Bird Watching In Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire with is vast coastline with extensive cliffs, sheltered bays and exposed headlands, its offshore islands and its estuaries and tidal creeks is a wonderful place to see bird life. Herring gulls are common and their cries can be heard throughout the town of Milford Haven. Although their numbers today are much reduced from the days of the big fishing port they are still common along the sea front at Milford Haven and have learned to spot the tourist eating a picnic and have also discovered those houses with friendly retired people. Large numbers of jackdaws, blackbirds, thrushes, starlings and woodpigeons are common sights. Over the past few years swans have been gathering in Sandy Haven creek and reached 22 in number in Spring 2012. Spring visitors are swallows, warblers and many sea birds. Summer is a good time to see the sea bird colonies. During winter in the estuaries and rivers there are wild fowl, waders, slavion greebs, great northern divers and little egrets. Inland peregrines, merlins and hen harriers hunt across the county and often disturb flocks of lapwings and golden plovers.

Strumble Head near Fishguard is the finest place in Pembrokeshire (islands aside) for watching sea bird and marine mammals. In spring and autumn it is a great place to watch for migrating birds with auks, skuas, petrels and many types of wildfowl.

Skomer island is easily reached by boat from Martins Haven and has the largest colony of Manx shearwaters in the world (120,000 pairs). There are also puffins (6,000 pairs), guillemots (10,000 pairs), razorbills, choughs and short-eared owls. The boats from Martins Haven also visit Skokholm and Grassholm islands. Skokholm has puffins (2,000 pairs),Manx shearwaters (45,000 pairs), guillemots, razorbills, storm petrels and choughs. Accomodation for 15 bird watchers is available on the island but is usually booked for some years in advance. Grassholm is 11 miles offshore and has the only gannet colony in Wales. It has gannets (65,000), guillemots, and razorbills. Ramsay island is accessible by boat for day trips from St. Justinians harbour near St. Davids, it has razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars, shags, choughs and peregrine falcons. There are rigid inflatable boats from Neyland that visit Skomer, Skokholm and Grassholm in a single trip.

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