Sunday 15 April 2012

Gwyr - Diwrnod tair *

* Yep, Day 3 in Gower.

The second day of April dawned as warm and glorious as the first, so we drove to Oxwich Bay and parked by the beach. The tide was out, so we took the opportunity to wander along the littoral zone, but the only waders we saw were a group of seven Oystercatchers.

Turning back inland, we crossed into the dune system of Oxwich Burrows, part of which has been designated a National Nature Reserve. Bizarrely, we saw very little, a Chiffchaff, three Coal Tits and lots of hover flies. Which explains why this is the only photo I have of the morning...

Er, it's a fly, it's hovering... could be a hover fly?
Our insect ID book mentions an early-flying hairy hoverer called a Narcissus Fly, but there wasn't a mirror in sight, so who knows?

Following this disappointment, there was only one way to cheer ourselves up, drive to Broad Pool to look for dragonflies so we decamped to the restaurant of the Oxwich Bay Hotel for lunch.

In the afternoon, we walked through the fields and woods adjacent to Oxwich Marsh, became thoroughly lost, fairly muddy, impaled on various fences and ended up sat by an unmarked pond staring idly at the vegetation. Stuff Specsavers, we should've gone to Broad Pool, to look for dragonflies.

Following this disappointment etc... Oxwich Bay Hotel... coffee and cake... felt much better.

Oh, and then we went to Broad Pool to look for dragonflies. There was a chilly breeze blowing across the heath and all self-respecting larval odonates were safely tucked up below the water surface, but we did find loads of Otter poo. Unfortunately, I did not have the foresight to bring along a receptacle for collecting said scat, so that was my evening entertainment out of the window.

To be serious for a moment, the Otters of the Gower are known to feed on the larvae of the Golden-ringed Dragonfly, so dissecting their poo would have possibly revealed various structures of the larval exoskeleton. My thanks for this information goes to Dr Wendy Harris of Swansea University and her paper published in the Journal of the British Dragonfly Society, Volume 23, Number 1, April 2007.

Oh well, there's always tomorrow...

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