Wildlife

December to February

Divers, grebes, scoter, rare gulls in St Bride’s Bay. Wintering Black Redstart at St Bride’s Church, Firecrest & Chiffchaffs at Monk’s Haven. Short-eared Owl and Hen Harrier at Marloes Mere, on Deer Park, and in garden. Wide range of duck, geese, swans at Marloes Mere and The Gann. Snipe, Water Rail in the wettest parts of the garden and down the stream.

February to March

First Auks (Razorbill, Guillemot, Puffins) come back to the islands. Unlikely to start to come ashore until very end-March/early-April. Ravens and Fulmars already nesting on cliffs (end of Deer Park).

April

Auks start to come ashore on islands, can be seen fishing around Jack Sound and off Deer Park. Start of Spring Passage: Wheatear, warblers: check all the bushes in the garden and Martins’ Haven. Also Hen & Marsh Harriers on passage (Marloes Mere, Deer Park, islands),terns.

May

Auks now nesting on islands, Shearwaters and Storm Petrels return to their nest at night, may be heard around Rath Cottage on moonless or foggy nights. Peak of Spring Passage: almost anything may turn up! Look out for Hoopoe, Wryneck: both have been seen regularly in the valley.

May to July

Grass snakes, lizards and occasional adders seen in the garden.

End of the Spring Passage: Woodchat Shrike seen in 2008! All sea birds nesting on cliffs and islands and feeding their young. Whitethroat, Stonechat & Linnets nesting in garden.

Puffins leave the cliffs by mid-/end-month. Guillemots and Razorbills remain on cliffs, Gannets still at Grassholm. Short-eared Owls fledging on Skomer: best chance to see them during the day.

August

All auks have left the cliffs by mid-/end-month. Gannets still on Grassholm. Start of Fall Passage: waders at The Gann and on Dale Airfield, seabirds offshore.

Best month for dolphins and whales offshore. Seals come ashore from mid-month to end of Deer Park to start pupping.

September

Gannets leave Grassholm but still feeding actively in area. Fall Passage: seabirds, waders, harriers, warblers etc.

October to November

Fall Passage: harriers, duck, waders, warblers etc: check all the bushes in the garden.

Seal pups in the rocky coves until November: youngsters can be seen swimming off many of the local beaches, and can be very confiding.