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Bridgend County Borough

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis ©Mic Clark Website

Birding Bridgend

Bridgend (Welsh: Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr) is a county borough in South Wales, UK. The county borough has a total population of around 140,000 people, and contains the settlements of Bridgend, after which it is named, Maesteg, and the seaside town of Porthcawl.

Bridgend (Pen-y-bont) is located with Swansea to the west and Cardiff to the east. The Ogmore River, which runs through Bridgend and then flows into the sea between Ogmore-By-Sea and the Merthyr Mawr sand-dunes and ultimately flows into the Bristol Channel.

The county borough lies at the geographical heart of south Wales. Its land area of 285 square kilometres stretches 20 km from east to west and occupies the Llynfi, Garw and Ogmore valleys. The largest town is Bridgend followed by Maesteg and the seaside resort of Porthcawl. It is situated on the Ogmore River and its tributaries, although the Ewenny and Ogwr Fach rivers are considered the border with the Vale of Glamorgan for much of their length.

Mic Clark, the contributor of this wonderful photo, would be prepapared to help advise visitors to the area if I can if they get in touch by email…

Top Sites

Kenfig National Nature Reserve


Satellite View

The largest freshwater lake in south Wales; Kenfig Pool is a 70 acre freshwater lake that has two bird hides. It is one of Wales’ finest wildlife habitats for wild orchids and insects. The freshwater lake is fringed with a reed bed. Migrant wading birds include dunlin, ringed plover, little ringed plover, little stint, common sandpiper, greenshank and black-tailed godwit. In the winter expect to find good numbers of water birds including mallard, pochard, tufted duck, goldeneye, teal, widgeon, gadwall, great crested grebe, mute swan, Canada geese, cormorant and the bittern. In the spring and summer you will find plenty of warblers here including blackcap, willow warbler, whitethroat, chiffchaff, reed warbler, sedge warbler, Cetti's warbler, lesser whitethroat and grasshopper warbler. The coast is approximately one mile away via the dunes to Sker beach, giving good views to Swansea Bay and the Gower peninsula.

Ogmore Estuary (Aberogwr)

Satellite View

This site came to prominence in 1990 when a Semi-palmated Sandpiper was found here. Sadly, both for the bird and for birders, the bird was eventually taken by a wintering Peregrine. This is a nice little spot for wintering waders, including Little Stint, Dunlin, Redshank and Ringed Plovers. Rock Pipits are commonly seen here, along with Meadow Pipits, and Water Rail have been seen.

Parc Slip Nature Park


Satellite View

Parc Slip is a large nature reserve. The area comprises a 305 acre ex-colliery and the reserve is managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. It has a range of environments including woodlands, wetlands and meadows. The reserve has hides for wildlife watching. Birds such as lapwing, bullfinch, linnet, little grebe, skylark, mallard, tufted duck, teal, goosander, pochard, snipe, meadow pipit, teal, widgeon, gadwall, pochard, red-breasted merganser and water rail are present either all year round or as winter visitors.


County Recorder

Philip Bristow - East Glamorgan County Recorder

2 Forest Oak Close, Cyncoed, Cardiff CF23 6QN

07769 973 890


Useful Reading

An Atlas of Breeding Birds in West Glamorgan

by DK Thomas | Gower Ornithological Society | Paperback | 1992 | 160 pages, b/w illus, maps

ISBN: 0952014610

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Glamorgan

Clive Hurford & Peter Lansdown | Hurford & Lansdown | 1995 | Hardback | 228 pages, 30 col & 17 b/w photos, line illus, maps

ISBN: 1872808344

Buy this book from NHBS.com


Glamorgan Bird Club & Gower Ornithological Society


The Glamorgan Birds Website, a joint venture between the Glamorgan Bird Club and Gower Ornithological Society. The main function of these bodies is to produce the annual bird reports for the East and West of the county of Glamorgan. This website features a number of online services aimed at making your birding in Glamorgan much easier. There are links to a number of pages that will be useful to anyone with an interest in birds, from the casual birdwatcher to the keenest of birders…

South & West Wales Wildlife Trust (Glamorgan Wildlife Trust)


South & West Wales Wildlife Trust seeks to maintain and increase the biodiversity and to enhance public understanding, enjoyment and respect for the environment.


Abbreviations Key

NNR Kenfig


Satellite View

Kenfig is one of the most important sites in Britain for nature conservation. Close to the popular holiday resort of Porthcawl, the area is one of the last remnants of a huge dune system that once stretched along the coast of South Wales from the River Ogmore to the Gower peninsula…

NNR Merthyr Mawr Warren


Satellite View

The dune system here is like no other in Wales, partly due to the huge area it covers – it extends to 840 acres (the size of 340 international rugby pitches!). Merthyr Mawr is a haven for wildlife. Sand has settled on top of the ancient limestone cliffs creating a special habitat for insects, fungi and plants. There are also grasslands, saltmarsh, beach and woods within the reserve.

WTSWW Parc Slip Nature Park


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A restored opencast site consisting of grassland, woodland, wetlands, including lakes with bird hides. Parc Slip Nature Park lies in a valley bottom on the watershed between the Ogmore and Afon Kenfig catchments, and has had a history of mining from the nineteenth century to the present day. There are four bird hides, overlooking three wetland sites, a wader scrape, a small lake with an island, and Park Pond. A further three wetlands and open water areas add further interest. The wader scrapes which were added in 2013 have attracted a wide range of wildlife which can be observed from the Mary Gillham raised hide.

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

Photographers & Artists

Mic Clark Bird Photography


Welsh Bird & Wildlife Photographer Mic Clark's photos have been taken on the coast, rivers, lakes and the countryside around Mid, West & South Wales…