Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
The seawatching site of Strumble Head is about 6 miles from Goodwick which is the site of the ferry port for the Fishguard to Rosslare Ferry. As you approach the roundabout at the ferry terminal entrance from the direction of Fishguard, continue straight on, up a slight rise and then left at the sharp right hand turn. Follow this road up the steep hill and onwards to Strumble Head lighthouse, following the signs along this lane.
The seawatching here can be done from the comfort of an old second world war searchlight station which has been modified and there is shelter from the wind and rain. There are two ‘rooms’. Watching is done from the larger one which has a lower ‘window sill’. With birds passing to the left, it is possible to run into the other, smaller room and view any missed birds from there. There is a slab of concrete on the outside in front of the building so that on fine days it is possible to sit outside and be unencumbered by the roof pillars. This building faces north and in the autumn the passage birds tend to move from the east (right) to the west and around the lighthouse island. Wind direction can be assessed by the weather vane on top of the lighthouse. The road here dead ends at two car parks. The building is only about 100m down the slope from the nearest car park and about 300m from the very end of the road car park so food etc can be left in the car but many take their sustenance with them. It is a site used by many of the Pembrokeshire seawatchers and they will be able to give information ‘on the day’.
The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path runs past the lighthouse and a walk along here will produce Chough, Peregrine, Stonechat etc.
In late summer, there may be thousands of Manx Shearwaters passing on their way back to their breeding islands off the Welsh coast further south. In addition to the birds, Harbour Porpoise are present all year and occasional views of Common and Risso’s Dolphin are possible. Grey Seals are present most days as well. In late summer and into autumn a number of Sunfish are often seen.
Bed and Breakfasts – the nearest one that I can recommend is Miranda’s Preserves which is on the left about a mile outside of Goodwick after passing through the built up areas. This establishment may no longer be available after mid October this year (2010) as the proprietor is leaving but there are others in Goodwick and slightly further afield, Fishguard itself.
The fish and chip shop at the bottom of the steep hill on the return journey in Goodwick is very good and there are further similar establishments in Fishguard. There is a Tesco Express opposite the ferry terminal for self catering requirements.