Puffin Island

Despite the name, Anglesey’s Puffin Island isn’t the best place in Wales for puffin-watching – Skomer and Skokholm have bigger colonies. But on a spring or early summer cruise around the island with Seacoast Safaris, RibRide or Starida, you’re likely to see a few, along with crowds of guillemots and razorbills, jostling for space on the cliffs, plus sandwich terns, eider ducks and cormorants.

group of cormorants on grassy cliff.

Cormorants on Puffin Island, Anglesey, North Wales

Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) Boat Trips

Colin Evans of Bardsey Island Boat Trips comes from a family of lobster fishermen who has lived on the Llŷn Peninsula for generations. He runs crossings and day trips to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) from the appealing village of Aberdaron. When the weather’s good you can cruise Bardsey Sound, watching seabirds, seals and dolphins, while hearing about the region’s maritime history.

Seals popping their heads out of the water.

Seals swimming around Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), North Wales

Black grouse watching

Black grouse are rare in Wales and even rarer in England. If you’d like to see one, Coed Llandegla in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB is the place – 50 per cent of the Welsh population of these charismatic birds live within one mile of here. In the breeding season, from late March to May, RSPB officers lead guided walks through the forest to a display area known as a lek, where the males screech and mock-charge each other to win a mate.

Three black grouse

Black grouse at Llandegla, North Wales

Dolphin watching in Cardigan Bay

Dolphin Survey Boat Trips offer fascinating dolphin-watching cruises from New Quay, lasting from an hour upwards. On a full-day trip, you’ll accompany researchers from the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre as they collect important data and listen in on the dolphins’ conversations via an underwater microphone. 

From New Quay pier, Dolphin Spotting Boat Trips will take you on a scenic journey within the protected area of the Special Area of Conservation, where you can admire the stunning landscape and see dolphins, porpoise and seals living freely in their natural environment. 

A Bay To Remember offers fun RIB trips from Cardigan, Gwbert and Poppit Sands.

people on boat at sea watching for seals
Two dolphins gracefully glide through the water, their dorsal fins cutting the surface side by side

Dolphin spotting on the Ceredigion Heritage Coast, Mid Wales

Caldey Island seal safari

Tenby Boat Trips run hour-long cruises around the hidden coves of Caldey Island, just off the Pembrokeshire coast. Along the way you’ll have close encounters with the native grey seal population, which swim almost close enough to the boat to touch. You may also see nesting seabirds like puffins and cormorants on Caldey’s cliffs.

Wake of a boat sailing off the coast of Tenby.

The open seas on a boat trip to Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Grassholm and Ramsey RSPB Islands

This summer birdwatching tour from Thousand Island Expeditions is led by an RSPB warden. Setting out from the historic St Justinian’s lifeboat station, you’ll circle Grassholm, the world’s fourth-largest gannet colony, home to 39,000 pairs. Later, you land on Ramsey, where you’ll hear about the island’s history and ecology. You’re then free to explore, looking for choughs, kittiwakes, peregrine falcons and seals.

We do love a good sunset. Especially one as good as this 🙌 This photo was taken back in the summer months, by a member of crew on our jet boat. 👍 #sunset #visitpembs #adventure #pembs #boating #ramseyisland

Posted by Thousand Islands Expeditions on Thursday, November 19, 2020

Parc Slip wildlife walks

The 300-acre Parc Slip at Tondu, near Bridgend, is the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ flagship nature reserve in South Wales: its meadows and wetlands support over 1,000 wildlife species. Guided walks take place on a regular basis, starting from the visitor centre and focusing on moths, butterflies, dragonflies or birds.

What a lovely walk from #Tondu right on our doorstep! #localgems #coffeestop #lunch #nature #walks #lovethevalleys #PSVC #WTSWW

Posted by Parc Slip Nature Reserve & Visitor Centre on Thursday, November 19, 2020

Whale and dolphin watching in Pembrokeshire

Voyages of Discovery in St Davids have been perfecting the art of whale and dolphin watching in West Wales since 2002. Their detailed knowledge of Pembrokeshire’s coastal and offshore waters ensures regular sightings of resident and migrating dolphins (common, bottlenose and Risso’s), whales (minke, sei and fin), orcas and sharks. May to September are the best months, particularly June.

dolphin jumping.
boat in background, with dolphin in foreground.

Voyages of Discovery, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Skomer, Skokholm and Grassholm

Launching from Martin’s Haven near Marloes, Pembrokeshire Islands offers gentle trips around the bird-rich islands of SkomerSkokholm and Grassholm, with commentary from the crew. On a spring or summer sunset cruise, you’ll see puffins, gannets and other seabirds returning to home base after a day’s fishing. High-speed sea safaris by RIB in the Skomer Marine Nature Reserve are also available.

Aerial view of Skomer Island.

Spectacular Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Ynys-hir RSPB Reserve

In the summer months Ynys-hir RSPB reserve in Ceredigion organises fun, informative guided tours and activities for kids. Choose from Wildlife Explorer afternoons - with pond-dipping and bug hunts - and Story Walks, tours with a professional storyteller who weaves stories from the natural world into the experience.

noticeboard and uphill path leading to bird hides.
Dyfi estuary with grass on each side and hills in the background under moody skies

Bird hide and Dyfi Estuary at RSPB Ynys-hir, Ceredigion, Mid Wales

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