Thursday, 31 July 2014

Marloes and the Gann

Following on from a brilliant time on Skomer island, we then decided to check out some of the other birding sites on the peninsular around Marloes and Dale. This area is one of my favourite in Pembrokeshire, and it is always worthwhile for a check.

Marloes Mere was fairly hard going, and other than a few ducks, that being 4 Gadwall (which I believe may have been my first in Pembs!) and 3 Shoveler it was all a little 'samey'. No surprises here like I had last year! After giving the south end of the Mere a good grilling, we thought best to head off to a location that I always get exited about!
The Gann

And luckily, it proved much more interesting! After walking along the shingle ridge and reaching the far end, the first bird I saw was a Grey Plover, again, a first for Pembs for me, and not something I would expect to see here at the end of May!
A Little Egret and and Shelduck were also in attendance.

It was hard to believe the amount of 'damage' that had happened over the winter since my last visit. I think the extremely high tide made it look much worse than it was, but it was obvious that large areas of the shingle had been displaced, and the old 'exit stream' of the Pools had infact become an inflow! The shingle ridge was also much steeper than the gentle incline it was before, and it was clear that much of the shape of the wider bay had changed! The power of the sea!

Even during previous high tides spent here, I have never seen the saltmarsh covered adjacent to the Gann river, but with the tide and displaced shingle it was easily inundated even before the water reached its peak. In a way that was a blessing, as the rising tides pushed 3 Whimbrel and 5 Curlew out of the Channels, which then went on to pose for us on the dryer ground.

 With the family now calling, it was time to head back, and as we turned to walk away, a pair of Ringed Plover dropped in on the tideline a short distance away, before these too moved over onto the saltmarsh to roost.


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