24 January 2015

Otter feeding in Fall Bay

I guess I am not alone in thinking that Otters are usually associated with rivers, streams and estuaries, rather than rocky coasts. Although I am aware of previous Otter sightings in the Rhossili area, I have never seen one here, despite over a quarter of a century of walking the cliffs in the Mewsalde-Fall section of the coast. Until today, that is. A whiskery head popped up in Fall Bay this morning and at first my assumption was that it was a seal (which would have been a a good sighting, anyway). But as it dived it was clear that it was very slender, with a long tail: this was a big Otter, not a seal.


I watched it diving for fish for a few minutes and then it surfaced with a pretty big fish (250-300mm long, I guess).


It then swam towards the mouth of the bay and disappeared under water for a short time.Soon afterwards it appeared on the rocks under Tears Point, at the outer edge of Fall Bay, and spent about eight minutes eating the fish before sliding back into the sea.





I feel I was very lucky to see this happening and to be able to photograph it.




Otter feeding in Fall Bay

I guess I am not alone in thinking that Otters are pimarily associated with rivers, streams and estuaries, rather than rocky coastline. Although I am aware of reports of Otter sightings in the past in the Rhossili area, I have never seen one here, despite over a quarter of a century of walking the cliffs in the Mewslade-Fall part of the coast. Until today, that is. A whiskery head popped up in Fall Bay this morning and my assumption was that it was a seal (which would have been a good sighting, anyway). But as it dived there was a long, slender tail: this was a big Otter, not a seal.
I watched the Otter fishing for several minutes and then it surfaced with a pretty big fish (maybe 25-30cm in length).

It then swam towards the outer edge of the bay and, after disappearing from view for a minute or so, appeared on the rocks under Tears Point. It spent about eight minutes eating its catch before sliding back into the waves.



I feel I was very lucky to have seen this and to have been able to photograph it as it happened.

19 January 2015

more spring

Yesterday at Horton I saw my first bee of the season, amazing and pointless. No evidence but I am quite , orange haired legs and white stripes on a black abdomen, sure it was an Andrena ovatula. Can't post an archive picture for some reason, sorry!

15 January 2015

gower (ish) bees

the gower bee pictures I have taken over the last 3 years are now more or less posted on flickr here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/iantew/sets/

the same riders apply as before, there may be mistakes as I'm a relative beginner. I would be very grateful if you would let me know of any mistakes you find.

Sorry I can't post any to brighten up the winter but something I don't understand is going on.

12 January 2015

Spring!

A couple of years ago I put a nest box in my garden and finally, yesterday morning, it attracted some interest! I watched a pair of bluetits going in and out for several minutes so presumably checking out as a nest site, though it certainly seems very early.

30 December 2014

A Starling Spectacular at Pwll, Llanelli.

 About 4.30pm yesterday afternoon (29/12/14), I chanced to look out of the south-facing kitchen window of my home at Tyrwaun (at the western end of Pwll, Llanelli), and was amazed to see the sky literally filled with starlings. Grabbing my camera, I could see that the whole southern aspect of the sky, from the c SE (at `mid Pwll`) to the SW (over Ashpits Pond, just E of Burry Port) was absolutely filled with a gyrating huge flock of starlings. It seemed that they were looking for somewhere to settle for the night, as some smaller sub-flocks would descend and one such group actually briefly landed in my neighbours` garden, as well as in nearby trees and adjacent willow carr.

However, the flock then seemed to continue flying approximately westwards and may have alighted in the Ashpits Pond area but, equally, the flock may have continued onwards to roost in Pembrey Forest or elsewhere. 
Forty-five years ago, I recall likewise large concentrations flying over my old school (Llanelli Boys` Grammar School) and these similarly huge flocks  caught the attention of the pupils (as well as the general public). Those 1970 flocks actually did roost in Pembrey Forest and the scattered concentrations of hollies and Cotoneasters that still grow under the pines there may have emanated from their droppings. 
Presumably, yesterday`s big flock (which, at a conservative estimate, was 5000+) was weather-driven from harsher conditions elsewhere in the UK or the Continent.


Above: two photos showing just part of the flock. The white speck in the top photo is the moon.

28 December 2014

Very early daffs

Although the first half of the Winter has at times felt more like Spring, we were surprised to see a flowering patch of Daffodils at Burry Green on Christmas Eve. I have also noted plenty of wild species flowering unseasonally at the end of what has been one of the warmest years on record.