Blowhole near Rams Tor, Gower

Sunday, December 29, 2013 Adam Tilt 1 Comments


Thursday night saw yet another huge Atlantic storm move in across Wales bringing with it gale force winds and more rain. Fortunately the latter didn't persist into the next day but those winds most certainly did. Following an aborted attempt to walk down Bishopston valley (footpath extinguished apparently) we found ourselves at Mumbles for the second time this week. Once again the Mediterranean Gulls were all present and correct but we were really interested in the sea which was raging under strong westerlies. All along the coast massive waves were breaking against the cliffs covering the coastal path in clouds of spray. Walking its course towards Langland was certainly bracing and even allowed me to witness a geological spectacle hitherto confined to school textbooks. With water levels higher than normal two blowholes near Rams Tor were spouting plumes of spray high into the air and I did my best to capture events.

P1060592 - Blowhole near Rams Tor

P1060594 - Blowhole near Rams Tor


Blowholes are formed as sea caves extend landwards and upwards into vertical shafts which are eventually exposed to the surface. Our coastline is littered with them but the kind of display seen above is reliant on a suitable tide and a fair bit of luck. On this occasion we were fortunate enough to have both.

Just around the corner another phenomenon was unfolding where the agitated sea had generated a huge amount of spume, filling Limeslade Bay almost entirely. Each new gust of wind whipped a whirlwind of foam up into the air and onto the road beyond creating a surreal landscape. Obviously I had to get down there for a closer look.

P1060585 - Foam at Limeslade Bay

P1060584 - Foam at Limeslade Bay

As you've seen the recent weather has certainly provided some interesting experiences, but please can we have a calmer time next week?

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Snowy Pen y Fan

Friday, December 27, 2013 Adam Tilt 2 Comments


The closest we got to a white Christmas this year were several hail showers which although undeniably wintry could never make up for the real thing. Fortunately a glance northwards revealed the snow topped peaks of the Brecon Beacons so it's not hard to guess where we ended up on Boxing Day. Pen y Fan was our destination of choice and despite the busy main car park we managed an ascent all to ourselves across fresh, virgin snow. Once again my alternative route proved not only to be deserted but also far more picturesque than the main path which from a distance resembled something akin to a line of ants on the move. Starting in thick cloud it wasn't long before the twin tops of Pen y Fan and Corn Du revealed themselves under what turned out to be a prolonged sunny spell after another turbulent night. Needless to say photography conditions were almost perfect and what follows are just a few of my favourites from the day, in chronological order.

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

Climbing Pen y Fan

One of my resolutions for this winter is to do more snow walking and after this fantastic trip my resolve in that regard has only increased. Weather permitting we shall be heading up to the Carmarthen Fan in the new year and I haven't ruled out a return trip to North Wales. Stay tuned.

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Bittern and Goshawk - Parc Slip Impresses

Thursday, December 26, 2013 Adam Tilt 2 Comments


Christmas Eve Eve was, to put it mildly, a little on the windy side. Throughout the night a constant barrage of hail, sleet, rain and god knows what else found itself hurled against our bedroom window making me wonder what the morning would bring. Fortunately drawing back the curtains on Tuesday revealed a clear blue sky with damage being restricted to just a single tree down in the next village. Keen to make the most of things we headed over to Parc Slip, a new reserve for us near Bridgend. Parc Slip first popped onto my radar earlier this week with reports and excellent photos of a Bittern which has taken up residence there, though to be honest I should have visited long before now. For some reason it's just never made it onto my list of regular haunts which, as you are about to find out, is something that has most definitely changed for next year.

Walking down to the first pond delivered a wealth of commoner species including a male Bullfinch which as usual allowed me to get just within camera range before scarpering, a trick also repeated by two females later in the day. Reed Buntings were particularly abundant with individuals or small flocks being sighted regularly but they were easily out done by great views of two Green Woodpeckers in the canal field. Overhead a pair of Buzzards were noisily soaring on the still brisk wind before our attention was taken by a colourful flock of Goldfinches. Moving ahead of us at a similar pace I eventually managed to get a couple of decent shots of them through dense vegetation. Despite a few errant twigs I'm particularly pleased with them.

