Wildlife in mid Wales

Mid Wales' most iconic species is the Red Kite. Nowadays you are sure to see these magnificent birds but the Red Kite was very nearly driven to extinction in the UK. It was only here, in the quiet backwater of mid Wales, amid our wild landscape that it just managed to keep a tenuous hold.

Buzzards are widespread, Sparrowhawks and Goshawks prefer to hunt the woodlands while above the hilltops you may spot a Peregrine. From the surrounding hillsides, with their mixture of bracken, thorn scrub and scattered rock outcrops, can be heard the cronking of Ravens and call of the Cuckoo.

In May the oak woodlands and valleys, with their patchwork of farmland meadows, stonewalls and hedgerows, brighten with spring flowers and come alive with the return of migrant birds - Pied Flycatchers, Redstarts, Wood Warblers and Tree Pipits. These birds are all busy nesting along with our resident breeding birds. Later in the year woodland floors are carpeted in colourful fungi while branches and boulders are clothed in mosses and lichens.

In summer hay meadows and wet pastures (called rhos pastures) abound with flowers, butterflies and bees to delight the eye while the moorland colours in a purple haze of sweet smelling heather.

Tumbling waters of upland streams cascade into rivers which in turn flow into the spectacular River Wye. These waters are home to Dippers, Grey Wagtails, Goosanders and Common Sandpipers that feed on aquatic larvae of Mayflies and Caddis Flies. In quieter stretches of water, ponds and marshy areas Dragonflies and Damselflies are more common and in a few places Water Voles live. In the spring both Otters and Herons feed on the many spawning Frogs and in autumn Salmon run and leap up the rivers to their spawning grounds.