Sunday, 6 July 2014

Snowdonia: above Aber Falls

Saturday 5 July
Fine weather returned after Friday's wind and rain, allowing me to explore the mountains on the north side of Snowdonia, walking up past spectacular Aber Falls, then following the stream up through a broad valley to the Carneddau ridge.  By afternoon the wind dropped and cloud dispersed, offering great views of Anglesey and mountains of Snowdonia.
view towards Anglesey including Puffin Island

Snowdonia mountain range

Birds of prey were frequently overhead, mostly buzzards but also a family group of kestrels, sparrowhawk and red kite.  Beside the stream tiny grey wagtail chicks looked rather vulnerable out in the open - they must have left the nest this morning, virtually no tail feathers yet grown!
bog asphodel
Higher up in the mountains, a party of five choughs flew overhead, likely a family party, calling evocatively. Ravens sat on crags at the top, ruling the roost.

Bog asphodel is just coming into bloom, one of my favourite flowers.  Parsley ferns added a dash of lime green to the rocky slopes and slate scree, with just a few delicate and beautiful starry saxifrage plants tucked in amongst them.
parsley fern

starry saxifrage
Descending back down the valley, I encountered a family group of whinchats as well as wheatears.  Nice to see as they are quite scarce in Snowdonia.  The waterfall looked stunning in late afternoon sunlight but by this time I was too exhausted and in need of a cup to tea to stop and unpack the camera.

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