EPARATED FROM CAERNARFON
SBay by the Morfa Dinlle peninsula, the almost land-locked Foryd Bay presents a superb mosaic of intertidal habitats. There are mud flats and saltmarsh, river channels and a shingle spit which narrows the entrance to this wonderfully sheltered estuary. Here the Menai Strait is at its narrowest, just 350 yards to Abermenai Point on the south-western shores of Anglesey. Guarding the entrance to the Bay is Fort Belan, built in 1775. Dwarf Eelgrass Zostera noltei, a sea grass growing on the inter-tidal zone, is a major food plant for Brent Geese, most of those wintering here being of the ‘pale-bellied’ race which breed in Arctic Canada, Greenland, Spitzbergen and also Franz Josef Land. Sharing much the same feeding areas will be Wigeon – several thousand wintered in the Bay when numbers in Wales trebled from the early 1980s, though have more recently fallen by about a fifth. Scarce visitors which have provided much pleasure included American Wigeon, a reminder to carefully scrutinise the flocks of its European cousin. Likewise the gulls – Ring-billed, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls have all been reported. For those with patience (and perhaps a touch of good fortune) the discovery of a wintering Water Pipit or the flushing of Jack Snipe can round off a very satisfying day at Foryd Bay – so good luck!