Regular readers know that we often enjoy a walk from Neyland Marina across Westfield Pill Nature Reserve. We’ve been looking forward to lighter evenings for ages so we could fit in an evening walk here while the other kids were in clubs (Caitlyn plays football and Rebecca volunteers at Brownies near here). Therefore since April, when the lighter nights and planets finally aligned we’ve resumed our regular walks. Take a look at some of our photos from our evening and read on to hear our latest “swan” story:
Playing in the Woods
As we walked, the girls enjoyed playing in the trees and woods. It’s such a pretty area. We love seeing the wildlife, such as the rabbits and squirrels and sometimes we bring food to feed the birds too.
Sometimes the girls bring their scooters or bikes, but they usually have more fun playing on foot so they can really explore everywhere.
Caitlyn rarely goes anywhere without a ball of course!
Perfect Dog Walk
The girls and I love to see the gorgeous dogs on this walk too. These dogs ahead of us were so good stopping and posing for a photo for their owner. So cute (and far easier to take a photo of than kids!).
The fallen trees make interesting shapes along the walk. They provide lots of food for thought for our imagination and stories.
Swans and Ducks
Along the way, there are lots of different places to see and feed the swans and ducks (so don’t make the mistake of feeding them all at the first pool of water you come too).
There are lots of places to stop and enjoy the view too- making this a very peaceful waterside walk.
Never without a Ball
As I mentioned above, Caitlyn is never without a ball. I do remind her she has to take extra care of it as we’re by water. She’s also warned that if the ball goes in we’ll have to leave it. We can replace the football but not our lives. It keeps her happy though!
Izzy, on the other hand is more interested in the wildlife and fauna. She’s usually finding names of flowers, making wishes on dandelions or getting inspiration for her future drawings.
One thing that both girls have in common is the love of throwing and patting sticky Goose-grass (also known as Sticky Willy or Cleavers) onto us! If they ever want a hug on this walk I get suspicious! We do try and get our revenge but they are the champions at this game!
Swans at Westfield Pill Nature Reserve
There are usually multiple swan couples and or families along Westfield Nature Reserve. Look out for them in the first “pond” on your right, just after the boats, then again to your left behind the reeds and rushes and just after that on your right, you may get another view of them from the open viewing platform.
We saw the swan pictured above, then another one began swimming towards us too. We “told” the swans we’d be back to see them on the way back (yes we are crazy “talking to swans” kind of people lol). We had to get a move on to make sure we were back in time to pick Rebecca up.
Caitlyn is actually a little bit scared of swans after seeing feisty males protect their young, block the paths and hiss at dogs (in order to protect themselves of course). So when we see them, I always try to make sure she gets past quickly and calmly. If we see them with their young, we stay away as they’re understandably in protective mode then.
Watching the Duck and Ducklings
We stopped and stood at the open viewing spot for a while. It is so calm and peaceful here. Sometimes, we just watch the fish swim about and occasionally leap into the air, other times the ducks and swans swim by. You can be lucky and see otters too.
On this occasion, a proud duck hen swam around us with her cute little ducklings. We were meant to be rushing back to get Rebecca, but we had to take the time to stop and stare- they were gorgeous. It’s fair to say we were enthralled and mesmerized by them. We edged closer and closer to the bank. I had to tell Isabelle to get back a little as we didn’t want to actually swim with the ducklings.
Swans? They’re behind You!
So, we were in a world of our own with the ducks. I suddenly came back to real life and realised we’d need to head back so we wouldn’t be late for Rebecca. I turned around away from the ducks and was shocked at what I saw- the two swans were right behind Mum and Caitlyn! They were almost touching them. I was worried as if they accidentally went back they could have stood on the swans, provoking a defensive attack, or if the swans were to move one inch forward and touch them, Izzy, Caitlyn and Mum could have ended up in the water.
There was no time to think. I just blurted out “Don’t panic but there’s two swans behind you!” as I sidestepped out from the corner they’d backed us into, between themselves and the lake, leaving a pathway clear for mum, Caitlyn and Izzy to follow too.
Thankfully the swans stayed there. We still don’t know if they were coming up to us for food, to get past us into the water or trying to get to the ducklings. I know we had told them we’d be back to see them, but we didn’t expect them to come and see us! It was just strange that they were so close.
Once we’d moved to behind them we stopped to take a look and to take photos once more. Thankfully, Caitlyn wasn’t too shook up by it and we’d all managed to get away safely. Once we had our own space, the humour kicked in and we were in hysterics. We were laughing thinking about the cyclists that had passed would have just seen a view of our backs and swans right behind us. Usually its us stood there watching the ducks and swans in the water. This was very much nearly the other way around with the swans watching us in the water from the waterside.
Izzy asked if she could write a few words about the incident, here they are:
I was going for a walk with my family and I saw two swans in a little gap by the water. I went to the next place to see the river and I got distracted by a ladybug (ladybird). After what felt like 10 minutes later, my mum noticed the swans right behind us. She told us to slowly get back on the path. We did and then we went back to our walk.Isabelle
We continued on with our walk back to Neyland Marina, stopping occasionally and looking over our shoulders to make sure we weren’t followed by anymore swans…
Visit Westfield Pill Nature Reserve, Neyland Marina, Pembrokeshire
To visit Westfield Pill Nature Reserve, you can park at Neyland Marina (Sat Nav Postcode: SA73 1PY). There are plenty of free parking spaces available. Alternatively you can cycle here from Haverfordwest, Johnston or Milford Haven (there are ample cycle routes leading to this location).