Thursday, 28 November 2019

Cottage with a wood burner and Marine watch

At the beginning of November, I had a last-minute trip for 2019 to spend some time back on Anglesey as this year I have really fallen in love with the island and next year I hope to explore more of Wales as well as revisit Anglesey as the wild camping this year gave some beautiful moments in Nature. Rather than wild camp, we decided to book 2 Airbnbs one at Amlwch for 3 nights and one at Newborough for 2 nights. At our Almwch cottage which was located right next to the coastal path and one of my possible living locations with some amazing views and close to some really good marine mammal spotting locations at high tide the creatures are pushed a few meters from viewing areas thanks to the deep water. We were up before the sun rose to get as much light watching the sea especially as the wind was fresh and the days are shorter.
 The paths were quite muddy but as always with these trips, I prepare for everything and thanks to our new walking boots our feet were well protected. While laying against a rock and watching the sea the seals caught fish and kept us entertained for many hours.
Seals and Porpoises were great things to see but the one time a mother and calve popped up my lens blurred and I just missed my best shot of a Porpoise.
On our second part of the holiday, we decided to get the bus from Amlwch to Menai bridge for a cup of tea I made before leaving the cottage for the last time and some chocolate digestives we sat by the straits near the Britannia bridge and watched the sunrise higher in the sky let the 9am rush pass by before getting our next bus to Llangefni where we bought some.  breakfast and supplies for the day.
We ended up walking from Llangefni to Maltraeth to Newborough via one of the Red Squirrel forest areas, one thing I had not noticed before was a rope over the road from the larger Newborough forest to the smaller area of forest opposite allowing squirrels and maybe pine martens a safe route across avoiding the road.
View of the hills/mountains of North Wales
On our only full day at Newborough we headed through the forest along the sun-soaked yet empty beach to the Island and I ended up getting impatient waiting for the tide to go out I walked through the shallow water soaking my shoes through but it proved to be worth it. We walked to the further point with the highest unused lighthouse and less than a half a mile away we spotted a large pod of Dolphins I was hoping Rissos but they ended up being Bottlenoses and the closest I have seen through my camera for a while. One had a very unique cut in its fin but seemed very straight and long unlike the other members of the pod but as you can see below they were very active.

A great week and the last week away till April 2020 as I have got lots of things to do over the winter.
A lovely Autumn kayak was a lovely first trip out once I returned home this year I hope to kayak in the snow which would be amazing on this river.
Enjoy the beginning of Winter and hopefully plenty of frost and snow to come....

Regards

Mike

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Autumn is here and Winter is around the courner...

I'm  very late with this months post but I must say that I have cut down my main job and my self-employment working hours in favor of being outdoors especially in the hills of the peak district the fresh air and the stunning views are beautiful and I can't wait to get up there if we get any snow this winter as I have found some really stunning peaceful areas away from most parking places.
My favorite view from Shining Tor as well as the Pine woodlands below
 I've just booked 5 nights on Anglesey for the next month and as I have just been given a pair of binoculars by a customer so I can't wait to use them for spotting marine mammals as I want to see Rissos Dolphins as I have booked a cottage near a regular sighting location so if my lucks in I may get to see and is very close to Amlwch port which is on my list of future home locations.
This photo of Anglesey Walking Holidays is courtesy of TripAdvisor
A week ago we spotted 3 young Hedgehogs and there mother wandering around in the daylight in and around my garden. I knew they needed to get somewhere together and warm so we placed them in my shed area as I recently emptied to take down but thought it would make a winter shelter for the mother to hibernate and the young to fatten up and be safe from the winter frosts.
This was over a week ago and I am happy to say the young are all doing fine in there very warm hay and leaf-filled area. Their mother has gone to sleep and we have left some food and water incase she wakes up in the winter months.
One of the young taking a drink, I also put a camera on them to make sure there healthy
Stay warm and enjoy the Autumn to come

Mike

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Marine life and time to move!!!

Well its been a month or two since last posting but there has been a good reason for it as I have been searching for my perfect home closer to the coast. I've started my search near wild coastal locations for doer uppers or something that needs a little bit of work. From the edge of Anglesey to the edge of Wales/Cheshire. Ive been working extra hours and prepping things for the day when I do finally make the move so when I find my dream place I can keep my orignal job and get things going for my future move.
While on Anglesey Wild camping last week we had some amazing locations to sleep at plus our wild camping kit/clothing is so refined now its quite a pleasant expirience sometimes I wish I could do it for a few months at a time.
Newborough at 6.30am on a late summers morning

I did some research on when the Rissos Dolphins show up in the area and previous years its been late August to end of September and we just missed them after sleeping one night off the coastal path with the previous afternoon and next morning we got some lovely encounters which you can see below including Porpoises with calfs, Seals and the odd Gannet.
 
