Winter Light in West Wales

Teifi Marshes occupy a flat valley floor to the east of Aberteifi. The nature reserve, run by the Wildlife Trusts, was linked to the county town (aka Cardigan) by rail and water. The trains are long gone, but the line of the track now provides road access to the visitor centre. Although so close to the town, there is no road link and it feels a very wild place.

It was cold, frosty and misty when I was there and the light in the afternoon and early morning was spectacular.

This is not a place where the wildlife watcher is likely to find exciting rarities, but I spent a glorious hour watching a common buzzard searching for food, and my early morning encounter with the Curlew was recorded here: http://phototwynog.co.uk/i-curlew

The next day I was in Newport Pembs. In Welsh it is Trefdraeth which means “Town by the Beach”. If it ever was a port it is no longer, and the main beach is the other side of the estuary, but it is still one of the most beautiful and fascinating towns in Wales and the estuary is pretty good for birds too. 

Usually. This time all the geese had gone and only a few of the relatively  common Dabchicks, Curlews and Sandpipers diluted the flocks of Gulls, Mallards and Wigeon. They are all lovely creatures, but my best pictures in the gently fading light were landscapes:A rainy day was spent exploring the country to the east of the Mynydd Preseli, and then I headed south, crossing the Landsker Line between Llanddowror  and Red Roses.  I’m always fascinated by this ancient linguistic boundary which still divides North from South Gower and North East from South West Pembrokeshire. What history is in those very un-Welsh names: Robeston Wathen, Puncheston, Landshipping, Red Roses, Manorbier, and my destination Bosherston and Stackpole, and best of all Barafundle Bay. 

I didn’t get to Barafundle on this trip and there were no lilies on Bosherston Lily Ponds, but there was a quiet and poignant beauty to the almost monochrome scene:

Later in the morning the sun began to filter through the mists, the Jackdaws delighted in the updraft from the cliffs, the Ravens preened and I felt sad for the Irish saint Govan who hid from pirates in a cleft in the cliffs and then had a tiny chapel built round him – or perhaps not.

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1 Response to Winter Light in West Wales

  1. Blair Jones says:

    Nice blog and lovely pics.

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