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6 Jun 2010

Marmora's Warbler, Gwent

I was working in Leeds when news broke of this major blocker on territory in S Wales. As I'd seen the Yorkshire bird whilst still a tender Undergraduate at Manchester University in 1982 I wasn't unduly worrried! Besides, work committments meant I'd not been able to get out at all during the week as often I'd not got back until it was almost dark. Twice I'd driven past the Great Reed Warbler in Derbyshire!

However, an oppurtunity presented itself this weekend when Malc ' camper van' Curtin & Mark Payne decided they'd go for it on Sunday morning. Deciding to make up the numbers and help the intrepid duo with the identification (!) we arranged to meet up. The best laid plans were scuppered when the bird seemingly disappeared yesterday afternoon so a rethink was required. Deciding we'd go on news this morning I wasn't hopeful and had just clambered back into bed when Malc rang and told me it was still there! B*gger!

Quickly dressing I said good by to my long suffering wife and shot out the house to pick up Mark before meetign Malc and settting off down the M6.

We found the site easily enough in glorious sunshine and within minutes of getting out of the car we were treated to spectacular views as the bird sat in the open singing its heart out!


Not the best pictures around and I wish I'd taken the big lens.

A fantastic site though with singing Tree Pipits and Whinchats all around us with spectacular views. Although the crowd today was quite small (30 people) they were generally well behaved. According to one guy who'd travelled up from Plymouth yesterday and missed the bird (but travelled up again today!) the reason it disappeared in the afternoon was due to the constant noise from the watching birders. The usual story I'm afraid - loud talking, mobile phones and generally poor fieldcraft. Still, I'm glad he saw it today.

A stunning little bird - one so special that our mate The Apprentice, who saw it on its first day, decided that none of the birds he saw on his two day trip to Norfolk were worthy of him getting his binoculars out of the car! Anyone want to buy a pair of Leica's?

1 comment :

julian-price1 said...

Glas you were able to make it to Blaenavon and see the warbler. There are tons of nice birds to see here including a rather large lapwing colony up by garn lakes which is being looked after by the local council. The area is an heritage site and there are plenty to see when you get here.

The bird is right by the foxhunter car park just down the hill from the pylons. Well worth a visit and you can even take back a present from one of the local museums in the town for your wife