High tides and storms bring tier upon tier of surf surging up the beach, back-swash rattling grey rocks and pebbles mixed with windblown foam and spindrift. Inland, only gulls make headway in wind slowed by dunes, banks and stone walls. Suddenly, a very dark, sharp-winged gull skims low and up over the Gorse and fence-topped bank. Almost overhead, characteristic tail projections give Arctic Skua, forced inland along with gulls it likes to harass.
In the lagoon, high tides force animals and birds to move as brown, choppy waters creep in, inundating salting, marsh and causeway. Skylarks and Pipits flit up in strong winds; Shelduck and Wigeon ride the chop, feeding intently on seed-loaded flotsam. Redshank hurtle fast and low, thin-winged grey and white over ruffled waters; long-legged dun Curlew stand amongst flooding sedges, lifting off heavily when too deep even for their long bills. Scanning flooding marsh and swaying reed-beds, a characteristic narrow white strip advertised a large brown bird alighting a projecting fence-post, long wings and tail shimmied into shape. By the time the telescope was set up, the post top was vacant. One Buzzard watched from the airfield control tower, another buffeted by strong winds over the runway, yet another sailing on up-draughts among the dunes before a long tailed, angle-winged form lifted into sight behind sere reed-beds, repeated again and again as the female Hen Harrier hunted, hanging and side-slipping low over massed feathery reed tops swaying purple in the wind.
Wildlife Wales Activities: www.wildlife-wales.co.uk