South Stack is a small rocky island on the edge of Holy Island in Anglesey, Wales. Facing out into the Irish Sea, South Stack boasts steep cliffs and a rugged coastline that supports large seabird colonies such as puffins, razorbills, guillemots, and kittiwakes. South Stack is home to a nature reserve, with hides looking out onto the cliffs to give you the best views of the seabirds flying back from hunting trips out at sea. South Stack Lighthouse and the island’s brutal terrain provide the perfect backdrop for watching flocks of vocal seabirds scatter above the thrashing waves. Coastal heathland and grasslands fringe the windy cliff tops where few trees dare to grow. Several footpaths extend through these areas, allowing for long coastal hikes and viewpoints to watch for seals and cetaceans which can occasionally be seen. The heaths and grasslands are also home to choughs, peregrine falcons, and ravens. The nearest train station is Holyhead although there is no public transport to the reverse so a car or taxi (or a good hour’s walk) is needed to get there.
Average rating: 4.0 (very good)
Average spend per person: $0 ($0 – $0)
Number of reports: 1
Best time to visit: March – July
Typical activities: bird watching, hiking
Wildlife in South Stack
According to reports submitted to WildSide, the species visitors most want to see here are as follows:
Guillemot – 0% OF VISITORS (0/1) REPORTED SIGHTINGS
Much like puffins and razorbills, common guillemots nest on land during spring and early summer. They can be seen nesting on the cliffs at South Stack although they are less frequently seen compared to puffins and razorbills. If they are nesting, they can be seen off the cliffs from March to late July. Wildside recommends speaking to reserve staff and enquiring when and where guillemots were last seen to give the best chance or seeing this beautiful species. You can find the staff at the Visitor Centre which is open throughout the year (weather permitting!).
Puffin – 100% OF VISITORS (1/1) REPORTED SIGHTINGS
Atlantic puffins can be seen in spring and early summer when they gather in breeding colonies around South Stack Island. They can be seen peering from rocky craggs in the cliff faces where they make their nests, or bobbing up and down on the sea around the cliffs. As they are quite small puffins are difficult to see from the tops of the cliffs. However, armed with a pair of binoculars, their brightly coloured beak can’t be missed. Wildside recommends visiting the reserve’s visitor centre to see where puffins have been recently spotted. There is also a camera trained on the puffin nesting area during the spring and summer season which offers close up views.
RAZORBILL – 100% OF VISITORS (1/1) REPORTED SIGHTINGS
Much like the puffins, razorbills are best observed on the cliffs when they congregate in colonies in spring and early summer. At other times of the year, razorbills are likely to be back at sea. They can easily be spotted from the cliff tops looking out to South Stack Island, where they clamber around their nests and fly between the cliff faces. They can also be seen swimming on the surface of the sea below. When they do arrive on land to nest they gather in their thousands making it an incredible spectacle!