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15th May 2021 – Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey

Cemlyn Bay

How good it is to be away from home. I’m not sure I felt that way when we were waiting for some lunch outside a restaurant in Cemaes on the north west coast of the island of Anglesey and it was getting colder and colder, nor when it started to rain. However, when our lunch arrived, after a lengthy wait, the sun came out for the first time that day and we were able to enjoy our lunch and reflect on the splendid walk we had had that morning along the shingle ridge of Cemlyn Bay.

Cemlyn is recognised for its National Nature Reserve and as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, It is home to the rare spotted rock rose and renowned for its breeding colonies of the Sandwich, common and Arctic terns.

As well as the terns we saw a large colony of black-headed gulls, oystercatchers, barn swallows and sand martins, grey herons, little egrets, shelduck (with chicks), a tree pipit and a red breasted merganser.

I can’t say I saw any spotted rock rose but there was lots of wonderful flora including sea kale, bog yellowcress, sea campion, sea thrift and bird’s foot trefoil.

Sandwich tern
Arctic tern
Common tern
Oystercatchers
Red breasted merganser
Sand martins
Barn swallow
Tree pipit
Bog yellowcress
Sea kale
Sea thrift
Sea campion
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2nd May 2021 – WWT Steart Marshes

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust website claims that ” Steart Marshes is the first of WWT’s working wetlands. It provides flood defence for local homes and businesses, showcases productive farmland and is home to a thriving nature reserve. The project proves we can fight climate change by working with nature.”

In line with government Covid-19 guidelines the hides are still closed but you get good views of the marshes from the walkways. However, we didn’t see much on the marshes but our visit was still very enjoyable as, with the sun on our backs and the sound of sky larks all around, we felt very positive (even though I failed to capture a couple of clear views of sky larks ascending).

There were a few treats though as we saw linnets, stonechat, reed warblers, reed buntings, a little grebe and a pair of yellow wagtails.

Linnets
A stonechat with an eye on a fly
Little grebe
Reed bunting
Yellow wagtail where you would expect to find them (at the feet of cattle)
Yellow wagtail
Reed warbler
Reed bunting