P1060460 - Goldfinch, Parc Slip

P1060459 - Goldfinch, Parc Slip

At the wader scrape we started to get down to business as this was where the Bittern had previously been seen. Those of you who have stuck with me through the years will know that I'm not averse to a long wait for these elusive birds and today was certainly no exception. Keeping us occupied were yet more Reed Buntings and the occasional squally gust that rattled the door on what was a very nice, but fatally flawed, new hide. As is almost always the case the viewing slits were too low for the seats meaning that we were both forced to adopt a hunchbacked posture that is not to be recommended if comfort is your thing. After about an hour we finally decided that lady luck was not on our side and valuing our spines, headed for the door. A couple of minutes later though and we were back having spotted an ominous black cloud speeding towards us over the horizon. Barely had we chance to refold ourselves into position before the most tremendous storm hit. In the space of a few seconds the wind strengthened to gale force, bending the reeds over almost double before our eyes. Seconds later the heavens opened dumping hailstones the size of peas (I'd have loved to have said golf balls there but that's probably an expression I'm unlikely to ever use here in the UK).

A couple of minutes later and just as suddenly as it had started, it stopped. Now we really were in a quandary. Would the storm have driven the Bittern into hiding or would it have been encouraged into more open habitat? Idly scanning from side to side I strongly suspected the latter until I was forced to do a double take the likes of which Disney would have been proud. There, standing out in the open, was the Bitterm. And what a fantastic specimen it was too. With head held high I had the distinct impression it was watching us despite our covert position and it was soon wandering back out of sight. A couple of moments later though and it returned but what looked to have been a possibility of better views soon turned into another walk back into hiding. Even so what a result and having been Bitternless for the entire year, a nice way to round off my birding in 2013.

But there was still more to come. A single Lesser Redpoll back near the canal was a nice find as was a bird of prey above the visitor centre. At first we thought Sparrowhawk but with the appearance of two Crows mobbing it we finally had something against which to gauge size and hence quickly upgraded our ID to Goshawk! Being only my second ever sighting of the species and my first in Wales I was suitably ecstatic. Two cracking birds on what is likely to be my final birding day of the year.

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Stormy Meds at Bracelet Bay

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 Adam Tilt 8 Comments


A brief sea-watch in extremely blustery conditions from the Bracelet Bay car park yesterday afternoon revealed little passage so it was left to the ever reliable Mediterranean Gulls to keep us occupied. Initially numbers were only just creeping into double figures until the arrival of a blue car caused another flock of at least thirty to fly up from the rocks below. This strange move baffled us at first until the owner of said car exited their vehicle and dumped a bag load of bread crumbs onto the floor. Suddenly everything became clear and unless these birds have developed x-ray vision due to a bizarre evolutionary leap, I can only presume that this is a regular occurrence. Has anyone else experience of wild birds recognising something as specific as a particular car before?

While the gulls were busy squabbling amongst themselves I had the perfect opportunity to pull my own car alongside to take a few photographs. It certainly beat attempting to stand upright in the gales.

P1060452 - Mediterranean Gull, Bracelet Bay

P1060453 - Mediterranean Gull, Bracelet Bay

P1060448 - Mediterranean Gull, Bracelet Bay

Although a couple of the Mediterranean Gulls were ringed I didn't manage to read them clearly enough to submit my sightings and the ringed individual I did photograph seems to be missing the large plastic ring that normally holds its unique number.

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In other news I wish all of my readers a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. Many thanks for all of your support over the past twelve months whether that be simply through reading my ramblings, leaving a comment or engaging with me on twitter. Here's to a stellar 2014 and whatever adventures you'll be having in the great outdoors.

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Man Seeks Otter

Monday, December 23, 2013 Adam Tilt 1 Comments


My parents were down to visit this weekend (and to provide those all important Christmas presents of course) which meant an opportunity for our first full day out in a very long time. Perhaps foolishly I'd assured them I could almost guarantee Otters at Bosherston against which my Dad could pit his new camera, which of course meant that they were a complete no show. Despite walking the length and breadth of each pond we failed to catch sight of so much as a ripple, but were we down heartened? Of course not. After all it was clearly my parents fault as we never have any difficulty in obtaining superb views on our own.

