Saturday, 13 November 2010

A tale of two beaches

Standing in our living room this morning with the November sun beaming down outside we decided, the five of us, that today would be a good day to be outdoors.

Hang on... the five of us? There's only four of us normally - the fifth was a small vole or shrew scuttling about by our feet.

On Monday while watching Spooks I had sensed that I was not alone but dismissed it as tension caused by watching the season finale. Scary things have happened before while I watched Spooks...

Our tiny visitor decided to pop out just as the picnic and wellies were packed and we were about to head out of the door. We've had a this before and learned that it would not go into a live trap. What we have to do is open the door and watch it leave which it did, eventually, after whizzing around the edge of the living room, taking a brief trip into the dining room and finally, heaving itself over the threshold.

We drove to West Dale beach which is the home of great driftwood. Today pickings were lean (we espied fellow beach combers lugging armfuls home ahead of us) but we managed a few armfuls of choice pieces.

Down the steps to the beach.

A heart of stone.

Skokholm island in the distance.
 Full of driftwood and picnic we hopped back into the car and drove further around the peninsula to Marloes sands, a beautiful crescent of golden sand with some impressive geology.

Rows of toothy rocks. You wouldn't want to wreck your ship on these.

The sun is hidden by growing clouds and the sea is showing its fury.

Here comes the rain!
Of course it rained at the point where we were furthest from the car. The wind drove it up the backs of our coats as we ran back ensuring we all had wet knickers when we reached dry safety. Brian, of course, had yet another armful of driftwood. Taking him to the beach is sometimes like taking a Labrador. He arrives back wet and panting with the biggest stick he can find.

Today's full tally of wildlife:
  • One common shrew
  • A barn owl
  • Two buzzards
  • One unidentified raptor
  • Two oystercatchers
  • A small bird that fluttered its wings and said 'peep peep' (sorry, there are gaps in my ornithological education.)


  1. I have rediscovered Marloes beach this year - isn't it fantastic? I think for years I saw it as bit too far, and a bit compromised by the boating fraternity (I still think that of Dale) - but it is stunningly beautiful.

    If you look on the excellent Pembrokeshire birds blog it is a good way of checking what other birders saw today - there were 'ringtails" (hen harriers) near Skomer, so perhaps that is what you saw?

    Here is the link - it is a brilliant site to check regularly, especially for Newport estuary

  2. Let me thank you so very much for taking me outdoors, way outdoors, and giving me a glimpse of beautiful scenery, and wonderful taste of your witty way with words.


  3. Sounds like a delightful, if damp, day. Glad you had a grand time (aside from getting wet). And you got some awesome pictures. What beautiful surroundings!

    When you said five of you were heading out, I immediately thought of the dog as being the fifth member. Poor pooch got left at home, again. Miss Sadie sends condolences.

    The bird which went "peep, peep" might have been a member of the sandpiper or plover families.

    BTW, where's the picture of the shrew?

  4. We love the beach at Marloes. Bit of a hike down the cliffpath with loads of gear and two little ones though!

  5. Gorgeous photos, Mags - and how lovely to have a tiny visitor... ours are much bigger and keep arriving!

  6. Thank you for taking me with you on the beach, it was a lovely journey. The scenery, the rocks and the wildlife, I felt as if I was really there....thank you!

  7. Lovely wintery wales pics! Doesn't it ALWAYS rain when you're at the furthest point from....anywhere?!

  8. Utterly heavenly. (wrote haven'ly first go and deleted, but rather a suitable name for your lovely beach!)

  9. Gorgeous pictures. I am rather jealous of where you live. I do love your blog.


I am sorry to have to add word verification thing again but I keep getting spammed.