Fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael yma   

Slowly but steadily, the days are getting longer and the weather warmer. Spring is upon us! This is a special time of the year. As the sun’s rays get stronger, it’s influence on the nature that surrounds us becomes more apparent. Flowers are blossoming, trees are blooming, birds are nesting and breeding, and animals are waking up from their winter hibernation. It’s a busy time for wildlife, and the different habitats across our country will be hives of activity. Here’s a quick look at some of the wildlife spectacles you can see this spring in Wales.

Woodlands waking up

With the weather getting warmer, our trees and flowers are beginning to blossom. It’s a spectacular sight, as our woodlands burst in an explosion of colour. The carpets of bluebells that decorate these habitats are a welcoming sight after the bleakness of winter.

RSPB Ynys-hir and RSPB Lake Vyrnwy are great places to visit this spectacle. These reserves are also good places for pied flycatchers and wood warblers. These woodland birds return to Wales after spending the winter in Africa, and you can hear them sing their hearts out in early spring as they settle down for their breeding season.

Seabirds return to their cities on the cliffs

After seeing off the winter feeding out on the open sea, many seabirds will start to return to their breeding colonies in the spring. Razorbills and guillemots, with their striking black feathers, will be a common sight once again on the cliffs of RSPB South Stack and RSPB Ramsey Island. Kittiwakes, fulmars and gulls will also join them, creating a noisy atmosphere as they perch on their cliff-side nests.

Gannets are also returning to their stronghold on RSPB Grassholm Island. They spend their winters feeding off the western coast of Africa, and return to breed on the small, rocky island west of Ramsey Island. This piece of rock, jutting out of the sea, may not be very large, but 36,000 pairs of gannets nest here every year. They leave their mark as well, with half of the island covered in a thick white coating of their droppings! Watching these elegant birds fishing, with their large bodies, long necks and beaks, and distinctive yellow heads, is a remarkable sight as well.

Exotic migrants

Birds like wood, reed and sedge warblers have spent their winters in Africa, but soon they will be embarking on the long trip back to Wales. It’s an amazing feat for these tiny birds. If they manage to reach safely, there’s a good chance you’ll see them among the reed beds of RSPB Cors Ddyga, Newport Wetlands and Conwy. Keep an eye out for swifts, swallows and house martins as well. These birds also migrate from Africa, and spend most of their time on the wing. They can arrive as early as April, and the sound of the swift’s screech high above is a definite sign of spring!

Experience spring in all its glory

You can witness many of these wildlife spectacles at our reserves across the country. The RSPB Ynys-hir reserve, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, will be hosting special events to give people the opportunities to experience spring wildlife, such as dawn chorus walks. There will also be events happening at RSPB Conwy, Lake Vyrnwy, Newport Wetlands, Ramsey Island and South Stack. Find your local reserve and go out to enjoy Wales’ amazing wildlife!