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5th August 2020 – Teifi Marshes near Cardigan, Wales

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The Teifi Marshes are about 30 miles from where we are staying in Ceredigion but they are actually in Pembrokeshire near Cardigan.  They are designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).  We had visited them before and, as the weather didn’t look too promising, we thought this would make a good day out.

On our journey there the weather actually looked encouraging but the moment we arrived it started to rain and didn’t let up until we were back in our cottage late in the afternoon.

We made our way down to the river edge where we saw a number of birds. In the distance we could see some goosanders diving and, on an island in the river, there were Canada geese, greylag geese, cormorants and gulls. I was very reluctant to take out my camera as the rain was quite heavy but needs must …

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DSC09442Goosander

DSC09457A mixture of Canada and Greylag geese and other birds

DSC09474This dunnock was happy to shelter from the rain right next to us

On the marshes we took refuge in a bird hide and were particulary pleased to see in the gloom (and the mud) a couple of curlew.

DSC09586The view from the hide

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A little further on there was another hide from where we had seen (online) a video of a kingfisher. There were a number of branches suitably positioned for kingfishers but  at first we saw nothing. In fact all we could see were a couple of mallards. We were about to leave when suddenly the mallards stood erect and looked very attentive.

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Then the show began:

The Teifi and some of its tributaries are designated as an SAC because of their habitats and the species which live in them, some of which are threatened or endangered both in the UK context and on a European scale.

The website says:

“Another reason for the special designation of the Teifi is the Otter (Lutra lutra) population, and there is much anecdotal evidence to suggest that Otters breed within Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve.

Verification of the presence of Otters is always difficult, because they are extremely shy and keep well out of our way. Often the only evidence is their paw prints in the muddy parts of the river banks and their droppinghs (spraints) left on riverside rocks.”

Little did we know that we were going to be treated to such a wonderful display.

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The otter flushed out what I thought at first was a curlew, but with its shorter bill I think it may be a whimbril. (On reflection probably a curlew).

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Soaked we may have been, very excited we definitely were.

 

 

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4th August 2020 – Clywedog Reservoir

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The weather was not so kind to us today. We drove north from our base near Aberaeron in search of adventure, but for most of the day there was drizzle or low cloud.  Our fill of nature was the landscapes which we saw. Bear in mind I only took photos when it was dry enough to venture out!

We stopped at RSPB Ynis Hir but we hadn’t done our homework and the reserve was closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

We  had a sneak view of the Dyfi Estuary where all we could see was a small flock of Canada Geese.

DSC09262Canada Geese on the Dyfi Estuary

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DSC09259The delicious Welsh lamb kebabs we had for our evening meal could well have come from these salt marshes

DSC09264-2It would have been a bonus to photograph a train on the bridge

We then made our way via Machynlleth, the ancient capital of Wales in the heart of the UNESCO Dyfi biosphere, to the Clywedog  Reservoir  – lovely views but not many birds, certainly not ospreys which we had seen reported here – mainly house martins, sand Martins and pied wagtails.

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DSC09388-2The ubiquitous rosebay willowherb – “fireweed”

DSC09432Harebells

DSC09397Common foxglove

DSC03128The Clywedog reservoir

We returned home via Devil’s Bridge but not stopping as again it was very busy with tourists.

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DSC09441Cardigan Bay had a very different mood to it this evening