Wildlife and bird watching in Wales08/11/2007 00:00:00
Wildlife and conservation news from Wales.
Top wildife watching places in Wales
County by County
What wildlife can be seen in the sea off Wales?There are two principal areas for watching marine wildlife in Wales, Cardigan Bay and the Pembrokeshire coast, particularly the Llyn Peninsula.
In summer, Minke and Pilot whales are most commonly seen with Fin and Killer whales (or Orca, actually a species of dolphin) more rare. Dolphins are present and can be seen all year round, and while Bottlenose dolphins are reasonably common, Risso’s and Atlantic white-sided are more unusual. It is thought that the resident population of dolphins in Cardigan Bay number 150-200. It is occasionally possible to see whales and dolphins from the shore, though luck is needed. Newquay pier and Lynas Point (Anglesey) probably provide your best chances. Harbour porpoises are probably the most common sighting, while Grey seals, Basking sharks and Sunfish are also seen.
Grey Seals may be seen on the coast at various places in Wales, such as Cardigan Island, Ynys Lochtyn, Cwm Tudu and New Quay.
Birds in Wales
Mammals in Wales
The biggest non-marine mammals in Wales are Red deer, one of five deer species found in Wales; Fallow, Roe, Sika and Muntjac deer are also found but deer numbers are not high and they are much less common than in England or Scotland. Polecats and Pine Martens still inhabit the forests of Snowdonia though are very rarely seen, and stoats, weasels, hares, rabbits, otters, badgers, foxes and hedgehogs are all present. Red squirrels can still be found if you know where to look; try the Clocaenog Forest (a good place for black grouse too) in North Wales, not far from Corwen.
13 species of bat have been recorded in Wales, including Greater and Lesser horseshoe bats.
Reptiles in Wales
Grass snakes, adders and common lizards (try Oxwich bay) are all present, though not often seen. There have been several succesful reintroductions of sand lizards into north and west Wales, click here for more information.