Late Thursday afternoon, I decided to head over to Severn Beach, a small town on the English side of the Severn Estuary that divides England and Wales. I had heard that a couple of Short-eared Owls had been showing quite well somewhere in the area, at somewhere called Aust Warth. I wasn't quite sure where this place was, but thought a walk along the estuary in the sunshine might be nice, even if I didn't see my quarry.
As it turned out, Aust Warth was about an hour-and-half's walk from where I started out by the second Severn Bridge - closer, in fact, to the old Severn Bridge. By the time I reached my destination, it was time to walk back. I did see several people watching the area, presumably for owls, but didn't have time to hang around, and so didn't see them myself.
However, Spring migration here did seem a bit more advanced than in my area of Wales, and I did see my first Wheatears of the year, as well as groups of hirundines flying over (Swallows, I think), and several Chiffchaffs singing in the hedgerows. Out on the estuarine mudflats, I saw a Barnacle Goose, along with numerous Shelducks, and small groups of Wigeons. None of the birds, unfortunately, were close enough for any decent photos.
I never like to return from a trip empty-handed photo-wise, however; so, as I headed back towards my start-point, I pulled out my big lens to zero in on the centre struts of the bridge, as the sky began to colour-up behind it:
I wasn't geared up for landscape photography, but I did have my wide-angled lens in the corner of my bag, with which I was able to take these shots:
After I had passed under the bridge, I took this simple shot across the estuary:
Finally, I attached my big lens for one more time for this shot of the sun going down over Wales:
So, no owls, but a pleasant-enough walk, spoilt only by the continual din of traffic (I tried to avoid adding to the noise and pollution by travelling there by train!).