Ar­guably the best bird­watch­ing site in Glam­or­gan

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - DAVID SAUN­DERS

THE FA­THER OF mod­ern Welsh or­nithol­ogy, H Mor­rey Sal­mon, was one of the first to dis­cover the de­lights of Kenfig, pho­tograph­ing nest­ing Mer­lins as a young man be­fore the First World War. At that time Lit­tle Terns nested along the shore, while up to six Night­jars could be heard ‘chur­ring’ on calm summer nights. All are long since gone. De­spite these and other changes, Kenfig re­mains ar­guably the best bird­watch­ing site in Glam­or­gan. One de­scrip­tion claims there is enough won­der­ful wildlife here to pro­vide in­ter­est and en­joy­ment for a life­time, let alone a sin­gle visit! Few who know Kenfig and its riches would disagree. On the south­ern edge of the dunes, Sker House has a long his­tory, hav­ing com­menced as a monas­tic grange of the Cis­ter­cian or­der. The vast sand dunes, Kenfig Bur­rows, are a botan­i­cal trea­sure-trove par­tic­u­larly noted for orchids like the Bee, Fra­grant and Pyra­mi­dal, the Marsh Helle­borine and es­pe­cially the Fen Orchid. More than 90% of the Bri­tish pop­u­la­tion oc­curs here, so is right­fully de­scribed as the jewel in Kenfig’s orchid crown. Small won­der that Kenfig has been a Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve since 1989. The jewel is with­out ques­tion Kenfig Pool, the largest lake in Glam­or­gan. It is renowned for its rare vis­i­tors, which have in­cluded Amer­i­can Wi­geon, Ring-necked Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Lit­tle Bit­tern, Squacco Heron, Bon­a­parte’s and Laugh­ing Gulls and Royal Tern.


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