P1060437 - Bosherston Ponds

There was still however the small issue of subjects for my Dad to practise his photography against so I'm thankful for the impressive range of waterfowl species currently in residence. Top pick has to go to six Goldeneye (2 males and 4 females) on the most western pond with a flock of at least ten Goosanders coming in a close second. The latter even treated us to superb close-up flyover's which he somehow managed to miss. What's that analogy about leading a horse to water? Down at Stackpole court there were at least 3 Little Grebes, 4 Gadwall, 1 eclipse plumaged male Shoveller, numerous Mallards and singles of both Wigeon and Tufted Duck. In the nearby reeds we could clearly hear a couple of Water Rails calling but despite much searching couldn't find the Bittern that was reported here back on Tuesday. Sadly poor light and distance meant that almost everything was out of reach for my camera with the exception of these fine Cormorants roosting in a fallen tree. Where low light levels normally suck the life from a photo here it has worked to my advantage in picking out the detail on what can easily be written off as dull, black birds.

P1060406 - Cormorants, Bosherston

P1060409 - Cormorants, Bosherston

In the same area we also managed to spot three Kingfishers as well as numerous Goldcrests, both species which appear to have been particularly prosperous this year. Redwings were present at the main car park and on the route of our improvised diversion down to Stackpole Quay along with a decent selection of late fungi including this Common Rustgill.

P1060412 - Common Rustgill

P1060418 - Common Rustgill

P1060414 - Common Rustgill

As always my fungi identification comes with a complete disclaimer that I am just a beginner in this complicated field, but I believe the smaller examples to be new growth whereas the brown specimen has past its best. The growing season for this species is listed as only until November but with such mild conditions of late I'm not surprised to see nature making the most of things. A slightly trickier ID task ended up pinning the next one down as Turkeytail, a species I've seen on numerous occasions previously but never with quite such an orange colour.

P1060422 - Turkeytail

From Stackpole Quay our return route took us away from the sheltered valleys and out onto Stackpole Head where, let me assure you, conditions were more than a little blustery. Though walking upright was quite a challenge the local Fulmars seemed more than content to be on the wing against such a stormy landscape.

P1060430 - Stackpole Head

P1060435 - Stackpole Head

P1060434 - Stackpole Head

Fortunately Barafundle Bay, jewel in the crown of Pembrokeshire's summer tourist industry, provided a brief respite and a rare chance to have this often visited location all to ourselves.

P1060433 - Barafundle bay

By the time we'd made it back to the car sunset was rapidly approaching and with it the first drops of rain from yet another Atlantic low. We most likely wont get a white Christmas this year but if wind and rain are your thing, consider this an early gift.

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Walking the Gower Way - Part 2

Sunday, December 22, 2013 Adam Tilt 1 Comments


I gingerly climbed out of bed on Sunday morning and was more than pleasantly surprised to discover that not only did my legs still function, they didn't even ache. A quick glance out of the window showed storm clouds hanging over Gower but with a promising forecast for the rest of the day nothing was going to stop me standing on the cliffs at Rhossili come sundown.

Walking the Gower Way 6

Emma dropped me off at Three Crosses just west of the farm that had called a halt to yesterdays progress and I was pleased to find stone 26 there to greet me. Fortunately I'd only missed out on a couple of hundred meters and was able to continue with a clear conscience that I hadn't cheated myself out of completing the whole route. If anything I'd probably even added a couple of miles. This was no time to dwell on the past however as once more it was time to put one foot in front of the other as I headed west. Almost immediately my decision to cut through a small park ended badly as I could find no exit on the other side, but that was soon corrected and I started on the long road to Welsh Moor. Having studied the OS maps the night before I knew that this was going to be the last long road section and was far from looking forward to the slog that surely lay ahead. To my relief I found the going much easier than yesterdays approach to Gorseinon due, I think, to a conscious effort to keep my pace steady. It clearly worked though somehow I managed to miss stone 22 along the way. I can't deny that there was an immense temptation to retrace my steps to find the missing marker but with another couple missed in the woodland near Penrose Farm I was glad that I hadn't.

