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

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Open House

After years of indifferent access to Llandegfedd Reservoir Welsh Water has thrown open its doors to all and sundry. I made two visits this Bank Holiday Monday to a site whereby my last attempt to 'get in' was barred by a double padlocked gate. This time no problem at all. The Fisherman's Car Park was well populated with vehicles including baseball cap wearing lads in their Vauxhall Corsa's playing trance music. Walkers drifted through the gates and around the site with gay abandon - it was surreal! I encountered dozens of walkers, a jogger, several photographers, many dog walkers some with man's best friend on leads but most not, as well as the more traditional residents in the form of fisherman, sailors and yes birdwatchers. Am I angry about Welsh Water's sudden conversation to recreation for the masses? No I don't think I am. For far too long Welsh Water has sought to barr those who don't pay for the privilege of using their sites. As for the SSSI status and its component wildfowl I sense the impact will be small but engaging GOS to conduct a survey to collect the evidence just like the winter sailing survey would have been a useful exercise helping to re-build bridges with the birding fraternity.

The morning visit was to see the garganey reported the previous day from Green Pool bay. Unfortunately the birds had seemingly moved on. Tom Chinnick was on site and he pointed me in the direction of a distant mid water avocet but I missed an earlier osprey. Other birds of note include a singing blackcap, teal and tufted duck. A small patch of wild daffodil made of an attractive spring image.

A couple of free hours came to me unexpectedly in the afternoon so in a hope that the garganey had returned I made my way back to the reservoir. Alas the only addition to the mornings tally was a redshank, a flowering cowslip and several dark-edged bee flies.


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