Bardsey Island


Bardsey Island off the Llŷn Peninsula is one of Wales' natural wonders and was declared a national nature reserve in 1986, largely due to its amazing bird life.

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Last updated: 05 April 2011

Legend has it that this remote island off the Llyn Peninsula is home to 20,000 saints who are buried on the island.

Whatever the truth behind the legend is, the island has always had a long history with religion and pilgrims who have visited the island for centuries.

The stretch of water separating it from the mainland off the Lleyn Peninsula is known in Welsh as Ynys Enlli or 'Isle of Eddies' due to an abundance of rip tides and whirl pools which can make for an interesting crossing, so it's not advisable to swim on the island.

The wildlife on Bardsey is extensive with many migrant species pulling over for a pit stop or to breed and nest, so the field observatory team never quite know what they're going to find from one day to the next.

The island is also a stronghold for choughs with numerous pairs breeding here, making this one of the most important sites in Britain.

Migratory birds visiting the island include chiffchaffs, goldcrests and wheatears, sedge and willow warblers, whitethroats and spotted flycatchers.

Resident species include ravens, little owls, oystercatchers, chough, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes.

Wales has half the world's population of manx shearwaters and Bardsey Island hosts a staggering 16,000 pairs which keep the wardens busy each spring.

Down on the shoreline, grey seals have breeding colonies, while in the rich waters surrounding the island, dolphins, porpoises and even whales can be seen.

The Bardsey Island Trust
Swyddfa Enlli
Sarn Mellteyrn
LL53 8DU

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