Trip reports

Field Trip to Swansea- Blackpill, Mumbles and Bracelet Bay

Field Trip to Swansea- Blackpill, Mumbles and Bracelet Bay
Angharad Jones

Sunday, 14 October 2018

We had torrential rain when we left Cardiff for Swansea, however when we reached Swansea Bay car park the rain eased and by the afternoon the sun came out and we had a glorious sunny afternoon at Bracelet Bay.

We started our Field Trip at Blackpill in Swansea Bay, high tide being at 10.15am. As we walked along the sea front we saw common gull, great and lesser black-backed gull, mediterranean gull, herring gull and black-headed gulls along the water's edge.

At the shoreline, we also viewed at least five curlew, black-tailed godwit and oystercatcher. One of our highlights was watching carrion crows picking up shell fish, flying up and dropping them on the rocks to break them open. This provided the crows with a seafood meal!

A pied wagtail was seen busily darting around by the lido, as well as jackdaw and magpie being noted. On the way back to the car park, we spotted woodpigeon and goldfinch in the bushes. Some of us saw a jay and we all spotted the inevitable robin.

We then made our way to the Mumbles, by the pier which is being renovated. At the pier another highlight for us was studying the colony of kittiwakes on the manmade wooden ledges at the sides of the pier. Apparently, they are now there all year round.

On the pier pillars were redshank, turnstone and a ringed plover. A rock pipit was noted feeding on insects on the seaweed near us, while cormorants fished in the sea.

After lunch we moved on to Bracelet Bay to find more mediterranean gulls, amongst other gull species already mentioned. It seems that mediterranean gulls are becoming quite common at our seashores.

We made the most of the sunny afternoon by studying the different species of gull and also the elegant great crested grebes were seen. As we made our way along the headland, a flock of hirundines flew by and we spotted a stonechat perch in some bushes. We also noted blackbird, blue tit, house sparrow, meadow pipit and had clear views of rock pipit.

When we left the car park on our return home, a flock of long-tailed tits went dashing past and a sparrowhawk was seen on the high ground.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Swansea Bay area and it was good to brush up on gull identification as well as seeing the other bird species, especially the seashell cracking carrion crows and the kittiwakes.

Viv Jenkins