- Sue Burton and Geoff Liles – Otters
- David Readhead – Butterflies
- Marten – What to see on the seashore
- Kate Lock – Wildlife of the skomar and Grassholm tidal races and the Cleddau
- Cliff Benson – Whales and Dolphins
See Skomer Puffins and stay at Puffin House in Broad Haven.
Visiting Skomer to see the puffins has to be one of the most wonderful day trips if staying in Pembrokeshire between the months of May and July. The little birds return in April from their winter base in the Southern Hemisphere and settle on the island of Skomer to breed. Each pair will usually lay one egg underground where it is safe from the herring gulls which torment not only the puffins but especially the manx shearwater who also breed on the little island. There are normally over 10,000 breeding pairs of Puffins on Skomer and Skokholm Islands, making them one of the most important Puffin colonies in Britain. They arrive in mid-April to nest in burrows, many of which have been dug by the island’s large rabbit population. The last Puffins leave the island by the second or third week in July. Puffins feed mainly on small fish and Sand Eels; often they can be seen with up to a dozen small eels in their beaks.
As everyone knows the storms this year have been some of the worst for a hundred years in this part of Wales. Luckily we are told that the damage on the island seems to be minimal although some guttering has been wrenched off the buildings. Of more concern though are the reports starting coming in from France of large numbers of seabirds washing up on beaches, including Puffins in the Bay of Biscay region. Amongst the Puffins were three juveniles that were fitted with geolocators last year on Skomer. Latest figures are suggesting that 25,000 birds have been effected and that over 14,500 Puffins may have died not all from Skomer but some certainly have suffered.
This photo was taken in February 2014 and shows the bodies of puffins washed up on a beach in Sainte-Marie-de-Re, western France, after heavy storms. This could not be coming at a worst time for our seabirds. It is at about this time of year that Razorbills and Guillemots return to the Pembrokeshire islands to claim their places on the sea cliffs and some of the birds were in breeding plumage. With a high chance of local birds being involved the long term studies of these important colonies are more urgent than ever. It is therefore devastating that NRW (National resources Wales) have we are told just withdrawn funding for one of Skomers most important and longest running monitoring programmes.
The Skomer wardens, Ed and Bee, are hoping to get back onto the island later this week in March once their boat is repaired and no doubt will post something on the Skomer blog when they return. Ed has recently posted some graphic details of the huge seabird wreck which is mainly centred in the Bay of Biscay but has also seen a few hundred dead birds in Pembrokeshire.
However despite the gloom we are sure the puffins will be back breeding soon on Skomer and if you do want to visit the island then its worth having a look at Puffin House seaside apartment in Broad Haven to see if they have availability for your stay – Availability Calendar or check out Old Oak Barn which also has an up to date availability calendar too.
Photos near Broad Haven in Pembrokeshire
All photos are © copyright and are not to be reproduced from this blog.
Please have a look at her website for more information – although some of her work is based on images from this country much is inspired by her travels abroad.
Visitors to Puffin House will recognise some of the beach photos and certainly the landmark rock of Broad Haven beach itself.
The photo above is of Ceibwr and takes in a spectacular walk that includes the famous ‘Witches Cauldron’ and the picturesque National Trust headland and ends in the small welcoming town of Newport.
Pembrokeshire Events in 2014
Events in Pembrokeshire this coming Spring and Summer are very varied. Have a look at the wide range of different events and activities being organised in a whole host of different venues across the county.
If music is what appeals then why not book tickets to see Phil Beer on 13 Feb at Martletwy at Burnetts Hill
Phil Beer is well known as being 50% of Show of Hands – a great West Country band.
Tickets are only £10 for the evening which starts at 7.30pm.
Pembrokeshire Fish Week 2014
Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival is run by the Food Development Team within the Regeneration Department at Pembrokeshire County Council. If you would like to be involved in Pembrokeshire Fish Week which this year is being held on 28 June right through until 6 July then Puffin House would be a good choice of accommodation because it is so centrally situated in the county!
At the time of writing that week is still available and is priced at £450 for 7 nights. This is always a busy week with many locals fully involved for the entire 10 days or so. Plenty of opportunities to catch fish, cook fish, eat fish and enjoy fish!
Two days of fun, celebration and inspiration for women in Pembrokeshire with some great craft and pampering workshops, stalls, information, demonstrations, cafe, arts and music.
Raffle Tickets £1 in advance for FREE entry to daytime events.
Sat 8th from 6pm is The Vagina Monologues, supported by All Spice Singers. £5 including nibbles. Wine and food also available to buy.
