The first installment of this new regular feature takes in the delightful Ynysyfro reservoirs.
Location - Just north-east of High Cross, from junction 27 of the M4 take the B4591 towards Risca, after approximately 0.5 miles turn right (signposted Fourteen Locks Canal Centre), park at the Canal Centre. From the entrance to the car park turn right and right again and walk down the minor road to the reservoirs (signposted Ynysyfro Reservoirs).
Access - All of the upper basin, and the majority of the lower, can be viewed from the causeway. Gwent Ornithological Society members also have access to the paths around the lower basin.
Habitat - Two small artificial reservoirs with very limited marginal vegetation surrounded by regularly mown grass banking. During periods of low water some restricted areas of mud occur, in addition, a culverted ditch runs along the south west side of the lower basin. A small coniferous plantation, hedgerows, pasture, rough grassland, a golf course and a garden border the site.
Species - Very few species of bird have been located at this site making it one of the premier sites for not watching birds in the county. Apart from Little Owl, Feral Goose, Pochard and Chiffchaff, this evening I managed to not watch birds during most of my visit.
The idyllic lower basin looking east towards the golf course, note the tranquil surface to the limpid waters, almost entirely undisturbed by waterfowl.