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

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Valley of the dinosaurs

Tirpentwys cut on the hillside between Pontypool and Crumlin is a former sandstone quarry shrouded in a mature conifer woodland, but with standing water and mist aplenty. An eerie somewhat bleak and desolate site echoed to my indifferent sure-footedness as fragments of stone disappeared into the muddy depths of the ponds as I picked my way through the valley. A couple of calling raven were amplified and a distant redstart could be heard as a pterodactyl took flight from its rock face nest.

Dodging the attention of a couple of club wielding, bear skin wearing locals, several early instar orthoptera could be found. Siskin, coal tit and goldcrest provided the occasional mood music, before a male pterodactyl returned to drop the limp figure of an uninsured off-roader into the nest of two snapping young, and the feeding frenzy began.

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