Llanfairfechan, Gwynedd In their usual river habitat, these magnificent, large, hole-nesting ducks are shy and rightly so

Traeth Lafan’s wide expanse of sand is a landscape that draws you in, like the Elenydd moors or the high Arctic, through its abstraction. Nothing’s solid here; all’s sketched and coloured in shifting tones of water and light. Even history has become ambiguous, uncertain. These are drowned lands, their legends tide-steeped, wind-honed.

I come here for the birds, to which the fluid landscape accords a peculiar gift. Its bas-relief undulations, its distances, absorb and hide. What on first glance appears empty, on closer scrutiny teems with life. Though on this grey and turbulent day, with a flooding tide, little stirs. A couple of oystercatchers, heavy-billed, speed past. A little egret lifts out of a filling channel and braves the buffets as it heads back towards the old heronry at Penrhyn Point. In the stand of Scots Pine at the furthermost end of the promenade ravens discourse, shear down to the water’s edge, soar aloft with shellfish in their bills, to drop them from a height on the concrete sea-wall before folding their wings and swooping down to pick out the morsel of flesh.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change