An evening on the Goldcliff Lagoons sea wall


I needed some fresh air this week after work. The heat during the day has been pretty unbearable at times in my home office. Its incredible to think its September and we are experiencing temperatures in Wales of over 30 degrees celsius.

On Tuesday evening I decided to venture down to Goldcliff Lagoons. The skies were quite hazy and I was a little unsure if the sunset was going to be very good.

Just after 6pm I was stood on my most favourite bit of sea wall in the world - the sea wall at Goldcliff.  To me visiting the reserve is like going to church and I was feeling like I needed to pay a visit and thank it for for all the opportunities it has provided to me for photographs and the subsequent doors that have opened as a result. I honestly don't think I would have been presenting at the recent WPF convention if it had not been for Goldcliff Lagoons and my love of it.

I sat on the wall dangling my legs over the side trying to chill out. I say trying as it was becoming increasingly difficult to relax as I was being eaten alive by the blood sucking midges and I had a made the big mistake of wearing shorts. 

Eventually I had to get up and move about to avoid being drained of any blood I had left in my legs. The tide was way out in the distance. It was serenely quiet and still. The only really noise to be heard was birds calling to each other.

Out there on the expanse of mud was a big flock of Black-Tailed Godwits. I counted in excess of three hundred. Mixed in with them were Knots, Curlews, Oystercatchers, Redshanks and Lapwings. I have not seen so many waders on the mud in a long while. 

This was the first evening visit for me in ages and I had the reserve completely to myself , it felt wonderful despite the midges who know seemed to have gone into a feeding frenzy targeting my legs whenever I stopped moving.

The sun started its decent to the horizon . A layer of hazy cloud  remained and the fire ball that was the setting sun caused the skies to turn all kinds of shades of orange, brown and black colours. 

It was incredible how vivid the sun was against this backdrop of contrasting colours.

I love a sunset and made the most of it with my camera but at times I just stood and watched it in awe.

Apparently the clouds were full of Saharan sand caused by a plume of warm African air. That would explain the crazily warm weather we have been having as well. The dust is orange in colour and when it rained the following day my car was covered in it.

I stood on the wall for a good while after the sun had gone down and enjoyed the moment. The after burn effect of the embers  glowing up from behind the mountains was nice and I find that it always has a relaxing affect on me. It also gives me a sense of finality. The day had ended and all your stresses and woes can be forgotten with it, at least until the next day.

The darkness started to envelop Goldcliff and I could see the lights starting to twinkle in the distant city of Newport. Now it was time to head for home. 

As I walked through the reserve I came across a couple named Lee and Gaynor who unknown to me had also been on the reserve - so I had not been truly alone.Lee was carrying a large parabolic dish in order to listen to bird calls. He was being led by Gaynor because he was blind. I had a lovely chat with them both and was really pleased that someone with a disability can enjoy our hobby of ornithology and the fantastic reserve of Goldcliff.

Lee informed me that he will soon have article published in a birdwatching magazine and I look forward to reading it. 

Ps - those pesky midges really did have a great time feeding on my legs, I am scratching my itching bites as I type this.


  1. Lovely to meet you today, Blair. Kind regards, Carol

    1. Really enjoyed the chat. Far more enjoyable than being stuck in a traffic queue :)


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