Last Sunday we were back in Wales but it seemed that we weren’t quite yet done with the goose species that had so dominated our Norfolk trip. Whilst walking from Llanmadoc to Burry Holms we came across a small flock of eleven Brent Geese feeding on an exposed area of rocks in Broughton Bay. These are regular visitors to the Burry Inlet but with the exception of a pair earlier this year at Port Eynon they are usually difficult to get close to.
With a rapidly incoming tide their feeding area was soon under water, forcing the birds back into the relatively rough sea. In a feeling that I can completely relate to certain members of the group seemed particularly unwilling to renter the water, but another approaching group of walkers seemed to be the extra incentive needed.
Fortunately the Brent Geese chose to swim right past us just a few meters out, resulting in some cracking views.
Each incoming wave was taken head on by the birds in either a graceful surfing motion or by simply crashing through the foaming water. This isn’t behaviour I have seen before but it makes perfect sense for a seagoing bird.
As you can see from the photos above the weather was less than brilliant. Although warm a very strong wind was blowing and the promised sun completely failed to materialise. Given the conditions it wasn’t surprising that other bird life was at a minimum, but three Mistle Thrushes at Cwm Ivy, a pair of Ringed Plovers on Broughton beach and two Stonechats on Broughton Burrows were all welcome additions. There were also at least forty Gannets fishing off Burry Holms and a good passage of Razorbills and Guillemots. The view, as always, was spectacular.
Seals seemed to be out in force as well with at least three seen during the day. Most of the time they were just loafing around but one in particular really caught my attention. There is a small channel between Burry Holms and the mainland which the water races through as the tide comes in, and this Seal had decided to swim through it. The speeds it achieved were mightily impressive during the brief passage, after which it popped its head out of the water and looked back as if to say “that was fun, let’s do it again!”. Did he swim around for another go? I’d like to think he did.