Bird Watching

Greenland Wheatear

Rhyd-ddu is a really great place for bird watching, throughout the year. The watercourses through and around it are all part of a Special Area for (Nature ) Conservation!

The Cwellyn Arms is a good place to start. Look over the bridges and down and up river and you are highly likely to spot a dipper searching for food in low rapids, grey wagtails and pied wagtails bobbing alongside the river, and mallard ducks sheltering on the banksides.

Occasionally, kingfishers flash by….

9 Greenland Wheatear 1st Winter Male


In the gardens around the village, look out for garden birds such as song thrushes, blackbirds, robins, wrens, chaffinches, green finches, great tits, blue tits, coal tits, goldfinches, long-tailed tits, bullfinches, goldcrests, and tawny owls ( all the year round), siskins ( in the spring), pied flycatchers ( in the late spring and early summer), occasional mistle thrushes, jays and – in the springtime – many cuckoos, a-singing.

A few years ago, six cuckoos were heard singing simultaneously from various outposts around the village. In misty weather, they come down to perch on the tops of village trees.

More rarely, woodcock, green woodpeckers, brambling, tree creepers, nuthatches, and redstart wander into the village gardens.



Wheeling overhead around the village you will see, most days of the year, buzzards, kestrels, ravens, crows, jackdaws, herring and black-headed gulls.

Sometimes, a peregrine falcon will swoop down from the rocks. In the summer, these are augmented by swallows, house martins, and swifts – until the early evening, when the bats take over.

In the forests around the village nearby, greater spotted woodpeckers are easy to hear and spot.

5 MJR Buzzard

Whooper Swan

Around the lake ( Llyn-y-Gadair), you will spot a lonely cormorant, a heron, plus reed buntings, sandpipers and wagtails, curlews, the odd lapwing, many larks, twite, and pipits.

On the lake, mallard, coot, pochard, tufted duck, sandpiper, an occasional pair of mute swans and (each winter, in the coldest weather) a flock of beautiful whooper swans.

Shelducks, dabchick, redshanks, lesser black-backed gulls, mergansers, geese, and even barn owls, turn up now and then. Great created grebe come too – but are easier to spot on Llyn Cwellyn, to the north of the village.

10 Whooper Swan


Along the scrubby areas and railway line embankments, yellowhammers are sometimes seen, and stonechats and winchats are regular visitors.

The fields to the south of the village will be visited by small flocks of fieldfares in the winter, occasionally redwings, and redpoll (near the forest) in the spring, plus woodpigeons and warblers in wooded and scrubbier areas.

4 Skylark Hale May1000


In the stoney fields around the village, you will easily spot wheatears in the summer months. Others, who should know, claim to have seen ring ouzels, chough, and ospreys on the hillsides around Rhyd-ddu … I haven’t, as yet, but you may be lucky!

8 Male Wheatear


Ospreys disappeared from the UK in 1916, but in 2004 a pair of breeding ospreys were found in North Wales near to Beddgelert.

The ospreys spend every winter in West Africa, and each year they migrate many thousands of miles back to Snowdonia to breed and raise chicks. By 2009 the pair had raised 12 osprey fledglings; the progress of the birds being recorded by a ringing scheme. One of the Glaslyn ospreys has been tracked to Scotland where it has raised a family of its own.

The Osprey Project ensures 24-hour protection for the eggs in the nest. The site is a major attraction for visitors to the area; both for keen twitchers and for visiting families.

For more details about the project, please see the link :

Cwellyn Arms is the perfect place to complement your visit to this area of outstanding natural beauty. We are an ideal base for exploring the whole of Snowdonia and North Wales see our accommodation pages for more details.