Category Archives: The Great Outdoors

RSPB Lake Vyrnwy Summer Sightings

RSPB have kindly agreed to let us re-post one of their blog entries of sightings here at Lake Vyrnwy back in the summer.  We hope this gives you an idea of what wildlife you can expect to encounter here at Lake Vyrnwy, Wales.  If you would like to keep up to date with their recent sightings then take a look at their blog.

Highlight of the week was a superb Clouded Yellow butterfly seen flying around Llanwddyn (3rd), this migrant species arrives into the UK from southern Europe in variable numbers every year and is not a common sight in Montgomeryshire. In fact the whole week turned out to be rather good for butterflies with Purple Hairstreak spotted in the Hotel Wood and the weekly transect producing 57x Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Small Skipper, Comma, Green-Viened White, Large White, Small White, Small Copper and Meadow Brown butterflies.

This superb Clouded Yellow butterfly was a good find in Llanwddyn during the week (Many Thanks to Gavin Chambers for the photo)

Red Admiral butterfly was recorded in small numbers during the weekly butterfly transect.

Earlier in the week we unveiled the following mystery photo on the RSPB Mid Wales Facebook Page.

Well done to everyone who identified the mystery creature as a male Emerald Damselfly. This colourful damselfly is relatively frequent along waterbodies on the reserve at present. Other odonata sighted on the reserve this week included, Azure Damselfly, Black Darter, Common Hawker and Brown Hawker.

Emerald Damselfly can be found frequently along the reserves waterbodies at present.

High levels of bat activity were observed at dusk along the Afon Vyrnwy, with the bridge near the Sculpture Park (OS Grid: SJ020190)  being a particular good spot to watch feeding Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle and Daubenton’s bat as well as listen to a family of Tawny Owls. The Afon Vyrnwy also played host to Kingfisher (daily), Dipper (daily) and Grey Wagtail (daily).

Sightings on the lake included, 28x Canada Geese, 47x Mallard, 2x Teal, 9x Goosander, 1x Little Grebe, 3x Great Crested Grebe, 4x Cormorant, 5x Grey Heron and 2+ Common Sandpiper.

We’ve been treated to some beautiful sunsets on the reserve recently.

Other interesting avian sightings included, 1x Red Kite (regular over Llanwddyn), 1x Hobby (over Llanwddyn, 4th), 1x Goshawk (Red Trail, 4th) and Crossbill (regular, Visitor Centre, Orange, Red and Green Trails).

Macrolepidoptera Of The Week

Blue-bordered Carpet is top moth this week. Uncommon in Montgomeryshire this species inhabits damp woodland.

Blue-bordered Carpet (Many Thanks to Gavin Chambers for the image).



Well done Ian & Jess!

Ian our Food and Beverage Manager and Jess our Assistant Spa Manager recently took on the gruelling challenge of cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End all in aid of Welsh Air Ambulance and Shropshire Cat Rescue.  They started their journey on the 23rd of June and managed to cycle the 926(ish) miles to Lands End in ten days.

Ian and Jess at John O'Groats

Ian and Jess at John O’Groats

Ian - Welcome to England

Entering into England

Ian celebrating the end of their cycle

Ian celebrating on arrival at Lands End


RSPB Lake Vyrnwy Recent Sightings 20th-26th July 2014

RSPB have kindly agreed to let us re-post their blog entry of recent sightings here at Lake Vyrnwy.  If you would like to keep up to date with their recent sightings then take a look at their blog.


Top sighting this week was a flyover Yellow Wagtail from the Red Trail (23rd), this summer migrant usually inhabits lowland agricultural fields with the nearest known local population located towards Welshpool. Another highlight this week was an Osprey which flew down the lake (23rd). The lake also played host to 30x Canada Geese, 30+ Mallard, 3x Teal, 3x Great Crested Grebe, 1x Cormorant and 4x Grey Heron.

Frequent Kingfisher sightings this week included birds seen from the Lakeside Hide, below the dam and along the Afon Vyrnwy (Many Thanks to Gavin Chambers for this image taken at Vyrnwy last year).

