Thursday, 23 September 2010

Trip to the Gower - The Worm

As I was nearby, it would have been remiss not to have visited the beloved Gower peninsula and the good weather was further encouragement (if the sun's shining in Wales, make the most of it).

Worms Head looks like a sea-monster rising out of the water, and takes the name from the Viking word for a dragon - Wurm. It is only accessible at low tide, and is a great sea-watching site as it sticks out into the sea.

Braving the difficult rocky terrain and making light of the back-pain, I set off across the boulders and rock pools feeling intrepid, only occasionally being overtaken by pensioners in Clarks shoes.
The rockpools held abundant life that must cling on tight when the tide's in and the waves thunder over the rocks.
From the point there was a good view of seabirds passing by and also resting up or feeding. Groups of Guillemots and lone Razorbills and Shags dived in the calmer waters, terns and Gannets fished further out and a Red-throated Diver flew by.
To my regret, no shearwaters or petrels were seen.
A great compensation, however, was the arrival of a Chough, scolding my presence with its metallic bark.

In a very different world, at a reservoir between the M4 and BOC's gasworks in the industrial part of Wales, underneath electricity pylons, I was able to find a Grey Phalarope that had been there for a week. Totally confiding, it paddled up and down the causeway giving lessons in behaviour to Kent's distant Wilson's Phalarope.

I am now unable to read the word without pronouncing it with a Welsh accent - they will forever be Pharl-rops.

Like many other twitchers I missed the Bobolink that was found at the reservoir a couple of days later - the story is here.

1 comment:

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Very envious of your trip to Gower , I must go back soon .
Great shots of the Chough and the Stonechat pair .
To say nothing of the Pharl-rops .
Shame you missed the Bobolink , whatever it was .