A windy afternoon at South Stack

Limpy and I were lucky enough to visit Wales last week - our first visit for three years.  Given the length of time since our previous visit, South Stack just had to be done:

One of the best things about visiting anywhere on the coast is the abundance of gulls.  This herring gull was making easy work of soaring, despite (or perhaps because of) the wind.

We were mainly here to see choughs, which meant that I was snapping pretty much everything flying past.  A closer look at this bird, though, revealed an equally acrobatic corvid ...... a raven!  I'm not complaining.

I love jackdaws and it was good to see them pottering about in the car park.

More raven action .........

....... and more.  I don't see ravens very often so I'm making the most of them here.

The cliff tops are stunning - and yes, I know the photographer well enough to know that he'd consider himself to be even better looking!

I wasn't quite expecting to see a kestrel hovering below me, but my position above it meant I could really admire those beautiful feathers!

What a beauty.

Two shags flying off-shore.  Thanks for the ID, Internetman.  I'm hoping the excellent Robbo will pop up and confirm ....... or not!

A gorgeous female linnet.  

Followed by a colourful male!

Is there anywhere in the UK without dunnocks?

Pretty sure this is a young stonechat.

A pied wagtail near the Visitor Centre.

At this point Limpy suggested calling it a day as he was very tired.  Sadly, we had only had distant glimpses of choughs so while we could say we'd seen them I couldn't help feel a bit disappointed.  As I drove down the road, though, we happened to glance into a field on our left ....... it was full of corvids.  No prizes for guessing which one:

Yay, choughs!!!!!!!!!

A slight case of three's a crowd!

As we were watching the choughs we kept hearing the cries of peregrines somewhere in the area.  Inevitably, the choughs took off.

We counted more than twenty of these wonderful birds.  What a perfect end to the visit!

Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • Great pics again Clare especially that man in the field ... but the lovliest of all were the captures of the beautiful female Kestrel ... so pleased you found the Choughs though!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Fabulous pics, Clare and it is great that you have had your Chough fix for the year! Was that flock making a high-pitched racket as it flew over? Lovely to see that man in that pretty field, too--give him our regards!

    Kind regards, 

    Ann

  • South Stack came good for you both, so glad you had sun and the wind always helps with getting those birds in flight shots. Love the Kestrel, gorgeous bird, and thank heavens you saw the Choughs on your way out, no wonder Limpy felt tired after making his way down to that spot, not an easy climb back up, but seeing the Choughs will have made your day.

    Lot to learn

  • Fabulous pics Clare, and good to see you and Limpy have a good time there, and lovely selection of species as well.

    The choughs have done well, I remember when South Stack had their first youngsters back in August 2017, the staff there were more than pleased to show off the youngsters, who at that time, kept evading ringing.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Just seen on bbc south east that Choughs were reared at Wildwood Trust then transferred to aviary conditions at Dover Castle to be released when ready in the hope that they will colonise Dover Cliffs ... a shortish journey for me to go & see if a success!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    WendyBartter said:
    Just seen on bbc south east that Choughs were reared at Wildwood Trust then transferred to aviary conditions at Dover Castle to be released when ready in the hope that they will colonise Dover Cliffs ... a shortish journey for me to go & see if a success!

    That would be a rather shorter trip for us as well, Wendy!  Keeping everything crossed that these lovely birds do well in Kent.

    By the way, Wendy, are you any further forward with being vaccinated?

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • Not yet Clare, have to contact my Doc next week to discuss it!
    Will try to keep up with news of Chough's release date!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Sorry to hear that. I really hope there's something safe and effective for you out there.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.