Williams' favourite birdwatching locations in Snowdonia
Iolo Williams was formerly the
Species Officer for Wales for the Royal Society for the Protection
of Birds (RSPB), was the subject of the BBC series 'Birdman',
and now presents the S4C digital program 'Byd Natur'. Below
are some of his favourite birdwatching locations in Snowdonia
(extract from 'Bird Watching in North
1. The Aber Valley, near
Bangor. A beautiful valley enclosed by the mountains of Snowdonia, it is a good
site to see woodland birds such as the pied flycatcher, the redstart and the
wood warbler, as well as mountain birds such as ravens, buzzards and choughs.
At times it is possible to spot other birds of prey here such as the
sparrowhawk, the kestrel and the peregrine falcon.
Best time - April to August.
2. Porthmadog. The cob
is famous for its birds such as wigeons, curlews, and the rare grebe. At times
the merlin can be seen hunting here in the Winter and a flock of whooper swans
Best time - Winter.
The Cob - Porthmadog
3. The Migneint, on the back
road between Ysbyty Ifan and Ffestiniog. This moorland has lost many of its
special birds but you can see the red grouse, the wheatear and the skylark on
the high ground. Some pairs of curlews and snipes still nest here, and if
you're lucky you may see the short-eared owl at dusk.
4. Aberdysynni near
Tywyn. An excellent site for watching sea-birds such as the red-throated diver,
the eider duck and the common scoter, and on the nearby Broadwater the
bar-tailed godwit and the little grebe can often be seen.
5. Ynys-hir near
Machynlleth. Once again, this is a RSPB reserve, and it is teeming with birds
throughout the year. In the Summer, visitors such as the pied flycatcher and
the redstart join the lesser spotted woodpecker in the woods, and in the Winter
white-fronted geese flock to the estuary. Also at this time, birds of prey such
as the hen harrier and red kite can be seen hunting over the estuary.
Extract above is © Iolo
Williams & PJ WebWorks