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Seasonal Seabirds

A visit to a seabird colony is a true assault on the senses; the movement, sounds and smells of thousands of birds filling the air and the cliff ledges. But for much of the year the same cliffs that bustled during the spring and early summer are strangely empty and silent places. 

Several species of seabird use the islands and cliffs of the Pembrokeshire coast as places to breed; to lay eggs and raise young. These birds spend almost their entire lives on the sea or wing, but cannot divorce themselves entirely from land, needing a dry and secure place to raise the next generation. For them, the sheer cliffs and remote islands offer sanctuary from predators and security from the rigors of the sea. 

Some of the seabirds that choose Pembrokeshire to raise their young have travelled incredible distances. Manx shearwaters come from South America, while puffins may come from as far as North Africa or Canada. Others, such as the guillemot and the razorbill live in the Irish Sea all year, but come ashore to breed.