The end of the line, or maybe the rainbow
We divide our time between Wales and Kent.
We have a place in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion. The town has a particular character that affects people in extreme ways. For some, a few weeks there is more than enough and they can’t wait to get away. For others (like me) they visit for a couple of days and then, before they realise, 40 years has passed and they’re still there. It’s a kind of hypnotism and the spell has continued to be cast through economic and social ups and downs. By the time the waves from the political storms affecting England reach mid-Wales the ripples are hardly noticed. Sometimes it feels like a good place to hide from a mad world.
The immediate home patch is a 10 km stretch of the Cardigan Bay shore, from Monk’s Cave in the South to Constitution Hill in the North. It comprises landscapes and seascapes with special qualities that we like very much.
By world standards, UK wildlife isn’t particularly spectacular or unique, but the fact that it isn’t all there on a plate, so to speak, means that there’s a particular satisfaction in observing quite ordinary creatures as a result of patience and persistence.
We like birds, especially the behaviour of even very familiar species – the corvids are always fascinating, for example – but we are also fortunate in being able to experience some quite uncommon and characterful birds and animals right on what you might call our doorstep.
I’ve written a brief overview of our beat, divided into five zones and describing some of the characteristic wildlife and scenery in each area.
And here’s an interesting animation of Aberystwyth over time.