Thursday, 2 September 2010

Anglesey Again

On what turned out to be a disastrously short overnight stay in Anglesey on Bank Holiday Monday, Sarah and I managed to see very few birds and certainly many less than I had intended.  We had gone to do some geocaching and birdwatching and had carefully planned our route up the western side of Anglesey before cutting across to Holyhead - however, it seems it just wasn't meant to be.

The first proper birdwatching location was Llanddona Beach on the southern side of Red Wharf Bay. Here there were three Little Egrets in and around the marshes on the edge of the beach .  The first bird we saw was on the marshland and a little distant but quite clearly a pure white Egret.  But we had a really nice view of two more flying over us as we waded through the stinky swamp.  Unfortunately I didn't have my Nikon camera with me and so there are no pictures of the birds, just my sodden feet taken on my Canon compact!  The only other birds I spotted there were various sorts of gull.

We left Llanddona heading for our next location and then disaster struck as we approached Pentraeth - when we stopped the car, the rear driver's wheel was smoking with horrible fumes and it had got red hot.  The brakes were either seized or had failed in some way. After letting it cool down for a while we tried to reverse and got a terrible clunking sound as the wheel didn't want to turn round.  After waiting a little longer, I decided to try to free it by driving back and forth in short bursts and it seems this made things a little better.

We then planned an alternative route to as directly as possible to Holyhead where at least we had a bed for the night. Sarah drove in short bursts whilst leaving the window open for the smell of burning, and every so often I got out to check the wheel temperature and see if it was smoking again.  In this way we thankfully managed to limp to Holyhead with the promise of a hotel, hot meal and hopefully repairs at a garage in the morning.

In the morning I was up 7am to look for garages - unfortunately the one right next to the hotel had shut down for good and the next nearest didn't open until 8.15am.  So I went back to the hotel still wondering if I could get it fixed in time to get home for a medical appointment I had that evening in Wigan. When I returned the garage said it could be fixed today but not before five o'clock - therefore I'd need to go home by train at 12:30am for my appointment. Whilst in Holyhead I didn't even have time to look for the Black Guillemots in the harbour and so I was really miffed about that.

As I had waited for nearly four weeks for the appointment (and couldn't get changed) I got the train home on my own whilst Sarah waited for the car to be fixed at the garage in Holyhead.  On my train journey home I managed to see some Oystercatchers and either Curlew or Whimbrel on the beach at Talacre in Flint - and that was about it I'm afraid.  Still, it was nice to see the landscape from a different view for once - you get to see so much more on the train.

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