Coastal flowers in spring

Thrift and gorse on the Pembrokeshire coast

Thrift and gorse on the Pembrokeshire coast

The Pembrokeshire coast in spring is a blaze of pink, yellow and white flowers. Chief among these is thrift, also known as sea pink, which you'll find growing along the coast path and in stone walls and hedgebanks. As the weather warms, you'll see butterflies on the search for nectar, and lizards warming themselves in the spring sunshine.

Sea campion

Sea campion © northeastwildlife.co.uk

Sea campion grows among the thrift and clings to hedgebanks and clifftops.


Cowslip © Caroline Searle

The cowslip has become rarer in the countryside, but still does well along the coast.

English stonecrop

English stonecrop, sedum anglicum © d.wood

Look for stonecrop in the natural rock gardens around the cliffs of St David's Head and in walls and hedgebanks by the coast path.

A flying spectacular on St David's Head

  • The raven is one of the many birds that make Carding Mill Valley their home © NT/Peter Carty


    Ravens are huge with diamond-shaped tails. Early nesters, listen for their deep croaks.

  • Chough in flight © Annie Haycock


    Another crow, but with red feet and bill. Around 60 pairs nest along the Pembrokeshire coast.

  • Peregrine in flight © northeastwildlife.co.uk


    Often disputing airspace with ravens, peregrines are the other kings of the Pembrokeshire cliffs....

  • Long grasses provide a perfect hunting ground for kestrel © North East Wildlife


    While the peregrine hunts flying prey, the kestrel hovers, hunting for beetles and voles below.

  • Look out for gannets plunging into the sea for mackerel © northeastwildlife.co.uk


    Around 39,000 pairs of gannet nest on Grassholm. Watch them dive for mackerel just offshore.

Songbirds of the Pembrokeshire coast

  • Wheatear - look out for flashes of white rump as they dash about © www.richardcrossenphotography.co.uk


    One of the first spring visitors, wheatears are easy to spot as they flash about flicking their white tails...

  • Stonechat calling from gorse bush - "squeak chack chack"! © www.richardcrossenphotography.co.uk


    Stonechats perch on gorse bushes going 'squeak chack chack'. They rear up to three noisy families a year.

  • The Dartford Warbler has recovered strongly since its severe decline © northeastwildlife.co.uk

    Dartford warbler

    A rarity, but now a regular breeding bird on coastal heaths - look for them in the same places as stonechat...

  • Linnet © northeastwildlife.co.uk


    Twittering flocks of linnets are one of the sounds of summer on the coast. They nest in gorse bushes.

Pembrokeshire's inland commons

Sunset over St David's Commons

Sunset over St David's Commons

Explore the ancient world of the inland commons around St David's, with their special wildlife. These relic landscapes take a while to cast off their winter colours.  By the end of May they’ll be bursting with rich greenery.  Listen out for the visiting cuckoo in May.

Top five picnic spots for wildlife

  • Try crab catching in Porthclais Harbour
  • Look for chough at Porthlysgi, on the Treginnis walk
  • Spot porpoises in Ramsey Sound from Treginnis's old copper mine
  • Look for stonechats and rare beetles on the slopes of Carn Llidi
  • Enjoy spring flowers and passing seabirds from St David's Head

Watch and work

The grass is growing again and it must be grazed by cattle and horses to keep these special places in good shape for wildlife. You can help make this happen and it's a great way to see wildlife.

Watch your step

Green tiger beetle

Green tiger beetle © northeastwildlife.co.uk

A rare and spectacular beetle to look out for on St David's Head.

Bloody-nosed beetles

Don't tread on them © Andrew Tuddenham

Beetles spend a lot of time on footpaths - try not to tread on them by mistake.


An adder © Peter Wakely/Natural England

Adders are common on the coast. Careful when straying off the path - the same goes for dogs.