Saturday, 2 April 2016

by the coast today

I went to our static caravan today, on the north Gower peninsula, to get it ready for the new season. Torrential rain stayed until early afternoon. The tide was on its way in and therefore plenty of surfers and paddle boarders in the sea and no sea birds except a scattering Herring Gulls further out in the bay. 
There is a fantastic coastal path leading around the headland and winding its way through old sand dunes from long ago, part of which overlooks a smaller bay and beach. A bench overlooks these bays and the far off estuary. 
After the rain, and lunch, my daughter and I walked to the bench to see what was around. We saw some hirundines - a collective name for the groups of House Martins, Sand Martins, Swifts and Barn Swallows - flying around fast and high and I couldn't see any colouration. Light conditions were poor. We looked out to sea - nothing. As we turned to head back more hirundines came over us and this time I managed to get them with the binoculars in slightly better light. They were Sand Martins. 13 of them in total and proceeded to head inland and due east. More spring/summer arrivals. Lovely to see. To think they have travelled such a distance....phenomenal.
Around the caravan however we did hear and briefly see 2 Long Tailed Tits, Skylark, Dunnock, House Sparrows, female Blackbird pulling up grass and mud for nest building and 2 Pied Wagtails.

 The above 3 photos are record shots of the Pied Wagtails. Such a gorgeous, bright black and white with grey. 
Below is the female Blackbird collecting grass and mud. Note how she is brown. The male is black with a yellow-orange bill (beak).


On the way home I saw 3 barn Swallows flying over the road and farmland, presumably also  just arrived from the continent.
Well, as we use our caravan throughout this season, until October/November, I hope to bring you a whole load of wildlife sightings from there and show you just what our part of the Gower, in Wales, has to offer. Please keep reading, following and enjoying. And lastly, get outside and explore - see what you can find, even if in your garden or along a path.

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