My overriding memories of this winter are of it being both cold and wet but on the odd occasion that the sun has shone it’s proved truly spectacular. A lot of that has of course to do with the places we’ve chosen to visit, none more so than Manorbier. Sitting just west of Tenby in the Pembrokeshire national park Manorbier has long been a favourite haunt of ours and with views like this, who can blame us.
However, don’t let those clear blue skies deceive you. In person it was bitterly cold, a strong wind necessitating full winter clothing but find a little shelter and suddenly it felt like spring. Daffodils flowered, Skylarks sang yet you needn’t have looked too hard to break that illusion. Nearby farmland still held flocks of wintering Redwing for instance and rather unexpectedly hundreds of Golden Plover as well. The latter were a very nice surprise and with several large groupings visible were clearly finding this Pembrokeshire landscape to their liking.
Out at sea a lone Great Crested Grebe was fishing in Swanlake Bay whilst a brute of a Great Northern Diver off Manorbier itself continued what has been an excellent winter of records for the species. Being still too early for auk activity it was left to a pair of Chough to continue the entertainment although to be honest, geology does a pretty darn good job of that around these parts.
Other notable sightings from the day include a Sparrowhawk using one field’s fence as its own personal lookout as well as a couple of Mistle Thrush identified thanks to their chattering calls. Really though it was the sea to which my attention kept turning, an inviting expanse that if I hadn’t known its true temperature would have had us reaching for the kayaks in no time. Soon, soon.