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







Sunday, 2 October 2011

Go back, go back, go back.....


..... were the words that tugged at my paisley pj's as I made my way down that old wooden hill at some unearthly hour. No time to wipe the sleep from my eyes, I was off, this even before the first mongrel had clocked on for that unique canine dawn chorus that is the wake up call for modern day valley life.


A fence post wheatear caught my eye as I turned the road to the Foxhunter Car Park, Blaenavon. The target this morning was 'Sunrisre Over Monmouthshire' photography, followed up with some red grouse spotting thrown in for good measure. It was no surprise to find other earth worshippers in the car park. Kneeling beside tripod mounted camera they whaled in appreciation as the mother of all life emerged on the horizon.


Past the Fred Hando memorial bench and the Foxhunter memorial plaque I left the bearded, kaftan wearing photographers destination Blorenge mountain taking the new BBNP memorial footpath improvements  before veering sharp right into more interesting terrain. Here the first grouse were flushed, taking off in a panic to a land of pixies and fairies out of sight but still just audible with their characteristic 'go back, go back' vocal. Taking no notice of the advice of a sub species of the willow grouse I pressed on regardless only to record a pleasing fourteen birds before reaching the Blorenge memorial trig point. Here I posed in conquering Everest style before dropping down the east face and onwards. 



The path here was through peat, still holding water enough to threaten an over walking boot reminder of the approaching rainy season. Quickening my pace after slowing to remove an irritating hardened sun baked sheep's dropping from my boot I flushed a snipe that took off vignetted against the brightening sky. Here too skylark and  meadow pipit were plentiful. On to the gently rounded and sheep grazed limestone spoil hills I emerged to view, hands on hips, the vista that is the green and pleasant land of rural Monmouthshire spread out before me - a mountain biker sped past wobbling in surprise of my early morning presence. Here too were a good number of swallow, an active fox moth caterpillar and a less than active eggar moth cocoon was retrieved from beneath a dislodged stone. A snowy ink cap was also emerging from a pile of horse dropping.


PS. For a blog that gets only c1200 hits a month, the value of having 'sexy' in the title of two consecutive postings has paid dividends. Just over a day into October this site has already registered close to 400 hits. Just goes to illustrate the preferred subject matter of many website searchers!

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