Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science.







Thursday, 31 December 2009

A winter wonderland


Decided to head north today but didn't bargain for the amount of 'white stuff' that was still lingering. Dunlop Semtex Pond, Machine Pond, Beaufort Ponds were all frozen with nothing but an odd gull to be seen. On to Bryn Bach Park where a small area of open water supported 100 Coot, 100 Mallard and a few Tufties, Mute Swan and Moorhen. Thanks to a steady flow of kind hearted valley people with their bags stale Hovis  I managed to secure some half decent shots of gulls. To my surprise one Black Headed Gull was carrying what appears to be a foreign ring. Will check origin in due course but in the meantime if anyone can help let me know. Happy new year.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Through the gates of delirium.....or maybe not!







Scope, bins, camera, flask prepared, hat and gloves, off I jolly well go for a winter mornings birding at Gwents premier inland venue Llandegfedd Reservoir. New access arrangements mean a key to North Gate car park takes pride of place on my key ring rubbing shoulders with my Tesco Clubcard barcode fob. Shock! horror! on arrival no access possible, the chunky lock that should have been removed as per notice at 9am was still in place. Never mind I'm old enough to remember birding at Llandegfedd as a teenager in the 1970s when bailiffs were lurking behind every stand of reedmace and that having ones collar felt was as tickible as a goldeneye or red necked grebe.
So onto Ponthir Reservoir until recently not even a twinkle in the eye of Gwents discernible birders. However, easy access makes for easy wildfowl counting with tufties, coot, a female goosander resplendent in santa hat and great crested grebe the order of the day. Snow forecast for tomorrow!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Valley Naturalist


Valley Naturalist is a new blog documenting my activities as an amateur naturalist in the south Wales valleys and beyond. From the wetlands and waterbodies of the Heads of the Valleys, the post industrial habitats of the coalfield area to the coastal lowlands and reservoirs of Monmouthshire (vc35), this blog will promote the recording, photographing and study of the rich natural history of a hitherto neglected and undervalued biodiversity resource. In doing so it aims to champion 'local patching' as an important contribution to nature conservation encouraging others to visit and record the wildlife of this area of Wales. Enjoy!
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