While on the subject I must mention the appalling state of said woodland which in the interests of fairness may have no connection with the nearby farm. What I expected to find was another hidden gem through a rare remnant of Gowers traditional landscape, but instead I was confronted with what can only be described as a rubbish dump. Both sides of the footpath were lined with large piles of landscaping debris from broken fence panels and masonry through to felled conifers. Worst of all perhaps were the abandoned cars and other piles of assorted waste, hardly a good advert for the area. Considering all of this sits alongside a nationally recognised walking route I find it highly surprising that the local council or Gower Society haven't taken action.

Walking the Gower Way 7

Fortunately the scar was brief and I was soon swinging south to pass through Parc le Breos. Regular readers may well be familiar with this ancient deer park from my previous visits and once again the cool woodland was very pleasant indeed. Rather handily a heavy rain shower chose that moment to travel over so I took the opportunity at stone 15A (one of the extras) for a spot of lunch. Judging from movement in the upper canopy it was clear the wind speed had increased dramatically which meant clear skies were quickly restored but also that the next section of walk was going to be anything but calm.

Walking the Gower Way 8

At stone 12 I emerged onto the south coast of Gower for the first time and was treated to views down to Three Cliffs Bay, frequently voted as the best beach in Britain. Today however its sands were unsurprisingly quiet as I turned west once more to pass the Gower Way inauguration stone. Ahead of me lay the sleeping hulk of Cefn Bryn, an Old Red sandstone ridge and the second highest point on the peninsula. Looking to my right I gave a brief wave to our house way off in the distance and for the first time since setting off on Saturday got a real sense of just how far I'd already come. Unfortunately Rhossili still looked equally distant.

Stone 10 heralded another heavy rain shower but the rewards were a stunning rainbow stretching along the Burry Inlet. Conditions had conspired to produce a low level mist that in turn led to a very squat, almost horizontal display the likes of which I've never seen. I tried taking a photo but the distance was just too great to do it justice.

Walking the Gower Way 9

The cairn above Reynoldston led me onto new territory once again with the small hamlet of Llanddewi being a particular delight. There was however a bull to contend with though thankfully it seemed more concerned with dozing in the sun than bothering a passing walker. The old derelict farmstead at Kingshall was my next significant waypoint before finally reaching Rhossili Down. At this stage the general weariness that had been building within me finally hit and the long uphill climb to Telgarths Well had never looked so unachievable. Sitting down may not have been the best move but I needed to gather my energy for one final push.

Twenty minutes later found me finally covering the last few meters of Rhossili headland until at last, after almost 35 miles, I felt the rough texture of marker 1 beneath my fingers. Before me sat Worm's Head, a sight I've seen on many an occasion but never after quite such a strenuous arrival and with such a sense of deep satisfaction. Despite a few tough miles I had successfully completed my first long distance walk and had pushed myself further than ever before. The only problem? It was another couple of miles back to the road and my lift home.

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Walking the Gower Way - Part 1

Thursday, December 19, 2013 Adam Tilt 4 Comments


Way back in January I drew up a list of certain things I'd like to achieve over the coming twelve months. Several of these were generic in nature and would most likely have appeared in your own new years resolutions as well, but others were very specific to me and focused on gaining new experiences, typically in the great outdoors. Chief of these was to tackle a long distance walk, something I've been wanting to do ever since I got back into proper hiking a couple of years ago. Here in Britain we are somewhat spoilt for choice in this regard with over 1,300 paths covering some 75,000 miles according to the LDWA (Long Distance Walkers Association). Many of these would be on the ambitious side for a first timer like me but I'm fortunate to live within a mile of the more achievable Gower Way. Stretching for 33.6 miles across the ancient lordship of Gower it offered me the perfect opportunity to break my long distance cherry, plus I'd get to spend each night in my own bed. With a route decided all that was left to do was pick a free weekend where the weather looked halfway decent and get going. That combination finally arrived in September and with a sense of trepidation and excitement, I was off.

 photo gowerway-small_zps78fb8050.jpg

A nice feature of the Gower Way is that its entire length is marked by fifty (plus a few extra) numbered stones, each baring the Gower Society crest. It therefore seemed only logical to find and photograph every one along the way both to document my journey and to slowly count down the miles as I went. As I was travelling light I had to make do with my small point and shoot camera but those photos will serve as a perfect accompaniment to this account. 

