Wrexham County Borough

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus ©Hugh Linn
Birding Wrexham

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.

Top Sites
  • Gresford Flash

    Satellite View
    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

    InformationSatellite View
    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.
County Recorder
Useful Reading

  • 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 NHBS.com
  • 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

    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

  • NNR Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses

    WebpageSatellite View
    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

    WebpageSatellite View
    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.
  • NWWT Three Cornered Meadow

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Nearby - Three Cornered meadow is a species rich hay meadow on the Dee floodplain on the Welsh-English border. It is a valuable pocket of semi-natural grassland surrounded by intensively managed farmland
Forums & Mailing Lists
  • North Wales Birding Forum

    Forum Twitter Feed
  • Wrexham Birdwatchers Group

    Mailing Group & Sightings
    A group of really nice and knowledgeable people who enjoy birding who are looking for like minded people to join group, any age or ability.
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.
  • North Wales Birding

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

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