Tuesday, 5 April 2016

a day at the caravan and coast

A glorious day here in South Wales today. Slight cool breeze, even more so on the shoreline.
My family and I went for a couple of walks  in the vicinity of our caravan on the north Gower coast.
The tide had gone out leaving a huge bay exposed of lovely clean, wet sand, shallow rock pools and hardly anyone around.
The first walk to the bench that overlooks the bay gave us views of many Herring Gulls, a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Great Crested grebe, on the sea, and a Gannet, which we often see.

A distant record shot of the Gannet in the centre. An amazing sea bird. Very large, white, yellow head, black wing tips, dives into the sea for fish.

After this, a wander around some farm buildings , near fields of sheep and a footpath leading to some dunes, adjacent to the beach providing a small wooded like area,  produced Long tailed Tits, Great Tit, a few Chiffchaffs, a singing Wren, Meadow Pipits flying over, a Rook and a distant Red Kite. There is a lot of lichen on the trees and bushes in this area too.
Also a few queen bumblebees and a Peacock butterfly sunning itself on the grass.

Peacock butterfly


Adult Herring Gull - pale grey back and pink legs are what you need to look for to identify this bird. 

After lunch in the caravan we went separate ways. My husband and son went on a big circuit of a walk through fields overlooking marshland and rejoining the coastal path back alongside the beach and sea. They saw 3 red kites that seemed to be hanging around the sheep fields. Sheep were lambing and Red kites are scavengers and would only take the after birth as food.
 My daughter wanted to go rock pooling so I was the assistant and photographer! 
We saw some very distant Sandwich Terns, always a delight to see but I hope we can see some closer in the bay soon as they pass through our coastline.
In the rockpools we found many periwinkles, and some small fish that we always see and cacth in a bucket called Shanny, or Goby, see below. We're not 100% certain which species these are below but feel free to enlighten us. 


A Kestrel flew over the beach too, see below. 

And then we found 2 strange creatures we have never seen before. Worm like creatures in the wet sand  - one white, immediately above and the top photo of a green caterpillar like sea creature. Again, if anyone can enlighten us as to what they are. We have a very simple beach ID book here and they don't seem to be in it and can't find anything like it online.

On our return there were 2 Carrion Crows pecking around the rock pools on the beach. With the sun on them their plumage is very glossy black. These birds are larger than Jackdaws and smaller than a Raven.

I hope you have the chance to explore a beach. You'll be surprised at what you can find. 


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