Our first proper autumn storm has left South Wales bedraggled and de-leaved over the last few days and despite a few hours of dryness today, conditions remained grey and very wild indeed. Having spent an hour or so attempting to curtail the formation of a new pond in my car boot I took myself off to Burry Port (or more accurately Pembrey Harbour) to see if I couldn’t blow away a few cobwebs. On that score I was mostly successful and managed to include the added bonus of at least 150 Brent Geese. The gaggle were spread out across a large sandbank off Tywyn Bach and if memory serves represent the largest single gathering of the species I’ve yet seen along this stretch of coast.
Keeping them company were a smattering of Curlew, one preening Great Crested Grebe and hundreds upon hundreds of Oystercatchers. Most of the latter were feeding just East of Burry Port itself where the gathered Gulls were doing a fine line in shell breaking. Those who were dropping their wares on to rocks instead of the sand helped prove that varying intelligence is not a facet limited to the human race. I had hoped for a wind blown wanderer or two but other than a few Cormorants the Burry Inlet was strangely quiet. In fact the most excited I got was when a flock of Greenfinches turned up (a worryingly rare sight of late again), followed a close second by the moment I forgot what a Little Grebe in winter plumage looks like. Three of the blighters were fishing on one of the small ponds and it was only after racing over for a closer view that I realised my error. Still, nice birds to see and a good reminder that one is always learning (or relearning in this case).
The harbour at Burry Port was playing host to at least forty Redshank plus a pair of Cormorants which were giving great views as they hunted amongst the boats. There was however no sign of any Med Gulls this time out but a Little Egret was a nice find as were some very bright looking Meadow Pipits. Initially I took this extra sparkle to be as a result of fresh plumage but having stumbled across this blog on the subject of Icelandic Meadow Pipits, now I’m not so sure. A couple of decent photographs could have helped a great deal but with conditions as they were (check out the spray being blown back through the marina entrance above) I didn’t even attempt a shot. Definitely something to keep an eye out for in the future though.