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

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Waders, not just for the coast you know

A spring like Saturday was just enough to get me motivated for an early Sunday morning start. At 7am I was parking at Garn Lakes Local Nature Reserve ready for a trek around the greater Blaenavon landscape. First up was a singing reed bunting easily audible from a stand of juncus beside the Blaenavon to Brynmawr road due to a general  lack of traffic at this unearthly hour. Next was a male wheatear. My stealthy approach with camera in hand failed miserably as it dropped down from its lofty perch and out of sight.

A snipe flushed from a track side ditch signalled the first of up to ten other birds during my walk, it seemed that each patch of juncus was hiding a bird only to be revealed when a middle aged naturalist chose to walk through the damn stuff. Lapwings were conspicuous and to my surprise a loudly calling redshank echoed around the landscape as it made its way northwards.

At the top of Canada Tips with impressive views of the Sugar Loaf and beyond and where skylark were in fine voice I put up four red grouse only to disappear over the horizon in typical vocal manner.

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