Ceiriog Valley, Shropshire

My Lovely wife and I took a few days away in the beautiful countryside of Shropshire staying in the Ceiriog Valley to the West of Chirk from May 2nd until 5th, 2017.

Breaking our Journey mid-morning for a coffee in Shrewsbury’s park and gardens in the “Quarry” and to my surprise a number of fellow birders, "I’ll have to check this out" I said and there on an Island in the middle of a small lake a Night Heron. Unfortunately he was just disappearing into the shrubs for a quiet moment to digest his breakfast, so didn’t get any good Pictures but a yearly tic all the same, so not all bad…

After checking into our Hotel we took a walk around the quiet country lanes of Llwynmawr, just single track access with steep stone and soil banks on either side covered in wild flowers, Bee’s and Butterfly’s, the only sound in the late afternoon sunshine of bird calls, Buzzard, Robin, Wren, Chaffinch, Chiff Chaff, Willow Warbler and numerous Corvids.

The Following Day we drive further up into the Mountains through the tinny village of Llanrhaeadr and Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfalls, a stunningly beautiful place where the river tumbles 80 mtrs to the pools below.

We sat just watching the waters flow over the moss and plant life covered rocks as a Dipper fly’s past us and navigates its way in stages up the entire height of the falls picking up its food on the way, closely followed by a Grey Wagtail doing just the same. We travelled onto Lake Vyrnwy, the afternoon temperature rising so a welcome ice cream from the Artisans cafe before a wonder around the woods, the bird feeders from the hide never disappoint, numerous Siskin, Chaffinch, Greater Spotted Woodecker, Coal Tit, Nuthatch etc.

A disappointing though was not finding any of the summer migrants, Pied or Spotted Fly, Redstart or Wood Warbler, calling in at the RSPB centre I was told the surveys so far have only registered one Pied Fly. So maybe or hopefully the weather patterns have held them up and they turn up soon.

So a couple of lovely days in North Wales, glorious wall to wall sunny and warm weather and beautiful countryside, a real treat.

Well worth a visit.

Neville Weston.

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