisley horse-drawn tramroad that carried coal and wool. The railway company opened the line for steam in 1864. In 1962 the line closed and in 1970 it became a nature reserve.
BWT Llandefaelog Wood
In March to April the path along the southern side of the reserve is surrounded by beautiful wild daffodils. Later on in May, the floor of the reserve is carpeted with the blues and purples of bluebells with their wonderful scent. These contrast with the fresh greens of newly opened leaves. Look out for the occassional white bluebell.Bluebells carpet the woodland in late spring The distinctive piping call of the nuthatch and the laughter-like "yaffle" call of the green woodpecker can often be heard across this beautiful woodland. In spring and summer, the delightful pied flycatcher can be seen with its distinctive black and white colours. Children from nearby Cradoc School have made nest boxes for these birds which can be seen attached to the trunks of trees.
This is the Brecknock Trust's most visited nature reserve and was extended in 2012 to double its original size, with the help of a grant from the Countryside Council for Wales. It is 17.5 hectares of beautiful ancient woodland, which slopes down to the banks of the River Enig. Near the eastern end of the reserve the river plunges over a spectacular waterfall into a dark pool below, known as the "Witches Pool" from which the reserve gets it name.
BWT Wern Plemys
The reserve consists of three wildflower meadows and a large area of woodland. The reserve lies on the site of a former coal-mine and is a wonderful example of how nature can reclaim an area.
BWT Y Byddwn
In the spring and summer the repetitive call of the chiffchaff, the musical warble of the blackcap and the soft, descending call of the willow warbler can be heard.
The species rich wildflower meadows have magnificent displays of ragged robin and angelica. Grass-snakes, slow-worms and common lizard can be seen basking in the sunshine. The wet woodland is inhabitated by many woodland birds. It is a good site to hear the well known call of the visiting cuckoo.
FCW Dyfnant Forest
Bordering the East side of the Berwyn mountains, many upland and forest birds can be seen, these include Meadow and Wood Pipits, Crossbills, Siskins, Nightjars and the colourful Black Grouse which frequently feeds within the cleared forest areas and moorland edge. The Goshawk is also dashing through the trees in pursuit of prey…
MWT Coed Pendugwm
Majestic sessile oaks have nurtured this quiet corner of Wales for over 400 years providing leafy cover for plants and animals and creating a 'wild wood' – the likes of which once covered large areas of the country. Although only 3.2ha in size, the reserve is part of Pendugwm Woods Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), designated in recognition of the special trees, plants and animals that live here, including the elusive dormouse.
MWT Cors Dyfi
Cors Dyfi is a wonderful little nature reserve that is teaming with wildlife. Over the last few hundred years it has seen many changes, from estuarine salt marsh to reclaimed grazing, then to conifer plantation and more recently into a wildlife rich wetland reserve. The reserve is a healthy mixture of bog, swamp, wet woodland and scrub supporting a plethora of animals and plants. Including the magnificent Osprey, which bred on the reserve for the first time in 2011. If you are lucky you may also spot an otter or dormouse. Black Grouse can be spotted on the forest fringes where the moor meets the trees and Goshawk breed.
MWT Dolforwyn Woods
There has been woodland on this hillside for centuries. Unfortunately much of the native wood was cut down to make way for plantation. Lucky for Dolforwyn, this plantation took the form of a great variety of tree species so that, with the remaining pockets of unplanted ancient woodland, there is still much of interest to wildlife here. Declining woodland birds, such as Pied Flycatcher and Wood Warbler, breed here and a good population of dormice call the place home.
MWT Dolydd Hafren
With such a diversity of species, there is plenty to see at Dolydd Hafren all year round. Migration season in Spring and Autumn can be the most exciting time; you never know what you might see!
Glaslyn is Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust’s biggest nature reserve, an integral part of the Cambrian Mountains. The large expanse of heather moorland, with its associated boggy areas, surround an exposed upland lake. Spectacular views can be enjoyed from the viewpoint.
MWT Llandinam Gravels
There's no point in working against such a strong force as the River Severn, so the Trust is working with the river to create a harmonious balance of habitat erosion and creation. In addition to meadows, areas of river shingle provide places for invertebrates to thrive and wading birds can feed and breed in safety. Along the river margins plants grow which attract dragonflies and damselflies, whilst providing cover for birds and otters.
