Wildlife to Look Out For in the Tywi Valley
Wales, and Carmarthenshire in particular, is filled with gorgeous wildlife. The River Tywi flows south through the valley from Llyn Brianne reservoir and its valley is made up of multiple kinds of habitat. The woodland of the Dinas Nature Reserve, the bracken and heath, and the river itself are all home to lots of different creatures. Several species in the area are listed as deeply important for Welsh biodiversity, while others are on the endangered list. So, if you’re planning a stroll through this beautiful landscape, here is a list of wildlife to look out for on your Tywi valley walk.
Tywi valley wildlife
There are lots of interesting species of moth in the Tywi valley area for any lepidopterists with a keen eye for these fascinating creatures. A great example is the garden tiger moth, a large brown and white patterned moth with hints of orange. One of almost 735 moth species found across Wales, it flies at night from July to August and can be found in gardens, hedgerows and meadows.
Pine martens are solitary mammals, primarily found in the north of the UK, but known to be native to Wales. The most recent record of pine martens in Wales, where their conservation status is listed as ‘critical’, was in Allt Rhyd y Groes in 2013 in the upper Tywi valley. Since then, the Vincent Wildlife Trust has undertaken a Pine Marten Recovery Project in mid-Wales. Pine martens are nocturnal and like to hide in trees, but they’ve also been spotted snacking on peanuts left out for garden birds.
Two key species of birds found in the Tywi Valley are swifts and the wood warbler. Swifts are special because they rarely land, only for nesting – not even to sleep! They tend to nest in small holes in roofs and have a high-pitched scream of a call.
The yellow-bodied wood warbler, however, stays in upland woods and sings high up in the canopy.
If you’re on a walk along the River Tywi, keep an eye out for the native otters! The otter’s conservation status in Wales is currently listed as ‘Vulnerable’. Luckily, the number of otters in the area seems to be increasing and they can now be found on watercourses and in linked habitats beside the river.
In 2002, the Mid-Wales Red Squirrel Project was launched to protect and expand the population of red squirrels in the Tywi Forest, believed to be one of only three key colonies left in Wales. At the moment, the three main threats to red squirrels are disease, grey squirrel competition, and habitat destruction.
Part of the Mid-Wales Red Squirrel Project’s goal is to draw attention to the plight of the red squirrel and keep it safe. So if you see any when you’re out and about on your Tywi Forest walk – remember you’re looking at an endangered animal and be cautious. The red squirrel is a must-see part of the Tywi Valley’s wildlife – and they’re pretty cute too!