It was slightly nippy this weekend when I ventured into the sea, the chill from the previous night hadn’t quite diminished and there was almost a crispness to the air.

The waves were hardly epic, but worth the early start. The peacefulness of sitting waiting for the next wave gives a great chance to spot some amazing wildlife, and it reminds you that its not just humans who enjoy the surf.

Kittiwakes are amongst the most graceful seabirds I can think of – swooping down within in inches of the waters edge, the shrill 'kittee-wa-aaake, kitte-wa-aaake' call echoing round the bay.

Amazing enough, but I had an even closer encounter with a non-avian sea user. Within less than 6 feet a Grey Seal emerged, deftly cleared its nostrils, and sat looking at me, and me at her. Those big black eyes looking on as it bobbed up and down in the water, then as quickly as it appeared – it vanished beneath the water.

I’d obviously picked a good day, the sea was still relatively quiet, with only a few others up early enough to catch the tide before it reached its zenith. Overhead the “kwee-ow” and “chee-a” alerted me to a pair of choughs flying from the Worms head over towards the down, and as I followed them I spotted some oyster catchers heading in the opposite direction from Llangenith.

I know these are all fairly common sights for the area, and not so common in others – but the opportunity to sit and observe them all enjoying and using the sea, while doing it yourself is pretty amazing.  All I need to do now is get a camera out there with me!

©RSPB images