A chilly 7.30am start for walk around The British -see Birdwatching Walks in Gwent for details of route. My chosen parking spot was strewn with the excesses of the previous nights social activity in the former mining communities of this part of the eastern valley. Empty beer cans, soft drinks and takeaway wrappings mingled with bags of builders rubble, a ceramic toilet and a homemade compact disc of the Lighthouse Family's Greatest Hits.
Heading off with purpose in my stride I was immediately struck by the number of singing willow warbler - they seemed to be everywhere! Other singers included a few chiffchaff, a number of in flight redpoll, a pheasant and a drumming great spotted woodpecker.
Arriving at Big Pond - a de-watered former industrial waterbody, there were meadow pipit, skylark a single parachuting tree pipit, raven, buzzard, two reed bunting and three wheatear but no ring ouzel.
Is it just me or does the frontage of this disused engineering building look like a character from Thomas the Tank Engine or Chuggington?