After all the excitement of Fairford it was back to reality on Monday with a long drive home and an afternoon spent brushing up on my presentation skills for work. Hardly the way to round off what had been an excellent few days and come early evening I was itching to get back out with the camera. Somewhere. Anywhere. In the end we headed for Burry Port and almost immediately knew we’d made the right choice. Expansive views and a fresh sea breeze reminded me exactly why I couldn’t live away from the coast anymore as we picked up a noisy Redshank and distant Curlew. Crossing the beach disturbed a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and their ever demanding offspring before the calls of a Ringed Plover stopped us in our tracks. We watched it run towards the dunes from a small collection of pebbles in front of us before it stopped, turned, and began to follow our progress intently. This behaviour was slightly curious (they normally just leg it and carry on feeding elsewhere) so I decided to scan the rocks just in case. Good job I did as nestled amongst them was this superbly camouflaged juvenile. Everyone say awwww.

P1140907 - Juvenile Ringed Plover, Burry Port

We gave the family a wide berth and watched carefully until the group were reunited. Our relief was short lived however as the sight of a dog off the lead charging its way across the beach brought home quite what a precarious place these small birds had chosen to nest. I was more than a little pleased therefore to hear that the juvenile is still alive and kicking a couple of weeks later (yes I know I’m a little behind with these blogs).

With the Plovers left to their own devices we spotted a quartet of Sandwich Terns flying down channel (my first this year in Wales) before it was the turn of a Mediterranean Gull to take our attention. It was roosting with a small number of Black Headed Gulls in the harbour but soon found itself adrift in the face of a rapidly rising tide.

P1140910 - Mediterannean Gull, Burry Port
P1140911 - Burry Port

The whole flock took flight a few minutes later with the Med heading off towards the old Grillo site where it was lost from view. Only later did we see probably the same bird alongside the road with another not far away.

Burry Port West Beach

Probably the best part of our short trip though was that view above. Seen from Pembrey breakwater it shows both the Ringed Plover habitat, Burry Inlet and Gower beyond. Not a bad little spot if I do say so myself.


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