Sunday 22nd found us down at Rhossili on another cold and dull winters day. Feeling a little less energetic after our exploits at Kenfig and not too keen on being exposed to a strong Northerly more than absolutely necessary, we chose to forgo the Downs and instead headed out along lower levels. The going underfoot was a tad damp in places but we made brisk progress, stopping periodically to scan the sea for anything of note. It didn’t take long to pick up the first small group of Common Scoters, remarkably close to shore drifting just beyond the breaking waves. Scanning further out towards Burry Holms revealed several more flocks, each increasing in size until the main raft numbering several hundred birds hove into view. All were similarly distant and in superbly clear light afforded some cracking views. There seemed a good mix of males, females and juveniles present though without the aid of a scope (which was rather usefully still at home) we couldn’t pick out anything more unusual. This lapse in judgement was to prove doubly frustrating when I read later that others had also recorded two Surf Scoter and four Long-tailed Ducks, but you can’t have it all I guess. Anyway, we were quite happy lapping up our Common Scoter and with views like this, well, no one has any right to complain really.
At Llangennith we walked through the dunes a little before joining the beach at Diles Lake and turning back for home. The hope was that we’d get even closer views of the Scoter but we’d failed to take into account a large swell which meant that glimpses as the birds rose and then disappeared once more was about as good as it got. Not to worry as there was plenty of interest closer to hand with a pair of Chough, our first of the year, which bickered in the air before alighting on the muddy cliffs to feed. Further out along Worms Head it was very pleasing to see four or five Fulmars making the most of these brisk conditions which were also doing a good job of filling the air with spray. Good for dramatic photos, less good for camera lenses.
As usual these days there were several large Barrel Jellyfish washed up along the strandline as well as a very large seed. My immediate thoughts went to Coconut but on closer inspection, I’m not so sure. My internet searches have to date drawn a blank so answers on a postcode please.
With the sun threatening to break through, though not quite managing it, we enjoyed a few moments of tranquillity with the haunting remains of the Helvetia. I really can’t wait for summer when we can get out on the water and explore this bay from a whole new vantage point.