Mid Wales Birdlife

Mid Wales Birdlife

The following sections are intended to give you an idea of the special birds of this area which you could see at various times of the year. Our birdwatching is always at a relaxed pace yet we generally encounter an impressive number and variety of species. It is not unusual for groups to record 90-100 or more species in just a few days.

The following sections will give you an idea of the birds which you could see at various times of the year.

Buzzard on bird table
Buzzard on John's birdtable


All Year Round

Red Kite

 

"White" or leucistic Red Kite
"White" or leucistic Red Kite

One of the local pale Buzzards
One of the local pale Buzzards

 

Red kites are always a common sight. They had been eliminated from Britain except from a nearby isolated Mid-Wales valley. Now their numbers have recovered and nothing can beat the sight of red kites soaring and gliding above their beautiful Welsh haunts. Our local red kite feeding site is situated by a scenic woodland lakeside. The number of birds it attracts varies from day to day; 30 on a very poor day or up to 80,90 or more on the good ones!

We get very close views of the birds. Many have wings tags, fitted when the birds were nestlings. When tagged birds are perched we can read the tags to discover where the birds have come from and how old they are. In this way we can also identify the frequent visiting kites from the Scottish and English reintroduced populations.

Another frequent interesting visitor is one of the rare Welsh 'white' or leucistic red kites.

Peregrines also breed in very good numbers here and we have sparrowhawks, kestrels, merlins and goshawks.

Buzzards, together with ravens, are more numerous than anywhere else in Europe.

Sparrowhawk in John's garden
Sparrowhawk in John's garden

 

Peregrine
Peregrine
 
Our local white Oystercatcher
Our local white Oystercatcher

Dipper
Dipper

Willow Tit
Willow Tit

Buzzard
Buzzard

Crossbill
Crossbill


Of the smaller birds, this area has good numbers of siskins, nuthatches, tree-creepers and greater spotted woodpeckers. Marsh and willow tits are frequently encountered. Chough can be seen at the coast.

Resident wildfowl and waders include goosander, red-breasted merganser, teal, shoveller, oystercatcher, lapwing, ringed plover and redshank. Mediterranean Gulls are seen throughout the year and there is a major influx every summer.

 

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull

Chough
Chough

Goosanders
Goosanders



Summer Specialities

Wood Warbler
Wood Warbler

The birds of prey are a great attraction for many visitors but so are some of the summer migrants, which are restricted mainly to western Britain; wood warblers, pied flycatchers, redstarts and tree pipits. Wheatears and whinchats are common and we have a very good variety of warblers.

A favourite of many people is the wood warbler. Its body quivers as it utters its trilling song which sometimes ends with a nightingale-like whistle.

Cliff-top vantage points give excellent views of nesting guillemots, razorbills, cormorants, shags, fulmars, herring gulls and kittiwakes.
Offshore, gannets and Manx shearwaters may be seen.

Redstart
Redstart
Our local Ospreys
Our local Ospreys

Common sandpipers visit the upland lakes and rivers to breed, while birds such as curlews and grasshopper warblers favour boggy locations. Red grouse and dunlin breed on the remote uplands.

Hobbys are present every summer and we suspect that they have begun to breed.

Since 2004, little egrets have bred in Ceredigion and in that year ospreys began their colonisation of Wales to the north of us. More recently ospreys have been summering at the nearby Dyfi estuary. An artificial nest has attracted birds and breeding occured in 2011 and the migration of the young Ospreys was featured in BBC Autumnwatch. This year we expect to have more good views of the Ospreys at the Dyfi Osprey Project site.

Whinchat
Whinchat
Wheatear
Wheatear

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher
Tree Pipit
Tree Pipit

 

Manx Shearwaters
Manx Shearwaters




Passage Migrants


Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Sandwich Terns
Sandwich Terns

 

These are the birds which pass through the area, northbound in spring to their nesting territories and more leisurely in summer and autumn, southbound.

Regulars include garganey, osprey, marsh harrier, sandwich, common and Arctic terns, whimbrel, sanderling, wood and curlew sandpipers, greenshank and white wagtail.

Over recent years our groups have been fortunate to see some splendid rarities such as a male Montagu's Harrier which performed its 'sky-dance' display flight, a Squacco Heron (the 1st in Ceredigion), Woodchat Shrike ( the 3rd), Pectoral Sandpiper (9th), Ring Ouzel, Spoonbill, Common Cranes and Green-winged Teal.

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike




Autumn And Winter
Red-throated Diver
Red-throated Diver

Hen harriers are regular visitors to the Dyfi estuary and Cors Fochno and Cors Caron. Some of our peregrines and merlins move to such places in winter, giving very good opportunities to see them. The estuary is famous for its wintering Greenland White-fronted Geese, Barnacle Geese and good numbers of various waders and ducks.

Whooper swans regularly visit local upland lakes. Brent geese are often seen at the coast. Fieldfares and redwings come and stay in very large numbers and sometimes we have a good number of bramblings. The Great Grey Shrike is an annual winter visitor.

Whooper Swans
Whooper Swans

Brent Geese
Brent Geese


Starlings at Aberystwyth's Pier
Starlings at Aberystwyth's Pier
Great Grey Shrike
Great Grey Shrike

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper

At the nearby coast, Purple Sandpipers and Black Redstarts may be seen and there is a huge Starling roost which often attracts the attention of a Peregrine or Sparrowhawk.

