Skip to content


A darling, tiny little bird; buff underside, dark stripey wings. Crown of head: dark streak with gold line down centre. Often high in conifers but autumn or winter descends to bushes and can appear right by your side working along a bank or hedge. They just don’t seem to notice humans!

Size: 9cm Where: Inland
Winter Visitor

Golden Plover

Size of pigeon. Likes fields. Round head with big, dark eye, short, straight, dark bill, yellowish chest and bright white belly. It stands still, often tilting head before walking or running a few steps, tipping forward to pick at a worm. In Flight: underside of pointy wing flashes white.

Size: 28cm Where: Sea coast, Inland
Winter Visitor


Sitting on the water it is stocky with a big head and rounded, thick bill. Male has white spot on dark green head; dark upper wing and white underparts. Female has brown head and otherwise greyish. Looks dark on water. Both show white inner wing in flight.

Size: 40-48cm Where: Sea coast, Inland, Fresh water


Carduelis genus. One of the most flamboyant small birds with its brilliant yellow stripe down centre of wing and red face framed by white stripe and black crown. It is fond of verges where grasses and thistles have gone to seed. Watch out for large numbers bobbing along from clump to clump.

Size: 12cm Where: Inland
Winter Visitor


Often largest bird in mixed flocks of water fowl. Male: dull greenish black head, pinkish white breast. In flight wings are half white, half black with white innermost. Bill: dark red, thinning to tip with large hook. Female has dark reddish brown head and white chin and blue-grey with white inner wing and belly.

Size: 63-69cm Where: Sea coast, Fresh water
Winter Visitor

Great Crested Grebe

Very elegant with long neck, which is hunched when swimming. Same size as mallard. Bill is like a dagger and pale pink. In flight shows large stripes of white at front and back of wings. Legs trail.

Size: 45-51cm Where: Sea coast, Fresh water
Winter Visitor

Great Northern Diver

Coastal sea. A large, chunky bird, it has a big, dark dagger-like bill. In flight: neck outstretched with legs trailing. Winter: loses its 2 rows of fine white stripes from neck and checked pattern on back is less vivid. Appears dark on top with whitish underparts including throat and front of neck.

Size: 75-85cm Where: Sea coast

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Smaller than you might imagine, he is often heard drumming loudly on a dead tree. Loves bird tables. Black and white above with red patch under tail. Wings look spotty in flight. Male has red patch on head too.

Size: 23cm Where: Inland

Great Tit

Much more black on head and dark stripe down breast. Bright white cheek patch. Call sounds like rusty bike pump – not tuneful!

Size: 14cm Where: Inland

Greater Black-backed Gull

It is largest gull; very dark on back and upper wings. Bill very large and chunky and adult legs pink. Broad white trailing edge on wing plus white patch at tip of wing. Bill yellow with orange spot. Winter can be seen inland but not in W Wales. Nesting pairs are solitary.

Size: 65cm Where: Sea coast, Island


Carduelis genus. Likes gardens. Green plumage on upper body but young birds duller olive shade. Bill: thick and heavy for seed-eating. In flight:yellow patches each side of short tail with deep notch in middle. Hops.

Size: 14cm Where: Inland
Winter Visitor


It is delicate and elegant (Redshank dumpier). Very quick – dashes along, splashing. Green legs can look dull grey. Head: pale, grey (whitish in winter). Bill: grey base and upcurved. In Flight: Legs stick out behind and it shows breast pale grey with white belly; white V shape up its back; very dark wings.

Size: 30cm Where: Sea coast

West Wales Holiday Cottages Newsletter

Sign up to receive our newsletter – we’ll let you know about new properties, special offers and events you may be interested in!