Terns at Cemlyn Nature Reserve
Terns are our sleekest seabirds, and this lagoon nature reserve, separated from Cemlyn Bay by a shingle ridge, is a vital breeding site for these lovely swallow-like birds. The surrounding grassland, scrub, wetland and shore are home to a wealth of other birds, mammals, insects, wildflowers and marine creatures. But it’s the common and Arctic terns, as well as one of the UK’s largest nesting populations of sandwich terns, which are the star turn.
Black grouse lekking at Llandegla
The black grouse is a handsome chap, as he well knows. Each spring the males gather on moorland, such as Llandegla, to perform an impressive love dance (known as ‘lekking’), shaking their tail-feathers and generally showing off while the females look on, like the judges on Strictly. The RSPB runs guided tours from late March to late April – if you can hack the 5.15am start!
Heather at Gors Maen Llwyd
Gors Maen Llwyd's stunning heather moorland is a grand place to sit and find a bit of solitude. Not that you’ll be alone: it’s home to red grouse, black grouse, hen harrier, sky lark, meadow pipit, cuckoo, adder, brown hare, and the occasional passing osprey that soars above the purple heather.
Bluebells at Coed Y Felin
When the clifftop wildflowers explode into life in spring, so do the seabird cities that cover the cliffs of Ellin’s Tower, as the guillemots, razorbills, puffins, fulmars and gulls gather to raise their young. Seeing South Stack cliffs teaming with seabirds is of the great wonders of the natural world.
The local Wildlife Trust are so confident about the spotting opportunities here, they organise an annual ‘Picnic with a porpoise’ each August, a relaxing seawatch at this prime location for porpoises and seabirds.
Manx Shearwaters at Bardsey Island
There are supposed to be 20,000 saints buried on this little island. Not sure about that, but there are certainly 14,000 breeding Manx shearwaters. You’ll need to stay overnight to see these nocturnal birds, though – and handily enough, there are nine self-catering houses for rent.