Another gorgeous evening on Monday found us walking the Millennium coastal path at Machynys. Emma got to paddle, I got to watch some birds, everyone left happy. Speaking of birds there was plenty about starting with a family of Starlings which were being brought up in the chimney of a nearby house. I always thought they looked perfect as nest sites when they were being built! Whitethroats and numerous House Martins provided the backing track whilst out on the estuary a single Mediterranean Gull, eight Eider (mostly immature birds), fifty or so Black-tailed Godwits, a pair of Mute Swans, three Whimbrel and a smattering of Little Egrets made for a decent haul. Despite scanning the passing gulls I couldn’t pick out any terns but did find this rather smart Stonechat perched up on a sign.
Down at the pond a single Pochard was accompanied by the calls of a Sedge Warbler but sadly the usual flock of Swifts that have entertained us in previous years were entirely absent. Does this match the generally low numbers being reported elsewhere? At least the Skylarks were still about and we watched two birds having a dust bath on the path right in front of us. I got the impression that they weren’t entirely seeing eye to eye as in the midst of a deep clean there was still plenty of wing flapping and aggressive displaying going on. Also of interest was a Rabbit hopping about on the beach which I presume lives amongst the large rocks of the breakwater.
Of course what we were really here for was the sunset and as that magic moment approached the colours steadily intensified. With a high tide there was plenty of scope for reflections so I had a bit of a play, ably assisted at one point by a pair of passing Mute Swans.
If you look closely at the last photo you may be able to pick out an impressive sun dog to the left of the image. This was one of a pair either side of the setting sun and we could just about pick out the 22 degree halo which I wrote about previously here.