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Ynys-hir - BirdForum Opus


Very popular with visitors, the Ynys-Hir reserve is situated at the head of the Dyfi estuary in Dyfed and contains varied habitats attracting a wide range of birds.

Tidal mudflats and saltmarsh, freshwater marsh, peatbog and stream, grazing farmland, deciduous and coniferous woodland and bracken-covered slopes with rocky outcrops are all included in this reserve.


Notable Species

Typical Welsh woodland birds such as Common Redstart, Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher are common here in the oakwoods as well as other warblers, tits and woodpeckers and Coal Tit and Goldcrest where there are conifers.

Common Buzzard,Eurasian Sparrowhawk and Common Kestrel all breed and Red Kite frequently wanders into the area. Red-breasted Merganser and Common Sandpiper nest along the river with Common Dipper and Grey Wagtail on streams.

Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warblers are found in the marshy areas and European Nightjar formerly bred in the bracken here.

In autumn and winter Hen Harrier, Merlin and Peregrine Falcon hunt the area, Northern Lapwing, gulls and flocks of Greenland Greater White-fronted Goose, Eurasian Wigeon and Common Teal are present on the farmland.


Birds you can see here include:

Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Greater White-fronted Goose, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Water Rail, Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Common Dipper, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Willow Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Carrion Crow, Northern Raven, Common Starling, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Common Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting

Other Wildlife

The boggy areas have Butterwort Pinguicula vulgaris, Lesser Skullcap Scutellaria minor and Marsh St John's Wort Hypericum elodes in the uplands and Round-leaved Sundew Drosera rotundifolia, Bog Rosemary Andromeda polifolia and Bog Asphodel Narthecium ossifragum as well as several orchids lower down.

Butterflies and moths have been well-studied, Dark Green Mesoacidalia aglaja and several other fritillaries occur in addition to Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi and Grayling Hipparchia semele and moths have included Emperor Saturnia pavonia, Small Elephant Hawk Deilephila porcellus, Fox Macrothylacia rubi and Beautiful Yellow Underwing Anarta myrtilii.

Badger Meles meles, Polecat Mustelus putorius and Hazel Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius all occur on the reserve and Otter Lutra lutra has been recorded.

Site Information

Areas of Interest

The station at Dovey Junction [Map] is excellent for Grasshopper Warbler in summer and Hen Harrier is often seen here in winter.

Access and Facilities

The reserve is entered opposite a watermill, at Furnace Bridge on the A487 Machynileth to Aberystwyth road, head for the reception centre where a nature trail begins.

There are several hides overlooking the estuary at Marion Mawr, the saltings and the heronry, and one in the woodland at Penrhyn Mawr.

Public transport links include bus services between Aberystwyth and Dolgellau, getting off at Furnace/Eglwysfach. It is also possible to take the Birmingham to Aberystwyth train, getting off at Dovey Junction and walking along the main road to the reserve. Lack of footpaths on a narrow main road make this a rather dangerous option but it is a possibility nonetheless.

Grid Ref: SN682961

Contact Details

Tel: 01654 700222

External Links


Content and images originally posted by Steve


JohnMTB's review

Saw more birds in one day than anywhere else I've visited. Ravens, skylark, bullfinch, pied and spotted flycatchers, great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper, various ducks (I'm not into ducks!), redstart that wandered up to within 20 feet and lots of warblers, tits etc. Well worth a visit.


  • Fantastic range of birds (early June)


  • None