MWT Llyn Coed y Dinas
Created from a gravel pit, quarried to provide material for the creation of the Welshpool bypass, Llyn Coed y Dinas is a fantastic home for all sorts of wildlife. Some of these call the reserve home all year round, while others visit at specific times of the year, either to breed and raise their young or to shelter from the winter weather. Some prefer to use the site as a “wildlife service station”, dropping in for a rest and a meal before heading off elsewhere.
MWT Llyn Mawr
It's the very wetness of Llyn Mawr that makes it a special site for lovers of all things aquatic - particularly plants and birds. Visitors are usually rewarded with sightings of duck, waders and a variety of water loving plants. The lake has a rich variety of plant life, which is why it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
MWT Pwll Penarth
This reserve was once part of the sewage farm next door! Birds, who seem to be attracted to such places, were already regular visitors, so when the Environment Agency and the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust remodelled the site in 1996, it was easy to encourage the birds to stay. Shallow margins attract waders, whilst deeper water allows ducks and geese dabbling room! Islands and special gravel 'cliffs' were created to allow birds safe places to nest.
MWT Red House
A large wet meadow, a reed swamp, a pool and a wet woodland make up most of this riverside reserve - but why is it so wet? Because the river floods, there is an endless water supply running off the hills!
MWT Severn Farm Pond
Severn Farm Pond is an urban nature reserve where plants and animals can live in safety, despite the busy industrial estate surrounding them. It's amazing how many different species have taken to this new home. Meandering boardwalks take you on an amazing journey around the reserve; suspended above pools and marshy wetlands stuffed full of damselflies, dragonflies, frogs, newts and toads. In late spring and early summer breeding birds such as Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Little Grebe and Reed Bunting set up home on and around the pond, wetland areas and reedbeds specially created on the reserve.
NRW Radnor Forest
Radnor Forest was once a royal hunting ground which wasn’t a forest in the modern sense of being a heavily wooded area, but in the medieval sense of “forest” being an unenclosed area used for hunting deer. The area still called Radnor Forest is a land of hill farming and great moorlands, steep narrow valleys and hills, rising up to the highest point in Radnorshire, Black Mixen.
If you're looking for ancient oak woodland with stunning veteran trees, wood pasture and moorland, then Carngafallt is the perfect place to visit. Lichens and bryophtyes cloak the woodland in shades of soothing green, woodland birds fill the air with a dawn chorus and red kites soar effortlessly above.
RSPB Lake Vyrnwy
Lake Vyrnwy is a reservoir in Powys, Wales, built in the 1880s to supply Liverpool with fresh water. You should be able to hear pied flycatchers and redstarts, see dippers nesting by the rocky streams and goosanders bobbing on the water. Look up and maybe you'll spot a peregrine hunting.
RWT Abercamlo Bog
Birds include typical scrub species such as long-tailed tit, blackcap and garden warbler. Willow warbler and chiffchaff are common in spring and summer. Reed bunting and yellow hammer breed in some years. Butterflies include orange tip, small pearl-bordered fritillary, common blue, meadow brown and ringlet.
RWT Bailey Einon
This linear woodland alongside the River Ithon consists of two stand types; wet alder and ash over a hazel understorey. The ground layer consists of extensive areas of bluebells with dog's mercury, red campion, yellow archangel and greater stitchwort. Birds are well represented with over 40 breeding species. Pied flycatcher, redstart, great and lesser-spotted woodpecker, and warblers including willow warbler, chiffchaff, wood warbler, blackcap, and garden warbler breed in summer along with bullfinch, buzzard, spotted flycatcher and marsh and willow tit. Woodcock winter in the wood and grey wagtail, sand martin (in summer) and dipper are commonly found on the adjacent river, where kingfisher, pied flycatcher. and goosander may also be seen.
RWT Burfa Bog
Much of the reserve comprises a mosaic of wet and dry grasslands and streamside Alder woodland. Today much of the reserve is managed by light cattle grazing and occasionally hay cutting, and by rotational coppicing of some areas of Alder.
RWT Cefn Cenarth
Breeding birds (34 species) include pied flycatcher, wood warbler, redstart, spotted flycatcher, three species of woodpecker, tawny owl, coal tit, nuthatch, treecreeper, song thrush and mistle thrush. Visitors include sparrowhawk, buzzard, raven and cuckoo.
