Menai Straits

The Spinnies Reserve and Lafan Sands (SH 5972)

One of the best reserves for wildlife photography in the area. The reserve has two hides, one near the road and the other overlooks the estuary of the Ogwen on one side and the lagoon on the other.

Kingfisher is regularly seen during early Spring, Autumn and Winter as well as Greenshank. You are almost certain to see Little Egrets on any visit - both on the   lagoon and on the estuary. At high tide, Little Egrets roost at the seaward end of the wall opposite the hide. A good telescope is required, although they can be seen by the naked eye as the numbers roosting are large ( 80+).

The Estuary holds wildfowl waders all year round. In the Autumn it holds large concentrations of Great Crested Grebes and Mute Swans as well as migrant waders.  

The Ogwen Estuary is a part of Traeth Lafan Local Nature Reserve . The following two reserves ( which lie along the coast towards Conwy)are also worth exploring following a   visit to the Spinnies.

Abergwyngregyn (SH 6473)

Wader high tide roost and seawatching for Divers and Scoter

Morfa Madryn Reserve (SH 6574)

Three hides. One overlooks a high tide roost on a spit of sand facing the hide. Large numbers of Oystercatchers with some other waders - Godwit, Dunlin, Ringed Plover etc.

The other two hides overlook two freshwater pools, which contain wildfowl and large numbers of Lapwing in Winter. Lapwing also breed.  

Foryd Bay LNR (4559)  

Accessed from the minor road on the other side of the river from the Castle. Shorebirds are good all year. Huge numbers of Wigeon, as well as other ducks, Golden Plover ( 300+ seen in 2005) congregate on the salt marshes of the Gwyrfai Estuary.