Choughs: Llŷn's red-legged masters

A Chough feeding near Lizard Point

Experience the extreme end of the peninsula and watch wonderful aerial displays. Our distinctive choughs, the emblem of Llŷn, are one of the reasons why this special place is a Site of Specific Scientific interest (SSSI).


Discover Pen-y-Cil, one of the most dramatic places to see these special birds. Located at the southern tip of the peninsula, the cliff top path here gives spectacular views across Aberdaron Bay and beyond.

A small diversion from the Llyn Coastal Path leads to the top of Pen-y-Cil. As you round the headland to the tip, you will be rewarded with a lovely and unexpected surprise - Bardsey Island.

Red legs

The chough (pronounced ‘chuff’) is the rarest member of crow family. It is often spotted living by the coast and has a curved red bill and red legs.

The chough's Welsh name, brân goesgoch, literally means red-legged crow. There is only a small population of these birds in United Kingdom, with three-quarters of the UK's population living in Wales.

Coastal homes

Choughs make their homes in high coastal cliffs, quarries and wild landscapes, and have a distinctively loud call of 'chee-ow', which is clearer and louder than the similar-sounding call of the jackdaw.

he bird is non-migratory and pairs tend to stay faithful to each other and to the area in which they nest. The main threat to the chough is decline in habitat due to changes in agricultural practices.

Masters of flight

If you are lucky enough to catch sight of choughs, you will most probably also get a chance to witness their mastery in flight; broad-fingered wings enable them to dive and swoop with confident agility.