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Sea cliffs


Ceredigion's coastal cliffs provide a home and resting place for an array of wildlife, colourful plants and lichens, perfectly adapted to their habitat. But the cliffs and rocks themselves deserve a closer look too, as the contorted folds and faults have been eroded and sculpted by the wind and sea  to create sea caves and distinctive rock features such as Carreg Bica at Llangrannog.

Aptly named Bird's Rock, on the Ceredigion coast path just south of New Quay, is one of the best places to see Ceredigion's marine wildlife, including grey seals and bottlenose dolphins as well as the colonies of guillemots crowding onto the rocky ledges.  Other birds include razorbills, kittiwake, fulmar, shag and the chough, with its distinctive red beak and legs.  The world's fastest bird, the peregrine falcon is also spotted on Ceredigion's coastal cliffs.

Flowering plants include blackthorn (prunus spinosa, or sloe), yellow gorse, (ulaeus europaeus) pink or purple hued thrift (armeria) and white sea campion (silene maritima).  At Ynys Lochtyn, just to the north of Llangrannog, the bluebell-like spring squilla (scilla verna) can be seen in the short grass of the cliff edge.

At Penderi Cliffs, along Ceredigion's coastal path to the north of Llanrhystud, a distinctive feature is the sturdy sessile oak trees which have been stunted by salt carried on the sea breeze from the waves.

Softer, lower, boulder clay and pebble cliffs can be seen from the foreshore between Aberaeron, Aberarth and Llanrhystud.  Look out for sandmartin nesting holes in the sandy clay.