Scarce winter visitors seen by our groups include Cattle Egret (a County first), Long-billed Dowitcher (2nd record),Sabine's Gull, Iceland Gull, Balearic Shearwater, Long-tailed Duck and Waxwing. The last bird seen by the final group of 2011 was a Pallid Swift, (another County first). The first group of this year was fortunate in seeing a rare Glossy Ibis and two Short-eared Owls.
Our part of Cardigan Bay is a wintering site for divers, scoters and grebes.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Fieldfare
Fieldfare
Greenland White-fronted Geese
Greenland White-fronted Geese
Redwing
Redwing

 

Birdwatching Group



"Thank you again for all your patience and expertise. We would never have seen half the birds without you. Hopefully, we will be able to come again next year". Mr and Mrs F (Bedfordshire).

"Thank you for taking us to see such a variety of lovely birds in the peaceful Welsh countryside. We really did enjoy ourselves and have brought home a lot of happy memories. It really was a holiday with a difference." Mr and Mrs T (W Yorks).




The Birds of Mid-Wales seen by our Groups
Sightings clearly depend on the types of habitat visited.

All Year Round
 
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Fulmar
Cormorant
Shag
Little Egret
Great White Egret*
Grey Heron
Mute Swan
Spoonbill*
Greylag Goose (feral)
Canada Goose
Shelduck
Gadwall*
Teal
Mallard
Shoveller
Tufted Duck
Common Scoter
Goosander
Red-breasted Merganser
Red Kite
Sparrowhawk
Goshawk
Buzzard
Kestrel
Merlin
Peregrine
Pheasant
Red-legged Partridge*
Water Rail (h)
Moorhen
Coot
Oystercatcher
Ringed Plover
Lapwing
Knot
Sanderling
Dunlin
Snipe
Bar-tailed Godwit
Curlew
Redshank
Turnstone
Mediterranean Gull
Little Gull*
Black-headed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Guillemot
Razorbill
Stock Dove
Wood Pigeon
Collared Dove
Barn Owl
Little Owl
Tawny Owl
Kingfisher
Green Woodpecker*
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker*
Skylark
Meadow Pipit
Rock Pipit
Grey Wagtail
Pied and White Wagtail
Dipper
Wren
Dunnock
Robin
Stonechat
Song Thrush
Blackbird
Mistle Thrush
Goldcrest
Long Tailed Tit
Marsh Tit
Willow Tit
Coal Tit
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Nuthatch
Treecreeper
Jay
Magpie
Chough
Rook
Carrion Crow
Jackdaw
Raven
Starling
House Sparrow
Chaffinch
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Siskin
Linnet
Lesser Redpoll
Common Crossbill
Bullfinch
Yellowhammer
Reed Bunting (103)

Summer Visitors and Passage Migrants (Spring to Autumn)
 
Manx Shearwater
Balearic Shearwater*
Gannet~
Squacco Heron*
Green-winged Teal*
Gargeney*
Honey Buzzard*
Marsh Harrier~
Montagu's Harrier*
Osprey
Hobby
Common Crane *
Little Ringed Plover*
Little Stint*
Pectoral Sandpiper*
Curlew Sandpiper
Ruff
Black-tailed Godwit~
Whimbrel
Spotted Redshank*~
Greenshank~
Green Sandpiper~
Wood Sandpiper*
Common Sandpiper~
Arctic Skua
Sabine's Gull*
Kittewake~
Little Tern*
Black Tern*
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
Arctic Tern
Cuckoo
Swift
Pallid Swift*
Sand Martin
House Martin
Swallow
Tree Pipit
Yellow Wagtail*
Redstart
Whinchat
Wheatear
Ring Ouzel*
Grasshopper Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Reed Warbler
Garden Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat
Whitethroat
Blackcap~
Wood Warbler
Chiffchaff~
Willow Warbler
Spotted Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher
Woodchat Shrike* (57)
~ Also some winter sightings

Winter Visitors (late summer to late spring)
 
Red-throated Diver
Great Northern Diver*
Whooper Swan
Pink-footed Goose
White-fronted Goose
Barnacle Goose
Brent Goose
Wigeon
Pintail
Pochard
Scaup*
Eider
Long-tailed Duck*
Goldeneye
Cattle Egret*
Glossy Ibis*
Hen Harrier
Grey Plover
Golden Plover
Purple Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher*
Woodcock
Common Gull
Iceland Gull*
Short-eared Owl*
Waxwing*
Water Pipit
Black Redstart*
Fieldfare
Redwing
Great Grey Shrike*
Brambling
Tree Sparrow* (33)
GRAND TOTAL: 193
* rarities in Ceredigion


Birdwatching Group
"The programme was informative and well balanced, given our respective standards, as well as incredibly interesting and delivered with such friendly spirit and enthusiasm. One could not fail to draw inspiration from as rich a source." Mrs. M (Cheshire).

"Very many thanks for unfolding the delights of your 'patch' to us and exposing the little dramas that so many of us miss. Your good humour and enthusiasm was infectious - a delightful stay." Dr G (Cardiff)



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