Pembrokeshire – Tawny Owl, Whinchats and Otters

Following on from my last post about Skomer Island, this post is about my holiday to Pembrokeshire and the birds that I managed to see there. The main outing whilst I was there was to Skomer Island (see my previous post for more information), although I did manage to see plenty of other birds and wildlife.

Near to where I was staying, there was a wood full of bluebells that I discovered was a great place to go on an early morning dawn walk. As I entered the wood, a wealth of birdsong entered my ears, from Song Thrush to Blackcap to Chiffchaff. Throughout the wood, these birds and various species of Tits and Finches came up, all joining in with the chorus. However, at times, the song was drowned out by the loud ‘caws’ of the local Carrion Crows, Jackdaws and Rooks. The canopy was also a rather large rookery.

Song Thrush

Suddenly, a large bird came swooping over my head, gliding silently and effortlessly through the trees and onto a branch. The bird was a Tawny Owl. Of course, even with its stealth, it did not go unnoticed among the corvids, and so within seconds, the poor owl was being mobbed by numerous Crows and Jackdaws. So, the Tawny Owl flew off to a different perch, but the corvids followed, and so the cycle went on. After a long while of watching this process, the owl eventually settled down, with the corvids satisfied with where it had perched.


Tawny Owl

What I did notice one day was a slightly unusual looking Redstart – at least that is what I think it was. If you do think that it may be something else, do feel free to leave a comment with a suggestion.

The unusual looking Redstart?

Also, one day, I went for a walk along the coastal path passing above Marloes Sands. This was a habitat made up of the coast and a heathland, with a small marsh/lake towards the end. The walk brought up a lot more small passerines than anything else, with Stonechats, Whinchats, Meadow Pipits, Rock Pipits, Wheatears, Skylarks, Chaffinches and Linnets appearing all over the place in huge numbers. Occasionally, the odd Kestrel would coming swooping over, reducing the birds to having to take the nearest form of cover.


Once at the lake, there was little to be seen, and I had hardly any time to wait around, as I had to be somewhere, but a few quick glances revealed Shovelers, Teals, Mute Swans, a Chiffchaff, a Reed Warbler, and an awful lot of Black-Headed, Herring, and Lesser Black-Backed Gulls. 

On the way back home, we decided to drop in to my Grandparents, who live next to a river. I had been told that they had seen Otters down there, so I was eager to see if I could spot them myself. After some patient sitting around, and a brief blue and orange flash of a Kingfisher, I finally came across what I had been waiting for – some Otters. On the far side of the river, next to the bank, I saw two following each other – head to tail, and a little while later, one enjoying a little lie down on the water’s surface. Soon, I will hopefully return to see them again.






Author: Isaac the Ornithologist

Hi, I'm Isaac West, I'm 15 years old and I live in Oxford. I have a huge passion for wildlife, especially birds and I always enjoy being out and about in the wild. I am currently training to be a bird ringer. I also love wildlife photography and I greatly enjoy taking photos of nature. When I am older, I would love to be involved with nature.

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