Thursday, September 30, 2010

After early morning rain, skies are clear over the beach. Far across the choppy green bay, clouds of bright white Gannets, gulls and Kittiwakes circle, sweep and hawk over Mackerel shoals, sunlit against a dark cloud bank obscuring the Llyn Peninsula.

On Monday, a near flat calm brought sea bass within fly casting range close in past the point just before high tide. A blue sand eel imitation retrieved fast close to the surface brought exciting pursuits ending with a bang as the fish hit, followed by anxious minutes, rod butt braced tight to the chest against the pull, before five good fish were safely netted. Bass are armed with sharp spined fins and gill covers and armour-plated with hard silver scales. Pale grey with white bellies as they fight in clear water, they emerge white and silver with delicate brassy sheen, eyes of brass and inky pupil.

Other memorable moments are a wide streak of white feathers, like a burst pillow, in the middle of a new-sown field of emerging turnips; a slate-backed bird, white breast streaked black, gripping a prostrate Black-Headed Gull in trousered talons. A black-hooded, white cheeked head tears at fresh meat, glares fiercely at the car, then flies off heavily, gull hanging limp behind.

Up in mountains, immersed in damp cloud, two, wide-winged, misty silhouettes hang low over grey walls, distinctive long tails twisting to maintain position at near stalling speed, before drifting along the ridge to fade out of sight.

Later, just over a rise, a mountain loomed in the cloud, flat waters of a glacial lake emerging below. Looking down over rocky cliffs onto still, dark waters, pale, weed covered rocks visible beneath; a long, narrow form propelled itself away from the bank below, pale backed with tan head and back-projecting feathered crest.














Wildlife Wales Activities: www.wildlife-wales.co.uk

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