Suddenly, the bite has gone from the air and we are into early summer, leaves still glossy, new shoots stretching for sunlight. Spent spring flowers now in seed; time to strim lanes and meadows while grass stems remain sappy and easy to cut. Out on the dry, rabbit-grazed Maes behind the dunes, first Jackdaws then Herring Gulls gather snapping up long-awaited Coch-y-Bondhu (‘red-with-the-black-bum’): shining, copper-coloured Garden Chafers emerging from grass in bumbling beetle flight. On sunny days they blow onto pristine, clear mountain lakes, sailing, legs kicking, into dark ripple where white splashes mark their taking by Brown Trout.
Sea temperature now at 12’C with periods of offshore breezes flattening out the waves, first grey Sea Bass rises, whips the line taut with a tug and a splash and is brought to the net under a bent rod over pale sand and dark weed clearly visible in emerald and blue waters. A movement brings attention to a dark dunce cap out in the channel: Grey Seal, muzzle pointed upward; spotted again in weed over boulders close on shore. On the return, wading knee deep to cast to disturbed ripple patterns, a round, dark helmet emerges another cast length out, the Grey Seal watching without fear from dark eyes.
Woods and lanes are full of squeaks and bumbling flight of new-fledged Blue Tits calling to stay together, often found pathetically inadequate and vulnerable on the lane or perched too low to avoid predators. Harsh ’chacking’ calls resound through the woods: normally reclusive black, white and red Great Spotted Woodpeckers are very evident just now. One new-fledged young sat atop our telegraph pole like a large Starling whilst the handsome if slightly tattered parent demonstrated wood-pecking, whacking with pickaxe bill, braced to the post by opposing paired sharp claws and stiff tail.
Wildlife Wales Activities: www.wildlife-wales.co.uk