Are you potty about Puffins? Do you know your Razorbill from your Guillemot? Ever seen a murmuration at the Welsh Wildlife Centre? To celebrate Visit Wales’ thematic year of legends, The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales have listed their top 10 legendary wildlife experiences for you to have this year.
1. A Wild Night
A night time stay on Skomer and Skokholm Island is an unforgettable experience. Witness half of the world’s population of Manx Shearwaters as they swoop in to their burrows under the cover of darkness, avoiding predators.
2. Tree Top Hide
Take a deep breath and scale the heights of the beautiful ancient green Oak tree that guards the Welsh Wildlife Centre. Relive your childhood, and venture into the canopy to discover the elusive purple hairstreak butterfly.
3. Puffin Party
A visit to Skomer Island between April and August will be sure to put a smile on your face! Have a legendary wildlife adventure with 21,000 waddling Puffins with beaks crammed full of sandeels.
4. Reptile Ramble
Over the summer months, join Wildlife Trust staff at Parc Slip Nature Reserve in Bridgend on a reptile ramble through the wildflower meadows. Experience the wonderful sight of a Grass snake or a Common lizard in its natural habitat.
5. Seal Sensation
Seals can be seen all around Pembrokeshire's rocky and twisted coastline. But only on Skomer Island will you hear them sing. Their melancholic siren songs travel far and wide. Up to two hundred seals gather to moult at North Haven, entertaining visitors with their squabbles during the day, and haunting their night time walks.
6. Flutter away
In the mid-summer sun the paths at Parc Slip and Teifi Marshes are alive with colour and the air is full of beautiful butterflies, buzzing bees, hawking dragonflies and fairylike damselflies. Wander along the paths through the wildflowers and see if you can spot the tiny Small blue on the Kidney vetch, or the impressive Brimstone, with its leaf-like appearance.
7. The Blue Island
During spring Skomer Island is covered in a display of beautiful bluebells so vast that the whole island appears blue! The old fields, the valleys, the cliff tops. No part of the island is spared from this bluebell explosion.
8. Age, Weight and Height Please!
In August accompany the Wardens on Skokholm Island as they measure and weigh the rarely seen (and incredibly cute) Storm Petrel and Manx Shearwater chicks. Learn about their amazing instinct, predators and incredible journey once they leave the safety of the burrow.
9. The Cardigan Bay Big 3!
Get up close to the Cardigan Bay Marine 3 for an adventure you’ll never forget. Go on a journey with Dolphin Survey Boat Trips to see the amazing Welsh coastline and wonderful wildlife in action. Witness Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises and Atlantic Grey Seals in their natural environment.
In autumn starlings flock together in massive numbers and can be seen swooping and swirling in their thousands before going down to roost in the reed bed at the Teifi Marshes.