Latest Sightings

Please tell us what you have seen

goose barnacles - richard thomasCardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation is one of the best places in the country to spot marine wildlife, with a large population of bottlenose dolphins as well as grey seals and harbour porpoises. Common dolphins, basking sharks and minke whales are occasionally seen and there have even been sightings of humpback and killer whales.

The shores and rockpools too are home to a wealth of fascinating, if somewhat smaller, plants and animals. Divers and snorkelers have a window onto life below the waves, but you don’t need to get wet to see some of the weird and wonderful undersea life. Drop a crabline into a harbour, or cast a fishing line out to sea and you never know what you might catch (only keep what you plan to eat and let everything else go unharmed of course!).

Use the discussion board below to let other people know what you’ve seen and see what other people have spotted too. Any unusual sightings will be passed onto the appropriate recording scheme, and so help scientists and managers understand more about the natural world. This includes tracking the spread of potentially invasive species, learning how plants and animals are responding to climate change, and discovering which areas might be of particular importance for certain species. Remember to enter your email address so that we can contact you to get more details about a sighting if necessary (your email won’t appear in your posting).



SAC Officer  on November 27th, 2009

Reported by Richard Thomas of Keep Wales Tidy: A large piece of wood covered in Goose Barnacles has washed up on Llangrannog beach this morning (see picture above). These fascinating animals spend their lives attached by a long stalk to objects floating on the open ocean, such as logs or buoys. The shell plates at the top protect their feather-like legs which are used to filter plankton out of the water. Because of their oceanic existance they are seldom seen, but can wash ashore after a prolonged southwesterly blow.

SAC Officer  on April 19th, 2010

There have been regular bottlenose dolphin sightings at New Quay through the winter and early spring. April is traditionally the month that numbers really begin to build up in the SAC, and with the calm seas and warm, sunny days forecast to continue, this is a great time to head to the coast and see what you can see.

And don’t forget the smaller creatures too! As the weather warms the sea, animals that have spent the winter months in deeper water return to our shores. Prawns and fish are starting to come back to the rockpools, seaweeds are putting on a colourful flush of new growth, and a recent shrimping trip found young plaice, flounders and brill within a few feet of the beach. Remember to check the tide times when heading onto the shore and ALWAYS follow the seashore code.

SAC Officer  on June 4th, 2010

I saw a large (approx 1m long) sea lamprey swimming in the river channel in Aberaeron harbour at low tide on the evening of 31st May, presumably before making its way upriver to spawn. I also received a record of a pair of sea lampreys, apparently spawning in the shallows in the river Teifi at Cenarth.

Roger  on June 25th, 2010

Today,25th of June observed & filmed three sea lamprey spawning in the River Towy just downstream from Llandovery

SAC Officer  on June 27th, 2011

Sooty Shearwater seen off New Quay head on 18th June, close inshore in rough conditions. Also seen and photographed two days later; see for pictures

SAC Officer  on August 27th, 2011

A nice showing of birds from the Pembrokeshire islands in Cardigan Bay at the moment: huge numbers of Manx Shearwaters feeding offshore and flying past New Quay head, in rough conditions. Quite a few gannets passing too.

craig  on August 20th, 2012

Spotted several bottlenose dolphins today, 20/08/12(as many as 20 in all) from the coast path between Aberystwyth and Borth, a couple of them jumping high out of the water, the rest of them just arching in the usual manner spread out over an area of a couple of hundred metres from the cliffs. I would estimate that we were about one and a half miles south of Borth. My family and i feel priveledged, it was a treat.

Conservation Officer  on May 28th, 2014

Leatherback Turtle reported off Ynys Lochtyn near Llangrannog. These enormous turtles swim from the Caribbean to feed on Welsh jellyfish every summer, so keep your eyes peeled!

melanie heath - SAC Officer  on August 11th, 2015

basking shark seen at midday from New Quay harbour wall, offshore, heading north

melanie heath - SAC Officer  on September 17th, 2015

Solitary orca seen from the coast path at Ceibwr Bay on Monday 27th July at 7.30 in the evening. Sighting reported by Sam Coleman.

Dee  on July 12th, 2017

Found a dead shark around 40cm washed up in a cove near Cliff hotel in Gwbert. Assume it is a nursehound shark. I can provide a picture for someone to confirm.

Discuss this Topic