Spring Is Here

Saturday, March 21, 2009 Adam Tilt 0 Comments


Today dawned and for the first time this year the sky was clear and it was actually warm. To take advantage of the weather I decided it was time to do a decent length walk down on the Gower. We started off at Penrice castle, headed along the coast past Oxwich Bay and on to Three Cliffs. The return route took us inland along Cefn Bryn, which is what I like to think of as the spine of the Gower. The weather was incredibly hazy but I managed to get a few pictures. A return visit is on the cards so hopefully I will be able to properly portray the majesty of the views. On a clear day you should be able to see pretty much all of the Gower with the exception of the area towards Rhossili. Maybe a panorama is on the cards?

During the walk spring was definitely in the air with the area around Penrice fit to bursting with calling male Pheasants. Also making their presence heard were the Chiffcahffs, back in force from their wintering locations across Europe. Always a difficult bird to spot in the tree tops a few very obliging individuals came close enough to allow good observations. Unfortunately they were a bit too flighty for photographs so I will have to try again before the leaves start to appear on the trees and make the whole exercise futile. Also in the woods next to Penrice I saw my first Mistle Thrush of the year. I suspect that I saw at least another couple flying around in the area but the birds were using the extensive Ivy cover to their advantage. Along the cliffs we were treated to several Buzzards and a Kestrel who seemingly had no fear of humans as it flew past at head hight looking for prey. Further signs of spring were present up on Cefn Bryn with a couple of Skylarks singing their hearts out. Also seen singing for the first time this year were a flock of thirty or so Linnets in Mill Woods. They were very much still in their winter plumage but the red colouring was already developing on the males. Last year Rhossili proved to be a very good location to see these birds so I will be down their with my camera over the next few months.

Elsewhere on the walk were a few far less common sights. These included a bride and groom strolling out into a field on the hillside behind Three Cliffs, and a paramedic crew carrying all their gear and still managing to power up the hill to the top of Cefn Bryn faster than us. As it turned out a rider had been thrown from a horse and was clearly in some discomfort. We gave the area a wide berth as the horse looked and sounded like it was not in the mood to be messed with. It really is amazing the things that you see whilst out and about in the great British countryside.

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