The weather forecast wasn't promising - overcast all day with the possibility of brighter spells and showers. In other words - be prepared for anything!
Our plan for the day was to walk from Aberystwyth to Borth along the Wales Coast Path which happened to be celebrating it's 10 year anniversary on the day we went, May 5th 2022. From car park in Aber to railway station in Borth, the distance covered was 10.5Km (6.5 miles) with 3 notable hills, including Constitution Hill.
By the time we set off, the clouds were nothing more than white wisps in the sky. I was regretting bringing along my rain coat but at least I had my sun hat. At the top of the first climb, we lunched at a cliff top cafe before setting off along the marked path.
We had barely started before a pair of Red Kites caught our interest, swooping low to the cliff, soaring and hovering before quartering the next area along. I have never seen Kites so close up before except at feeding stations in Mid Wales. It was fabulous to be able to see them hunting in a much more natural way.
As you can see from the picture, the clouds have now disappeared altogether producing a very pleasant spring afternoon.
After the descent to Clarach Bay, the second climb rewarded us with a coconut scent of Gorse. The gorse itself is very common along the path, but few smell strongly of the wonderful coconut scent.
Among the gorse, we noted plenty of short, scrubby Blackthorn bushes with large web like structures that on closer inspection were home to colonies of hairy, orange and black caterpillars. These are the larval stage of the Lackey Moth.
Along our route, flora included the ever-present pink Thrift, celandines, campion, and the bluest Bluebells, small birds were constant companions, along with plenty of insect life including several different Bumble bees.
One small bird I hadn't seen before was this little Stonechat. Slightly smaller than a Robin, it gets it's name from it's loud call that sounds like two stones being hit together.
The walk took us about 4 hours with stopping for lunch, photographs and just to admire the stunning views. The train ride back to Aberystwyth took just 15 minutes.
I'll write a bit more about this walk in my next post and include a picture of the most glorious Bluebells I ever remember seeing.
In the meantime, the Stonechat and Red Kite photos are new additions to my website and can be printed on mugs, phone cases and a number of other items.