Explore the beauty and richness of 

the Gower

Custom made walks and tours  looking for wildlife on the Gower with a very knowledgeable guide. Walks are set in beautiful scenery. All levels of interest are catered for – from the beginner, family walks, groups or  specific wildlife interests or specific  species



Gower Wildlife Walks is operated and led by Ed Hunter.

I grew  up in Lancashire where my local birding patch was Rivington near Horwich  – an excellent area of habitats from reservoirs, woodlands, moors and Red Moss land. In these early years the discoveries of breeding Long Eared Owls, Lesser Spotted woodpeckers, a vagrant Spotted Sandpiper and a singing Golden Oriole saw me firmly hooked on searching for birds whenever I could in my local area.

In 1989, I moved to Cardiff and my new patch was the Rhymney Great Wharf and the Taff / Ely Estuary before it was flooded for Cardiff Bay and I have been exploring Glamorgan and beyond ever since with a particular interest in the Gower.

In 1996, I spent a lot of time  out in the Straits of Gibraltar. Initially I was a resident volunteer for Migres helping to study the numbers of  bird of prey and Storks migrating across the Strait to Morocco and later  I was  involved with Radio tracking of Black storks in Andalucia.

Having tasted foreign birding I began many extensive trips in search of birds and wildlife to much further afield countries such as India, Nepal, Sikkim, Namibia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Morocco, Italy, Poland, Germany, France, Turkey , Israel, Canada and the USA but I have always returned to Wales where I have lived in Glamorgan between the travels. 

My local birding has led to many  rare Welsh finds. In 2015, I discovered the first breeding pair of  Iberian Chiffchaff ever for the UK – a vagrant from Spain.

I documented this exciting occurrence and was awarded the Carl Zeiss Award for its documentation in 2016 and this paper which is  interactive with sound and  video was published in the scientific journal ‘British Birds’ in 2018. I am currently an active committee member of the Gower Ornithological Society which I am enjoying very much.

I am very passionate about birds and natural world and a keen photographer with a lot of interest in migration, vagrancy, birds of prey and identification of birds. 


Wildlife on Gower


Gower holds a real true great variety of wildlife all year round with its diverse and often adjacent  assortment of habitats. When you combine this with its spectacular coastlines, beautiful scenery, interesting historic elements  and extensive network of footpaths this makes it a stunning place to find and watch wildlife.

There are regularly superb photographic opportunities with the wildlife as well as the guaranteed landscape scenery.

Coastal footpath and Cliffs

Gower is blessed with stunning cliffs particularly along its southern shore. This saltwater sprayed fringe combines rare flora as well as some very entertaining birds on the cliffs. The coastal cliffs hold a lovely set of birds on the South Gower coast of which many are resident. These cliffs  also give a good vantage to overlook the sea and the wildlife in the area.

Gower is lucky to still hold good populations of many  birds although even here they are in decline from modern world pressures.

It is still possible to hear Skylarks ,and Yellowhammers in these areas. Other rarer species include the Chough which returned to the area in 1989. Peregrine Falcon  and Kestrels are regularly encountered.

Ravern, Rock Pipits and Dartford Warblers are also present but the latter have recently dwindled in numbers after recent hard winter weather.

In Spring and Summer the area holds a host of butterflies with 12 species possible in a day at the right time of year from the Small Blue, Gatekeeper, Dark Green Frittilary to the Grayling.

Wall Brown at Rhossili 2018

Out on the sheer Cliffs of Worms head are the seabirds such as Fulmar,  Kittiwakes, Guillemots and Razorbill which can be seen only in spring and summer months and is the only site in Gower where these species breed together.

On calm occasions Puffins can also be  seen during  June and July as they  come for a nose at the other breeding Auks on the head. The  closest breeding nest sites are on the islands of Lundy and Skomer. Feeding flocks of Gannet and Manx Shearwaters can also be seen here sometimes in large numbers.

