Monday, 2 September 2019

Ramsey Island

On the Monday of our holiday we booked the boat to take us over the Ramsey Island for the day. It's about a ten minute journey from St Justinians and was a lovely smooth trip - and managed to allay my daughters fears of going on a boat again after a bit of a fraught trip elsewhere a few years ago.

Greenfinch near the boat station

Ramsey Island in the distance

Grey Seal greeting us by the island harbour

We were met off the boat by the warden who gave us a talk about the island and where to see the various wildlife. The little shop by the harbour is open around the times the boats arrive and depart the island, it sells drinks, a few snacks and gifts. If you do visit you'll need to bring your lunch with you! There is a boat that goes back around 12 but really if you're arriving by 10am two hours is nowhere near enough time to explore the island. The boats back are about 4pm and I think the day we were there around 40 people were on the island. 

House Martins on the shop

We stopped to use the facilities before heading out on to the island proper. A Red Kite sailed overhead and we saw it on a distant fence post not long after. 

Red Kite

There are still descendants on the island of Red Deer that were farmed here in the 70's, which usually like to hide in the undergrowth, my husband spotted one almost straight away and we did see a few more later from the top of Carn Llundain later in the day.  

Can you spot the Red Deer!

The views were stunning

We saw lots of small birds everywhere we walked - Wheatear, Stonechat, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, there were Swallows, Buzzards, Crows, Ravens and almost straight away we saw our first Choughs, a new bird for me!


Meadow Pipit

South Bishop Lighthouse

On the top of Carn Ysgubor


Walking along the cliff at one point we saw Gulls flying about and realised a few Fulmar were there too, they kept flying out of sight and I only managed a bad shot but I was happy to see these beautiful birds. The views as we walked were just stunning and it was a glorious day, my shots don't quite capture the purple of the heather!

Herring Gull


Several Wheatears seemed to follow us around, often stopping just in front and then flying on a little further. We saw a Peregrine as we started the climb up to Carn Llundain, the only one of the day. The climb up here was worth the sore calves and we sat and ate lunch with the beautiful views surrounded by grasshoppers and Painted Ladies, the latter rarely settled on anything and I struggled to get a photo. 



Red Deer 

Painted Lady

At Porth Lleuog we watched a few Grey Seals on the beach and more in the water around the cliffs. They come here to have their pups and use the caves in the cliffs.

Grey Seals


Meadow Pipit

It was very warm by early afternoon and we actually spotted a couple of Lizards basking in the sun, a first for me, i've never seen a Lizard of any kind in the UK. We saw a couple of the RSPB volunteers just after and they confirmed them to be Common Lizards. Unfortunately they didn't linger once they realised we were there so no photos. 

In the distance as we walked back in the direction of the farmhouse/shop I saw a tiny movement and managed to pick out a pair of Little Owls on a rock, it took a while for my husband and daughter to pick them out, luckily one took flight, which helped! They were too far for a photo of anything other than an smudge on a rock but it was a very nice way to finish our walk.

Two Little Owls........honestly

Red Admiral

Rabbits were everyone and were enjoying the sun as much as us all. This one was near the shop. 

This chicken strutted around everyone by the shop and made short work of a couple of apples!

We collapsed on a bench and got much needed cups of tea and a couple of bits from the shop, my daughter added to her RSPB pin badge collection with a Hoopoe and I got a Chough. It was nice to just sit a while, we watched the House Martins feeding their young, I spotted a Warbler on the chimney, I think a Chiffchaff and out at sea a Gannet flew past the harbour! 

While we waited for the boat to dock Oystercatchers flew around and Seals were in the distance. The boat was quite efficient at taking people back to the mainland, quicker than this morning, quite exhilarating, my daughter loved it and wished we'd booked a boat trip around the islands too! I saw a fin as we went across i'm not sure if it was a Porpoise or a Dolphin but it was quite exciting whichever it was! 



  1. Good evening Pam: I must confess that I was unfamiliar with Ramsey Island, but it is obviously a wonderful place to visit. I have no doubt been quite close to it and I kick myself for not having known about it. But I did have a fabulous time in Wales and I suppose that I should take consolation in the knowledge that had I visited Ramsey Island I would have forgone some other equally delightful spot.

    1. It sounds like a very good reason to make another visit to Wales :)

  2. What a great place to visit! The list of your sightings was so impressive, and congrats on the Chough sighting. I know you will be wanting a return trip to Ramsey Island. Fun that your daughter got a new pin for her collection!

    1. Thanks Sondra, i'd definitely enjoy another trip there. The pins are quite popular and some birds are very difficult to get hold of!

  3. What a great adventure with so many wonderful views and some interesting wildlife spotted. Looks like you had the best weather for a boat trip too:)

  4. What a wonderful island to visit and walk around with so much wildlife :) Well done on the chough sighting - I saw my first this year as well :) Lovely to read about your lizard sightings too - I can only ever remember seeing them in the wild as a child when we used to go to somewhere called Happy Valley!! Great photos too Pam.

    1. Thanks Caroline :) I was so pleased to add a couple of new birds to my list! I've never seen Lizards (or snakes) in the UK before, i'm not sure on how widespread they are in Yorkshire really.

  5. Sounds like a lovely island to visit with lots of wildlife around! Congrats on the Chough sighting - I saw my first one in Co. Kerry, Ireland about 7 years ago - they are beautiful birds. Looks like you had gorgeous weather too with the sunbathing rabbits & lizards :)

    1. Thanks Sharon :) we were really lucky with the weather!

  6. This is such a wonderful place to visit! You saw a really good range of wildlife :)

    I was excited to see choughs for the first time in Pembrokeshire when I visited a few years ago. Recently, there was a single (rather out of place!) chough that spent a good few weeks not far from me, on the Derbyshire / Cheshire border. I was too busy at work though and didn't get to see it.

    One of the things I remember most about Ramsey Island was my husband losing his wallet there, haha! We still joke now that a porpoise stole it while we were on the boat!

    1. It was beautiful, I loved it, I could have happily gone back! I saw about the Chough on Twitter, what a shame you missed it.

      Oh no, I get so paranoid about losing things, i'm always checking , I did think i'd lost my camera lens cap on the island, turned out my husband put it on his camera and had his in his bag!!