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General Info On Cardigan Bay

The chough is the characteristic bird of the sea-cliffs, soaring and tumbling in the breeze - the Cardigan Bay coast is a British stronghold for the species. Other terrestrial birds of the sea cliffs include the raven, buzzard, peregrine and, unusually, the house martin. But it is for their seabirds that these cliffs are renowned. Fulmars and herring gulls are ubiquitous. Manx shearwaters nest on Bardsey, and can he heard from the mainland when they come ashore on dark summer nights. On Bardsey, the Gwylan Islands and the nearby mainland there are a number of small seabird colonies with guillemot, kittiwake, razorbill, puffin, shag and cormorant.

In Ceredigion there is an important cormorant colony south of Aberystwyth, while at New Quay Head razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes nest, and can easily be seen from the cliff-top. There are further small colonies between here and Cardigan Island, and on Needle Rock, Dinas and Needle Rock, Fishguard. Ramsey Island, has colonies of auks, kittiwakes, and shags on its cliff ledges.

The grey seal is a familiar sight in the vicinity of sea cliffs, especially in Pembrokeshire where there is a healthy population. The largest breeding colonies are on Ramsey Island, where 480 pups were born in 1992. The grey seal also gives birth on the mainland in caves and on inaccessible beaches, and in certain locations they haul out in groups of a hundred or more to rest and moult.



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