Saturday 21 April 2012

Gwyr - Diwrnod Chwech

Our last day on Gower was a reprise of the first, a trip to Rhossili. The main reason for this was the hope of seeing a Chough, though I admit that a return to the Bay Bistro was also a high priority. Walking to Worm's Head, we saw very little bird life. Even skirting the strip fields, there wasn't much of anything, but whilst watching some Linnets on a gorse bush on the climb out of Falls Bay, we heard the distinctive call of the object of our desires.

"Chi-ah! Chi-ah!"

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
On the path below us, a Chough was probing into the short turf with its red bill, searching for invertebrates. This bird is a 'good news' conservation story, as a browse through the links on the RSPB webpage for the species will show.

We then wandered over towards Mewslade Bay, on the off chance that the Spring Squill was in flower. It wasn't. Nearly, but not quite.

Scilla verna
Whilst sat next to this small plant, we heard a sharp, high-pitched call, reminiscent of a bird of prey. Casting our eyes skywards, nothing could be seen. But then we looked back along the clifftops and spotted a Peregrine falcon perched on the rocks some distance away.

Falco peregrinus
Making our last pilgrimage of the holiday to the Bay Bistro, we settled down on a bench on the terrace with our coffee and biscuits to reflect on a wonderful week in Wales. As if to reinforce the fact that the wildlife had been the stars of the show, a Robin put in an appearance and shared some of our crumbs.

Erithacus rubecula
Returning to the cottage, we explored a little of the wood across the field from the back door. Carpeting a boundary bank, was a small colony of Moschatel, the unknown plant of the previous evening's discussion. Mystery solved!

Our thanks must go to our hosts, Philippa and David, for a thoroughly relaxing week in a most comfortable cottage.


holdingmoments said...

Good to see the Chough.
I was very excited to see some when I visited Wales last year.

Imperfect and Tense said...

There may have been 3 on South Gower, but this was the only one we saw on the ground. Hopefully by the end of the Summer, there'll be a few more.

Martin said...

Lovely Gower Limestone in the Peregrine photo :)) Climbers and Wildlife, living in harmony ;)

Imperfect and Tense said...

There wasn't much harmony after I took the shot. Just as I was contemplating contouring around, out of sight, to try to get closer, the bird took flight. Some pillock with a tripod was walking along the top of the cliff towards it. Said Peregrine then flew over our heads but was just a silhouette to the camera.