Wrexham County Borough
Wrexham County Borough is a local government principal area centred on the town of Wrexham in north-east Wales. The county borough has a population of nearly 135,000 inhabitants. Just under half of the population live either within the town of Wrexham or its surrounding conurbation of urban villages which has a population of around 63,000 people. The remainder live to the south and east of the town in more rural areas. The area has strong links with coal-mining.
The county borough includes a portion of the eastern half of the historic county of Denbighshire (although not forming part of the principal area of Denbighshire), and two exclaves of historic Flintshire – English Maelor and the parish of Marford and Hoseley.
The best known area of nature preservation is the Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve and comprises three peat bogs, Bettisfield Moss, Fenn's Moss and Whixall Moss. The area is an extremely rare survivor – most mosses in the UK have been drained for agriculture, forested or become commercial peat digging areas at some stage. Commercial peat cutting ceased here altogether in 1991 and restoration work, as far as this is possible, has been carried out since then. Wildlife in the nature reserve includes kingfisher, watervoles, damselfly and dragonfly species such as the white-faced darter, various species of duck, and hobby. Plants include cotton sedge, bog moss (Sphagnum), great hairy willowherb, water figwort, flag iris, cross-leaved heath, bog rosemary, cranberry and sundew; common alder trees, alder buckthorn, grey sallow and crack willow predominate.
A ten-acre lake used mostly for boating but its relatively small size makes it easy to observe. It is used a lot by gulls including some scarcer species such as Yellow-legged, Little & Caspian Gull. It is also good for ducks, geese and grebes.
Ruabon Mountain & World’s End SSSI
The Ruabon Moors (managed for Red Grouse shooting) lie partly within Wrexham county borough and partly within Denbighshire - Ruabon Mountain is in the southern part, on the western side there are more cliffs at World's End. This site is special because of lekking Black Grouse and a major conservation programme has caused their population to increase in recent years. Other birds which can be seen include peregrine falcon, merlin, hen harrier, short-eared owl and ring ouzel. Other interesting species have been seen there including Great Grey Shrike and Dartford Warbler.
Ian M Spence
43 Blackbrook, Sychdyn, Mold, Flintshire CH7 6LT
Best Birdwatching Sites in North Wales
by Alan Davies & Owen Roberts | Buckingham Press | 2015 | Paperback | 192 Pages
ISBN: 9780955033940Buy this book from NHBS.com
The Breeding Birds of North Wales / Adar Nythu Gogledd Cymru
Edited by Anne Brenchley, Geoff Gibbs, Rhion Pritchard & Ian M Spence | Liverpool University Press | 2013 | Hardback | 448 Pages & 200 Colour Illustrations & Photos with maps
ISBN: 9781846318580Buy this book from NHBS.com
Clywd Bird Ringing Group
The CBRG is keen to have some new members as there are many jobs to do in producing the bird report: managing data, preparing data for species account authors, writing species accounts, seeking photographs, and then help with selling the reports. If you are interested please contact the Chair.
North Wales Wildlife Trust
Welsh Ornithological Society
Bird-recording in Wales is based largely on the Watsonian vice-county system. Denbighshire VC50 includes the eastern half of Conwy unitary authority, most of Denbighshire UA and most of Wrexham UA. The southernmost part of the vice-county is in modern-day Powys and records are shared with Montgomeryshire.
Wrexham Birdwatchers Group meets at 7.30pm on the first Friday of each month. During the winter, there are lectures at Gresford Memorial Hall LL12 8PS (see map below). In the summer a local birdwatching walk is organised on Friday evenings. All-day field trips (bring lunch) take place on Saturdays or Sundays throughout the year, usually starting at 9.30am from Belle Vue Garage, Wrexham LL13 7NU.
Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)
NNR Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses
Just over the border in England, this nature reserve is part of Fenn’s, Whixall, Bettisfield, Wem and Cadney Mosses, which together form Britain’s third largest lowland raised bog SSSI. The reserve is managed jointly by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales (NRW). This wonderful nature reserve is worth visiting in any season, although the vast open, brown expanse with which you are confronted during the winter and very early spring is daunting until you realise that, at any time of the year, this site is a haven for a vast and ever-changing pageant of wildlife. At least forty-two bird species have been recorded at the reserve including Hen Harrier (Circus cyeius), Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), Long-eared Owl (Asio otus), Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria), Peregrine (Falco peregrinus), Merlin (Falco columbarius), Ruff (Philomachus pugnax), Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) and Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella).
NWWT Marford Quarry
This old sand and gravel quarry was the source of the aggregate for the construction of the Mersey Tunnel. It is now a SSSI and most noted for its invertebrates and wild flowers. Over 110 species of bees, wasps and ants have been recorded including rare solitary and spider hunting wasp species. Over 30 species of butterflies have been recorded and 300 species of plants including the rare wild liquorice, green flowered helleborine, bee orchids, pyramidal orchids and common twayblades. The site also has a healthy population of slow worms.
Forums & Mailing Lists
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.
We Bird North Wales
This multi-contributor blog is a reel of North Wales bird news, ID discussion, and any other trip reports and useful information added by birders regularly out in the field. Please contact me at: robinsandham (at) hotmail.co.uk if you want to contribute or report any notable sightings.
Clwyd Birds Web
Clwyd offers the birdwatcher a wide and diverse range of habitats. Sand and shingle beaches on the North Wales Coast between Conwy and Talacre join the tidal estuaries of the Rivers Conwy, Clywd and the Dee.
North Wales Birding
Forum, photos, trip reports, and a great deal more…