25 May 2009

A week in Wales...

Around 20 years or so ago Lynda and I discovered a little holiday hideaway on the Welsh coast, the village of Aberporth. Since that first visit we’ve returned many times - we’ve lost count but it must be about 12 or 13 times. Last week, we spent yet another week relaxing at The Penrallt Hotel, this time in one of their self-catering cottages.

Our holiday cottage.

The weather wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t all that bad either. We hadn’t planned on doing much other than relaxing, eating, drinking and also going to a gig on the Thursday night. No break would be complete for me without a small amount of birding at some point so we spent a few hours at the Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve, Mwnt beach and also Aberporth beach. By the end of the week I’d recorded a total of 67 bird species. Most of these I could easily see here within my 10-mile zone but one or two were birds that would be considered as scare or unheard of in Derbyshire.

Sighting of the week was without doubt the two Chough that we saw at Mwnt, closely followed by the numerous Red Kites that we came across. Cetti’s Warblers were singing and showing well, for Cetti’s, at Teifi Marshes. Fulmar, Gannet, Shag, Kittiwake and Guillemot were the pick of the sea birds but waders were very thin on the ground with only Oystercatcher and Curlew being found. A couple of Wheatear were on Mwnt along with a Rock Pipit and a single Grey Wagtail was spotted in Cardigan town centre. Swift, Swallow and House Martin could all be seen from our cottage whilst Sand Martin were present at Teifi Marshes. As well as the Red Kites we also saw plenty of Buzzard, a couple of Kestrel and a Peregrine that was hunting over Aberporth village.

The indoor swimming pool, and also spa pool, at the hotel was put to good use on a couple of occasions but nothing like as often as we used the hotel's catering facilities! The Penrallt has always been very good when it comes to food but the standard was higher than ever this year. Even though we were in a self-catering cottage we found ourselves eating in the hotel every day - and also enjoying the delicious cappuccino coffee that they make too. The bar met with my approval the moment I spotted a bottle of Talisker whisky! The free WiFi connection available in the hotel lounge came in handy too - just how did we ever survive without the internet?

Before we set off on our holiday Lynda had been checking the internet for events in the Aberporth area, her searching came up with a gig in Cardigan by the Michael McGoldrick Band. I have to admit I wasn’t aware of this band before Lynda found them but I’ll now be keeping a look out for them in the future - the gig was great! Michael McGoldrick is a superb Uillean pipe player and also an amazing flute player. Checking out his past work on the internet revealed a huge list of names that he has performed with in the past - Kate Rusby, Eddi Reader, Sharon Shannon, John McCusker and also bands such as Capercaillie and Shooglenifty all appear. There was also an awesome Bodhran player in the band - John Joe Kelly - who kept me spellbound throughout the whole gig. His Bodhran solo was one of the highlights of the evening! The gig left me on such a high that it wasn’t until we set off back to the cottage that I realised just how hungry I was - a quick stop off at the local supermarket for supplies soon sorted that out. I was cooking myself a Chicken Jalfrazi a short while later!

As we spent much of the week doing very little I don’t have too many photos but here are a few of my favourites...


Teifi Marshes.

Water Buffalo, in Wales?!

Poppit Sands.


We almost always see Dolphins whilst in the Aberporth area, this year this was as close as we came!


  1. Once again I can enjoy the world through your camera (and blogging). When I grow up I want to go to wonderful places and take awesome pictures to share with my friends ;-)

    I did catch sight of a bluebird behind the bard. I may have to set up more feeders.

    Thanks for sharing your adventures.


  2. Some excellent photos. Have you ever seriously considered selling your pictures to magazines or making them into greetings cards or posters!! I really think they are that good. It's better than working for a living, i'm sure!! :-)

  3. I agree with Margett :-) You haven't blogged for a while. Is everything all right?

  4. Sorry Sarah... not had much to blog about! I'll put that right later this evening though! :-)