Cemlyn Bay is a bay on the northwest coast of Anglesey about 3 miles West of Cemaes, and separated from the bay, by a shingle beach, is a lagoon fed by a number of small streams. A weir, at the western end of the beach, regulates the lagoon's water level. The shingle ridge is backed by a grassy headland and is home to a tern colony in the summer and you can find waterfowl here at all times of the year. It is popular both for its scenic qualities and its wildlife, with visitors including local people, holidaymakers, walkers, birdwatchers and naturalists.
The nature reserve is managed by the North Wales Wildlife Trust but the land is part of the Cemlyn Estate, owned by the National Trust and has been leased by the NWWT since 1971. Around the reserve there are also areas of coastal grassland, farmland, scrub, wetland, and both rocky and sandy shore encircling Cemlyn Bay.
The reserve includes the large lagoon, separated from the sea by a naturally created shingle ridge, known as Esgair Gemlyn. It is formed by the process of longshore drift, its profile changes with the action of the tide and weather. It provides a habitat for coastal plants such as Sea Kale, Sea Campion, Sea Beet, Thrift and Yellow Horned Poppy. Around the edges of the lagoon, saltmarsh plant species such as Sea Aster, Sea Purslane, Danish Scurvygrass and Saltmarsh Oraches.
Within the Lagoon Grey mullet are to be found and it is a popular breeding ground for many migrant birds. On islands at the western end there is an important tern colony, with the only breeding Sandwich Terns in Wales, their numbers here have increased in recent years to around 1,500 pairs, making it the 3rd largest colony in the UK. The tern colony is wardened from May to August, during their breeding season. A viewing platform is provided part way along the ridge, you can see the terns close-up, chasing and diving in courtship displays, incubating eggs, preening and bathing in the lagoon, or calling to their hungry chicks as they come winging in with freshly caught fish.
The Lagoon Photo from Geograph
Other breeding birds to be found here include:-
During the winter months it is home for wintering wildfowl, such as Wigeon, Shoveler and Teal.
Shingle Ridge - National Trust Car Park and
the Lagoon on left
The headland of Trwyn Cemlyn is also a top sea watching spot which regular sightings of porpoises, seals and dolphins, as well as the sea birds.
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