In the early years of the Llanelli Naturalists, the programme always included the annual pilgrimage to the Tywi valley in January or February in order to count the geese and other wildfowl. At that time, in the early to mid 1970s, several hundred White‐fronted Geese still wintered on the water‐meadows around Dryslwyn. However, the flock progressively dwindled in numbers in succeeding years until now, geese no longer visit in large numbers. These meetings were joint with the West Wales Naturalists’ Trust and were led by the then County Bird Recorder, Dilwyn Roberts with Mr and Mrs Noel and Georgina Tallowin contributing.
When Rob Hunt was preparing his talk to the Llanelli Naturalists last winter on Carmarthenshire Birds (see page 25), he asked whether I had any photos of the geese dating back to those meetings. I knew that I had taken some in latter years using my Praktica 35mm SLR camera and cheap 400mm telephoto lens (all I could afford at the time). As the meetings were invariably in dull or wet weather, the photos were dull and lacked contrast. I was unable to find any in time for Rob’s talk but while rummaging in the attic a couple of weeks ago, I came across the wallet of very grey, monochrome prints, some of which (with the aid of Photoshop) are just good enough to reproduce. They were taken on 6th February 1977 and the entry in my diary includes the following:
“From the view‐point on the Maesybont road above the semi‐flooded valley, we could see a few ducks on the river and then located the geese grazing not far from the old railway line at approx. SN577205. We drove down into the valley and stopped by the railway (SN578199) where we had quite a good view of the geese (top photo), about 300 in total, but they were soon frightened off by slamming car doors and barking dogs from our party (bottom photo). We saw no Lapwings or Golden Plover but quite a large flock of Starlings was feeding and wheeling over the pastures. Later in the day we drove round to Allt‐y‐Wern Wood, west of Cilsan, where a Peregrine was seen briefly as it flew over.”