Birdlife at Cemlyn on Anglesey

A parent Arctic tern with their young, fluffy chick

A walk along the beautiful and rugged landscape of the north coast of Anglesey brings with it a chance to spot several examples of stunning and unusual birdlife. Known for the variety of birdlife frequently seen in the area, Cemlyn is managed and monitored as a nature reserve with the lagoon managed by the North Wales Wildlife Trust.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Cemlyn’s name reflects the unusual formation of the natural lagoon, separated from the sea by a shingle bar (ridge)  Cam (crooked) and llyn (lake) together describe the shape of the lagoon.  The rocky shoreline alone this area was the scene of many shipwrecks in the past, and is part of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that runs around the coast of Anglesey.  Much of the coastline around Cemlyn is also designated a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest. 

Winter wildfowl

Throughout the year, waders and wildfowl can be seen close to the lagoon.  However, they are especially attracted to this area during the colder winter months.  Examples spotted during November and December have included the Oyster catcher, Curlew and the Red-breasted merganser. 

Re-tern of the summer visitors

A highlight of the natural year is when the colony of terns return during the months of May through until July.  Nesting colonies of Sandwich, Arctic and Common terns can be seen in the area, with the rarer Roseate tern also seen by a lucky few. 

Cemlyn is the third largest colony of terns in the United Kingdom, with around 1,500 pairs counted in recent years.

Walking your four-legged friends at Cemlyn

Cemlyn is a great area for responsibly walking your dog, and with a variety of different routes to take, can provide a change of scene and a breath of fresh air. 

With the birdlife in the area, we do ask that dogs are always kept on short leads.  We do also ask that any dog waste is picked up.  This is hugely important throughout the year, but particularly during the nesting season.  

Please note that the car park at the west end of Cemlyn Bay can become submerged during high tides.  Check the tide times before your visit.