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Caerphilly County Borough

Wheatear Oenanthe deserti ©Chris Thomas

Birding Caerphilly

Caerphilly (Welsh: Caerffili) is a county borough in southern Wales, straddling the ancient county boundary between Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. For the most part, it lies within the recording area of Gwent and that 'preserved county', although part of the west of the county is within the Glamorgan recording area. Its main and largest town is Caerphilly. Other towns in the county borough are Bedwas, Risca, Ystrad Mynach, Newbridge, Blackwood, Bargoed, New Tredegar and Rhymney. It is bordered by Cardiff to the southwest, Newport to the southeast, Torfaen to the east, Blaenau Gwent to the northeast, Powys to the north, Merthyr Tydfil to the northwest and Rhondda Cynon Taf to the west.

The northern part of the borough is formed by the broad expanse of the Rhymney Valley. The Rhymney River rises in the hills in the north and flows southwards for about thirty miles, looping round to the east just to the north of Caerphilly, the largest town in the borough, before reaching the Bristol Channel.

Over three-quarters of the county borough is countryside; that's meadows, rivers, farmland, woods, commons and ponds and much more. And with three quarters of the county covered in woods, farmland, commons and country parks there's plenty of wildlife to be discovered. Bluebell-carpeted woods alive with the sounds of songbirds, special places for rare butterflies and warm summertime hay meadows buzzing with bees are all out there waiting to be explored.

These include: Aberbargoed Grasslands, Bedwas Riverside Park, Cwmllywdrew Meadows, Flatwoods Meadows, Graig Goch Memorial Park and Penallta Marsh.

Top Sites

Sirhowy Valley Country Park

Webpage

Satellite View

Sirhowy Valley Country Park for woodland birds, Mynydd Maen ST260970 (pronounce the y as in but, southern English accent, dd is th) and Mynydd Garn clochdy SO2805 for moor-land species: possibilities include Merlin, whinchat, Wheatear, meadow pipit, skylark, tree pipit

County Recorder

Philip Bristow - East Glamorgan County Recorder

2 Forest Oak Close, Cyncoed, Cardiff CF23 6QN

07769 973 890

phibrstw@gmail.com

Tom Chinnick

School House, Llandenny, Usk NP15 1DL

07982 719881

countyrecorder@gwentbirds.org.uk

Useful Reading

Birds of Glamorgan

by 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

Birds of Gwent

by WA Venables, AD Baker, RM Clarke, C Jones, JMS Lewis and SJ Tyler | Helm | 2008 | Hardback | 416 pages, line drawings, 32 pages of colour photos, distribution maps

ISBN: 9780713676334

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Glamorgan Bird Report

Editor, John D. Wilson email: john_wilson@glamorganbirds.org.uk

Gwent Bird Report 2015

Buy Direct

Organisations

Glamorgan Bird Club

Website

Welcome to the Glamorgan Birds Website, the joint website of the Glamorgan Bird Club and Gower Ornithological Society. The main function of these two bodies is to produce the annual bird reports for the East and West of the county of Glamorgan, and of course to provide bird-oriented activities for their members.

Glamorgan Rarities Committee

Website

Welcome to the GRC Recorders pages. This blog provides details on all the relevant news of Glamorgan’s scarcer birds, plus all BBRC & WRP decisions that affect us locally. It will also be used to document the status and occurrence of these scarcer species and we welcome contributions from anyone with photographs, artwork or documentation of rarities past, present and future. The GRC also welcomes all seawatching news from around Glamorgan and news of passage migrants in spring & autumn, uncommon birds in our area and unusual behaviour.

Gwent Ornithological Society

Website

Its all here, records, sightings, newsletter etc.

Gwent Wildlife Trust

Website

The six Wildlife Trusts in Wales work together for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. Between us, we have 25,000 members and manage 230 nature reserves in Wales – covering more than 6,000 hectares of prime wildlife habitat, from rugged coastline to urban wildlife havens.

