County of Montgomeryshire

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus ©Aneurin Lloyd

Vice County No: 47

Montgomeryshire is the northern third of Powys unitary authority. (Powys covers 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 named after the successor Kingdom of Powys, which formed after the Romans withdrew from Britain.)

Montgomeryshire is bounded to the north by Meirionnydd and Denbighshire; to the west by Ceredigion; to the east by Shropshire; and to the south by Radnorshire. Its principle towns are the former county town of Montgomery, Newtown (the largest), Machynlleth, Welshpool and Llanidloes. It is sparsely populated with a density of just 29 people per square kilometre.

Birding Montgomeryshire

Montgomeryshire is an almost entirely mountainous county with Moel Sych being the highest peak (c.827m). There are a few medium sized towns but is mostly open country with mountains, bog, Coniferous Forest Plantation and many streams and lakes or man-made reservoirs. In the east there are some fertile valleys. The main rivers are the Severn flowing east into Shropshire and the Dyfi that flows west to the Irish Sea. The largest lake – the vast man-made Lake Vyrnwy – has an RSPB reserves.

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. The red kite population that survived the extinction in the rest of the British Isles survived in Powys and has now expanded greatly and cross-breeding with the re-introduced English populations. Ospreys colonised  Cors Dyfi and bred successfully – there are now three pairs breeding in the county. The reserve is also very accessible for boardwalks for wheelchairs and buggies and a lift in the visitor centre.

Top Sites
  • Cors Dyfi

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Welcome to Cors Dyfi home to the Dyfi Wildlife Centre and the Dyfi Osprey Project. Our new centre uses the latest energy efficient technologies to bring you a sustainable wildlife watching experience in the heart of the beautiful Dyfi Valley.
  • RSPB Lake Vyrnwy

    WebpageSatellite View
    A reservoir in the heart of the Berwyn mountains surrounded by moorland and woodland, sites don't get much more picturesque than this. Come for the scenery and stay for the wildlife – Pied Flycatchers, Red Grouse, Curlews, Otters and more. RSPB directly manages 5000 hectares of the estate to create the ideal conditions for wildlife. This involves blanket bog restoration, conservation grazing to maintain the right mosaic of heather and grassland for birds like Ring Ouzels, Curlews, Black Grouse & Hen Harriers.
Contributors
  • Simon Boyes

    Montgomeryshire Bird Recorder - Welshpool | montbird@gmail.com

County Recorder
  • Simon Boyes

    Bridge Cottage, Middletown, Welshpool, Powys, UK, SY21 8DG

    montbird@gmail.com

    07708 328987

Useful Reading

Useful Information
  • BTO Local Rep:

    Vacant
  • Montgomeryshire County Bird Report

    Webpage
    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 montbird@gmail.com.
Organisations
  • Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust Bird Group

    Webpage
    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 montbird@gmail.com.
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • LNR Coed Pendugwm

    WebpageSatellite View
    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.
  • LNR Cors Dyfi

    WebpageSatellite View
    Wetland wildlife haven, home to Dyfi Osprey Project and Dyfi Wildlife Centre
  • LNR Cwm y Wydden

    WebpageSatellite View
    No Public Access
  • LNR Dolforwyn Woods

    WebpageSatellite View
    Dolforwyn Woods today is an interesting mixed woodland supporting a range of woodland plants, including good numbers of the uncommon Herb Paris. Declining woodland birds, such as Pied Flycatcher and Wood Warbler, breed here and a good population of dormice call the place home.
  • LNR Dolydd Hafren

    WebpageSatellite View
    Dolydd Hafren is the largest area of unmodified river floodplain in Montgomeryshire. Over time, the unstoppable power of water has created a mosaic of oxbows, shingles, wet meadows, reedbeds, scrub and willow and, of course the river itself.
  • LNR Dyfnant Meadows

    WebpageSatellite View
    Dyfnant Meadows is a small area of unimproved hill pasture. The fields are surrounded by ancient hedgerows and there is a wooded dingle alongside a stream. Part of the reserve is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), in recognition of the species-rich acid grassland, supporting species.
  • LNR Glaslyn

    WebpageSatellite View
    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. Good for Red Grouse, Hen Harrier etc.
  • LNR Llandinam Gravels

    WebpageSatellite View
    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.
  • LNR Llanmerewig Glebe

    WebpageSatellite View
    Within this small reserve of just one hectare grows a highly poisonous, yet beautiful plant - Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale), also known as Meadow Saffron or ‘Naked Ladies’! For centuries this delicate flower has been systematically eradicated in grazing areas because of its danger to animals, yet is does have healing powers and has been used to treat gout.
  • LNR Llanymynech Rocks

    WebpageSatellite View
    Straddling the border between England and Wales, the reserve lies at the southern end of the carboniferous limestone outcrop that stretches from Anglesey and the Great Orme at Llandudno. From the early 19th century until the end of the First World War, the site was a busy limestone quarry; since then peace has returned and nature has crept in to steal it back for herself.
  • NNR Roundton Hill

    WebpageSatellite View
    Areas of scrub and woodland on the lower slopes are filled with birdsong in the spring, with threatened species like Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart raising the next generation. Spring is the best time to see anhd hear the birds and Summer is perfect for butterfly spotting. In the autumn, look out for fungi, particularly the colourful waxcap species which thrive in the grassland.
  • RSPB Lake Vyrnwy

    WebpageSatellite View
    A reservoir in the heart of the Berwyn mountains surrounded by moorland and woodland, sites don't get much more picturesque than this. Come for the scenery and stay for the wildlife – Pied Flycatchers, Red Grouse, Curlews, Otters and more. RSPB directly manages 5000 hectares of the estate to create the ideal conditions for wildlife. This involves blanket bog restoration, conservation grazing to maintain the right mosaic of heather and grassland for birds like Ring Ouzels, Curlews and Black Grouse.
Forums & Mailing Lists
  • Recent Sightings

    Webpage
    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 montbird@gmail.com
Places to Stay


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  • Lake Vyrnwy Hotel and Spa

    Information
    Lake Vyrnwy Hotel and Spa is a multi-award-winning country house hotel in North Wales, with stunning views over unspoiled countryside. The Lounge, Drawing Room, Tower Restaurant and Tavern Bistro and Balcony all afford excellent views while you eat. Hobby, Peregrine, Kingfisher, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Goosander, Goshawk

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