Keen to start fishing early on the sea, last week was spent in hope that silt would settle out to give clear water on shore before the return of turbulent low pressure systems. Tuesday morning was forecast the end of settled, high pressure, but early morning remained fine, so skipped breakfast for the beach to fish up to 10:00 AM high tide: very satisfying to rig up the rod for the first time since November, despite low chance of catching so early.
Emerging onto the beach, sea conditions were ideal: almost imperceptible swell sighing onto wet sand; just a light surface ripple. Wading waist deep, casting over rocks and kelp for Pollack, water still slightly milky, but clear enough to locate dark patches of kelp beneath the surface. From mist covered mountains across the bay, a window flared bright, catching the rising sun. Working systematically along the beach, glancing ahead toward the rocky shore, two duck foraged between dark emergent rocks, one dark headed and canvas backed, the other just dark. Despite large numbers of Wigeon and Teal, not one Mallard over-wintered on the estuary, yet what looked like a pair in unlikely habitat was confirmed when they sped close past, drake’s bottle-green head iridescent in morning sun. Soon after, a steady whistling beat marked approaching Mute Swans, a pair passing close overhead, following the shore-line between estuaries.
Tide almost full, south-west horizon dark with cloud and breeze darkening the water, when two large grey birds with pale under-parts beat ponderously, unusually low over the waves; pair of Herons way out to sea.
Reluctantly reeling in, hooking up and returning to the car, a skeletal spray of Elm suckers at the car park entrance held up dark clusters silhouette against the sky, proving tiny toffee and pink star-bursts close up.
Wildlife Wales Activities: www.wildlife-wales.co.uk