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The Seasons

The Pembrokeshire Coast is constantly changing - stormy grey seas to Caribbean blue depending on the weather. Vegetation grows quickly in the mild climate - plants come and go. The wildlife adapts to the changing seasons as well - with birds arriving en-masse and breeding cycles can be over quickly (they dont mess about!). There is always something of interest out there - and of course the geology, topography and historic landscape is ever-present. It is useful to plan your trip with this in mind.....



I love winter on the peninsula coast - long walks often without seeing a soul.

January and February can be bracing, there is nothing like blowing those winter cobwebs away with a walk along the exposed headlands of North Pembrokeshire! For the less hardy there are plenty of more sheltered walks, if you know where to go.  Wildlife can still be seen - groups of Chough foraging together are always present, Fulmars prospecting for nest sites, Grey Seals off the coast and wintering birds can often be seen - its a good time of year to watch Hen Harriers hunting Snipe, and Short-eared Owls quartering the commons. The fields on the peninsula can also abound with lapwings and Golden Plover - a remarkable sight and sound as they take flight on a cold winters day. Offshore, Divers and Gulls from the North over-winter offshore.

Spring can come early to these western shores - marked by the first singing Skylarks, emerging plants such as Alexanders and as March approaches, we will look out for the first migrant birds like Wheatears - as well as emerging Black Oil Beetles and the first butterflies.

Winter can often be the best time to explore the historic landscape of the area - with less vegetation and the angle of the sun revealing more details.



Spring is an exciting time to visit the peninsula. March days can be remarkably mild and things can change really quickly. Summer birds start to arrive and birdsong fills the lanes and woods. Seabirds start arriving on the cliffs - Guillemots and Razorbills looking for territories. The first Gannets and Manx Shearwaters fly by heading for the offshore islands.

April can be a good time to see Adders as they begin to look for mates and get more active in the warmth. Choughs, paired for life, return to their well established nest sites. Peregrines and Kestrels are also on the look out for nest sites. April is also full of Skylark song - the peninsula is a stronghold for this declining species.

As the Cuckoos arrive in mid April, we enter the peak period for flowering plants on the coast - Thrift, Sea Campion, Kidney Vetch and Spring Squill bring stunning colour to the area and are best seen in the months of May and June.

Butterflies and Beetles also get active in the warmer areas - Bloody-nosed Beetles are a particular speciality (and they are great with kids!).

As summer approaches we start looking out for new additions to the local fauna - in the shape of young.


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Whilst high summer is a busy time for people, the frantic jostling for breeding sites and rapid plant growth, is taken over by a more steady, quieter period for wildlife.

By mid-July, most seabirds are nearing the completion of their breeding cycle and can be seen loafing about close to their breeding areas. Choughs have fledged and can be seen in small family groups, the hedges and commons are full of youngsters with attendant parents. Noisy young Peregrines and Kestrels take to the wing.

Summer is also a great time to catch up with Porpoise and Common Dolphin offshore and these can be seen on many of our walks. Jellyfish also come close to shore - including the spectacular barrel Jellyfish, sometimes followed by Sunfish from the tropics. As we approach August, the earliest Seal pups arrive - but its far more likely to see the pregnant females searching for quiet secluded beaches on which to pup.

Summer is a time for Orchids - from June into July especially. Meadows are full of Clover, Rattle, Restharrow, Eyebright and Yarrow. Common Centaury, Sea Rock Spurrey and Stonecrop take over before the spectacular bloom of heather in August.

The warmer months are best for Butterflies, Fritillaries, Blues and the increasingly scarce Grayling. And don't forget moths - the day flying Burnet moths zip about the coastal strip. It is at this time of year that Dragonflies will also become more apparent.

Calm summer evenings are a good time to look out for Barn Owls, as the days start to become noticeably shorter and Autumn approaches.



As the summer moves into autumn and high season is replaced by slower, less busy times, wildlife is on the move. Seals begin to pup in late August and on into October or later some years, with dozens giving birth on some beaches. The maritime heaths take on their autumn colours as the green fades. 

Summer birds start moving away, to wintering grounds far to the south. Autumn is a good time to see seabirds streaming past the headlands on their journey to the south Atlantic. Smaller birds also pass along the coast - sometimes with rarities in amongst them. As the area is milder than inland counties, birds that are reliant on soft ground for feeding - waders and thrushes for instance, appear from the north, along with wildfowl and swans. The peninsula is great for large flocks of Golden Plovers and Lapwings. All this extra prey in turn attracts Harriers and other birds of prey - all feeding up to get through the coming winter.

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