Today marks the official start of #30DaysWild and it’s been really encouraging reading what everyone’s been up to. Encouraging and frustrating as while it seemed that the wider populace was off having their own wild adventure, muggings here was stuck at work. Not to worry though as I had a cunning plan. Come clocking off time it was a mad dash to our nearest convenience store for supplies before the short drive down to Gower, or more specifically Rhossili. After a day stuck inside we thought why not forgo the formality of an evening meal and instead enjoy a picnic overlooking easily the most beautiful stretch of coastline this side of Pembrokeshire. So that’s what we did.
With most of the day trippers gone we had the place pretty much to ourselves and arrived to find a large flock of circa sixty Linnets madly circling nearby fields. The reason why quickly became apparent as a Sparrowhawk shot over the boundary wall, saw us and then quickly scampered off in the opposite direction. She, for it was a female, wasn’t the only bird of prey about either with a Buzzard perched on a distant fence post and the Kestrel below continually returning to the same rocky outcrop near where we were sat. After a couple of minutes of such behaviour we began to suspect that the bird may have had a nest on the cliffs nearby so we relocated and were rewarded with the sight of it disappearing into a cleft in the rocks.
Also using the cliffs were a couple of Fulmars patrolling in a way only they can, plus a lone Shelduck making the long, lonely swim across Rhossili Bay. Best of all though was a single Painted Lady butterfly, surprisingly active in the rapidly cooling evening air and my second of the day following a recent influx along this stretch of coastline. Whenever I see one I can’t help but marvel at the miraculous migration this species undertakes, all the way from North Africa each spring. Despite giving us the run around, quite literally in fact, I never did manage to get it on camera.
But that wasn’t the objective of our first random act of wildness, nor indeed #30DaysWild. Instead it was about reconnecting with nature, a chance to unwind and relax the body and mind. That we did wonderfully, simply by sitting and observing with Grey Seals on the horizon and House Martins overhead.