Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The Millennium Way from Burry Port

I had to go to Llanelli yesterday, to have my eyes checked at the hospital. As it was such a beautiful day I set off early and stopped at Burry Port, so that I could have a walk along the Millennium Way coastal path. I happened to park right by a memorial commemorating Amelia Earhart's epic flight in 1928.

The walk was well worth it, as I spotted a Kestrel straight away. He was hovering above the path and then stooped to pounce on something in the long grass the other side of the fence. I was hoping to lean over and capture him close up with the camera, but he heard me coming and took off again. However, he did deign to come to perch on his favourite tree and I got a reasonable shot of him. For some reason, I haven't seen many Kestrels in Wales (though we have been here 21 years today) - we see them when we are driving along the M4 in or out of Wales, but I have NEVER seen any locally and I was surprised to see this one.

I could hear Oystercatchers, but not see them - the sun was very bright on the water - and there were the usual gulls, full grown and juvenile, on a little lake, plus some Mallards. Then I heard a Skylark. It filled me with joy to hear it. Then several others joined it and one descended to my right, giving me a good close-up view (but fumble fingers couldn't get the camera focused in time) and it sank into the long grass a few yards away. I quietly crept up hoping to see it but it sat tight.

Then I spotted a plant I've not seen for years - since I lived in Dorset I think - when we would see it regularly. It was Coltsfoot - whose flowers appear before the leaves - and which is an easily identifiable plant because of the "scaley"-looking stem. Its botanical name is Tussilago farfara - which derives from tussis ago (to drive away a cough). In earlier times it was used for treating lung complaints. I believe you can still get Coltsfoot "tablet" at some old-fashioned sweetshops.

I walked back along the shore, which only had a few shells to offer of the commonest sorts, such as the Razor shell, below. Unlike Pembrey beach, it could only offer a single fragment of Sea Potato. At Pembrey it is the dominent species.

The only rockpools were sadly of the Industrial variety. There used to be a Generating Station here and when it was demolished in the 80s, the remains were dumped along the edge of the beach.

The sunshine and spring in the air was wonderful and really lifted my spirits. I shall go back again, as I would like to walk much further.


  1. Hope your eyes are OK. Thank you for the lovely pictures and commentary.

  2. Marvellous post BB - and I hope your eyes are OK. I remember coltsfoot tablet - always loved the taste. We used to get coltsfoot in Cheshire when I was a girl but I've never seen it round here.
    I've always admired Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson too, seeingplaques like that always gives me a thrill.

  3. Kate - yup - got passed sound by the vet!

    Rowan - I've never tasted Coltsfoot (had it in mind that it would taste like Victory V's!) I think Amelia Earhart is Burry Port's one claim to fame . . .

  4. i hope the appointment went well for you :)
    i shall be keeping my eyes open for coltsfoot now.

    you have taken a journey to where my great grandfather was born into a mining family! so far i have traced them back to the early 1800's in Pembrey.

  5. The memorial gives me shivers. Thank you so much. I think we have coltsfoot, but I'll check when the weather gets warmer. Don't you love the name, and all the names of these wild growing things?