After being promised Indian summers for the last two years that have then completely failed to materialise it would appear that we are instead to be treated to an Indian autumn. In a move completely out of character for the last week of September, temperatures have been soaring into the mid twenties and clear blue skies are the norm. Even the plants seem to have been taken aback if the new blooms on my herbs are anything to go by. I dread to think what effect this unseasonal weather will have when we crash back into winter as expected in a couple of weeks time.
We have been making the most of the mild evenings with a combination of painting the exterior of the house (I wont bore you with those details here) and excursions down to the coast whenever possible. Tuesday evening found us back at Llanelli in scenes that can only be described as jubilant. Give the British a hint of sunshine and they’ll be paddling in the sea and eating ice cream before you can say “desperate”. Walking along the dunes I noticed that the area now holds a sizable population of Sea Holly, a coastal plant that has declined over recent years due to habitat loss and removal for use in peoples gardens. Though not at its best at this time of year it looks to be well established.
The number of people on the beach meant that roosting bird numbers were nowhere near as impressive as those from a week or so ago, but seventy Turnstones, a couple of hundred Redshank and three Ringed Plovers were certainly not to be sniffed out. Out on the breakwater a pair of Grey Herons were bravely standing against the incoming tide whilst the channel markers were home to a couple of Cormorants. In the river off Copperhouse a Little Grebe and a flock of seventeen Teal were to be found. Back on the beach and the single Wheatear from our previous visit had been joined by five more of its comrades, all of which were busily feeding on the insects that swarmed through the Marram Grass and across the sand. As usual they were incredibly flighty but using one of the dunes as cover I was able to capture one of the birds in the lovely evening light.
As the sun set deeper and deeper into the Bristol Channel the sky began to light up and we were treated to our best sunset for a very long time. The aforementioned Marram Grass proved to be an excellent foreground, and Emma wasn’t bad either.