Walking the Gower Way 1

So where to begin? At the end of course! Stone number 50 sits a short distance from Penlle'r Castell on the high, open moorland to the north of Swansea. This is a place I've visited frequently over the years as it puts me in mind of the Mull landscape and offers commanding views across the surrounding area. The addition of a wind farm recently has slightly removed that sense of remoteness this location once held but it hasn't interrupted the line of sight down to the Gower peninsula and my ultimate destination. Let me assure you that at that moment the outline of Rhossili Down looked a very long way away indeed and for the briefest of moments I started to question what I was about to undertake. Realising that perhaps smaller targets would be better to concentrate on I looked closer to home and set off for the Lliw reservoirs. Stones 49 and 48 were found in quick succession as I started to descend before somehow losing my way and ending up on the wrong side of a small valley. A quick check of the map showed the error of my ways (a vital turn was actually outside the limits of the map I was using - doh) which was soon corrected and in no time the Brynllefrith plantation hove into view along with stone number 46. 

With the first couple of miles out of the way I was feeling remarkably fresh and took my time passing through the trees. Brynllefrith has in the past delivered some excellent birds with this visits highlight being a huge mixed flock of Chaffinches, Blue Tits and Great Tits that seemed to follow my progress towards the upper reservoir. I didn't have my binoculars with me but they appeared to be family groups from this years breeding season though their close association across species is not something I've witnessed before. Stone 45 greeted me at the first dam along with a Grey Wagtail and several Red Kites. By now the rain showers that had dogged my journey thus far seemed to be a thing of the past and the sun was baking down necessitating a short stop to take on fluids. First lesson learnt that for these long walks a platypus really is a must to avoid becoming dehydrated for want of not stopping. 

Walking the Gower Way 2

My arrival at the lower reservoir was greeted with another rain shower (famous last words and all that) but the sun was soon back as I dropped into Felindre village and spotted stone 40 hiding up against a house. Considering I've driven past here every day for the past couple of years I find it remarkable that I'd never noticed it previously. This point in the walk also marked a change in terrain from grassy footpaths and open moorland to tarmac road walking, unfortunately something that this route suffers from greatly. Though steep thankfully this section was relatively short but worse was to come further down the road. 

Walking the Gower Way 3

Stone 39 was a welcome relief as I was able to turn off onto a farm track for the next stage of the journey down to Pontlliw. I've walked this section in isolation a couple of times previously so was prepared for the complete loss of signage at the farm you are forced to pass through, though perhaps not the three small dogs that seemed intent on attacking my ankles. This probably could have been forgiven should the farmer have apologised after finally calling them back but no, not even a simple acknowledgement of my presence. Next time boot may be forced to connect with animal. 

With pace considerably quickened I soon reached safer territory and what was to be the largest section of road/tarmac walking of the day. Stretching almost unbroken from stone 38 on the outskirts of Pontlliw to stone 34 at Gorseinon my legs really started to take a battering and I guess I hit "the wall" of which we hear so much. It wasn't that the distance covered so far was particularly excessive at about eleven miles or so, but I find the constant repetitive motion of walking on tarmac more tiring that climbing mountains. Part of this is the sense that you can go faster than your body really wants to which results in strained muscles and sore feet. Thankfully a couple of brief rests managed to push me on though I was far from comfortable as I hobbled onto the high street. 

Walking the Gower Way 4

From Gorseinon to Gowerton the Gower Way follows an old railway line which still manages to hold onto some interesting historical details. Best of these was an old factory just north of Gowerton which still has rails running across its main car park. A great insight into the industrial heritage of this area that has now been almost completely wiped out. I also met a friendly drunk who seemed baffled that I was photographing seemingly meaningless lumps of rock. Needless to say my explanation just seemed to confuse him even further.. 

