About RSPB Cwm Clydach Nature Reserve
The RSPB Cwm Clydach Reserve is north of the A4067 Pontardawe to Swansea road. Two nature trails, one short, the other of medium length, link onto a network of public footpaths. The shortest route is suitable for pushchairs whist the longer trail has some steep and rocky sections.
In spring at Cwm Clydach, wood sorrel carpets the ground and woodland bird activity is at its peak. Early migrants like chiffchaffs arrive to set up territory and are followed later in April by willow warblers, pied flycatchers and redstarts. Resident species too are nest-building and a visit in early morning produces a superb dawn chorus of song.
Enjoy a stroll through a peaceful woodland setting on a lovely summer day. Dippers and grey wagtails feed along the river and smaller streams and all the summer migrants have arrived and are busy rearing young. Redstarts and wood warblers can be seen in more open woodland, with bullfinches and marsh tits present in scrubbier areas. Butterflies like silver-washed fritillaries and speckled woods bask in sunny clearings.
The myriad of autumn leaf colours makes this a magical season at Cwm Clydach; shades of green turn brown, bronze and red. Siskins and lesser redpolls feed on the seeds of riverside alders and colourful fungi like fly agarics and chantarelles dot the ground.
Look out in the winter for soaring buzzards, red kites and ravens over the valley, more easily visible now the leaves have fallen. Redwings and fieldfares feed on hawthorn berries and mixed flocks of tits, treecreepers and nuthatches move through in search of food.