Here the swell of the  storm Orphea when it  hit the Outer Worm  in Oct 2017

Other species which can be seen along the coastal path or out on Worms head include Rock Pipit, Stonechat,  Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Cormorant, Shag, Oystercatcher, Turnstone,  Purple Sandpiper (winter), Whimbrel (spring).

Whitethroat at Pennard Sept 2018

In winter, Great Northern and Red Throated Divers, Guilimots, Razorbills, and Common Scoter can be seen. In some years Long Tailed Ducks are around with a wintering group of up to 12 in 2017 and also in winter Arctic Gulls are regularly seen such as Glaucous and Iceland gulls. In 2015 Burry Holm held a Vagrant  American Thayers Gull which was the  first ever for Wales.

All year round Grey Atlantic Seals are in the area as are Harbour Porpoises. In the summer Common Dolphins can be found although far trickier to find.

  Iceland Gull at  Blackpill in March 2018

Fox, Adder, Slow Worm, Weasel and Stoat are also sometimes encountered.

A special local resident is the Chough – this delightful crow returned to breed on Gower in 1989 after a 100 year absence and it has now recolonised much of the cliff coastline although it can be quite elusive and erratic in its appearances. With  its characteristic red bill and legs it is always a joy to watch.

Peregrine Falcon

These can be  quite a daily encounter –  if  seen hunting the Salt-marshes, Commons  or the cliffs – they sometimes give spectacular views hunting or perched up. Here the Peregrine is watching a Chough on the cliff below me – which eventually escaped the Peregrines gaze.


    Estuaries and Tidal Salt-marsh.

The Burry inlet has a incredible tidal reach which is among some of the highest  tidal differences in the world

Here a view from Cefn Bryn towards Whitford point and Berges island.

These areas hold some real excellent numbers of Ducks, Geese and Waders both wintering and migrating through the area. With good local knowledge and timing as well as a bit of luck some very interesting birds can be seen. A tidal estuary is a hive of activity and a joy to watch and the Burry holds huge numbers of wintering bird species with large flocks of Golden Plover particularly notable.

Otter- Cefn Bryn March 2018

Otters too are present on the estuary and its salt marshes but are very elusive and are more often encountered on smaller pools.

  A group of spring plum aged  Sanderling  and Dunlin  roosting at  Whitford Point at  high tide

Some of the wader species which can be seen on North Gower include:

Curlew, Whimbrel, Dunlin. Redshank , Greenshank,Sanderling, Black tailed Godwit, Bar Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Ringed plover, Purple Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Knot , Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Jack Snipe ( winter), Purple Sandpiper(winter) as well as the odd Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper in spring but mainly autumn.

These waters can also hold some interesting species including :

A spectacular Male Red Breasted Merganser a wintering species on th estuary in small numbers.

Eider, Wigeon, Pintail, Teal, Dark Bellied Brent Goose, Slavonian Grebe, Gullimot, Red Throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Red Breasted Merganser, Goldeneye, Scaup, Sandwich, Conman and Arctic Tern, Arctic Skua, Gannet, Manx Shearwater, Grey Heron, Great White and Little Egrets.

 Slavonian Grebe – small numbers winter annually in the Burry Islet.

                                                        Birds of Prey

Male Hen Harrier over the Vile, Rhossili Feb2017

Hen Harriers are present on Gower from autumn until spring with usually a winter roost, although in the day they can also be found quartering fields, salt marsh or on common land.

Other predators at this time can be over an wintering marsh Harrier or Short eared Owl in a good vole year with the more usual Red Kite, Merlin, Sparrow hawk, Goshawk, Peregrine, Barn Owl or Kestrel lurking around somewhere. Peregrines and Merlin’s are often seen hunting the abundant which the area holds.

In the summer the elusive Hobby is occasionally encountered as it hunts the plentiful Dragonflies over the marsh or Commons.

Osprey out on the saltmarsh off Weobley in autumn.

In autumn the Burry Islet  hosts Ospreys! These majestic birds are stopping off to refuel from their more northern nest sites before migrating south to Africa. Up to 4 have been present at once in some years and it’s a real impressive sight to see them fishing the estuary.

