Arguably the best birdwatching site in Glamorgan
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.