Luckily for current bridge reconstruction, the river is at rocky bottom; once again a dry spring with no rain for many weeks. Blue Llyn Bodlyn lies 50ft deep under a dark 500 foot cliff, low water leaving a narrow gravel margin along which a sandy coloured bird flitted on down-slung, faintly barred wings; first Common Sandpiper of the year.
Three beautifully marked mountain trout taken; two too small to keep; largest, sufficient to feed two, deceived by a tiny Black Gnat, hook the size of this letter ‘j’.
Dry rattle of first Whitethroat scratched from gorse a field away whilst erecting the Wildlife Wales banner on the roadside. A party of six Whimbrel rested up on the boulder shore with many black-bellied, black-legged Dunlin chasing after sand fleas on the beach, all en-route to northern breeding grounds.
Aim in the afternoon to find as many new migrant arrivals as possible, good to locate and spot Blackcap and Garden Warblers in close proximity and compare very similar liquid songs: sooty male Blackcap silhouette amongst breaking leaves of Sallow; olive-green Garden Warbler flitting between rich yellow bottle-brush gorse.
Stopping to listen for mechanical whirr of Grasshopper Warblers, a grey-blue, hawk-like Cuckoo flitted low over buff sedges with down-arced wings and long tail, chased into budding Sallow by a tiny Meadow Pipit.
Just inside the woodland gate, fat yellow Kingcups lay in dappled sunlight over rich black mud of a spring fed bog. Passing out of the wood, strident whistles followed by a sibilant cascade of notes added Wood Warbler to our list, almost impossible to locate high in the oak canopy, even before bud-burst. Similarly, despite distinctive song and bold black and white design, male Pied Flycatchers are not easy to find amongst oak branches and twigs even before the leaves emerge.
Wildlife Wales Activities: www.wildlife-wales.co.uk