RWT Cnwch Bank
High up on this windswept moorland, breeding birds include Meadow Pipit, Stonechat, Merlin, Red Grouse, Linnet, Peregrine and Raven. Hen Harrier and Red Kite are known to visit.
RWT Cwm Byddog
The scrub on the motte is an important habitat for birds, including yellowhammer, blackcap and garden warbler in summer. In the woodland many species typical of oak woods nest , including nuthatch, great-spotted woodpecker and pied flycatcher. Buzzards commonly roost in the woodland.
RWT Gilfach Nature Reserve
A Radnorshire Wildlife Trust Reserve situated in a beautiful setting at the mouth of the Marteg Valley in the Cambrian Mountains of Mid Wales, Gilfach is locally unique because of its wide variety of habitats: high moorland to enclosed meadow; oak woodland to rocky upland river. Because of this variety the farm supports a tremendous abundance of birds.
RWT Gorse Farm
In summer, dragonflies and damselflies are often seen flitting about, and sometimes reed buntings can be spotted. The marshy grassland is predominantly tussocks of tufted hair grass and this is a damp haven for frogs, toads and newts.
RWT Llan Bwch-llyn Lake
Birds include reed warbler and great-crested grebe, both of which breed. In winter the reserve is important for wintering ducks. Mallard, teal, tufted duck, pochard are commonly seen. Goldeneye is now a rare winter visitor. Mute swans are often found, as are cormorants. kingfisher and common sandpiper visit regularly.
RWT Mynydd Ffoesidoes
Few species of birds are recorded but these include meadow pipit, tree pipit and skylark. Other regularly observed birds include wheatear, stonechat, peregrine, kestrel, merlin, sparrowhawk, buzzard, short-eared owl and raven; it was one of the last places to see black grouse in Radnorshire, which died out in the 1980s.
RWT Pentrosfa Mire
During summer many species of insects emerge including azure damselfly Coenagrion puella, common and southern Hawker dragonflies Aeshna juncea and A. cyanea along with wetland craneflies and hoverflies. The thistles on the drier slopes provide a food source for goldfinches, and meadow brown butterflies, and the grassland is also good hunting ground for owls.
Pwllpatti's interest lies in the species of over-wintering wildfowl that are attracted to the oxbows in the winter months. Bewick's and whooper swans are rarely seen, but mute swan are still reported. Other birds of interest include tufted duck, coot, mallard, little egret, teal, widgeon - Pwll Patti is the largest roost for wigeon in Mid Wales. Occasionally pochard, gadwall, green sandpiper and water pipit visit the flooded area.
Birds are very conspicuous, with both green and great-spotted woodpeckers breeding. Other typical woodland species nesting on the site include treecreeper, willow warbler, pied flycatcher, redstart, marsh tit and bullfinch. Mammals include high densities of both wood mice and bank voles.
The Werndyd reserve consists of a wet grassland sward with willow scrub. The botanical interest includes marsh cinquefoil, devils-bit scabious, ragged robin, oval sedge, lousewort, marsh violet and common spike-rush. A number of exotic tree species were planted in the 1960s when attempts were made to drain the site. Many of these have now been removed. Birds recorded include barn owl, tawny owl, reed bunting and snipe. Other common farmland and hedgerow birds such as great tits, blue tit, dunnock, blackbird, wren and greenfinch also use the reserve. The addition of nestboxes also allows pied flycatchers to breed here. The ponds and ditches on the site provide an important wildlife habitat for species such as great diving beetle, azure damselflies, black-tailed Skimmer and great crested, palmate and smooth Newts. Butterflies recorded here include orange tip, meadow brown and ringlet.
Wet woodland on the banks of the River Lugg - Birds: the 31 breeding species recorded include spotted and pied flycatchers, marsh and willow tits, redstart, stock dove, little owl, song thrush, nuthatch, treecreeper, bullfinch, great-spotted woodpecker, pied wagtail, moorhen, coot, goldfinch. Visitors include: dipper, kingfisher, swift, curlew, collared dove, tawny owl.
