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Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - DAVID SAUN­DERS

THE BOUND­ARY BE­TWEEN Glam­or­gan and Car­marthen­shire fol­lows the sin­u­ous main chan­nel of the Loughor Es­tu­ary. Over half a mile at its widest point, the es­tu­ary nar­rows at Loughor Bridge, an an­cient cross­ing for­merly guarded by the now ru­inous cas­tle. This is still worth a visit and looks an ideal res­i­dence for a win­ter­ing Black Red­start. Although over shad­owed by the

1KEY SITES The low-wa­ter chan­nel is some dis­tance away so care­fully check the tide-ta­bles and ar­rive shortly af­ter high-wa­ter. You may see Jack Snipe or en­counter a win­ter­ing Hen Har­rier at the up­stream salt­ings.

2A pleas­ant walk along a sec­tion of the eastern shore with the low-wa­ter chan­nel hard by. There are al­ways gulls need­ing their iden­tity care­fully checked. As the au­tumn pro­ceeds Shel­duck num­bers will in­crease. Burry In­let, its larger and more im­por­tant neigh­bour into which it merges af­ter turn­ing west­wards below the bridge, the Loughor is al­ways wor­thy of at­ten­tion. In­deed as these words were writ­ten in mid-may, a Gull­billed Tern found Welsh hos­pi­tal­ity much to its lik­ing, re­main­ing for sev­eral days on the Loughor af­ter spend­ing just a few hours at Praa Sands, Corn­wall. Other scarce visi­tors are al­ways pos­si­ble for the dili­gent observer and have in­cluded Great White Egret and, on one oc­ca­sion, a Long-tailed Skua, which was seen even this far from the open sea. As al­ways, use of a tele­scope will be an ad­van­tage es­pe­cially when scru­ti­n­is­ing gull flocks which are al­ways wor­thy of at­ten­tion.

3Another good van­tage point on the Glam­or­gan shore, again the low-wa­ter chan­nel is al­most at one’s feet but for a change from Lit­tle Egrets, Curlew and other es­tu­ary birds in­clude a visit to the nearby cas­tle ru­ins, es­pe­cially in au­tumn and win­ter to look for a Black Red­start.

Ex­cel­lent for pas­sage and win­ter­ing waders and wild­fowl so a real taste of the Burry In­let riches, while terns reach this far from the open coast.

4Make sure you check the tide ta­bles: ar­rive soon af­ter high wa­ter and be pa­tient

Lit­tle Egret

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