County of Flintshire

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe ©Nigel Blake Website

Vice County No: 51

Flintshire is a vice-county in north-east Wales. It is notably different from the borders of the current unified county of Flintshire. Flintshire is considered part of the Welsh Marches and formed part of the historic Earldom of Chester and Flint. It is a maritime county bounded to the north by the Dee estuary, to the northeast by Cheshire, all other borders are shared with Denbighshire Denbighshire. The coast along the Dee estuary is heavily developed by industry and the north coast much developed for tourism.

The Clwydian Mountains occupy much of the west of the county. The highest point is Moel Famau (1,820 feet). The chief towns are Buckley, Connah’s Quay, Flint, Hawarden, Holywell, Mold, and Shotton. The main river is the Dee (the estuary of which forms much of the coast).

Birding Flintshire

Flintshire is blessed with a wide range of habitats including sand dunes, beach, tidal estuary, wooded valleys, moors, hills, rivers and rich farmland. The northern most point of the county is the Point of Ayr, a good place for both sea and migrant watching. Inland from the estuary lie the coastal hills, full of wooded valleys and streams alive with bird song in the spring. The middle and upper reaches of the River Dee pass through Flintshire and this is excellent riverine habitat.

Top Sites
  • Flint Castle

    InformationSatellite View
    The castle is an ancient ruin that affords excellent views over the marsh and mud flats of the Dee Estuary. Get here two hours before high water to see a good selection of species including Black-tailed Godwit, Pintail, Teal and Shelduck. Both Little Egret and Spoonbill have been seen here in recent years.
  • Point of Ayr and Gronant

    Satellite View
    This area of sand dunes, willow scrub, beach and salt marsh attracts a wide range of birds. Terns and Ringed Plover nest on the shingle at Gronant and Snow Bunting and Shorelark winter here. The Point of Ayr is great for sea-watching during strong north-westerly winds. Look southeast from the Point to see the vast stretches of the Dee Estuary with its teeming masses of duck and waders. Go south along the embankment from Talacre car park to reach the RSPB hide that overlooks a large high tide roost.
County Recorder
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 162

  • eBird Checklist

Useful Reading

  • North-East Wales Bird Report

    See: ISBN: Buy this book from
  • 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: 9781846318580 Buy this book from
Useful Information
  • Clwyd Ornithological Society

    Clwyd Ornithological Society meets monthly through the Winter in Rhuddlan. Details of membership from: Jacqui Irving, 45 Plas Uchaf Avenue, Prestatyn, Denbighshire LL19 9NR - Tel: 01745 854132 - Email:
  • Dee Estuary Birding

    The Welsh Shore - Ancient and Modern, from the ruins of Flint Castle to modern Business Parks. Cut off for much of its length by the Chester to Holyhead railway the estuary manages to be remote and largely undisturbed despite the adjacent towns and industry. Here the Dee Estuary is bordered by the Welsh hills, whose valleys are filled by woods full of birds and good walks. Below is a description of the five main birdwatching areas.
  • Deeside Naturalists Society

    Deeside Naturalists Society has a strong interest in birds, and membership includes a permit to the Connah’s Quay UNIPER reserve on the Dee estuary. Meetings are held in Connah’s Quay, with a programme of field visits open to members.
  • North East Wales Wildlife

    We are a small charity operating in the counties of Flintshire, Wrexham, Denbighshire and Conwy. Our business involves land management, providing training courses, running public events, working with schools and colleges to provide educational activities and running a volunteer programme.
  • North Wales Wildlife Trust - NWWT

    Living Landscapes is an ambitious vision for wildlife and people, and a new way of thinking about our natural environment. Developed by The Wildlife Trusts, the idea is that by thinking big and collaborating on a larger scale than ever before, we can improve the landscapes of the UK for the benefit of our wildlife and people, both now and into the long-term future.
  • Welsh Ornithological Society


Abbreviations Key

  • CP Loggerheads Country Park

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
  • Friends of Rhydymwyn Valley

    Facebook PageSatellite View
    ...Of 83 bird species common sights are Great spotted woodpecker, Jay and Buzzard and closer scrutiny of the woodland can reveal Marsh tit, Raven, yellowhamer and Lesser Redpoll...
  • LNR Big Pool Wood

    WebpageSatellite View
    The site is part of the Dee Estuary Special Protection Area – a protected region that supports over 120,000 waterfowl and waders in the winter. Big Pool Wood both provides shelter and cover for some of these wetland birds and forms part of a wildlife corridor that stretches along the coast all the way to Anglesey; particularly important for migrating birds of all kinds.
  • LNR Coed Trellyniau Nature Reserve

    WebpageSatellite View
    The Wildlife Trust wants to return the woodland to its natural species composition by gradually thinning out the remaining beech trees, encouraging natural regeneration of native trees from the seed bank. Standing deadwood is left for invertebrates and nesting birds (such as great spotted woodpeckers), whilst some timber is left on the ground to decay, returning nutrients to the soil and providing a home for fungi, insects and small mammals.
  • LNR Coed y Felin

    WebpageSatellite View
    Coed-y-Felin is an ancient woodland, carpeted with bluebells in spring. It is an ancient broadleaved woodland, extending for about half a mile along the south facing slope of the Afon Chwiler Valley
  • LNR Ddol Uchaf Nature Reserve

    WebpageSatellite View
    The unusual geological characteristics of the site (its residual marl clay, left following the quarrying of tufa) help capture rainwater, forming ponds favoured by all three native species of newt – smooth, palmate and great crested – as well as grass snakes and many dragonflies.
  • LNR Lane End and Knowle Hill Nature Reserve

    WebpageSatellite View
    The site is owned by Redrow Homes who contract NEWW in to manage the ecology and restore habitat as part of their planning conditions to build residential dwellings on part of the brown field site. Extensive work is being done at Knowle Hill to restore the industrial landscape back to the prime habitat of the surrounding SSSI. This work consists of pond creation, planting woodland, invasive species removal, clearance of fly tipping deposits, litter picking and path improvement.
  • RSPB Dee Estuary - Point of Air

    WebpageSatellite View
    This is a remote part of the Dee Estuary reserve located on the northern-most tip of Wales. Depending on the time of year, wheatears, wagtails and warblers, pale-bellied brent geese and skuas visit this vibrant mix of beach, sand dune, shingle and saltmarsh, watched over by an iconic lighthouse. Key breeding species include little terns and ringed plovers.
Sightings, News & Forums
  • Dee Estuary Birding

    Sightings & News
    This Web site describes the best Dee Estuary birdwatching areas with detailed maps and latest bird news for dedicated twitchers and casual birdwatchers alike.
Places to Stay
  • Northop Hall Country House Hotel

    Set in secluded grounds near to Snowdonia, yet close to all the wonderful amenities of nearby Chester
Other Links
  • 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.
  • Dee Estuary Birding

    The Dee Estuary, on the North Wales / North-West England border, is one of the United Kingdom's premier birding locations for wetland and shorebirds. This Web site describes the best Dee Estuary birdwatching areas with detailed maps and latest bird news for dedicated twitchers and casual birdwatchers alike
  • Nature in Flintshire

    Flintshire is a county of contrasts. Set between the rural counties to the west and the more developed areas of Cheshire and Merseyside, land use varies from intensive industrial development along the Dee estuary through to remote and wild areas on the Clwydian range. The moorland, coast and woodland are important to all who live, work and visit the County.
  • North Wales Birding

    Forum Twitter Feed
    Forum, photos, trip reports, and a great deal more

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Skip to content