Descending through woods in half-light, Robin song wells up from the lamp-lit village below, advertising their presence from scattered territories. Song Thrush repeated couplets ring loud whilst Tawny Owls still call from trees and woods. Just one melodious Blackbird warble heard to date; likewise a single Mistle Thrush belting out simple, wild notes from a tree-top across stone walled fields.
First Snowdrops hang in bud atop tight-packed, upright grey stems; summer Campanula still in flower in the wall behind. Metallic pink Ivy seeds scatter the wet ground; birds feeding on bunches of funereal grey capped fruit that cloud the wall top.
This winter has mostly proved warm wet & windy so far, but mountain tops showed white under a dark cloud this morning, stiff westerly and high tide blowing creamy foam up the slipway and white breakers over the breakwater.
On Tuesday, with time to check the bay with binoculars & telescope, a single gull worked methodically over windswept, khaki, silt-laden waves that lifted black Scoter in and out of view. Wide sweeps before the wind interspersed with tight turns and fast swoops down to patter and peck the surface between the waves; lifting off with a distinctive shiver to shed water before rising high on the wind to quarter the bay again; occasional wing-beats causing the body to rise and fall in light, buoyant, Tern-like flight.
No sense of scale in the vastness of the seascape, but seemed medium to small by the flight; head dark shaded & spotted yet wings lacked angular quality and silver and white bi-colour of Black Headed Gull, though trailing edge showed narrow white.
Tracking the bird carefully across the bay, distinctive features gradually became apparent: black bill; dark wing underside; no black tips; only the 4th Little Gull located in 14 years here.
Wildlife Wales Activities: www.wildlife-wales.co.uk