Sunday the 18th March we held a mothers day walk around the reserve. The walk was led by Hayley our People Engagement officer, I brought up the rear.
It was a beautiful sunny day although during the morning there was a very cold breeze. There were only a few of us as some people cancelled. This made the walk more personal as we were able to devote more time on an individual basis.
Our route took us from the visitor centre down towards Ellins tower , I set up one of our scopes overlooking the buttress where the Guillemot’s nest and breed. There were about 1500 Guillemot’s and very few Razorbill’s in fact I could not find one in the scope to show our guests, fortunately Hayley having younger eyes than me managed to find a pair of Razorbill’s nesting. Many of the seabirds were out at sea feeding.
We all entered Ellins tower where we showed our visitors the facilities. There are remote monitors for observing some of the more obscure species such as the Chough and Puffins. This was the first time that I learned why we have a pair of Chough called the ‘Mouse Trap Pair’. It seems that the buttress behind which the pair of Chough nest is called the ‘Mouse Trap Buttress’.
Lord Stanley (famous naturalist and archaeologist) built the tower for his wife Ellin. It was apparently used as a family retreat and to observe the wildlife. It was built in 1868; by this time Ellin would be about 67 years old as she died in 1876. During the Second World War the tower was used by the army as a lookout post for enemy activity.
After the war the tower fell into disrepair until in 1980 when the RSPB with the help of the Welsh Office purchased it and restored it so as to allow the public to enjoy the wildlife.
Ellins tower will open to the public on the 31st of March and remain open throughout the summer. During this time, we make available to the public, spotting scopes and binoculars for use in the tower.
After leaving the tower we took the wide path towards the bottom car park. There is an alternative path close to cliff edge that we sometimes use, I took this path a few days earlier and just before I left the path and headed towards the bottom car park I noticed that a fabulous wooden seat had been made available for the public to rest. For the people who walk the wonderful coastal path, I would like to name this seat the ‘Stop and Rest’.
Stone Chats usually come to say hello but today they did not want to play. However the scenery alone is rewarding on a sunny day and we made our way back to the visitor centre where our guests enjoyed scones and fresh cream