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

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Trip hazard

An early Saturday morning start around my Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) square on the Blorenge and the hope of maybe a passing trip of dotterel. If only I'd known of the Brecon Beacons National Park (BBNP)footpath 'improvements' across the SSSI to the trig point I wouldn't have bothered purchasing those crampons and ice axe from the Blacks liquidation sale. Now the Blorenge summit is easily accessible to urbanists in carpet slippers or four inch heels (standard deviation +/- one inch). That nasty woody upland vegetation that scratches your legs rubbed out in favour of a bed of scalpings delineated by stones to prevent walkers straying into the abyss. 

On reaching the trig point the way was sprinkled with the trappings of casual walkers, little black packages of a clay type substance (sausage shaped but easily mailable), fast food wrappings and plastic remembrance flowers that were juxtaposed against a back drop of nationally important dwarf shrub heath habitat. Where the path stopped the wind blew enough to make my eyes water and I ferreted in my jacket pockets for hat and gloves. Here I met a true countryman suitably attired in hoodie and track suit bottoms who passed the time of day and hinted that to continue any further would be full of hazards such as jagged stones, waterlogged peat and buzzards that swoop to take small children to feed their young. I hesitated to ponder his comments but continued nonetheless safe in the thought that I wasn't accompanied by any minors so the risk of buzzard attack would surely be proportionally reduced. I checked for a mobile signal as insurance. Here a red grouse wheeled as if it was defending its territory and a male chased a female wheatear with a glint in its eye. Thankfully I returned home none the worst for my adventure and well within the time frame that I give my family before they need to alert mountain rescue.

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