Looking across the Afon Clwyd towards St. Mary's Church, Rhuddlan.
The Clwydian Hills from the path on the East side of the Afon Clwyd.
The female goosander on Brickfields Pond.
A Tufed duck with Coots on Brickfield Pond.
Mute swans expecting to be fed on Brickfield Pond.
Looking out to see from Pont y Ddraig at Rhyl Harbour.
Looking to the blue bridge (Foryd Bridge) from Pont y Ddraig at Rhyl Harbour.
Lunch time at the Central Station.
Wigeon, Lapwings and a Black-headed gull on the edge of the Afon Clwyd as the tide ebbs.
Lapwing taking to the air above the fields on the West side of the Afon Clwyd.
Just a few of the Lapwing as they took to the air.
Heading for Rhuddlan along the flood bank on the West side of the Afon Clwyd.
Great black-backed gull on the West bank of the Afon Clwyd.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.8 miles. Climb: (1536' wind assisted GPS reading), true value nearer 120'.
Time: 4 hours 5 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 3.3 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue and Michel, Jim, Mal, Ed and Paul.
We only just managed to get in the Rhuddlan Nature Reserve Car Park, as it is a popular place for early doors dog walkers. Ed was already waiting there, but had been forced to park near Aldi as the Nature reserve Car park was full when he arrived.
We set off in warm sunshine, accompanied by a pretty strong Westerly/South westerly wind making progress challenging as we headed towards Rhyl on the pristine tarmac path on the East side of the river.
The Afon Clwyd was really high, almost reaching the high flood bank on our side of the river. this had displaced most of the birds that we would expect to see in this location at this time of the year. Most of the Mute swans had settled in in a nearby field, with only two juveniles still on the river.
As the North Wales path turned away from the river and the wind was no longer in our faces, it suddenly seemed much warmer. Our extension to the Brickfield Pond Nature Rerserve gave us some pleasant respite from the cooling wind.
A good number of birds were seen on the Brickfield Pond, including a pair of Goosander.
As we arrived at the Marine Lake, it was a little early for lunch, and headed to the harbour, hoping to find a suitable spot for lunch. Unfortunately we didn't find a place where we wouldn't be exposed to the wind. As we were debating what to do next, the clouds turned most black and a storm threatened. it started to hail, so we took refuge in the Harbour Hub Cafe where most of us enjoyed a cup of coffee or tea while we waited for the storm to pass.
We needn't have bothered, the storm had passed through before most of had been served with our cups of tea or coffee! Nevertherless we stayed to enjoy our drinks before heading off to find a sheltered spot for lunch. This stopping for tea or coffee before lunch doesn't set a precedence for for future walks, well not just yet anyway!
A large bench at the Central Station by the Marine Lake was our excellent choice for lunch, a spot we have used several times before. We were out of the wind and some of us were luck enough to be in the warm sunshine too.
As we finished lunch, the wind picked up a notch or too and as we crossed the blue bridge it brought some of us to a standstill as we tried to make headway against the wind. (Celia would not have enjoyed it one little bit.)
Thankfully it calmed down as we headed along the muddy bank down the West side of the river.
The tide had ebbed quite a bit by now, so we started to see a lot more birds, some species in the hundreds.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, House sparrow, Wigeon, Tufted duck, Shelduck, Coot, Lapwing, Mute swan, Great cormorant, Lapwing, great cormorant, Grey heron, Pied wagtail, Black-headed gull, Great black-backed gull, Eurasian curlew, Feral pigeon, Winter wren, Oystercatcher, Woodpigeon, Canada goose, Red breasted merganser, Common redshank, Meadow pipit and Common starling.
We arrived back at the car, having had a good walk, with our faces feeling the exposure to to the wind and the Sun, but very thankful that we had had very little of the wet stuff.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Fox and Grapes in Hawarden, where Weetwood's Eastgate was sampled by most of us.
At home, I was surprised to see that my boots had no mud on the soles and very little on the uppers, a quick rinse was all they needed!