Forums & Mailing Lists
All sightings recorded on this website. The newest sighting is displayed first, there are ten sightings per page. We would love to hear your bird sightings - whether common or more unusual
All blogs & photos of Montgomeryshire Birds are welcome e.g. sightings, great days out, interesting observations, garden birds etc. A login is required to post blogs and this can be requested by emailing email@example.com.
Radnor Bird Blog
For more than 10 years, Radnor Bird Blog has been offering birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts a place to report bird sightings in and around the county.
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
Brandy House B&B
The Radnorshire Wildlife Trust has a conservation lease on the Beacon Hill Common, and as such birdlife is abundant. It is composed of typical upland birds such as Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Whinchat, Buzzard and Wheatear. Curlew are also found in the wetter areas as occasionally are Snipe. Ring Ouzel, Peregrine, and various Owls can be seen, and we have recently seen the rare Red Kite. During the winter months Hen Harrier fly over the area.
Bryncoed Guesthouse - Rhayader
Breathtaking views, Sheep everywhere, the thundering sounds of the magnificent Elan Valley Dams and the delightful sight of Red Kites in their natural environment make a visit to this area well worthwhile. Dee and Ray Izzard welcome you to their comfortable guesthouse.
CRAIG Y NOS CASTLE, Brecon Road, Penycae, Swansea Valley, SA9 1GL. For information on events, accommodation, conferences, weddings, parties, birthday parties and banquets, live music etc, Tel: Patsy or Nerys on 01639 730205 (office hours) or ask for Sue Drew 01639 731167 (day & eve) or visit www.craigynoscastle.com The Castle stands in the Brecon Beacons National Park Park in the Upper Swansea Valley in South Wales. It has been transformed into a quality hotel with accommodation and reception facilities for weddings and conferences.
Elan Valley Hotel - Nr. Rhayader
The hotel is in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains and the Elan Valley. Seventy thousand acres of spectacular wild countryside with large areas designated as SSSI (site of special scientific interest). The sight of the the Red Kite is comonplace, soaring on thermals above fields of wild orchids.
Liverpool House - Rhayader
As yet there is nothing on their website but Liverpool House is a large guest house with en-suite accommodation close to Gigrin Farm Kite Feeding Station.
Lodge Cottage - Cwmygerwyn
Enjoy a peaceful and relaxing holiday in beautiful and unspoilt Welsh Border country. Charming, comfortable stone cottage up in a valley in the Radnor Forest - ideal for birdwatching, walking, riding, mountain-biking.
Mid Wales Holiday Cottages - Brynafon Country House
Set against the dramatic backdrop of Gwastedyn Hill and the Druid's Circle, Brynafon is close to the beautiful Elan Valley and within easy reach of the River Wye.
Riverside Lodge Guest House - Elan Valley
Our friendly and welcoming guest house is set in spectacular surroundings beside the River Elan in the beautiful Elan Valley. Excellent location for bird watching, many species can be seen from the breakfast table. One and a half miles from Gigrin Farm Red Kite feeding station. As we are in the heart of Mid-Wales, we provide an excellent base for cycling, walking and exploring the surrounding area including the Elan Valley reservoirs and dams…
All blogs & photos of Montgomeryshire Birds are welcome e.g. sightings, great days out, interesting observations, garden birds etc. A login is required to post blogs and this can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radnor Bird Blog
For more than 10 years, Radnor Bird Blog has been offering birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts a place to report bird sightings in and around the county. When it was first set up in 2008, there was no regional site to report and record sightings in Radnorshire. Indeed bird blogs were only just coming into fashion, but since that time, the site has gone from strength to strength, with the clear aim of fostering and encouraging birdwatching and conservation as a whole in Mid Wales. It has helped build up a picture of birds resident in Radnorshire and migrants passing through, thanks to the support of a growing number of contributors.
Steve Wilce - Brecon Beacons Birder
My name is Steve Wilce and I am primarily a birdwatcher, however, my main hobby these days is attempting to photograph the birds I see and all images of birds on this website are of genuinely wild birds. I live in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, pictured above, where most of my nature watching is done.
Red Kite Feeding Centre – Gigrin Farm
We are a 200 acre family-run working farm, now famous for our Red Kite Feeding Centre. Hundreds of Red Kites feed here every day. It is a truly breathtaking spectacle which we hope you will come along and witness for yourself.