Walking the Gower Way 5

After Gowerton the route finally returned to more natural surroundings as I wound my way in the direction of Dunvant along an ancient track. These little lost corners of Gower are the very reason this path was created in the first place and for that I am grateful as it was truly a beautiful location. Thankfully my legs had also loosened up considerably and I was once again back to something like my best as stones 28 and 27 were passed in quick succession. The narrow wooded valley I found myself in was full of yet more industrial remnants including a large spoil heap and ponds that I presume are part of the old brickworks that once stood nearby. Again I had no idea that these were here so it was an interesting insight into the past of what today is classed as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse a short while later, just shy of the seventeen mile point I'd been aiming for to call it a day. Having greeted a field of friendly pigs I found myself with another farmyard to cross just to the east of Three Crosses. However the only stile into it was surrounded on the other side by a large herd of particularly boisterous cows. Now cows aren't exactly my favourite animal to share any sort of time with but I think anyone would have baulked at the prospect of having to physically push them out of the way. With no alternative on the horizon I was forced to retrace my steps back to Dunvant where I met Emma for the trip home. Not perhaps the end I'd wished for but that couldn't dent my sense of satisfaction at having covered the distance I'd aimed for. The question was, would my legs be working again next morning for the second leg?

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Murmurings in Aberystwyth

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Adam Tilt 8 Comments


A couple of weeks ago it was time for our annual trip to Aberystwyth which for once coincided with a gloriously sunny day. First stop, as usual, was the Castle for a brief walk along the promenade before moving onto Tanybwlch beach. From my five years spent at university here my greatest, and possibly only, regret is that I did not walk this area more often. The views in every direction are simply stunning.

P1060313 - Tanybwlch, Aberystwyth

P1060314 - Tanybwlch, Aberystwyth

P1060308 - Aberystwyth Harbour

Several small gatherings of Rock Pipit accompanied us along the beach where large quantities of storm tossed seaweed were providing ample feeding opportunities. On the other side of the shingle ridge I was pleased to see at least two Grey Wagtails moving noisily along the banks of the Ystwyth, plus a single Little Grebe which managed an inspired disappearing act before our very eyes. This is of course to be expected on a lake where reeds and other vegetation can provide ample cover, but on a shallow stream with no overhanging cover of any sort? Black magic indeed. Thankfully a family of Stonechats were much more accommodating with this individual posing perfectly in the low winter sun. Looking at how the photo turned out I don't think I could have chosen a better perch for it if I'd tried.

P1060319 - Stonechat, Aberystwyth

Other birding highlights included a flock of calling Curlew on the Tanybwlch flats and two Red Kites involved in what I can only presume was an act of aerial combat high above our heads. Their lofty position reminded me that it's been several years since I last visited the Iron Age hill fort of Pen Dinas, so that was our next stop. The climb up delivered a stunning Starling which served as a nice taster of what was yet to come.

P1060324 - Starling, Aberystwyth

At the summit we had the place pretty much to ourselves which allowed ample time to take in the vista spread out beneath us for miles in every direction. The tall, chimney shaped monument that stands here is the first sight that many get of Aberystwyth when approaching from the south and only seems to grow in stature up close. Built sometime around 1852 in memory of the Duke of Wellington, local rumour has it that the original plan was for something even grander featuring a statue of a man on horseback at its top.

P1060325 - Pen Dinas, Aberystwyth

By the time we'd made it back into town the sun was sinking rapidly towards the horizon and we only had a few minutes to take up position at the pier. The cooling air seemed to have brought with it increased cloud cover but the optimist in me still hoped for a decent sunset, and that's just what we got.

P1060335 - Aberystwyth Pier at sunset

Oranges and reds deepened in hue until the first small flock of Starlings appeared high in the sky, joined moments later by a second and then third. As these early arrivals merged into a single entity the sense of anticipation grew amongst us gathered observers. Before long a steady flow of birds could be seen streaming in from across town until once more the sky above Aberystwyth pier was filled with a swirling mass of natural wonder. After just a few minutes of murmuration the Starlings dropped like a stone to take up their positions on the crumbling steelwork that even now manages to stand strong against all that the cruel sea can throw at it.

P1060350 - Starling Murmuration, Aberystwyth

P1060347 - Starling Murmuration, Aberystwyth

P1060346 - Starling Murmuration, Aberystwyth

P1060338 - Starling Murmuration, Aberystwyth

P1060341 - Starling Murmuration, Aberystwyth

Barely half an hour later and unless you'd just witnessed one of the greatest wildlife spectacles this country has to offer, you'd have no clue as to the seething mass of life hidden just a few foot from passing holidaymakers. Those with keen senses might pick up on the odour of bird droppings or hear a cacophony of high pitched calls, but as to their origins? That's a little secret between just you and me.

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