South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBReC)

Website

South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBReC) is the centre for the collation, management and dissemination of biodiversity data for South East Wales. Our aim is to make appropriate local biodiversity information available to all those who need it, to help ensure that decisions which affect local biodiversity are made using best available data.

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

Bargoed Woodland Park - Parc Coetir Bargod

Webpage

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Created from three collieries and surrounded by the communities that worked in them, Parc Coetir Bargod is Caerphilly’s newest country park. Enter the park through one of 11 sculpted gateways, walk to and follow the Rhymney River and it’s hard to believe that this quiet and natural place was once the site of the highest coal tip in Europe! You can explore the fragments of old woodland that escaped the ravages of mining. The river, once trapped in a huge tunnel, is now alive with Dippers, Herons, Kingfishers and if you are lucky Otters.

FC CWT Caerphilly Woodlands

Website

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In 2002 the woodlands (comprising 'the Warren', 'Wernddu Woods' and 'Coed y Fan') were saved from the threat of development thanks to the work of the then newly formed Caerphilly Woodlands Trust (CWT), the Forestry Commission and other local partners.

LNR Cwmllywdrew Meadows - Parc Cwm Darran, Deri

Webpage

Satellite View

The reserve is made up of two hay meadows, an ant meadow, two ponds and a small alder woodland. The Ant Meadow is home to over 300 Yellow Meadow Ant anthills. Green woodpeckers can be seen feeding here. Both the Common Blue and the Small Pearl Bordered butterfly can be seen from early summer. In the Fen and Pond Meadows Marsh Marigolds bloom in the spring, Common Spotted Orchids and Devil's Bit Scabious bloom in the summer. Grass Snakes, Toads and newts live around the ponds. If you are lucky you may see a Barn Owl hunting in the evening for voles and mice. Pied Flycatchers nest in the woodland.

LNR Flatwoods Meadows, Crosskeys

Webpage

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By day, Kingfishers and dippers commute up and down the river collecting food for their young. If you are really lucky you catch a glimpse of an Otter on the Sirhowy.

LNR Graig Goch Woodland, Cwmfelinfach

Webpage

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Graig Goch is an ancient oak and beech woodland set in the Sirhowy Valley Country Park. The best time to visit is in the springtime when the woodland floor is carpeted with Bluebells. Springtime also brings the woods alive with birdsong; redstarts, flycatchers and warblers can all be heard as they look for a mate.

LNR Silent Valley

Webpage

Satellite View

Just outside the county boundary, this beautiful woodland reserve has been designated a Local Nature Reserve in recognition of its importance to the local community as well as its precious wildlife. With far-reaching views across the Ebbw Valley, Silent Valley is constantly changing – it is a reserve that merits several visits throughout the year.

Penallta Marsh - Ystrad Mynach

Webpage

Satellite View

Penallta Marsh is a small, marshy grassland dotted with anthills amongst the Purple Moor Grass. Heath Spotted and Southern Marsh Orchid and Devils Bit Scabious provide colour in the summer. Alder and Willow trees flourish in the swampy conditions with Bulrush, Hemlock, Water Dropwort, Hemp Agrimony and Hairy Willowherb all providing an excellent habitat for warblers.

Forums & Mailing Lists

Gwent Ornithological Society Sightings

Sightings & News

Sightings

Trip Reports

CloudBirders

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.

Blogs

GRC Recorders

BLOG

This blog provides details on all the relevant news of Glamorgan’s scarcer birds, plus all BBRC & WRP decisions that affect us locally. It will also be used to document the status and occurrence of these scarcer species and we welcome contributions from anyone with photographs, artwork or documentation of rarities past, present and future. The GRC also welcomes all seawatching news from around Glamorgan and news of passage migrants in spring & autumn, uncommon birds in our area and unusual behaviour.

Other Links

Caerphilly Bird Rescue

Facebook Page

07807 944182 - carolgravenor@hotmail.com - @caerphillybirdrescue We started our bird rescue 16 years ago and it has been growing ever since. It has now become so expensive to run that we have been forced to seek out your help to keep the rescue going! Check out our website for more information on the service we provide and please share our page, we need your help!