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Common Gull

Medium sized. Dainty bill not bright yellow. Grey and white. Herring gull is much more common in West Wales.

Size: 40-42cm Where: Sea coast, Inland
Summer Visitor

Common Sandpiper

Like a Dunlin but legs are dull colour (not black like Dunlin’s). It has very white underside but speckly elsewhere and on chest. Bill: medium length, straight. In flight: wide white stripe along centre of wing and white sides on tail. Tail looks rounded/blunt and dark (not white like Green Sandpiper).

Size: 20cm Where: Sea coast, Fresh water

Common Scoter

Pelagic. Flies in flocks (sometimes large) quite low over water. Black all over but for yellow bill patch. Close up it has some paler flight feathers. More numerous in winter but can be spotted all year although it does not breed here.

Size: 46-51cm Where: Sea coast, Island


Wetland bird with bright white facial shield; white bill, dark plumage, long pale green legs and very large lobed feet.

Size: 37cm Where: Fresh water


Water bird with dark plumage and white throat, white feathers on head in spring. Yellowish bill. White patch on thighs. Long and low when swimming. Dives for long periods. Flies low over water with head held well forward. Often stands with wings half spread.

Size: 90cm Where: Sea coast, Island


Largest wader of its kind with long down-turned bill. Mainly grey-brown speckled plumage. Reveals white rump in flight. Calls “Cu-urlew” often late into the evening. Breeds on uplands but is often around the Teifi estuary in late summer as well as winter.

Size: 53-58cm Where: Sea coast, Inland, Island
Summer Visitor

Curlew Sandpiper

Flocks with Dunlins. Similar but more elegant; longer, downcurved bill. White rump rather than speckled. Summer adult: spangled back black, white, chestnut. Face: brickish red. Young birds: most common here autumn with pale-edged feathers on back – look scaly. White belly; buff breast. Striking pale head stripe.

Size: 17-21cm Where: Sea coast


Always near streams and rivers. They bob about on the rocks and dive into water to feed. They can even walk into water and hold on with their feet while looking for insects. Looks like a female blackbird with a big white bib. Unmistakeable.

Size: 18cm Where: Fresh water


Commonest tiny wader. Winter: dull grey-brown with whiter belly. More colour other times with russet back, greyer head and breast, black belly. Thin bill. Thin white line along wing in flight, dark rump with white sides. Does many quick dashes; not as fast and erratic as Sanderling and less ponderous than Knot.

Size: 18cm Where: Sea coast, Inland, Fresh water

Eider Duck

Male strikingly black and white with wedge-shaped head and green patch on back of neck. Appears to be wearing latest streamlined black cycle helmet. Neck and rump white. Female is dull speckled brownish like many female birds.

Size: 58cm Where: Sea coast


Pelagic. Skomer and Ramsey. Looks like gull but petrel family. Has tube nostrils. Flies with stiff, rectangular wings. Often groups to feed; breeds in colonies on cliffs. Regurgitates on intruder if alarmed. Blue grey on top and white under. Dark smudge around eye. Often lingers around breeding grounds all year.

Size: 44-50cm Where: Sea coast, Island


Pelagic. Huge colony breed on most remote Pembrokeshire island, Grassholm . Unmistakeable, it has long, narrow wings with black tips. Rest of upper body is white with yellowish head and neck. Very large grey bill and blue eye. It can be seen flying close to headlands all year.

Size: 90cm Where: Sea coast, Island

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