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Watching the Whinchats

There is one bird species that I look forward to seeing in the Gwent Uplands its the Whinchat ( Saxicola rubetra ). For several years I have been returning to the same area and keeping an eye on them. Whinchats are summer migrants to Wales. They are red listed and in decline, not being such a common site these days. I occasionally see them at Goldcliff Lagoons during the spring time in April or May when they are passing through the reserve to move on to their breeding grounds.  In Gwent this tends to be in the Gwent Uplands. The name "Whin" is an old word meaning "Gorse". Their Welsh name is Crec yr Eithin which also mean Gorse or Furze. In my experience I find this a little misleading as when I see them they are almost always perched up on the top of ferns ( bracken). This year the Whinchats have returned to their usual patch that I monitor regularly with my friend Paul Joy. They have been very difficult to find early on in the season and they show better when th

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