Bristol Ornithological Club

 

April 2014.

 

Aberdaron is right at the end of the Lleyn Peninsula, in North West Wales. The centre of the village lies between the Afon Daron and the beach and consists of only about a dozen buildings: two pubs, three cafes, a fish and chip shop, general grocers and a Spar mini-market. What more could you want?

 

Go to the Spar shop in the mornings and you are likely to find a grey heron standing on the roof, waiting for his breakfast that the local butcher provides for him. Sunday is the best day, because that is the butcher’s day off, and the heron waits in vain for a long time. When we saw him, someone had thrown him a sausage, but he was not quick enough; a nimble herring gull snatched it from under his bill. A local man told us the heron has been shopping at the Spar for the last ten years, never misses a day.

 

Our cottage was on the hill above the village with views of the sea from the sunroom and bedrooms. Choughs are a common sight in these parts and in the spring, many migrants make land fall here. We had six whimbrel fly in to the adjacent field one day, and they stayed there all day before moving on.

 

Walking down to the village we were always greeted by stonechats at the small camping place, while swallows and sand martins flew around or rested on the power lines.

 

On a calm, sunny day we crossed over to Bardsey Island, Ynys Enlli. Takes about 15 minutes in the twin outboard engine ferry. The recent storms played havoc with the bird population. Razorbills and guillemot were down in numbers, and we only saw one puffin. The legendary peace and quiet of the island was not to be found that day, because the Trinity House boys were stocking up on water at the lighthouse, using a helicopter flying repeated journeys all day long. We walked up to the top of Mynydd Ennli then visited the chapel and the remains of the abbey and walked all round the coast back to the ferry. A wonderful day out.

 

We did a lot of walking and plenty of sight-seeing during the week. At Llanystumdwy, the museum of David Lloyd George is well worth a visit, and I just had to visit Criccieth castle; built by Llywelyn Fawr, later extended by his grandson Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and then by King Edward. What a view you get from the castle!

 

The peninsula is a great place to explore and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We recommend it to you.

Margaret & Ray Bulmer


Aberdaron church

Aberdaron church and village

Aberdaron Bridge

Aberdaron Bridge

Grey heron at the Spar shop

Grey heron at the Spar shop

Grey heron with sausage

Grey heron with sausage

Grey heron on a hot tin roof

Grey heron on a hot tin roof

Whimbrel with the locals

Whimbrel with the locals

Two of the six whimbrel

Two of the six whimbrel

Stonechat

Stonechat

Sandmartin

Sandmartin

Bardsey Island from the mainland

Bardsey Island from the mainland

The Bardsey ferry

The Bardsey ferry

View from Mynydd Ennli

View from Mynydd Ennli

Bardsey Chapel and Abbey remains

Bardsey Chapel and Abbey remains

Bardsey lighthouse

Bardsey lighthouse

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