Sunday, 21 April 2013

Spring is sprung - for Purple Saxifrage at least!

We have certainly been waiting a long time for spring this year. At last, things have warmed up and migrant birds are arriving. Today, it rained for a couple of hours in the morning. As it eased off, I walked up the road to Nant y Coed (Llanfairfechan), hoping to hear a Pied Flycatcher sing. No luck, but by the stepping stones a small bird was flitting about, dropping down to the ground to feed. A female Pied Flycatcher, no doubt finding aerial food hard to find. I wonder whether they will be late nesting this year.
After lunch, the sun came out so we drove up through Bethesda to Ogwen Cottage, where the new Visitor Centre is still being built. Then up into Cwm Idwal, finding a few Wheatears beside the track and a pair of Gt Crested Grebes on the lake.  Halfway up the steep path leading to The Devil’s Kitchen (Twll Du) we found what we were looking for – a small clump of Purple Saxifrage, in flower. Bill Condry always made an annual pilgrimage to Cader Idris to see this plant - Chris Fuller describes this in his tribute to Bill in Natur Cymru 4 (2002). I don’t suppose they flowered in February this year. 
Snow still showing in the Nameless Cwm


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