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Brilliant for Birds

Great nature reserves in Wales for birdwatching enthusiasts

Puffins on Skomer

There are two major contributary factors that make Wales a great place to see wild birds. The first is the that we are surrounded on three sides by ocean, and the second is that many of the best bird sites in Wales are protected as National Nature Reserves. (The Puffins seen here on Skomer Island benefit in this way.) Although we can celebrate these factors, they are by no means a justification for complacency.

Birds in Wales face many uncertainties due to ongoing threats to their habitats, particularly in upland areas where land is improved for agricultural purposes and is also subject to afforestation by fast-growing, non-native trees. The birds most threatened by these processes are Merlins, Goshawks, Peregrine Falcons, Hen Harriers and Golden Plovers.

Despite all this, we in Wales have proved that it is not only possible to protect our wild birds but also to bring them back from the brink of extinction to thriving populations. The concerted campaign to restore Red Kite populations to their former levels after years of persecution is an outstanding example of what can be achieved by dedication and sheer hard work.

Top nature reserves for seeing birds in Wales include:

Skomer National Nature Reserve
Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve
South Stack Nature RSPB Reserve
Cors Caron National Nature Reserve
Crymlyn Bog and Pant y Sais
Valley Wetlands RSPB Reserve
Cors Dyfi Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust Reserve
Ynys-hir RSPB Reserve
Lake Vyrnwy RSPB Reserve
Grassholm National Nature Reserve
Ramsey National Nature Reserve
Y Berwyn National Nature Reserve
Gower Coast National Nature Reserve
Ynys Enlli/Bardsey Island National Nature Reserve
Rhinog National Nature Reserve
Spinnies Aberogwen North Wales Wildlife Trust Reserve
Allt Rhyd y Groes National Nature Reserve
Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre
Arthog Bog RSPB Reserve
Gwenffrwd Dinas RSPB Reserve