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

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Motor city

It's a fallacy that my life revolves around off the wall naturalist activities and the subsequent updating of this blog. Other things in a busy schedule include work, subsidising off-spring, watching TV sport and listening to progressive rock/metal music- see not such a nerd after all ! So for obvious reasons this posting is a liitle late in making it to the digital super highway.

Talking of highways the Sunday before last (29 September) I visited the land of the internal combustion engine where the fantasy of a race track promising thousands of jobs sit bumper to bumper with the dualling of the Heads of the Valleys road. My usual parking spot for easy access to Garnlydan Reservoir was barred by earthworks, traffic cones and tattooed construction driving trucks that when revved belched copious amounts of air-borne particulates (PM 10s?). A fluorescent tabard wearing workman with discoloured safety helmet worn at a jaunty angle crossed the road in front driving a dumper that bounced in tune with the uneven terrain of upland rhos pasture. So displaced to a lay-by just past a blue roadside sign marked Powys I proceeded to make my way in full late summer sunshine across pylon dominated landscape to said waterbody.

En-route a stridulating meadow grasshopper was noted close to a chicane in the track but was barely audible between the noise of frequent drive-by bikers that seem to use the Llangattock road. Where a small quarry had developed a small pond black darter dragonflies were still on the wing, alighting on the dozen or so discarded tyres that now sit easy with carbon hungry aspirations of this area of Gwent. The reservoir itself was surprisingly low on water. Six wigeon flew in, possibly the same birds that were present at Beaufort Ponds earlier and a few gulls seemed unsettled mid water. Half a lap into a full circuit around the reservoir I put up three snipe. Fourteen lapwing then took flight moving around the reservoir set against the blue sky like an avian chequered flag and finally two redshank made it on to the podium.


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