Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Sunday, 22 May 2011


On the map as Coity Pond but known to Blaenavonites as the Mile Pond was Saturdays pre shopping nature ramble. Taking the moderately steep path from Coity Tip towards the pond was no great hardship with whitethroat, skylark, reed bunting and several redpoll in good voice.

With reports of dingy skipper on the wing at other post industrial sites it was no great surprise to encounter several on the parched coal spoil that characterises the landscape in this area. Got to the pond just in time to see a grey heron leave to try its luck at one of the other ponds in the area. This linear waterbody isn't known for its birdlife but sightings of cormorant, goosander, green sandpiper etc. are recently documented and today added a new species to the list in the form of two male and one female tufted duck. Also heard calling but not seen was a little grebe.

The many acidic flushes that drain in to the pond are a botanist and entomologists delight. I was pleased to be able to stumble across a couple of individual spikes of fir clubmoss. Also noted green hairstreak here. 

Back to base but not before coming across a patch of several hundred moonwort- looks like another good year for this local distinctive fern.

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