15 thoughts on “Mynydd Eglwysilan

  1. Ed Wallace

    Hi there .
    I live in Caerphilly quite close to Groes wen . I’ve tried many times to search for the Hen harriers on Mynydd Eglwysilan but never had any luck, I don’t know exactly where to look and when is the best time of day to head up there . Are the Harriers resident all year or do they just spend winter on the common . Also I’d love to spot the short eared owls, are they there all year or also just for the winter . I’ve only ever spotted 1 a couple of years ago on the Groes wen side . I’d be ever so grateful for any help with my search.
    Thanks Ed

    1. Ed Wallace

      Ps I know the Hen Harrier is a schedule 1 protected bird so if anyone could send me a private message of rough whereabouts on Mynydd Eglwysilan it would save me hours a walking around like trying to find a needle in a haystack . I’ve only ever seen A Hen Harrier once in my life and that was on Papa westray in the Orkneys . It would be nice to see one close too home .Thanks again

      1. John Wilson

        Obviously no response from locals yet but I have only ben up there once and that was to see Dotterel. Re HH I’m not sure there would necessarily be a ‘usual spot’ in the same way as the usual area at Llanridian Marsh on Gower where they come in to roost late afternoon in winter. I’m sure that HH is not at Eglwysilan year round – they are winter visitors in our area. Ditto SEO. The usual place for SEO in winter in our area is Rumney Great Wharf, E of Cardiff.

  2. Tony & Graham Williams

    It’s a case of hit and miss with Hen Harriers at Mynydd Eglwysilan…mostly miss by some margin! Even more so for Short-eared Owl. The former are being seen more often in recent years, and there is a chance you might get lucky if birds linger in the area. The two birds above seem to have moved on as Graham’s been paying regular visits there since but without any luck. As John says, you really need to visit LM Gower and RGW Cardiff to have a decent chance of seeing both species.

    If you still want to have a go then PM me for info on the site.

    1. Ed Wallace

      Thanks guys , I’ve been to RGW and had some of my best encounters with shorties there . I’ve also been to LM gower a couple of times in the past searching for HH but had no luck . I’m gonna keep trying Eglwysilan for the foreseeable future after work and if I have any luck I’ll let you know .
      Thanks again

  3. Tony & Graham Williams

    The best spots to see Hen Harriers are the boggy areas adjacent to Llanbradach tips, there’s another further north just south of the trig point that extends westward towards Senghenydd. A boggy field adjacent to eastern edge of the common in the direction of Ystrad Mynach is also worth a watch.
    Although no harriers have been seen of late, Graham has seen a male Merlin on two ocassions and a Goshawk at the site. Also regular sightings of Bramblings, Crossbills and good numbers of Redpolls where the conifers have been clear felled to the south of Llanbradach tips.

    Let us know if you have any luck with the harriers.

    1. Ed Wallace

      If I was to walk over to those boggy areas should I just park in on of the laybys on Eglwysilan and then just walk past the masts and head towards the tips ? I got and early finish from work and might head over there now . Also roughly how long would it take to walk over there ?

      1. Ed Wallace

        I’m up on top of the tip , my Dad showed me a short cut through Penyrheol. No HH but now I’ve got a better idea of where to look I’ll keep trying .
        Thanks for helping me out

  4. Tony & Graham Williams

    Via Penyrheol is the way I was going to tell you to go. I don’t drive so am not the best at giving road directions, so well done dad.

    Once you are on the common the best place to park is near the entrance to the clear fell. It might be best not to enter the clear fell, instead carry on north along the track adjacent to the clear fell. Where the clear fell area ends carry on following the fence which eventually joins up with a stone wall. That’s the spot where we would scan that bog from. The two other favoured spots are further north. If you carry on following the wall for approx a quarter of a mile you will overlook the boggy field just to your right. There is a dirt track nearby which forks off west toward Senghenydd. About 20 yards from the junction is a gate that you can’t really miss. You can scan the other larger bog from here, which is probably the best spot of the three for seeing harriers. The can turn up anywhere in the area, but tend to do the vast majority of their hunting over these bogs as they probably hold more voles etc than the surrounding area does.

    Alternately you can access the site is by driving through Senghenydd and taking the country road to Nelson, which means you will be able to park closer to the the latter two bogs. If you do wish to go up there again and fancy taking this route then let me know and l’ll tell you the best place to park up.

    Unfortunately I can’t get up there any more due to health reasons, but Graham still goes up there fairly often so there’s a chance you might bump into him.

    There’s always a chance that you’ll get lucky and see a harrier, as past visitors to the site have done so without too much effort. Though obviously you would have more chance if a bird was hanging around there as I mentioned earlier.

    Anyway, good luck and hope my directions are not too difficult to decipher.

      1. Ed Wallace

        I saw a ringtail today hunting over the marsh near the tip , a great encounter , thanks ever so much for the directions Tony.
        I’ll keep you posted if any further sightings .
        Thanks again

    1. Ed Wallace

      I’ll keep checking and keep you posted .
      It was a excellent encounter , hopefully I’ll get to see a Grey ghost male sometime soon .
      Thanks again

  5. Tony & Graham Williams

    Graham’s recorded more males than ringtails this last couple of years. The majority of which were during last winter when an individual male overwintered in the area…at least we are pretty sure it was the same male.

    If you do go up there again and see something interesting, then I’d welcome knowing about it. Graham emails me every time he sees something interesting.

    All the best

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