We are now moving south-east along the coast, following the scenic St Ives to St Erth coastal branch railway line past the dunes at Lelant – with its stunning beaches – which would lead on to Lelant Saltings always with an array of wetland birds …
… history abounds here too – the Iverni, an early Irish people … first mentioned in Ptolomey’s 2nd century Geographia … as living in the south west of the Ireland … were known to have travelled over, now seen as skeletons dug up from the Towans (sand dunes).
The 15th century church of St Uny was built
on the easterly corner of the towans facing over the inlet towards Hayle. The railway skirts the Church … but there’s a
path down to the sands.
First map of Europe - based
on Ptolomey's Geographia
There is a thought that an earlier settlement was
overwhelmed by huge sandstorms, whipped up by the sea winds … the Church itself
was in danger of being lost, but marram grass has been planted which has
kept encroachment at bay.
St Uny Church
The sand dunes have been put to good use as it is the most westerly golf links in the country … play is always possible here – the rain sinks in – leaving the golfers wet … but always with magnificent views – be they dry, sunny and sparkling, or damp, gloomy and sea-thrashed …
My grandparents were members of the golf-club – but
probably used it more as a social … as kids we played occasionally … mostly
whack and hack! Seeing how many seagulls
we could hit … we were kids!!
Edge of golf course looking east towards
|Marram Grass holding|
We’d walk from the golf-club car park towards the Church and what is now the South West coastal path … over the railway line – keeping an ear out for the chuntering steam train as it hooted its way towards St Ives, or back towards St Erth – always waving if we were in sight.
|The train on its way round the links -|
St Ives is in the background
… an estuary that does not freeze – in the genial, mild climate of west Cornwall … where palm trees grow …
… the estuary, tidal pools, and marsh have long been havens for migrating birds … many a twitcher spends time twitching around this coastal retreat.
Each season offers a variety of wetland birds from … flocks of teals and wigeons in winter and maybe a vagrant ring-billed gull from North America.
Summer is quieter … though ospreys are regular visitors – but rarely seen. Autumn sees the main wader passage through the reserve. Vagrants often turn up sheltering from the gales … while Winter is the best time for a spectacle of thousands of birds …
|An oil painting I own - showing the runnels and|
ridges in the sand, at a moment in time
*Strange but true ... I first heard about the 2018 film 'Tag' last night ... which I'm fairly certain was the game we were playing ... odd how life confirms things for us.
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