Cardiff Bay Barrage

We walked across the Barrage in pretty hot sunshine but a cool breeze occasionally. At the locks end of the barrage I found 3 Grey Wagtails on the outer barrage rocks, at least one of which was a juvenile. By the maintenance yard at the other end, there were 2 Ravens resting and I took some images of them interacting – I think one [on the right in the photos] was a juv and the adult was seemingly ‘grooming’ it [known as allopreening when it involves a pair]. The usual Sand Martins were busy in the old dock where they nest in holes in the dock walls. We had a coffee in the Lookout cafe and then Anne & I made our back back. During the walk back I had a Rock Pipit on the outer barrage and there were 50 or more Swift distantly over the swimming pool. Just by the inner barrage near the waterbus stop were two large fish [Grayling?]. At Penarth Marina, there was plenty of House Martin activity but it seems that some residents are trying to deter them from nesting under the eaves by hanging glitzy strands of tinsel-like ribbons from their upper window frames, so they blow around and ‘flash’ in the breeze.

4 thoughts on “Cardiff Bay Barrage

  1. Hi John, It’s Sonya, Rob, Catherine and Pebble here. We are very interested to hear that you saw ravens on the barrage and would like to know more. What time of day did you see them? And where is the maintenance yard? Is it near the main docks where the yachts go through? We would like to pop down to the barrage and see if we can see them. Best wishes, Sonya

    1. John Wilson

      Hi Sonya. They’re not guaranteed, although the year before last they did actually nest on the overhead structure of the sluices. The maintenance yard that I referred to is where the rubbish collecting boat comes in and is next to the building with toilets at the far end of the barrage by the skate park. The birds were sitting on something in the yard just by where the Swift Tower is. When we had had our coffee at the Lookout cafe and came back past they were no longer there, but you never know. They sometimes fly over and give the characteristic ‘cronk’ call. Good luck, John

      1. Hi John just to let you know we saw the ravens. Three chicks and two adults at 2.30pm on the big pile of slag in the restricted port area over from the skate park/toilets as you suggested. Both adults flew off; one returned at 3pm. Great to see them. Catherine is fascinated by ravens so if you have any more sightings please let us know. Best wishes and many thanks Sonya and family (we left Pebble at home!)

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