Complete with a fresh bi-annual haircut and some leave and I was off to sample the natural heritage of the Varteg. First stop was a well known flytippers mountain track. Here I found various black bags spilling baby clothes, a number of asbestos sheets, several piles of conifer cuttings and a good number of tyres.
From this dismal setting I climbed the hillside to the flanks Mynydd varteg fawr. Although Sundays deluge had departed it was still a tad blustery thereby depressing bird activity to a disappointing level. It wasn't until I reached a spot that offered some shelter was I able to pick up wheatear, stonechat and a number of reed bunting.
Like most of the coalfield the landscape here is pock marked with little features that hint at a former use. Tracks, stonewalling, small quarries with piles of excavated stone and channels now full of water complete with margins of cotton grass and the odd broad bodied chaser.
For a mid June day its was nothing to shout home about. A round trip of about three hours only small numbers of birds the most notable was six pair of reed bunting and four pair of stonechat.