Monday, 23 February 2009

A trip to the valleys...

Just returned from a refreshing trip to the valleys of Wales, where we were lucky enough to beat the cold weather and have the first sips of Spring.

We lodged within bowshot of Harlech Castle, a beautiful ruin which still stands sentinel over the small seaside town.

Great flocks of rooks and jackdaws nest in its crumbling ramparts nightly, and I made a point of sitting out in the chill at dusk to watch and listen to their nighly soap operas as they came into their night quarters to share stories of great food caches and other corvid gossip. The aerial acrobatics of these birds in particular are superb, among the very best the avian world has to offer, but as they are common birds in most parts of the country, they get largely ignored.

Keep your eye on them when you can, they lead infinitely fascinating lives and are always worth watching on the wing.

We were also fortunate enough to catch up with ravens and even a colony of choughs high up on a mist-shrouded mountain top.

The Atlantic Sea also provided plenty of opportunity for seabird watching and the surrounding area of Snowdonia National Park is quite stunning with its omni-present gorse bushes. A spectacular retreat.

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