Seems a long time ago now but the three days of unseasonal weather in February enabled me to get out of the office at lunchtime to do some stress busting biological recording.
Not far from my base in New Inn, Pontypool is a pleasant riverside walk alongside the Afon Llwyd. A small number of black headed gull and lesser black backed gull pottered around a closely mown Rugby pitch that sits adjacent to the river probing for worms, only to be disturbed by a dog walker, they never returned. The river was still reasonably high but sufficiently low to reveal the characteristic debris of an urban watercourse, including a push bike. A couple of grey wagtail flew southwards and two tree creeper moved from tree to tree. A bank of harts-tongue fern was examined for leaf mines. The underside of one specimen appeared to show the frass of the micro moth harts-tongue smut (Psychoides verhuella) Also in the dappled sun light of the river were a number of early mining bee.
Next days lunch was spent in Pontypool Park and here too I followed the flow of the Afon Llwyd southwards. The warm weather had generated some early spring butterfly activity, with singles of comma, red admiral and small tortoiseshell noted. Another bank of harts-tongue fern was examined, revealing an individual non-native girdled snail and the tell tale sign of the leaf mine of the under fly Chromatomyia scolopendri.
The following day around the Blaenavon minewater treatment reedbed was a singing chiffchaff, the first time I've recorded a singing bird in February.