An idyllic welsh beach and stacks of birds.
I think I had already made several prayers to the weathers gods for good fortune with the weather. I think they must have misheard me. On arrival at Lockley Lodge there was already a queue at
6.30 am. This time there was about 20 people waiting in front of us. The North wind remained breezy. The white horses continued to canter down across St Brides Bay and the sea was rough.
One thing I enjoy about trips away is meeting people with similar interests and it did not take long before we were chatting away with a fellow welsh photographer in the queue who shared a similar enthusiasm for wildlife. Time soon flew by and our conversation was halted when we got the bad news - boats were off again. Our plans were up in the air once more.
Despite the wind the weather was brilliant so after a group huddle we decided to head to the Stackpole Estate.
The estate is owned by the National Trust and is an area of absolutely outstanding beauty.
After about a 45 minute car journey we arrived at the Stackpole Quay car park.
A walk along the clifftops led us to Barafundle beach. This is probably one of the most idyllic beaches I have ever seen in the world.
The clean turquoise coloured water against the golden sand looked stunning.
There was plenty of wildlife to watch. Seals were observed swimming close to the cliff rimmed bays and the cliffs were home to Jackdaw colonies, Rock Pipits, Rock Doves, Herring Gulls and Fulmars.
We spent the morning mesmerised by the beauty of the place but also wanting to find a location that was perhaps a little wilder and remote that may have more birds on offer to photograph.
Whilst chatting to a fellow birder the previous day he had suggested we visit a place called Stack Pole Rocks. He said that to get to it you had to cross a Ministry of Defence tank range to get to it.
It sounded good so we decided to head over to it and hopefully not have to play chicken with avoiding any tank shells that may come in our direction.
Fortune was on our side the barriers to the range were up meaning we could enter it and get to the rocks. Perhaps the weather gods had something special in store for us after all - or not.
On arriving at the Stackpole Rocks car park we were greeted by an almost empty car park and a couple of picnic benches with a view in one direction across the range and in the other a view of long grass and scrub land.
Nothing was going to prepare us for what we found next. We had a short discussion about where we could eat our sandwiches. Either at the view point or straight on through the boring looking scrub land in the direction of the sea. We chose the latter and headed along the path. I must admit I was hungry and looking forward to my grub with a view of the sea.
As I charged head on along the path through the scrub land with my tummy grumbling and compatriots in tow, I then had a shock. I heard a terrific noise of seabirds and my nose was assaulted by the smell of guano. Then I saw the top of the stacks and swore out loud. I will let the pictures speak for themselves but we had found a wildlife jewel. Thousands of Guillemots and Razorbills covered enormous hundreds of feet high stacks of rock that stood in a wondrously turquoise coloured sea.
The weather gods can be fickle but they had favoured us today. Had the Skomer boat not been cancelled we would have never visited it. Wow.
|The top of the largest stack- I say is that seabirds I hear?|
|The top is covered in thousands of Guillemots. Razor-bills reside lower on the stacks sides.|
|Fighting to be the King of the Castle|
|Hordes of Black and White birds|
|I tried counting and gave up.|
|Two of the stacks. There is more.|