Mother and calf
Seals coming close to the rocks where we waited for the marine life to breach

We did 5 nights camping 2 at one place, 2 at another and one at a new site but I won't reveal any of there locations as it took me a long time to find these spots where we can camp without being disturbed or disturbing anyone else so proper stealth camping.
Leave footprints take memories
When I got back from my trip I went up to Shining tor in the Peak District it has wonderful views and I felt so far from home even though it was about 2 hours walk from the bus station where I caught the bus to Macclesfield. I hope to do more Tors(Large hills) in the area over the Winter months. 
I saw my first CHESHIRE Wheatear in the area and heard from somewhere there are Choughs ringed on Anglesey have been in the Peak district area of Derbyshire so that would have been a alovely thing to hear.
Thanks for visiting and enjoy the start of Autumn

Regards

Mike

Sunday, 14 July 2019

The summer is over well my holidays are for now-July Holiday 5 nights/days wild

Well, I thought this time would not come so fast but as I have just had my last and fourth week of this year's Spring/Summer Wild camping holiday season. Our wild camping trip began with our heavy looking bags on our bus trip which began with rain and a bus diversion. We started on Saturday at Cowny with a walk to see if there were any Oystercatchers nesting on the cliffs but no luck so had some sunbathing while waiting for night to come so we could go to our secret wild camping location.
As soon as I walk over the bridge I forget everything and start to become to the person I have to bury away in normal working life as I feel so free and stress-free knowing I'm in the elements getting stronger and healthier as I adapt to being outdoors. My DD tarp kept the rain and wind off and plus made us more stealthy and hidden plus my mesh tent and golf umbrella kept the bugs away although when packing up each morning and leaving no trace I'd find a few earwigs trying to hitch a ride in my bag.
We set off early the next morning after the best nights sleep I have had wild anyway. We set off to our next location to visit which was Newborough as the sun was blazing and our journey was long.We ended up getting to our next rest location on the straits and at about 7am I made a cup of tea on my spirit stove. While waiting the tide went out to reveal some wonderful things nearby there was a large rocky area and under every rock, there was so much to see elvers (Young eel) and fish were left in small pools alongside there Crabby friends.
Large sandbanks prompted me to go explore them but while paddling through we found lots of Sand eels shoals which brought in the Terns to feed probably with young at a place I have wanted to visit for a while. 
We spotted lots of small Lobsters and shrimps combing the sandy floor for food. The special thing we found was Hermit crabs probably heading into battle for a new home and some really had the odds against them so what we thought we would do is collect any Hermit crab shells pushed away by the higher tides out of the crabs reach and return them back to the strait where the crabs will use them. I think we found about 14 shells in good condition with no holes or damage to them. We left to get breakfast and head to the forest for some shade then relaxation on the dunes at Newborough so we had plenty of sunbathing where we saw three hooded crows but as the beach was packed with sun lovers I thought best to leave and hopefully may see later in the week which we did near Amlwch.
 The sunset was gorgeous and I fell asleep just after and we woke up too late to catch a bus so we slept on the edge of the forest ready to get up early the next day but we slept in and had breakfast at Anglesey model village - http://www.angleseymodelvillage.co.uk/ which was very tasty and close to the forest plus the service was wonderful. Earlier in the week on our first day, I spotted a Kingfisher along the straits and a blonde tailed Red Squirrel and after 5 minutes of being up, it was quite wonderful and reminded me why I love Wild camping in a respectful way. I also spotted a pair of Common Sandpipers and as I have a new Tamron lens which I prefer compared to the more expensive lenses. One flew away but one remained to leave me with a quick chance while hidden behind a wooden post down on the side of the straits. I loved the green vegetation in the background as was a nice photograph to start the week.

After leaving Newborough we returned to our original camping area with plans to go to Amlwch and walk from there to go caemes bay then onto Cemlyn bay to photograph the Terns there. There were plenty of Artic and Sandwich Terns feeding their chicks speedingly flying back and forth with food ranging from small fish to insects. We only had a couple of hours there so we stayed on the ridge and never went past the stone building which we found out had Little Owls in residence but at least we know for later in the year or next summer.
 Beautiful colors as the adults landed on the hill to preen
Calling for food as the chick sees its parents coming in
Not sure what its brought in?
Wings like Angels
Preening on the beach and a well earned rest
Returning to fishing
Laying low as Black-backed headed gulls patrolled the edges of the colony
Returning with food
Adult and chick resting together
It was lovely arriving and seeing the adult's meters away landing on the posts of the colonies boundary fence.
There is a small Fulmar colony near Almwch and its one of the best places I have ever seen with some quality views of the noisy pairs nesting but I did not see any eggs or chicks but I'm sure they will be there sometime soon.
 After leaving the Terns and having a rest on our walk back to Cemelyn bay and going onto the coastal path towards Almwch we decided to sleep just off the coastal path as the weather given was a clear night. We refreshed in some sea pools refresh by the tide before heading onto some stunning beaches and cliffs. We stopped with a view of Middlemouse an unpopulated rock covered in nesting birds Razorbills, Guillemots and recently this year a small colony of Gannets were reported by some kayaker but I have no seen any photographs hopefully I wish to rent a boat to take us past there to get some cool views of a brand new colony on this stretch of coastline.
We slept well again and even heard calls of Manx shearwaters under the moonlit sky we which was a nice to hear when my sleep was disturbed sliding down the hills in the night. The next day we decided to do some sea watching and get some rest and nourishment while the high tide came in and brought in some Porpoises and Gannets 50m offshore.
Over the whole week from Saturday Lunchtime to Thursday evening, we walked about miles and I even had the energy to do 20 miles around the peak district the following day to the Three Shires head where I found a few pairs of Dippers and saw a female Redstart plus some beautiful views.
I have some local projects including exploring nonnavigational rivers in my kayak and camera trapping some locations. Hopefully, some weekend trips away to enjoy the last couple of months of summer before the cooler evenings commence.
Thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of summer

Regards

Mike