Spring In Mid Wales

I recently spent four days working on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway. For those who do not know this line; it is situated in Mid Wales and runs, as the name suggests, from the market town of Welshpool to the little town of Llanfair Caereinion.

Whilst there are no mountains in the vicinity the line runs through hilly countryside and tackles some ferocious gradients including a long climb at 1 in 29 (3.4%) up the Golfa Bank

Golfa Bank

Passing through agricultural land there is always plenty to see. The fields are either used for grazing sheep and cattle or for growing the food needed to feed then through the winter months – hay, silage, barley and forage maize.

Glorious Mid Wales

There are always plenty of birds to be seen and for avid bird watchers who enjoy ticking off bird species then our railway is a ‘must visit’ destination. The cab of the locomotive at the front of the train provides a wonderful observatory.

One morning we were descending Golfa Bank when a buzzard emerged from the undergrowth struggling to get airborne with a sizeable rabbit in its talons. With a train closing in behind it decided the best option was to drop the cargo and get out of the way. When we came past in the other direction the rabbit had gone so presumably our feathered friend had been back and collected it.

Cwm Lane Crossing

An attempt at listing the birds I saw that were worthy of note:

Buzzards – lots
Ref kite – in the Castle Caereinion area
Green woodpecker
Jay – below Golfa Summit
Swallows – everywhere including nesting in the workshops and various storage buildings
Blue tits – there is a nest that a pair are accessing through a tiny hole in the back wall of Colinette Yarns premises
Great tit – there was a very tame one about the station platform at Llanfair Ceareinion
Herons – either flying or on or about the River Banwy but I also saw one on the railway track in The Kink; probably looking for tiny frogs.
Also worth a mention were a couple of juvenile rooks seen at different locations hopping along the sleeper ends along with parent minders trying to teach them how to forage for food. It would have been quite amusing to stop and watch them for a while …. but I think the passengers might have objected.

Emerging From The Tree Tunnel


This entry was posted in bird watching, Castle Caereinion, Heritage, Llanfair Caereinion, railroad, railway, Welshpool, Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, Workshops and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Spring In Mid Wales

  1. Paul B. says:

    You might be interested to know that Red Kites are now living in Bedfordshire, my mother often sees a pair near her house in Ampthill. Up here in Buxton I mainly see rooks, curlews, buzzards and lapwings.

    • Tanllan says:

      Hi Paul, I also live in Bedfordshire and from the comfort of our house we see a red kite at least once a week flying low on the look out for carrion. Buzzards are a regular sight – all you have to do is keep your eyes peeled. On a couple of occasions I have seen a smaller raptor plunge into our tiny garden after a sparrow (it all happens too quickly to determine what species)

  2. Some lovely photographs of the railway- the W&L has always struck me as a line that is very much a part of the scenery, complementing it rather than being imposed upon it . The bird life is very different on my local stretch of the FR, mostly Buzzards, Curlews and Ravens and, like Paul above, the occasional and very welcome Lapwing. It would be nice to see a Green Woodpecker!

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