Taking It All In – Looking All Around

On the Taste of Gower walks people don’t usually stop to look and listen to their surroundings. However, once we got up on top of the hill above Penclawdd, the views are in almost all directions are wonderful and the group could help but stop and gather to take it all in.

On a clear day like this, looking south and south west you can see the rest of the Gower Peninsula and across the Burry Inlet to Pembrokeshire in the distance. Looking west you see Llanelli, Burry Port and Carmarthenshire and looking north and north west you see as far as The Black Mountain.

Taste of Gower walkers

Taste of Gower walkers

Closer to hand were other sights such as a circling buzzard and evidence that the tide was coming in rather than ebbing – the birds on the sand bank in the middle of the estuary were getting more and more crowded as we continued on our walk.

Overlooking Penclawdd

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Exiting the Park – Reviewing the Walk

Exiting Brynmill Park in Swansea the same way I came in on my walk this week, there seemed more people around than ever. There may be some evidence of this lacking in some of the photos I took but the soundscape tells another story. It is a small but beautiful city park which is clearly very popular not only for the people living next door to it but for others as well.

park entrance/exit

Brynmill Park Walk Soundscape

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Patterns in the Sand

I think this is a sand piper!? The name would be appropriate if only for the patterns and colouring of its feathers reflecting as they do, the patters on the beach.

You can see both these birds and the sand patterns on many beaches – I could say any beach but it wouldn’t be true. The patterns of ripple and flow on any part of any beach may have a similar structure but they are all quite unique and dependent on the local surroundings, weather conditions and so much more.

One of the things that appears to influence the patterns on the beach in front of Crymlyn Burrows in Swansea Bay are the sand banks that have built up and no doubt change continually.

Sand Piper

Sand Piper

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Suburban Lakeside Soundscape and Reviewing the Week 52

While my walk this week has not appeared very wintry, the photos were taken and the sound recorded in January and though there is no ice or snow to be seen, it seems that mild winters are now a feature of the seasons in many parts of Britain.

I hope you have enjoyed the first of my walks in 2016 and I look forward to posting many more this year.

Hemlington Lake

Try listening to the soundscape of the walk while viewing the images in sequence – click the play button and then the first thumbnail below.

Suburban Lakeside Soundscape Sample

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Approaching the Bridge

The footbridge over Bluebell Beck where it feeds into Hemlington Lake has a great sound underfoot. Being a simple metal construction, it produces a kind of hollow echoing sound as you cross it. It is also a good place to stop, look at the details of the surrounding winter vegetation and watch birds approaching the bridge from further up the beck.

You can hear this sound below and again in this Sunday’s soundscape from part of the StillWalks sequence.

Footsteps on Footbridge

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footbridge

 

 

 

Abstract Islands

Looking at this suburban lake as I walk around its periphery, I find myself thinking about the interventions that man has made in the interests of maintaining a dialogue between human and natural environment.

The fishing platforms that jut out into the water at the lakeside have a straightforward function, but the mid lake platform on which the gulls are resting is more abstract. I don’t know what it has been constructed from but with little or no vegetation forming a part of it, there is no disguising the man made materials. It seems to be a welcome haven for the birds at any rate.

My third photo today shows the patterns of construction materials of an outlet in the lake that I guess must be required as the streams feeding the lake doesn’t appear to have any other natural continuation point.

Hemlington Lake

Gulls at rest

Hemlington Lake outlet

Feathered Friends – Lakeside Residents

Walking round this suburban lake during the winter months can be very entertaining for many reasons. The main performers providing the entertainment are of course our feathered friends, the local avian residents. The variety of birds here may be common but are of no less interest for that.

Judging by the shot below it seems that size is relevant, with the small gulls waiting patiently and hopefully for a share of the fare on offer.

Swans

The entertainment is not only in the shape, colour and behaviour of the birds – it also comes in the form of sound. Listen to the sound clip below for a taste of the calls and conversations in the bird community at the lakeside.

Suburban Lakeside Birds

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My Walk this Week 10 – Maritime Observations

It seems I am observing the observers at the start of this walk around the marina in Swansea. My walk this week spans both daytime and evening and a couple of the shots I am using I have previously posted on Instagram.

It looks like bath time for sea gulls is the order of the day for this sunny afternoon amongst the boats. You would think the birds on the floats were lining up to take their turn!

sea gulls

seagull washing in water

seagull washing in water

seagull washing in water