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Flintshire

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe ©Nigel Blake Website

Birding Flintshire

Flintshire is a county in north-east Wales. It is named after the historic county of Flintshire which had notably different borders. Flintshire is considered part of the Welsh Marches and formed part of the historic Earldom of Chester and Flint.

It is a maritime county bounded to the north by the Dee estuary, to the east by Cheshire, to the west by Denbighshire and to the south by Wrexham County Borough. The coast along the Dee estuary is heavily developed by industry and the north coast much developed for tourism. The Clwydian Mountains occupy much of the west of the county. The highest point is Moel Famau (1,820 feet). The chief towns are Buckley, Connah's Quay, Flint, Hawarden, Holywell, Mold, Queensferry, and Shotton. The main rivers are the Dee (the estuary of which forms much of the coast) and the Clwyd.

Flintshire is blessed with a wide range of habitats including sand dunes, beach, tidal estuary, wooded valleys, moors, hills, rivers and rich farmland. The northern most point of the county is the Point of Ayr, a good place for both sea and migrant watching. Inland from the estuary lie the coastal hills, full of wooded valleys and streams alive with bird song in the spring.

The middle and upper reaches of the River Dee pass through Flintshire and this is excellent riverine habitat.

Top Sites

Flint Castle

Information

Satellite View

The castle is an ancient ruin that affords excellent views over the marsh and mud flats of the Dee Estuary. Get here two hours before high water to see a good selection of species including Black-tailed Godwit, Pintail, Teal and Shelduck. Both Little Egret and Spoonbill have been seen here in recent years.

Point of Ayr and Gronant

Satellite View

This area of sand dunes, willow scrub, beach and salt marsh attracts a wide range of birds. Terns and Ringed Plover nest on the shingle at Gronant and Snow Bunting and Shorelark winter here. The Point of Ayr is great for sea-watching during strong north-westerly winds. Look southeast from the Point to see the vast stretches of the Dee Estuary with its teeming masses of duck and waders. Go south along the embankment from Talacre car park to reach the RSPB hide that overlooks a large high tide roost.

Contributor

County Recorder

Ian Spence

43 Blackbrook, Sychdyn, Mold, Flintshire CH7 6LT

01352 750118

ian.spence@zen.co.uk

Useful Reading

Best Birdwatching Sites in North Wales

by Alan Davies & Owen Roberts | Buckingham Press | 2015 | Paperback | 192 Pages

ISBN: 9780955033940

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Breeding Birds of North Wales / Adar Nythu Gogledd Cymru

Edited by Anne Brenchley, Geoff Gibbs, Rhion Pritchard & Ian M Spence | Liverpool University Press | 2013 | Hardback | 448 Pages & 200 Colour Illustrations & Photos with maps

ISBN: 9781846318580

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Organisations

Clwyd Ornithological Society

Clwyd Ornithological Society meets monthly through the Winter in Rhuddlan. Details of membership from: Jacqui Irving, 45 Plas Uchaf Avenue, Prestatyn, Denbighshire LL19 9NR - Tel: 01745 854132 - Email: jacqui970irving@btinternet.com

Clywd Bird Recording Group

Website

The objects of the Group are to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in North-East Wales by undertaking and promoting the systematic study and recording of the occurrence, distribution, and breeding of bird species occurring in North-East Wales (being the Watsonian vice counties of Denbighshire and Flintshire).

Deeside Naturalists Society

Website

Deeside Naturalists Society has a strong interest in birds, and membership includes a permit to the Connah’s Quay UNIPER reserve on the Dee estuary. Meetings are held in Connah’s Quay, with a programme of field visits open to members.

North East Wales Wildlife

Website

We are a small charity operating in the counties of Flintshire, Wrexham, Denbighshire and Conwy. Our business involves land management, providing training courses, running public events, working with schools and colleges to provide educational activities and running a volunteer programme.

North Wales Wildlife Trust - NWWT

Website

Living Landscapes is an ambitious vision for wildlife and people, and a new way of thinking about our natural environment. Developed by The Wildlife Trusts, the idea is that by thinking big and collaborating on a larger scale than ever before, we can improve the landscapes of the UK for the benefit of our wildlife and people, both now and into the long-term future.

Welsh Ornithological Society

Webpage

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

NEWW Lane End and Knowle Hill Nature Reserve

Webpage

Satellite View

The site is owned by Redrow Homes who contract NEWW in to manage the ecology and restore habitat as part of their planning conditions to build residential dwellings on part of the brown field site. Extensive work is being done at Knowle Hill to restore the industrial landscape back to the prime habitat of the surrounding SSSI. This work consists of pond creation, planting woodland, invasive species removal, clearance of fly tipping deposits, litter picking and path improvement.

NEWW Rhydymwyn Valley Nature Reserve

PDF Brochure

Satellite View

...Of 83 bird species common sights are Great spotted woodpecker, Jay and Buzzard and closer scrutiny of the woodland can reveal Marsh tit, Raven, yellowhamer and Lesser Redpoll...

NWWT Coed y Felin

Webpage

Satellite View

Coed-y-Felin is an ancient woodland, carpeted with bluebells in spring. It is an ancient broadleaved woodland, extending for about half a mile along the south facing slope of the Afon Chwiler Valley

RSPB Dee Estuary - Point of Air

Webpage

Satellite View

This is a remote part of the Dee Estuary reserve located on the northern-most tip of Wales. Depending on the time of year, wheatears, wagtails and warblers, pale-bellied brent geese and skuas visit this vibrant mix of beach, sand dune, shingle and saltmarsh, watched over by an iconic lighthouse. Key breeding species include little terns and ringed plovers.

Forums & Mailing Lists

Dee Estuary Birding

Sightings & News

This Web site describes the best Dee Estuary birdwatching areas with detailed maps and latest bird news for dedicated twitchers and casual birdwatchers alike.

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.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Northop Hall Country House Hotel

Accommodation

Set in secluded grounds near to Snowdonia, yet close to all the wonderful amenities of nearby Chester…

Blogs

Paul Shenton - The Black Grouse

BLOG

Last updated 2012 - The purpose of this blog is to provide a regular update of bird and nature sightings across Clwyd, plus news and views on all things wild and beyond.

Other Links

Clwyd Birds Web

Website

Clwyd offers the birdwatcher a wide and diverse range of habitats. Sand and shingle beaches on the North Wales Coast between Conwy and Talacre join the tidal estuaries of the Rivers Conwy, Clywd and the Dee.

Dee Estuary Birding

Website

The Dee Estuary, on the North Wales / North-West England border, is one of the United Kingdom's premier birding locations for wetland and shorebirds. This Web site describes the best Dee Estuary birdwatching areas with detailed maps and latest bird news for dedicated twitchers and casual birdwatchers alike…

North Wales Birding

Website

Forum, photos, trip reports, and a great deal more…