The Safari recently had the good fortune to be able to spend a wonderful week of wildlifing in sometimes sunny sometimes windy Pembrokeshire.
On the way down we spotted a few Red Kites. All except this quite distant one were at places we couldn't stop and pull off the road. Still great to see and moves our Photo Year List Challenge along to 178.
Strumble Head where we headed on our first day out is hardly a secret. We saw plenty of Harbour Porpoises (PYLC #180) and a handful of impossible to photograph Common Dolphins but totally dipped the small pod of Risso's Dolphins that came through just beyond the tidal rip.
Also at home on the cliffs are those most enigmatic of the crow family, Choughs (PYLC #182)
Out and about during the rest of the week we came across the following species of vertebrates
That lot took our Challenge tally to 189. we had a chance of getting a bat species or two around the cottage but the plummeting temperatures compared to the previous week meant there was little bat activity. We also had a stealth cam set up along the track through the woods baited with peanuts in the hope that a Badger or two might pass by but again no such luck.
We did get taken to see a well used Badger sett in a place that surely hasn't been trodden by humans since the colossal stones of the impressive Pentre Ifan neolithic burial chamber were put in position.
Reptiles were high on the wish list too - we always like a scaly thing and RL has an impressive knack of finding them and so it was he found us no end of Common Lizards and two Adders, one of which was soaking up some much needed sunshine right only inches from the edge of a major path yards from the car park.
|Taken with our phone|
Adders 2 - Others 0 Try as we might we couldn't find any Grass Snakes or Slow Worms despite several known spots being given a thorough searching.
|Juvenile on walkabout|
|The 'eft' in a Brain Jar|
|Love those feathery gills|
|The unspotted chin is diagnostic - see also earlier pic of it being wrangled to show the chin better|
|Ponies are used to graze the cliffs to break up Bracken and Gorse thickets to provide more niches for wildflowers and feeding opportunities for the Choughs|
|Strumble Head lighthouse|
|A random Bar Headed Goose on a river estuary - probably hasn't recently flown over the Himalayas|
|Horribly distant Kittiwakes|
|Horribly distant Manx Shearwater - same individual as earlier|
|Horribly distant Kingfisher but a great spot by R|
|Horribly distant Brent Geese - there seemed to be a decent proportion of juveniles in the flock which is good|
|Curlew on the River Teifi|
|Chough - the same individual as earlier|
|A bit of welcome sunshine brought out a few butterflies like this Comma basking in an attempt to warm up|
|Rock Pipit nice and close|
|Guess who heard the camera!|
|Flock of Gannets - one such flock of hundreds|
|Gannet - about the closest one we saw|
|Five legged Field Grasshopper|
|Grey Seal - rarer than African Elephants|
|Juvenile Grey Seal |
|Knot Grass moth caterpillar|
|A Land Hopper - similar to the Sand Hoppers found under seaweed on the beach but a terrestrial species, one we've not seen before|
|Leucistic female Chaffinch - a regular visitor to R's feeders|
|Little Grebe - they were everywhere, never seen so many in a week before|
|A different one just a few feet away|
|Phone-scoped Moon - failed miserably to get a pic of Saturn which was showing really well as were Jupiter and Mars - - Dark Skies are a real boon|
|Old Ash tree - no Tawny Owls in it although there were plenty nearby|
|Ringed China Mark - a new moth for us - - sadly cold nights prevented us from doing any of the planned moth trapping sessions|
|Siskin - the first on R's feeders for several months|
|As with most of the bird feeder photos taken through the kitchen window|
|Where's all my breakfast gone? - Taken by R|
|Distant Stonechat - plenty about today but none of them very confiding|
|Water Buffalo - marshland grazers extraordinaire|
And finally Llys-y-fran reservoir at dusk