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

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Closer than a black winged stilt

After near on forty years of treading the boards as a jobbing ornithologist come naturalist any notion that I would turn in to a tick box twitcher has been as alien a concept as a north American ruddy duck - and we all know whats happened to them! But this blogging lark is slowly converting me by stealth into a trainee twitcher complete with smart phone and Twitter account. My therapist has told me that a sure sign of progress is moving out of the self denial phase to one that recognises the problem, only then can we work together on a coping strategy.

After a hard day with hammer and anvil I stoked up the ole laptop to find to my shock the GOS sighting page proclaiming 'Stilt Pontypool'. My pacemaker went into overdrive. Where in Pontypool could a black winged stilt turn up? Llandegfedd Reservoir is a possibility, what about the ornamental ponds in Pontypool Park or the pond adjacent to the seventh hole on the outward nine of Pontypool Golf Club or even my Aunt Sally's goldfish pond? - this was quickly ruled out as utterly ridiculous due to the presence of a plastic life size heron deployed as an efficient and cost effective predator deterrent. Alas my initial state of euphoria quickly dissolved into despair when through closer interrogation the record in fact related to Gwent's answer to twitchers heaven the Newport Wetlands. Silly me.

This therefore presented me with a dilemma. Friday night is shopping night how would I convince my good wife and soul mate that our usual trip to the supermarkets around Brynmawr could be still achieved via the Newport Wetlands? It's a simple round trip after all. Pleading came to mind although my 2013 quota for this approach has already been exhausted. Then a flash of inspiration, I suddenly realised  that she's out of the country on business and the decision on where shopping is executed is mine and mine alone. Ha ha! The rest they say is history.

Spot the target species!!


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