Monday, 2 September 2019

Ramsey Island

On the Monday of our holiday we booked the boat to take us over the Ramsey Island for the day. It's about a ten minute journey from St Justinians and was a lovely smooth trip - and managed to allay my daughters fears of going on a boat again after a bit of a fraught trip elsewhere a few years ago.

Greenfinch near the boat station


Ramsey Island in the distance





Grey Seal greeting us by the island harbour


We were met off the boat by the warden who gave us a talk about the island and where to see the various wildlife. The little shop by the harbour is open around the times the boats arrive and depart the island, it sells drinks, a few snacks and gifts. If you do visit you'll need to bring your lunch with you! There is a boat that goes back around 12 but really if you're arriving by 10am two hours is nowhere near enough time to explore the island. The boats back are about 4pm and I think the day we were there around 40 people were on the island. 

House Martins on the shop


We stopped to use the facilities before heading out on to the island proper. A Red Kite sailed overhead and we saw it on a distant fence post not long after. 

Red Kite


There are still descendants on the island of Red Deer that were farmed here in the 70's, which usually like to hide in the undergrowth, my husband spotted one almost straight away and we did see a few more later from the top of Carn Llundain later in the day.  

Can you spot the Red Deer!


The views were stunning


We saw lots of small birds everywhere we walked - Wheatear, Stonechat, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, there were Swallows, Buzzards, Crows, Ravens and almost straight away we saw our first Choughs, a new bird for me!

Wheatear


Meadow Pipit



South Bishop Lighthouse



On the top of Carn Ysgubor



Chough


Walking along the cliff at one point we saw Gulls flying about and realised a few Fulmar were there too, they kept flying out of sight and I only managed a bad shot but I was happy to see these beautiful birds. The views as we walked were just stunning and it was a glorious day, my shots don't quite capture the purple of the heather!

Herring Gull


Fulmar


Several Wheatears seemed to follow us around, often stopping just in front and then flying on a little further. We saw a Peregrine as we started the climb up to Carn Llundain, the only one of the day. The climb up here was worth the sore calves and we sat and ate lunch with the beautiful views surrounded by grasshoppers and Painted Ladies, the latter rarely settled on anything and I struggled to get a photo. 

Wheatear



Wheatar


Red Deer 




Painted Lady


At Porth Lleuog we watched a few Grey Seals on the beach and more in the water around the cliffs. They come here to have their pups and use the caves in the cliffs.

Grey Seals



Raven



Meadow Pipit


It was very warm by early afternoon and we actually spotted a couple of Lizards basking in the sun, a first for me, i've never seen a Lizard of any kind in the UK. We saw a couple of the RSPB volunteers just after and they confirmed them to be Common Lizards. Unfortunately they didn't linger once they realised we were there so no photos. 



In the distance as we walked back in the direction of the farmhouse/shop I saw a tiny movement and managed to pick out a pair of Little Owls on a rock, it took a while for my husband and daughter to pick them out, luckily one took flight, which helped! They were too far for a photo of anything other than an smudge on a rock but it was a very nice way to finish our walk.

Two Little Owls........honestly



Red Admiral


Rabbits were everyone and were enjoying the sun as much as us all. This one was near the shop. 


This chicken strutted around everyone by the shop and made short work of a couple of apples!


We collapsed on a bench and got much needed cups of tea and a couple of bits from the shop, my daughter added to her RSPB pin badge collection with a Hoopoe and I got a Chough. It was nice to just sit a while, we watched the House Martins feeding their young, I spotted a Warbler on the chimney, I think a Chiffchaff and out at sea a Gannet flew past the harbour! 


While we waited for the boat to dock Oystercatchers flew around and Seals were in the distance. The boat was quite efficient at taking people back to the mainland, quicker than this morning, quite exhilarating, my daughter loved it and wished we'd booked a boat trip around the islands too! I saw a fin as we went across i'm not sure if it was a Porpoise or a Dolphin but it was quite exciting whichever it was! 

Oystercatcher


Monday, 26 August 2019

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path runs for 186 miles along the coast and part of it goes from Abeireddy on to Porthgain, this is the only part of it we walked. It's said that you could walk it in one go taking about 10-15 days but the rate we walk it would take us at least double this!!

Walking along from the Blue Lagoon there is a hidden away beach, Traeth Llyfn, which has rock pools, sand and beautiful sea............and a lot of steps to get down to it!









The cliff tops were covered in butterflies - Painted Ladies, Wall, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Blues.......

I think these are all Common Blue








A rather worn out Painted Lady


A less worn out Painted Lady!


Meadow Brown


Small Copper


Gatekeeper


Peacock


Meadow Brown


......and birds - Linnets, Meadow Pipits, Wheatear, Stonechats, Gulls, Raven, Crows, Sparrows and Oystercatchers, though we heard those long before we managed to spot them.

Oystercatchers


Linnet



Meadow Pipit


Wheatear


House Sparrows


Plenty of other insects buzzed around, lots of Bees, Crickets/Grasshoppers, Shield Bugs and Beetles

Pied Hover Fly?


Meadow Grasshopper?


Field Grasshopper


Sawfly?


Hairy Shieldbug


We walked on to Porthgain - lots more steps down to it and they were having a local 5 a side tournament so it was quite busy. The lady we rented the cottage from had recommended The Shed - the local Fish and Chip shop here but in the end we weren't really in the mood for fish so decided on lunch in The Sloop Inn instead, lovely big plates of food and a nice cold drink! We got ice creams for the walk back and had to eat them quickly as it was so warm. 



I've got to say the walking is fine, I can walk for hours usually but throwing in all the steps today was painful, my poor calves!! It was all worth it though. 

The view looking away from the sea


and towards it







So our little bit of the Coastal Walk took us a good few hours and it was just beautiful. I'd love to go back to walk other parts of it some day.