Saturday, 20 September 2014

Tales from Ynys Mon

The Safari has had a very pleasant week away with Wifey and Frank on the beautiful Welsh island of Anglesey renowned for its majority of Welsh speakers and its varied coastline which has wild cliffs and tiny coves as well as wide sandy beaches to explore. A place we've not been to for about 17 years and used to holiday there when a small kiddy with the family maybe 45 and more years ago.
At Penmon Head overlooking Puffin Island where there are now Puffins breeding again (although gone at this time of year) after the eradication of the Brown Rats that have been on there for several centuries.
We did see mammals, a Grey Seal, possibly two and at least three Bottlenose Dolphins probably interesting the the Sea Bass or whatever they were feeding on, a fisherman went home with a whopper for his tea and a big smile on his face, about 30 inches long - the fish not his smile.
Our cottage (very nicely appointed with a huge sun lounge and a sea view) was close to the beach at Lligwy where Frank enjoyed sloshing around in the pools
and there is a cliff top walk to the nearby town of Moelfre.
Offshore there is an anchorage for large ships waiting to get into the docks at Liverpool, their draught is so large that they have to time their arrival to coincide with the highest tides
This is the Spike all 249m x 44m and 'only' 11.9m draught - more than 30 feet below the waterline no wonder they need the high tide to get into the river!
With an unusual strong and persistent easterly wind developing 'our' beach became a bit uncomfortable to sit on for long so we had to find somewhere more sheltered...bring on Porth Eilean sheltered by the rocky promentary of Point Lynas
A few rockpools were here and we've got a bit of video for you later in the week once we've edited the best bits.
The west side of the island hosts a smaller island, Holy Island, which is home to the RSPB cliffs reserve at South Stack and yet another lighthouse
There was no chance of Frank getting anywhere near the steps down to the lighthouse so we visited the watch tower at the top of the cliff to view the seabird nesting cliffs
The seabirds have gone but there was a Chough (162) was still poking about in the Sea Campion looking for grubs n stuff.
Shoulda been there last week or the week before when the cliff top vegetation woulda been stunning.
 We also visited Maltreath Sands, we were last here 20 years ago and saw our first British Little Egret on a dreadfully wet and windy day, a Pectoral Sandpiper was also there that day. No Pec Sand today although the weather was far far better a beautiful warm proper summer's day! We saw this wader on the mud where all those years ago the 'Yank' had been - can you tell what it is?
Of course you do!
Rather larger than a Pec Sand!
The Little Egret was still there, maybe not the same one and there were five others around the estuary
A Kingfisher put in an appearance and just about the first bird we saw was a Curlew Sandpiper (163) hiding behind a small flockette of Redshanks, they're everywhere at the moment we even noticed today one was seen where we went to look for them locally just before we went away.
The light was horrid but after we'd walked down the old railway line to view the muddy 'inland' areas and come back it was even worse but we did find another Curlew Sand.
Cracking weather we had - not a drop of rain; that hasn't happened on any of our hols for a long time!!!
So there's a snippet of what we got up to last week, there's plenty more to come for later too.
Where to next? If won't be Anglesey but it could be somewhere much nearer with a further report on the Welsh isle depending on how much we find close to home to tell you about.
In the meantime let us know whose carrying the biggest draught in your outback.


cliff said...

Some stunning scenery there Dave. We've had a few caravanning holidays in those parts back in the day. On one we visited South Stack, it's before I'd started birding & I recall asking a guy there if he could tell us where the Puffins were, problem was it was the end of October!

cliff said...

BTW - did you see the Little Egret roost count from Leighton Moss yesterday :-O

Warren Baker said...

What a great place to spend a week away Davyman, hard to come home I bet!