It was the dream ticket, a sunny spring-like Sunday when the clocks moved on. Emerging onto the main road to Pontypool I passed a phalanx of middle aged male cyclists in a uniform of black and yellow Lycra. Rows of terraced housing were pock marked with residents cleaning windows and arranging pots of daffodils. My mind drifted to the power tool aisle at B&Q that would surely be popular with DIY enthusiasts eyeing up a new tool for the coming outdoor season.
Llandegfedd Reservoir was similarly popular, anglers where lightly spread across the water and around the banks. I'd hoped to touch base with the recently present black-necked grebe but with this level of recreational use prospects were low. Deploying the scope I strained to find any waterbirds. With some effort the ever present great crested grebe and cormorant along with a small raft of gulls including two great-black backed were noted.
At the Bert Hamar Memorial Hide an early spring comma butterfly moved between the flowering heads of lesser celendine. I picked up a couple of singing chiffchaff as I gave the hide a once over for defects. Without maintenance its clear this structure has an uncertain future. My mind drifted back to B&Q and all those eager domestic repairers, if only I could encourage a few to try out their new power tool purchases on the hide it would be sorted in no time.
I abandoned my efforts to get to Sor Bay when an evenly spaced line of bank side fisherman were seen to dominate with their whip lashing lines. Back at Green Pool the common toads were clearly in an amorous mood - croaking, swimming and gathering around any willing participant. Around the Island I could clearly see the change in meadow grassland structure following the agricultural reseeding of part of this species rich meadow. This action should have been subject to an application under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations, but my Tweet to Welsh Water last year about this matter was met with ignorance and waffle. Turning over some driftwood I located a 22- spot ladybird and the snail killing beetle Silpha atrata. A small bare earth bank had a persistent early mining bee Andrena haemorrhoa looking for a nesting spot.