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The mountain is alive with the sound of bird songs

Yesterday after watching the sunrise in Cwmynyscoy I made my way to the Mountain Air common land near Penyrheol Pontypool. It's a large area of heathland that borders the slopes of Mynydd Maen, Mynydd Twyn-Glas and Mynydd Calch. It has become one of my local birding patch "hot spots". The gorse habitat is particularly home to a wealth of birds that breed in the thorny bushes for protection from predators.
If you are quiet and find a spot in the gorse you will soon pick up the calls of Stonechats noisily singing and proclaiming their territories. They almost incessantly repeat their contact calls. This is where they get their name from as it is said to sound like two stones being banged against each other. I find the call very distinctive once you get familiar with it and it helps me home in on them in the gorse. These small robin-sized birds are full of character and they are quite accommodating to photograph, on this visit I watched a few fledglings being fed by their pa…

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