How to connect with birds in Cardiff

An introductory and interactive guide to finding birds in Cardiff, featuring human stories on some of the best and most unique spots to practice birdwatching.

The kingfisher is one of the most sought-after sights at Forest Farm. Image courtesy of Samantha Bigmore.

Cardiff is home to a variety of bird species, from robins to herring gulls, and finding them is easy if you know where to look. 

“What’s great about birdwatching is that you can enjoy it almost anywhere, at any time, and at any level of involvement  – always at your own pace,” writes Bill Thompson III in Bird Watching for Dummies.

According to the RSPB, a beginner birdwatcher doesn’t need a lot of equipment, but binoculars and telescopes can be used to make watching birds from a distance easier.  

The RSPB advises that considerations such as weight and comfort should be the main factors in deciding which equipment to buy, as sometimes birdwatching requires a lot of patience.  

The wingspan of a mute swan ranges from 2m to 2.4m.

In addition to choosing binoculars and telescopes which suit you, you’ll also need clothes which are appropriate for Cardiff’s changeable weather. Remember to pack a waterproof jacket and some gloves in the colder months! 

“There’s a really big diversity [of birds] so close to the city which is really amazing and not something people think about that much,” says Kelsey, president of the Cardiff University Ornithological Society. “Before I got into birding, I don’t think I realised how much you see birds around you.”

Click on the interactive map below to find some of the best locations to start your avian adventure and hear from other people with a passion for birdwatching .

If you would like more information on birdwatching equipment and how to use it, the RSPB holds demonstration events with experts who can advise you on what to buy and where.

The closest events take place in Newport Wetlands Centre. Dates can be found on the RSPB website.

Some of these parks afford the opportunity to see many birds up close, like this Great Tit.