Wildlife Watching
© Richard Harrington

What to see where in Wales

Wildlife to spot and best places to visit

Wales is full of amazing wildlife that can be seen in great places. Check out our top wildlife picks to spot in Wales and some of the best places to visit.

Bottle Nose Dolphin Wales

Bottlenose Dolphin
These playful and sociable creatures can grow up to 4m long, and can often be seen leaping out of the water, generally in groups of 3-10. There are believed to be around 200 bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay, which is one of only two semi-resident bottlenose dolphin populations in the whole of the UK.

Porpoise pair

Harbour Porpoise
Harbour porpoises are often mistaken for bottlenose dolphins, when in fact they are actually much smaller. They exist along the majority of the Welsh coastline and are most commonly seen in August to November.

Grey Seal

Atlantic Grey Seals
40% of the world’s population of Atlantic grey seals can be found in the UK. The largest colonies are found around the Welsh coastline, particularly on Skomer and Ramsey Islands. The seals give birth during the autumn which is a good time to see them at these locations.

Basking Shark

Basking Sharks
The basking shark is the second largest fish in the world, reaching 8-10 meters in length. Despite its huge size, it only feeds on tiny plankton species. In the summer, it migrates through the waters around Wales.

Manx Shearwater in flight

Manx Shearwater
This species of bird spends most of its life at sea, skimming the tips of waves in search of a fishy feast. In the summer months, hundreds of thousands of these graceful gliders return to a few islands off the west coast of Wales to breed, travelling around 7,000 miles from their wintering grounds off the coast of South America.

Puffin Skomer Island

Auks
Razorbills, guillemots and the more familiar puffins are all members of the auk family; they spend most of their lives at sea and only come to land to have their young. The waters around the Welsh coast are particularly important to them as they breed on the many islands and cliffs around our shores. May to July is the best time to see puffins on Skomer Island.

Take the plunge underwater

South Wales

Skomer Island

Stacks Rock/Hen and chicks

St Brides Haven

North Wales

SS Missouri, Anglesey

Rhoscolyn Beacon, Anglesey

Actions you can take

  1. Discover more about MCS in Wales

Did you know?…

It is not unusual for turtles to frequent Welsh shores feeding on jellyfish

Over 60% of the population of Wales either live or work on the coast.

Over 1,000 marine wildlife sightings were reported to MCS last year