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I might also have called this blog post ‘One hundred and eighty!’. Let me explain …

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Last Wednesday I joined fourteen other members of the Glamorgan Bird Club for a day’s birding in the stunning scenery of St David’s Vale, near Abergavenny. We walked part of an ancient hollow way …

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Beneath mighty oaks in an equally ancient woodland carpeted with bluebells …

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And then, as the sun broke through the low cloud that had earlier floated across the border from England, we climbed up on to the broad open moorland, with panoramic views all around and the impressive peak of Sugarloaf looming to our right.

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Most of the birds mocked my photographic skills and no-so-long lens as they perched on distant tree tops and bushes but I was delighted to hear and then see my very first Wood warbler, and then, on the moorland, several beautiful Whinchats. And those two sightings brought my year list to – yes, you guessed it – one hundred and eighty!

Our keen amateur naturalists also spotted a Small heath butterfly and two Common heath moths (this is the male; the female landed on my trouser leg so another birder got that picture), and a Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly. And we were entertained by the bumbling flights of several Cockchafers (I’ll cover those in a future post.)


My bird list for the today was: Mistlethrush, Robin, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Great tit, Carrion crow, Meadow pipit, Willow warbler, Swallow, Woodpigeon, Blue tit, Blackcap, Skylark, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Garden warbler, Long-tailed tit, Wood warbler, Stonechat, Raven, Tree pipit, Linnet, Whinchat, Wren, Cuckoo, House sparrow, Pied wagtail, Dunnock, Magpie and Jackdaw. It was a perfectly wonderful day!