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 …
A mixture of Canada and Greylag geese and other birds
This 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.
The view from the hide
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.
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.
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).
Soaked we may have been, very excited we definitely were.