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Blaenau Gwent County Borough

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix ©Chris Thomas Website

Birding Blaenau Gwent

Blaenau Gwent is a county borough in South Wales, sharing its name with a parliamentary constituency. It borders the unitary authority areas of Monmouthshire and Torfaen to the east, Caerphilly to the west and Powys to the north. Its main towns are Abertillery, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar. Its highest point is Coity Mountain at 1,896 ft.

Areas with potential for wildlife viewing include Cwmcelyn Pond, Cwmtillery Lakes, Festival Park, Parc Bryn Bach, Silent Valley Local Nature Reserve and St James Pond. Perhaps the best being Silent Valley - Once a farm with meadows and an old coal pit, this local reserve is now the highest and most westerly beech wood in Britain. The reserve is managed jointly by Gwent Wildlife Trust and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and some of the reserve has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Top Sites

Trefil Quarries

Information

Satellite View

Trefil Quarries used to have Ring ouzel, raven, peregrine etc, but the quarries are in active use again. Use an OS map, and discover for yourself dipper, grey wagtail, common sandpiper, sand martins ,buzzard and sparrowhawk of course, raven, pied flycatcher, wood warbler, all 3 woodpeckers, common redstart, all the tits (except crested); red grouse are sparse.

County Recorder

Tom Chinnick

School House, Llandenny, Usk NP15 1DL

07982 719881

countyrecorder@gwentbirds.org.uk

Useful Reading

Birds of Gwent

by WA Venables, AD Baker, RM Clarke, C Jones, JMS Lewis and SJ Tyler | Helm | 2008 | Hardback | 416 pages, line drawings, 32 pages of colour photos, distribution maps

ISBN: 9780713676334

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Gwent Bird report 2015

Buy Direct

Organisations

Gwent Ornithological Society

Website

TJ Russell, The Pines, Highfield Road, Monmouth, Gwent NP5 3HP 01600 716266 - Home Page for the Gwent Ornithological Society (GOS) now up and running with news, the latest newsletter, meetings dates, links and more…

Gwent Wildlife Trust

Website

Gwent covers the lower Wye and Usk river valleys and the Severn Estuary in South East Wales. In the last fifty years Gwent has lost two thirds of its ancient woodland and the lowlands surrounding the Severn Estuary are threatened by industrial development…

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

GWT LNR Silent Valley SSSI

Webpage

Satellite View

This beautiful woodland reserve has been designated a Local Nature Reserve in recognition of its importance to the local community as well as its precious wildlife. With far-reaching views across the Ebbw Valley, Silent Valley is constantly changing – it is a reserve that merits several visits throughout the year.

Parc Bryn Bach

Website

Satellite View

Set in 340 acres of idyllic grass and woodland with a stunning 36 acre lake at its heart. Wildlife at the park is diverse and thriving. Water fowl are abundant and many species can be seen throughout the changing seasons. A special area has been set aside for attracting lapwings to the park that will hopefully soon be home to a resident breeding colony. It is hard to believe that in 1980, this was an industrial wasteland, exploited by the excavation of coal. Now Parc Bryn Bach is a beautiful nature reserve enjoyed by locals, visitors and wildlife.

Trip Reports

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

Blogs

Steve Williams - Valley Naturalist

BLOG

A natural history journal for Gwent… News, observations, field reports, identification, commentary, opinion, nostalgia, humour, free thinking…

Other Links

Ebbw Vale Owl Sanctuary

Website

The sanctuary is in Ebbw Vale, Gwent, and it is run by a man called Malcolm. He doesn`t charge a penny for entry into the sanctuary, you are free to donate anything you might wish to, whatever you can afford. All his owls are rescued birds which have suffered some horrible fate, or been injured at some time, and Malcolm takes them in and looks after them…