Thursday 3rd June 2010
News that a Marmora's warbler had been found in Wales caused the usual mild hysteria. Plans would have to changed, arrangements made, a cool head was needed. Like my wife, Jan said 'why dont you just go'? Far too simple. I started to complicate the issue. I rang Tony Shepherd who I'd dipped the Sizewell bird with years earlier. 'I'm in Great Yarmouth but I'm on my way, meet me' etc. Great, I was sorted. Decision made. Trouble was it would mean a delay of several hours before we could get going. I paced the garden, stooping occasionally to excavate a Dandelion from the lawn. The mobile rings- Mark Maddox, did I want a lift to Wales? Leaving now. I rang Tony to explain, 'you go I've been held up on the A14.' he said. Tony knows the score.
It was a fairly straightfoward run down to Blaenavon, we could see our destination, the masts on top of a mountain, as we approached. Getting up the mountain was more of a challenge. We decide to ascend using the South face route. A little known and little used trail but very picturesque. As the potholes got bigger and the trees became more aggressive we passed the cars of unfortunate birders whose clutches had burnt out or whose suspensions had collapsed. At a point where the track was no more we decided that we had mis interpreted pager directions and headed back to eventually find the right lane. The slight delay didnt matter, as we pulled up we were directed to look at a single Holly bush in front of us. By the time I'd got my scope sorted it was showing, at least part of it was showing. It wasn't too long though before the bird was in full view. You Beauty. After a couple of minutes the Marmora's warbler dropped down out of sight. Time to have a chat to a few friends and take in the stunning scenery. A beautiful part of the country I'd never been to before. Other birds about included Stonechat, Whinchat and Hobby.
We headed back for a well earned pint at the Church End Brewery but not before locating a Little Owl just outside Over Whitacre. Many thanks to Mark and Richard Dawkins for an excellent day.