March 8th and 9th
Wales Coast Path
The Wales Coast Path is proving to be a great asset to the Welsh tourist industry and visitors to Wales have increased in numbers since it opened.
Both Old Oak Barn and Puffin House are well situated for those who want to walk the path. A few years ago we had visitors from England who stayed in each property while they undertook their mammoth walk around the entire coastline of the UK. Each day their planned route took them between 10 and 20 miles on the path before a bus ride back to base! This required some imagination and creative planning and of course oodles of patience.
Stay at Old Oak Barn or Puffin House to walk the coast path in 2014!
If you are wanting to holiday in Wales next year and are looking for a base from which to walk the Wales Coast Path then come and stay in one of our self catering holiday lets. We are open for short breaks now until Easter. Please phone 01994230716 for more information. If we don’t know the answer to your query we shall point you in the direction of someone who does!
Click on the above to see what’s on in the new series which visitors to Puffin House in Broad Haven will be interested in no doubt!
The Wales Coast Path
Why is it so special? Watch the programme to find out!
With its dazzling beaches and secret coves, the Pembrokeshire coastline is the programme reveals a recognised gem within the Welsh tourism industry and is rated as one of the top two coastal destinations in the world. Last year when the Wales Coast Path was officially opened a fresh wave of praise and appreciation came its way!
But for the many different people who live and work along the stunning coastline of Britain’s only coastal national park, life here is more than just about beach holidays and weekend breaks as this new BBC Wales series is about to reveal.
Folly Farm – voted best in the west by our visitors!
Below we have 6 of our favourite animals found at this major Pembrokeshire visitor attraction! Photos were taken by a visitor from Bristol Jeff Gendall who stays with his family on a regular basis either at Old Oak Barn or at Puffin House.
This is a must for visitors to this part of West Wales. Last summer there was a great offer on which allowed you free entry for a second time within the same week and several of our visitors did infact end up going twice! Approx 30 minutes from Old Oak Barn near St Clears and also a similar distance from Puffin House in Broadhaven. The inside attractions including vintage fun fair rides mean that whatever the weather you and your family can enjoy a brilliant day out.
Photos taken recently!
They were taken in October 2013 half term when many children visiting this part of Wales will have also paid Folly Farm a visit!
1. Meerkats Rule at Folly Farm!
3. Two fat porcupines!
Oakwood Theme Park
Stay at Old Oak Barn near St Clears or Puffin House in Broad Haven while you go to Oakwood – always a great day out in Wales!
Sunday 27th October
Thursday 31st October
The Ghost of Skull Rock Show with Live Actors, Laser Show and more!
Spooky 3D LIVE!
Oakwood Theme Park is open throughout the year although limited in winter.
On the 20th November 2013 the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum (PCF) will hold the very popular ‘Pembrokeshire Wildlife Sightings Event’ at the Merlin Theatre, Haverfordwest from 7 to 10 pm. The event inspires local naturalists and photographers to share stories and images celebrating the diverse and special wildlife of Pembrokeshire. Tickets can be bought in advance by going to Wildlife Sightings 2013 ticket booking sight.
The speakers this year have been planned and should include the following!
Last year we were lucky enough to go to this wonderful evening where enthusiasts spoke about for example Skomer wildlife including its diverse marine life, the 9 species of whales, dolphins and porpoise to be found off Pembrokeshire, Stackpole, The Dung Beetle and a fascinating account of spiders. It was a great evening and we learnt a lot.
Lawrenny Tea Rooms often get surprisingly busy in the summer!
We can highly recommend a visit to the Tea Rooms at Lawrenny who approach their 10th anniversary next year! Quayside has been shortlisted for “Best Places to Eat” in the cafe category this year and you can vote for them at Tourism, Awards Wales
Open from 12 – 4 every day the Lawrenny tea Rooms use locally sourced food wherever possible and do their baking daily on site. Service is good and staff are always obliging. Phone 01646651574 for more details. Below is a photo of a massive baked potato with tasty cheddar and locally sourced ham from a Narberth butcher.
After you have visited the Tea Rooms why not pop along the estuary to Carew Castle which has great reviews on Trip Advisor Carew Castle Tenby_Pembrokeshire_Wales review.
A favourite pastime for visitors and locals is to jump off the point at Little Haven when the tide is out! It is great fun and pretty safe provided there are plenty of people who are experienced with this particular Pembrokeshire activity! Wetsuits will help you keep afloat. The scramble back up the rocks for a second go is not arduous.
Last week on several evenings children and adults were seen jumping off the point in some of the most beautiful summer evenings you could imagine.