Sunny day tour of some of Gwents nature hotspots

Gwent has a treasure trove of wonderful habitats for nature. There is quite a diverse range of locations throughout Gwent where you can enjoy wildlife.

Today I toured a few of my favourite hotspots and a few other places for good measure.

First stop was a lovely little ancient wood on the slopes of the Blorenge.  I checked in on it to see if spring is finally working its changes as everything this year has been behind. The cold crazy winter weather we have had seems to have pushed back the natural order of seasons by a few weeks at least.

I was thrilled to see some Pied Flycatchers. Not that active yet but that will changes once they have a brood of hungry mouths to feed.

Next I headed for the Punchbowl and had a wander around. The cuckoo was calling but only caught a glimpse of it today as it headed off up the mountain.

The gorse was alive with the calls of Linnets. I don't get to see these birds very often and managed to get some pictures from a distance. They are quite twitchy to get close to despite my best efforts today. Better luck next time perhaps.

Further up the mountain I returned to Pwll Ddu. The sun was now absolutely scorching.

The Wheatears were very active and so they became my next target. Commando crawling along the grass I found was very effective for getting close pictures of them. However I attracted the attention of some "Dudes" who I think were English tourists, who noticed my stealthy actions.

Made me chuckle as I could hear them describe the place as being the "middle of nowhere with good views man" .

One of them enquired of me,  "Hay Man is that a Shrike?" I replied , " No its a Wheatear".

Later I heard him tell his mate on the phone."Hay Man I just saw this bird and asked this welsh bloke what it was and he replied in Welsh man so I have no idea"..I had to laugh.

I hope he and his friends appreciated the views as they were fantastic.

Later I ventured south had a look a round the British and listened to a Yellowhammer singing away.

Finished off with a walk along the River Usk up to a place called the Bryn to have look at the Sandmartins.Watched a pair of Common Sandpipers feeding along the riverbanks. Pretty birds but really difficult to get close to.

A good day out , nice to see the warm sunshine finally kicking in and the countryside starting to look very green again.

Piedflycatcher (male) singing

Male Linnet

Male Wheatear

Male Yellowhammer singing

Common Sandpiper

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