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Wildlife at Cwm Mynach

Habitats as diverse as ancient woodland, streams and bogs provide homes for wildlife all year round, and the changing seasons bring a riot of colour and life to the wood.

Visit in early spring and you will see many amphibians returning to the lake, streams and pools. Frogs and toads provide an important food source for the site's otter population.

Watch siskin dart through the tree tops and listen for the great spotted woodpecker’s distinctive drilling. Hear the raven caw as they drift in updraughts above the moors, and marvel as the buzzard soar high on clear spring days.

Look out for diverse wildlife such as woodpeckers (Photo: WTML)

In summer, look out for black and white flashes in the trees as pied flycatcher feed their young, and listen for migrant song birds such as wood warbler, willow warbler, chiff chaff and red start as they flit among the branches. Wheatear may be seen hopping or running across the ground, and you’ll find meadow pipit across the heathland.

Dipper frequent the shallows of the llyn, hunting for food, and every now and then you may see the yellow flash of grey wagtail. In autumn, the jays busily gather acorns in the oakwood to see them through the long cold season

Rather more elusive are the crossbills and goshawks, which are occasionally seen in the valley. The wider area also supports a population of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red-listed upland birds, including breeding hen harrier and ring ouzel, which rely on open heather moorland and rocky ground.

During the evening, listen for the tawny owl’s distinctive hooting penetrating the stillness beneath the conifers, and watch out for colonies of lesser horseshoe bat as they chase midges, moths, beetles and lace wings through the summer nights. Cwm Mynach is connected to woodland that is part of the Meirionydd Oakwoods and Bat Sites Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), so it’s part of a key wildlife habitat.

Tawny owl perched on a post
Tawny Owls call Cwm Mynach home (Photo: WTML)

If you’re really lucky, you may catch a glimpse of otter fishing in the llŷn or water birds in the streams that criss-cross the wood. Other mammals include fallow deer in small numbers, badger, fox, and even the possibility of red squirrel which has been recorded here in the past. Patience might also be rewarded with sightings of small mustelids such as weasels, stoats and polecats.

As you wander the woodland paths, keep an eye out for invertebrates such as the small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, golden-ringed dragonfly, and beautiful demoiselle damselfly. There have also been 60 species of moth recorded in the wood, including gallium carpel and beautiful snout.