Not Even a Coal Tit

This morning I took advantage of a break in the rain and headed for the hills to carry out my first core square count for the Winter Thrushes Survey.

Mynydd William Meyrick (SS9592) is fairly typical in these parts, being covered in part by a conifer plantation and neighbouring upland moor, so my hopes of seeing some thrushes were not high. Though there was no rain, the wind was high and not a single bird was to be seen anywhere along my chosen route.  I hope other surveyors in both Mid & South Glamorgan fair better.

Upland moor and conifer plantation, Mynydd William Meyrick
Upland moor and conifer plantation, Mynydd William Meyrick

Was this a worthwhile visit then?  No thrushes and no birds.  Yes, indeed.  Counts of zero are a useful indicator of which habitats are not or little used by birds.  Though we may have anticipated that I’d see little or no thrushes today, only actually making the effort to get there proves the theory.  Other surveyors across the UK making trips to similar locations will develop our understanding of the distribution and resources needed by our winter thrushes.

I probably wouldn’t have gone to the hills today, but I enjoyed my walk, some solitude for a short while and was reminded once again what a fabulous landscape the hills of the Valleys are.  I was surprised too at how the new Pant-y-wal wind farm has progressed, with eight turbines now looking complete and another nearly so.

Pant-y-wal wind farm
Pant-y-wal wind farm

Of course, Coal Tits are not one of the species covered by the Winter Thrushes Survey, but its not often I walk through a conifer plantation and don’t at least hear one around here.  (I did manage to BirdTrack 4 Bullfinches, 2 Magpies, a Crow and a Kestrel on the trek up to my square).

One thought on “Not Even a Coal Tit

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  1. Once the windfarm is up and running it would be worth your while looking for the dead birds that will soon be dotted around the place

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