Trip reports

Field Trip to Bargoed Woodland Park

Male blackcap in hawthorn bush

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Sunday 11 June saw a visit to Bargoed Woodland Park, this being a new venue for the group. The park is built on the site of three collieries with the River Rhymney flowing through it, splitting it in half.

The morning was bright and sunny though a strong wind did mean we struggled locating some birds. A group of five of us watched a family of ravens before setting off from the car park. As the park follows the river, we decided to head up one side and return down the other, soon spotting a mistle thrush out in the open.

Making our way through woodland and scrub, we heard and had fleeting glimpses of garden warbler, blackcap, dunnock, jay and song thrush. In the sky, we saw buzzard, crow and sparrowhawk gliding down the valley.

On reaching a suitable place for lunch close to the edge of the river, we enjoyed splendid views of a family of grey wagtails tucked in a hole in the wall being fed by the parent birds; also sand martins and swifts hunting along the river.

Making our way back beside the river, we located a dipper in the fast-flowing water and further down, in the slack water, a grey wagtail feeding young; also a mallard and a grey heron. It is an interesting site and merits another visit, being fairly local.

Hugh Harrison