Don't forget your binoculars - you'll need them!

Birdwatching in Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire is a great location for birdwatching.

Spring sees the arrival of those birds that only visit this country to breed, like swallows, warblers, and many of the sea-birds. In the right conditions “falls” of migrants can be encountered around the coast or on the islands, perhaps including wrynecks and ring ouzels, with always the chance of the unexpected. Late spring also sees the return of the comical puffin to Skomer Island. The birds first ‘raft’ together offshore before heading back to their burrows on the island.

Summer is a good time to visit seabird colonies, to enjoy the bustle and spectacle of their hectic breeding cycle. Stack Rocks on the Castlemartin range, The Wick on Skomer Island and Grassholm Island resound to the squabble of seabirds vying for a tiny sea cliff ledge. Watch out for good views of peregrines, ravens and choughs that inhabit the same habitat.

Quieter moments can be sought in the local woodlands where pied flycatchers and wood warblers nest. Almost everywhere visited should provide encounters with buzzards.

Autumn migration can bring a few surprises. Storms from the Atlantic can blow tired birds off course and Pembrokeshire provides them with a welcome respite. Coastal areas are worth searching for passage waders, and watching coastal waters can sometimes reveal spectacular passages of seabirds.

Those taking a winter break can enjoy watching wildfowl, waders and other waterbirds like Slavonian grebes, great northern divers and little egrets on the Cleddau, Nevern and Teifi rivers. Peregrines, merlins and hen harriers hunt widely across the county and large flocks of lapwings and golden plovers often tower over the landscape, flushed by these marauding raptors.

Pembrokeshire provides such a rich landscape for resident and visiting birds that it’s best to always have your ‘bins’ with you.

Stackpole Estate

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