Pembrokeshire (part three)

Sorry for the delay folks...I'm still struggling to change gear out of holiday mode.  Anyway, here it is the 3rd and final (phew!) Pembrokeshire post.

Wednesday 16th May - Stackpole
Today we headed south of the river, past Pembroke and down to the National Trust owned Stackpole Estate.  The estate is famous for it's large beautiful lily pools at Bosherton.  Unfortunately the lilies were not quite in bloom when we visited but it was still a beautiful walk all the same.  It is a well known place for a range of dragonflies...although we didn't see much of a variety there were many newly emerged Common Blue Damselflies present.  It is also a place where, if you are very lucky you can possibly see otter...needless to say we didn't but hey who cares when the scenery is this good.

From Bosherton our walk took us to Stackpole quay where there is a cracking tea room!  (I can strongly recommend the homemade bread pudding).  There was little to see of interest at the quay itself but a couple of Holly Blue butterflies were on the wing nearby.  The walk then took us to Barafundle Bay and possibly one of the finest sandy beaches you will ever see.  As it is a far walk there from the nearest carpark at stackpole quay it is also reasonably quiet, an ideal place to sit for a while and watch the world go by.

The next stage of the walk took us around the cliffs at Stackpole Head..  Here we had cracking views of Fulmars, Razorbills and Gullimots, and just of shore we observed good views of Gannets plunge-diving.  Along the cliff tops there were Rock Pipits displaying and Wheatears were seemingly everywhere. Along the grassy areas of Stackpole Warren there were good numbers of Skylark present and small numbers of Meadow Pipit were displaying.

The final stretch of the walk took us past another beautiful beach at an area called Broadhaven and back past the western edge of Bosherton Lily Ponds.  Whilst walking back past the pools I was continually scanning (to be honest I never really switch off from looking for wildlife..I'm a nightmare for it!).  This scanning paid off when I picked up a pair of Otters swimming cross the pool.  They were diving periodically, arcing their backs in a lovely curving motion as they submerged.  What a joy!  this was the first time I have ever seen wild Otters and it was the undoubted highlight of the week for me.   What a great way to round of a great walk.

Bosherton Lily Ponds

Thursday 17th  May - The Gann and Marloes Mere
Today I went my separate way from Bev and Nat.  They were walking the coastal path from St. Bride's to Little Haven and I decided to have a bit of me time and do some solo birding.

My first port of call that morning was The Gann estuary.  Apart from the ubiquitous Oystercatchers, also noted were 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Dunlin, 2 Whimbrel and 3 Curlew.

After spending some time at the Gann I headed over to Marloes Mere to have yet another look at the rather resplendent Glossy Ibis.  I was in luck today and all 4 Glossy Ibis were showing fairly close to the iron gate, with one individual very close,  allowing me to take some more photos.  

Whilst there I picked up on 2 Yellow Wagtail (1♂ & 1♀) that were along the water's edge.  Yellow Wagtail is a fairly scarce passage migrant in Pembrokeshire with only usually a handful of records of single birds each year.

Whilst viewing from the hide 3 Dunlin circled the mere at 14:30 pm before flying off WNW.  Also of note on the mere were 2 Shelduck, 3 Shoveller (2♂, 1♀), 2 Gadwall (1♂, 1♀) and 1 Little Grebe.  Warblers were in good voice with many Sedge Warblers and Common Whitethroats perched up singing.  Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were also noted.

After leaving the mere I headed back to the cottage at Little Haven and sat outside in the sunshine with a big mug of tea reflecting on what a great week it had been.  The only downer was the fact that we were heading home tomorrow.

Glossy Ibis


  1. You are a great man, fancy catching the Glossy Ibis, and, you photographed such beast, and, and, they were perfect. Well done Jason.

  2. Fantastic shots! I've really enjoyed reading your holiday posts, Jason. Can't wait to get back there myself now!

  3. Hi jase, glad you had a good hol! With reference to your twitter post, whereabouts on the patch did you have the Brown Argus?

    Cheers, Jared

  4. Bob - Cheers mate, the Ibis were stunning

    Omi - I've only just got back and I can't wait to go there on holiday again! wonderful place

    Jared - Butts Lane, field between the public footpath the dried out drainage pond. It's not public access as its off the footpath but I know the farmers and they give me permision to walk there.

    When they are out in larger numbers you should see them along the set aside that runs along the straight section of road

  5. Again I am jealous Jason, the Stackpole/Bosherston walk is one of our favourites, we must have done it 20 times in the last couple of years (in all seasons),but have never seen the otters.Great shots of the Glossies.

  6. Aha! Another bread pudding fan. My Gran used to make bread pudding and I've found it irresistible ever since.

    Wish I could flex my neck like a Glossy Ibis.

    It's been a pleasure reading your Pembrokeshire reports, Jason. If I were any greener with envy I'd start to photosynthesize.

  7. Mike - Me and Bev have done Bosherton on other ocasions with no joy...I guess fate was smiling on me this day!

    Rob - Don't even start me off on the joy's of bread pudding! I'm sure there will be some great stuff to see there next time you visit mate.

  8. A splendid read of your holiday Jason!

    Chuffed for you with the Hairy Dragonfly, always good isn't it to see a new species and what a great photo you have of it too!

    Now Bosherston and Barafundle Bay, what wonderful places they are! Having had many, many holidays in the Saundersfoot area several years ago these were the two areas we always visited but like you never at the right time to see the lillies in full bloom and Barafundle Bay...I cannot think of a finer beach in Wales! Brill news with the Otters, the icing on the cake (not bread pudding) for you!

    More splendid images of the Glossy Ibis in fact all of your images are splendid!

    Thanks for sharing your what sounds a very enjoyable Pembrokeshire holiday!

  9. Thanks Pam, I'm glad you (and others)enjoyed reading the holiday posts. I thought it make an interesting read and highlight a wonderful area to people that some may have never visited

  10. Thanks Pam, I'm glad you (and others)enjoyed reading the holiday posts. I thought it make an interesting read and highlight a wonderful area to people that some may have never visited

  11. We have been going to Bosherston/Stackpole for over 40 years and never seen the otters. Think we need to go to Specsavers. Can we come with you next time? Surprised you did not see SEO on Skomer, you seem to be a magnet for them as well.Really enjoy your posts, keep them up.