Tag Archives: birds

Hooded crow – Corvus cornix

Although hooded crows are more usually associated with Ireland and Scotland, there are usually one or two around about Newborough, feeding in the fields at the edge of the forest. They seem to have paired up with regular carrion crows, so there are probably hybrids around too.

A hooded crow (Corvus cornix) with its carrion crow partner.

A hooded crow (Corvus cornix) with its carrion crow partner alongside Newborough Forest..

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Cycling on the Lon Las Cefni

Two national cycle routes* go across Anglesey: the Lon Las Cefni has been developed to link the two – and then it extends to Newborough, just because it is so nice here.:)

Most of the route is on a dedicated, traffic free, cycle track; there are just short stretches where you have to cross a road or where the route follows a quite lane.

Swans on the Afon Cefni

Swans on the Afon Cefni

For much of the route, the trail follows the straightened Afon Cefni – which looks more like a canal than a river – which is a paradise for water birds (and sometimes falcons, hawks and harriers that eat them).  Alongside the Cefni, between Malltraeth and Llangefni, there are large areas of wetland, much of which is an RSPB reserve, and again, a haven for birds, and also fantastic for wildflowers.

The view towards Llangefni from Pont Marquis Bridge - showing how much like a canal the river looks

The view towards Llangefni from Pont Marquis Bridge – showing how much like a canal the river looks

About six miles from Newborough, the track and the river pass under the A55 dual carriageway – the main route across Wales to Holyhead and on to Ireland.  It seems a bit of a strange place to choose to build a nesting site for sand martins, but that is what has been done. The martins do use the holes provided for them, and they seem to be quite good at dodging the traffic on the road above too…

Martin nest holes

Martin nest holes

It is about 12 miles in total if you follow the cycle route all the way from Newborough to Llyn Cefni.  The route is very clearly signposted with information points along the way.

Lon Las Cefni sign at Pont Bulkeley Bridge

Lon Las Cefni sign at Pont Bulkeley Bridge

lonlascefnisign

There is also a free guide to download from Anglesey Council’s tourism site  or from the Sustrans Lon Las Cefni page.

*the national routes are Nos 5 and 8 which go to Reading and Cardiff respectively (gulp – they’re for serious cyclists!). More information on the national routes is available on the Sustrans website.