Other interesting bird sightings this week included, Red Kite (regular along the Dinas Mawddwy road), Sparrowhawk (regular at the Visitor Centre), Green Woodpecker (1x juvenile, Green Trail, 1x Abertridwr), Dipper (regular, Afon Vyrnwy), Wheatear (Bala Road), Stonechat(Rhiwargor waterfall), Spotted Flycatcher (family parties, LLanwddyn and Dinas Mawddwy road) and Crossbill (Visitor Centre, Red and Green trails).

Siskin are regulars at the bird feeders at present (Many Thanks to Sam Constable for the image).

The distinctive blooms of Harebell can be seen along the Green Trail at present.

Purple Hairstreak butterfly should be searched for in the oak woodland at present with at least four sighted along the Green Trail this week (Many Thanks to Gavin Chambers for the image taken off site).

The weekly butterfly transect highlighted a fresh emergence of Peacock’s, with twenty individuals counted alongside a single Comma and small numbers of RingletLarge White,Green-veined WhiteSmall TortoiseshellMeadow Brown and Large Skipper.

The blooms of Common Knapweed are providing a rich source of nectar for insects at present like this Skipper butterfly.

Odonata on the wing this week included, Banded Demoiselle (first record this year), Emerald DamselflyBlack DarterCommon HawkerBrown Hawker and Golden-ringed Dragonfly.

Look how dark this male Black Darter is in comparison to last weeks female.

Macrolepidoptera Of The Week

This week’s top moth was also the focus of attention in the following mystery photo unveiled on the RSPB Mid Wales Facebook Page earlier in the week.

I can now reveal that the giant moth in the photo is a Northern Eggar. Well done to everyone who guessed correctly. Eggar moths are an important part of the Vyrnwy food web with the hairy caterpillars being a favourite meal for Cuckoo and the flying adults a food source for acrobatic Hobby’s. Dayflying ginger male Eggar moths may be seen zigzagging across the higher level trails at present.

Female Eggar moths were attracted to the light on our moth trap.



2013 Fishing Season Review

Mr Makin, one of the lakes most regular fisherman has been kind enough to write this review of last years fishing season. We will soon be moving to a dedicated fishing blog – please, bear with us – it’s on its way!

The 2013 season was dominated by extremes of the local weather. The opening months of March and April featured snow on the surrounding hills with, melt water coming into the Lake via the feeder stream and the occasional snow shower to test the fortitude of the anglers. However, the early season fishing gave good sport for the hardy souls who ventured out. The fish were in superb condition and both the rainbows and brownies fed hard at times and gave good sport to both sinking and floating lines. Whitegates fished well on some days. Brian Owen had a bag of 18 brownies and 2 rainbows on bumbles and black and green lures fish on an intermediate line. Paul Makin had 11 brownies (best 1.25 lbs) and 8 rainbows (best 4.0 lbs) taken on Bumbles, Montanas and Caddis fished on floating and intermediate lines.

May, June and July proved to be very wet and cold at times with the rivers pushing coloured water into the Lake. However, the fish fed hard during the warmer spells with some excellent catches. Paul Makin had 12 brownies best fish 1.25 lbs and 11 rainbows best fish 2.5 lbs on Bibios, GRHE, Claret bumble taken on a floating line at Whitegates. GV & H Westropp took 22 brownies using a sink tip with Invictas, Bibios, and Connemara Blacks from Whitegates. Brian Owen (fishing with gillie John Davies) took 20 brownies and 12 rainbows on Black and green lure and Welsh Witch from Whitegates. Messrs Hughes and Ogbourne took 17 brownies and 4 rainbows to 3.8 lbs. on Bibios and Claret Bumbles. Messrs Dickson and Coleman-Smith took 25 brownies and 1 rainbow on Bumbles and Vivas. P Hutchinson (fishing with gillie John Davies) took 27 brownies and 3 rainbows on green and black lures.  Paul Makin (taking advantage of a fishing break) had bags of 16, 28 and 20 brownies taken from between Whitegates and the Cedic on a slow sinker Bibio, Grenwells and GRHEs.

