Ceredigion is a wonderful place to experience wildlife on a daily basis, at any time of the year. It’s not unusual to see and hear red kites and buzzards chirping and whirling above your head, or see pheasants crossing the narrow roads in front of your car. Various wild animals such as foxes and badgers inhabit the hedgerows and while many are nocturnal, traces of them can often be spotted during daylight hours.
If you want to discover more wildlife, here are some recommended places to visit:
A colony of mallard ducks was unwittingly established in Aberaeron by a local resident in the 1980’s and now, to the delight of both residents and holidaymakers at Penrhos Holiday Park, dozens of mallards can be seen along the river and harbourside walks.
Cardigan Bay is home to the only resident population of bottle-nosed dolphins in the UK. You might be lucky enough to spot one of these beautiful creatures from anywhere along the Ceredigion coast, but the best way to increase your chances is to take one of the regular boat tours from New Quay.
Cardigan Island Farm Park
Cardigan Island Farm Park overlooks the Cardigan Island Nature Reserve, which makes it a great destination for spotting all manner of wildlife. Atlantic grey seals breed in the caves below the cliffs and can be seen in the water or resting on the rocks. The bottle-nosed dolphins are frequently seen from the cliffs and other frequent visitors are harbour porpoises, jellyfish swarms and sunfish.
There are occasional sightings of basking sharks, fin and minke whales, orca and leatherback turtles. Sea and coastal birds such as razorbills, gannets, fulmars, guillemots and oystercatchers share the sky with our countryside birds which include the red kite, kestrels, buzzards and the increasingly rare skylark.
Cardigan, Ceredigion Coastal Path & Aberystwyth Pier
Cardigan Island is home to gulls, cormorants, shags, choughs and the peregrine falcon – Britain’s fastest bird. Birds Rock on the Ceredigion Coastal Path just south of New Quay is one of the most important seabird breeding areas in Ceredigion. There are colonies of guillemots crowding onto the rocky ledges as well as razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes, cormorants, shags, lesser black gulls, herring gulls and gannets. Every evening in autumn and winter, tens of thousands of starlings can be seen flying in a mesmerising formation over Aberystwyth Pier. Called the Starling Murmuration, they disappear under the pier to nest at night.
Nant yr Arian Forest
You can watch up to 150 red kites being fed at Nant yr Arian Forest, Ponterwyd every afternoon (3pm in summer; 2pm in winter). They are mostly local birds and come to feed from within a 10 mile radius.
Ospreys were extinct in Wales until very recently and even now we only know of 5 pairs in the country. They have started to nest here again at a few protected sites. One of these is the Dyfi Osprey Project south of Machynlleth. You are almost guaranteed to see these magnificent birds swooping around during the summer!
After you’re done exploring this beautiful part of Wales, head back to our holiday site and take a relaxing dip in the Penrhos swimming pool before your delicious, comforting meal at our on-site restaurant.
Penrhos Park: a place for all the family to explore nature and wildlife at your own pace.