I celebrated the solstice with an outing with my Glamorgan Bird Club buddies to Lliw Reservoirs north of Swansea or, perhaps that should read, I sweated through the solstice – it was one of the hottest days of the year and the middle of a mini heatwave. Still, you know what they say about mad dogs and Englishmen (and Welshmen and a Kiwi) …
It’s a superb location. The two reservoirs were built in the second half of the 19th century, and still supply water to communities throughout south Wales. We only walked up one side of both reservoirs, through broadleaf woodland and then out onto open areas of grass and scrub and moorland, but there’s an 8-mile circular walk, which would be brilliant in cooler weather and includes large open commons of heath moorland on the hilltops.
We heard more small birds than we saw (but that’s helping me learn their songs); buzzards and magnificent red kites were soaring overhead; we heard then saw the elusive grasshopper warbler in flight; dragonflies and damsels and the odd butterfly flitted about; and there were lots of lovely wildflowers (my particular favourites were the foxgloves, tormentil and bog pimpernel). Oh and, most importantly, the locals were friendly and the cafe serves delicious ice cream!