Eddie Wilkinson had 10+ brownies on a dry Hopper from between the Cedic and the Tower. Derek and Owen Edwards had 19 brownies – best fish 2.5 lbs and 1 rainbow from Whitegates. M Edwards (fishing with gillie John Davies) had 13 brownies and 1 rainbow on Dabblers and Welsh witches fishing from the Boathouse end. Messrs Owen and Sleigh had 22 brownies and 1 rainbow on Black Pennels, Butchers and Zulu using floating lines. GV and H Westrop had 13 brownies on Connemara Blacks and Bibio from Whitegates. Messrs Naylor and Horton took 13 brownies by dapping with Sedges from Whitegates. Alan Thomas took 9 brownies and 2 rainbows from the Boathouse end.

August September and October were distinguished by very low water conditions with little water entering the lake and days of bright sunshine. However, there were days when the fish fed well. Rys Williams (fishing with gillie John Davies) took 4 brownies from Whitgates. Tom Chambrrian had two good days 23+ brownies and 19 brownies plus 2 rainbows caught on Claret Bumble and Mallard and Claret at Whitegates. Mr Edwards (fishing with gillie John Davies) caught 5 brownies up to 1.5 lbs on a black and green lure and a sink-tip. Messrs Jones caught 23 brownies and 11 rainbows from Whitegates on Olive Dabbler, Gold Pennel and dry Daddys. R Hillier and R Sumsion had 15 brownies and 1 rainbow on floating black Hoppers from the Boathouse end. Paul Makin had 4 brownies and 8 rainbows to 3.0 lbs on Missionaries, Sweeny Todds and Peter Ross on a medium sinking line from Whitegates. Brian Owen and Hyada Steele (fishing with gillie John Davies) – 7 brownies to 3 lbs and 4 rainbows taken on Cats Whiskers, Muddlers and Black and Green lures on sinking lines from the Boathouse end. Neal and Carol Moss took 7 brownies to 1.0 lbs and 1 rainbow at 2.25 lbs taken on mini-Muddler, Gold Butcher and GRHE using an intermediate lines from the Boathouse end.

Most productive flies were Claret Bumble, Connemara Black, Bibio, Green and Black lure, Montana and GRHE.

Unforgettable Days Out – Whatever your Age!

We have lots of ideas to inspire fun days out whether you are staying at Lake Vyrnwy Hotel and Spa or simply visiting the area for the day…

Wonderful Wildlife

The lake is home to an abundance of wonderful wildlife; the RSPB hides and walking trails are a great place to start. Pack a pair of binoculars; you never know what you might see on a warm spring day. Look out for new born lambs or sheep being sheared, even birds of prey displaying – peregrines, buzzards, red kites and hen harriers may be visible over the moor.

Walking Lake Vyrnwy

Take a leisurely stroll around the lake at the foot of mountains, with its breath taking tower and dam or explore one of the many RSPB nature trails; our favourite is the Rhiwargor trial. Starting and finishing at the Rhiwargor car park, the trail is 2.3 miles long and includes mountain views and a spectacular waterfall.

For the more adventurous or serious walker there’s miles and miles of footpaths to take you off into the hills and mountains and the opportunity to feel the splendid isolation of the spectacular countryside around Lake Vyrnwy.


Hire a bike and you can spend hours exploring the shores of the lake. The road around Lake Vyrnwy is 11 miles long and couldn’t be more perfect for a leisurely bike ride with its flat road and picnic stops. Bikes are available to hire at two stations over the dam; Artisans and the Barn Café.

Lambing Live

At this time of year you can embrace rural living – your very own version of ‘lambing live’. The RSBP farm is alive with lambing activity – over the next few weeks hundreds of lambs will be delivered and farm gates open to visitors. Lambing lives makes for a truly unforgettable experience for all of the family. The farm will be open throughout the weekends in April as well as May bank holiday (5th and 6th) with all events starting at 1pm from the RSPB shop, just over the dam. You’ll need to wrap up warm – the lambing sheds can get a little chilly!

Spring time is a particularly special time of year for us at the lake; the sun begins to shine and everything wakes up, providing a beautiful backdrop for your activities. Whatever you get up to this spring we hope that you have a wonderful time and will share your adventures with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Springtime, Lake Vyrnwy.