Wildlife watching around St Davids
Pembrokeshire Coast ranger Ian Meopham offers tips on the best spots to enjoy local wildlife and catch a glimpse of impressive birds and sea life around St Davids.
Seals, porpoises and gannets
Head to the southerly end of Ramsey Sound and watch gannets plunge like darts into the waters below. Spectacular in their own right, these diving birds are often a good indicator that porpoise will be fishing. This whole coastline is also great for watching Atlantic grey seals - take a boat trip around the towering lichen-coated cliffs of Ramsey Island.
The river that flows through the pretty harbour village of Solva is well worth exploring if you have a couple of hours to spare. Follow the water through the tranquil woodland valley and explore this peaceful side of St Davids in all its natural glory. If you are really quiet, you may even catch a glimpse of an otter.
Wildflowers and birds of prey
The dramatic stretch of coastline around St Davids Head is transformed by a colourful carpet of wildflowers during spring months. Soft pink thrift and the vibrant violet-blue of spring squill account for just two of the striking shades on display and while enjoying the views, you may even be lucky enough to spot a kestrel or peregrine falcon in flight.
Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending celebrates its centenary in 2014, and you can hear the beautiful bird song that inspired the much-loved poem and composition at St Davids Airfield. While Skylark numbers have been in dramatic decline across the country, careful land management at this disused airfield has kept numbers strong.
Orchids and dragonflies
A peaceful and important nature reserve in the upper reaches of the River Alun, Dawrog Common boasts over 350 species of flowering plant, including varieties of orchid. Visit in the summer to enjoy the colourful flutter of butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies or later in the year when wintering wildfowl call the nature reserve home.