Spring is a great time to take a walk and explore the countryside and coast in Wales. Wherever you go, even in our towns and cities, you are never far from wildlife. Take a walk in a park, see and hear the birds, and watch as squirrels run from tree to tree.
The countryside is full of life in spring, as trees regain their leaves and flowers bloom. If you take a walk in spring, you will see many flowers, such as snowdrops and crocuses.
Later in the season, carpets of bluebells can be seen. One of the best places to see bluebells is Castle Woods in Dinefwr Park, home to fallow deer and a wealth of wildlife. In late spring the tulips bloom - and of course during spring, you will see daffodils - one of our national emblems.
Spring is a time of change, when winter visitors depart and birds return to Wales to nest. Species including swallows, chiffchaffs and house martins can be spotted. Birds will be courting a mate and singing a song. Then they gather materials for their nests and later the young birds emerge.
The coast and Welsh Islands
Our coasts and seas are brimming with life too, with many sightings of dolphins off the coasts of Wales. The Wales coastal path is a great way to see nature.
There are many islands off the coast to explore, with regular boat trips to many. Why not visit Skomer Island, where you go on a day trip and can even arrange to stay overnight. Trips to the island run from 1 April until 31 October each year. The island is home to a wealth of wildlife including kittiwakes and Atlantic grey seals.
Another of the island is Skokholm. Skokholm’s rocky cliffs provide a breeding habitat for Guillemots, Puffins and Razorbills. Skokholm is an internationally important seabird colony. There are approximately 120,000 breeding pairs of manx shearwaters on Skomer and 45,000 on Skokholm – amongst the largest concentration of the species in the world.
New wardens have recently taken up residence on Skokholm and will be tracking progress of the birds on the island. There will be no day trips to Skokholm Island during 2013, due to the enhancement work on the island, but there will still be overnight stays.
Places to see wildlife
Other great places for spotting wildlife are our five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Wales and our three National Parks.
There are 74 National Nature Reserves, plus many local Nature Reserves, Wildlife Trust and RSPB Reserves.
You can find a whole variety of species in Wales including ospreys, puffins, grey seals and dolphins.