More Pembrokeshire Wildlife

Whilst in Wales there were a quite a lot of species that we saw outside of our walk down the South Beach, in numerous places across Pembrokeshire.

One of the most successful of these places was Stackpole, a National Trust area along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, known particularly for its clifftop views and populations of woodland birds, like goldcrest and chiffchaff, as well as coastal birds like chough and fulmar. Stackpole is also home to the largest colony of greater horseshoe bats in Wales, living in woodland and barns across the estate. The clifftop views were particularly amazing, and we had picked a great day to go; the sun was out and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. 

In one of the bays on the way round the cliffs, we came across our second eggcase of the trip. This eggcase was visibly different to the smallspotted catshark eggcase we had found in Tenby, so was from a different species. After taking a few photos, we identified it as the eggcase of a spotted ray (raja montagui). This diamond-shaped ray is found across the north-east Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and its eggcases are a common find on UK shorelines. 

Spotted Ray
credit Ross Bullimore, license, no changes made
Spotted Ray Eggcase

The eggcase wasn't the only sign of life we saw at Stackpole by any means. One of the most frequently spotted animals we saw were Rock Pipits. We saw these birds hopping around rocks by the bays and on the cliffs further round coast. I ended up getting quite close to a couple of individuals, getting some good, clear photos as the birds were hopping around on the grass next to the cliffs.

Rock Pipit
Rock Pipit

The cliffs that were offering us superb coastal views were also home to numerous pairs of fulmar, some flying and some simply perching on the small outcrops on the sheer cliffs.

Clifftop Views
Fulmar on the cliffs

Stackpole turned out to be a great success in terms of both wildlife and scenery, even without sightings like chough and the Stackpole otters. 

For more about Stackpole, see: http://bit.ly/1PCbzrl

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