Red Kites are now encountered  regularly  on The Gower a real success story this bird was over Rhossili in July 2018

The Commons

View over Fairwood common.

The common land area of Gower is a very idyllic scenic area. It is still grazed by wild horses along with cattle and sheep. This helps keep the bracken at bay and a real wealth in butterflies, flowers and plants including the whitlow Grass known only from Gower in the UK although this occurs in a more is  coastal location.

The habitat is great for declining species such as yellowhammer and Skylarks both threatened due to changes in agriculture practices of modern farming. The Cuckoo also just clings on with one or two on the commons.

Stone-chats and Linnets are still relatively common as are a few Green Woodpeckers, the Stock Dove too still survives on the Gower.

A male Yellowhammer with food for its brood.

The commons are rich in a wealth of butterflies including the rare and beautiful Marsh Fritillary and wells as Small and Common Blues, Wall Brown, Dark Green Fritillary,  Silver washed Fritillary, Small Copper and  Gatekeeper to name a few to be found on Gower.

Dragonflies and Damselflies are also well represented  from the Great Emperor shown below to the far rarer Southern Damselfly.

So I hope you enjoyed a brief summary of some of the incredible wildlife which can be seen on Gower.

Migrant Birds to Gower

A male Ring Ousel.

Gower is fortunate to get many migrant species particularly in the Spring and autumn.  These vary depending upon the season with lots of seabirds, waders as well as Warblers and flycatchers passing through in good numbers.

In the gallery there are images of some of the scarce or rarer recent birds on Gower. these can include

Walks and Guiding












I offer Wildlife specialist and introductory tours and walks  for all levels of interest. The tours and walks can be custom made for your individual or group requirements whether this is just wildlife orientated or scenery and local history walks combined.

The starting points vary according to season to show you the best of wildlife on Gower or beyond.

The walks can be for 1-2 hours , 1/2 day or full day outings.

One – to – one bird watching  day tutorials in the field on Gower are also available for all levels of interest to improve your identification skills, bird song knowledge and field craft.

Please have a look at my Gallery for ideas of some of the wildlife we may see.

Please telephone or email me to discuss what you would like and what you are interested in.

Some Autumn walk ideas

Juvenile Whinchat at Rhossilli in Sept 2016

Grey Atlantic Seals and Choughs

General Wildlife and History, Family or Group walks

Autumn migrants scarce and common – excellent in Sept / October

Birds of prey such as Osprey, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Kestrel, Goshawk all depending on season

Waders and a wealth of estuary species.

Some Winter walk ideas

Dark Bellied Brent Geese at Crofty

 General  wildlife and History walks

Grey Atlantic Seals


Estuary spectaculars

Birds of prey

Ideal season for Birdwatching skills and field craft Tutorials

Some Spring walk ideas

General wildlife and History walks

Evening Nightjars in the Black Mountains

Atlantic Grey Seals


Birds of prey

Welsh woodland  specialties can be combined with searches for Dotteral in the Black Mountains in early May.

Dark Green Frittilary at Rhossilli  in June 2017.

Butterflies and Ordata

Coastal and Estuary Walks

Spring birdsong tutorial walks

Family and  Group walks

   Some Summer walk ideas                          

Grey Atlantic Seals Choughs and Harbour Porpoise

Evening Nightjars in the Black Mountains.

Birds of Prey



Other services


The rare gorgeous Blue crane in Namibia at Ethosha National park.

I am available for fully illustrated  entertaining talks on birds on the following countries: Namibia, Costa Rica, Migration through the Straits of Gibraltar, Argentina, Chile, Germany,, Gower.

Bird watching courses or tutorials

Available for full or half day field trips to learn and coach about birds and their  identification. Any level of expertise catered for. contact me to discuss your requirements

Photographic Exhibitions / Stalls.

Rhossili, Coastguard Cottages                                             May- June     2019

Sept – Oct    2019

Green Fayre, Swansea                                                                Nov 2019