Thursday, February 03, 2011

Sandy Water Park

On Tuesday afternoon, February 1st, I spent a few hours at Sandy Water Park, an area about a mile west of Llanelli town centre. It was formerly the site of the Llanelli Steelworks, but, since the early 1990s, it has been transformed into a country park, with a 16-acre lake being its main feature:

Situated above the lake are these Gorsedd Stones, the relics of a national Eisteddfod which was held here in 2000:

I had heard that a Bittern had been seen around the lake in the last few days, but I was unable to locate it. Instead, I threw a few breadcrumbs into the water, and was immediately surrounded by hordes of hungry water birds. Amongst the more usual species, were some Gadwalls, a species I hadn't really photographed before. Here is the female, which looks a little like a smaller version of a Mallard duck:

And the subtly beautiful male:

Sometimes one came too close to fit into the frame:

There were Coots by the score:

And plenty of Pochards, including this male:

A male Tufted Duck:

And a female of the same species:

These Mute Swans were ploughing through the lake's remaining ice like Russian icebreakers:

A female Mallard perched on the ice:

I walked westwards along the pond's southern shore, and fired off a few shots of passing birds. I got lucky when this Mallard flew close by, allowing a frame-filling shot:

This Tufted Duck also whizzed past at close range:

This Coot had some difficulty as it came in to land on the slippery ice:

Finally, a shot of a Mallard drake as the sun sank lower in the sky:


  1. Excellent series of shots Jeremy. Some cracking frame fillers. Did you check the stream at the west end of the lake as I have often seen a Water Rail feeding there this winter?

    Adam @ My Life Outside

  2. That male Gadwall is particularly handsome. The Mallard in flight is amazing; you must be delighted with these.

    Incidentally, do you know if we have many Mink around these parts? I hadn't heard of one in our locality before . . .

  3. A stunning series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  4. Thank you, Jeremy, for your comment on the Mink and on Otters. In answer to your question, I have yet to see an Otter in Wales - though we have sometimes thought we have seen muddy Otter tracks in Carmarthenshire.

    I have seen rescued Otters in Norfolk (where I spent my teenage years), two Otters in the wild on Skye and Wester Ross - possibly more, but only two were definite sightings. You can read about them here . . . Unfortunately the photo is little more than a personal record.