Llandegfedd Reservoir (Lake) in the Spring


Today – Tuesday 26th April 2022 – I decided on a last minute ride to Llandegfedd Lake, which this year appears on all the web based literature to have been renamed by Welsh Water from Llandegfedd Reservoir to Llandegfedd Lake. Didn’t know that happened, and for as long as I can remember since I was a young lad it has always been called Llandegfedd Reservoir!! In any event there are plenty of activities to participate in at the lake, from watersports such as paddle boarding, rowing and sailing, to walking, fishing, and I spotted there’s even some archery events during the summer months. None of these activities on the agenda for me today though, just a quick ride to at least get out in the sun – firstly to the North end of the lake to visit some of the well maintained hides, then on to the South end where the visitor centre is located.

At the north end of the lake there is a small car park where the gates are only open through the spring, summer and autumn months, and they are locked each day so if you do visit please keep an eye on what time these gates are locked – your mode of transport will be stuck there for the night if you miss this vital piece of info. There is a hide adjacent to the small seating area and two additional hides further around (clockwise looking North). For anyone interested, the second of the two hides is perhaps another 3/4 of a mile further around in a clockwise direction, and looks out on a small pond rather than across the lake itself. I have seen Jay, Sparrowhawk, Reed Warblers and many other species from this hide so it is well worth a visit. Last time I went there though, I recall the bins had not been emptied for some time and shall we say it wasn’t the most freshest of smells so didn’t stay there long! I gather members of GOS have spoken to Welsh Water who have arranged regular bin collection!

I read somewhere recently that a birding friend and member of Gwent Ornithological Society (GOS) had spotted some Redstarts close by, hence deciding to make a short trip to see if I could spot them myself, but must have missed them as nothing particularly interesting or unusual was spotted. There were plenty of the usual Great Tit, Blue Tit, Robin and Nuthatch busily attacking the feeders at the one hide, and at the other hide I noted two pairs of Tufted Ducks and two well hidden Great Crested Grebes each in full on bonding season. After some sarnies and a drink, a lovely chat with a lady returning to her car who had been fly-fishing close by, together with a quick call on 145.500 with no replies – not unexpected to be honest, as the lake is almost surrounded on all angles by higher ground!, I headed around to the South end of the lake to see what may be lurking around the wall.

I also stopped off quickly at the main car park just above the visitor centre. In the image above those with a keen eye might spot the Sugarloaf Mountain mentioned in a previous blog way off in the distance. I will head there on the motorcycle at some point during the summer with the FT70 and Slimjim for an attempt on 2M, but unless I plan on walking up to the summit to get a better take-off the only parking spot I am aware of doesn’t have a particularly good take-off direction i.e. it is above the small town of Abergavenny and then limited in angle of direction as it then heads directly towards the peaks of the Brecon Beacons with their higher elevations, so might not be the best for 2M QSO’S. We shall see!

Down by the wall at the southern end of the lake it was all quiet too, with little activity except for a few Black Headed Gulls passing by and some Pied Wagtails scurrying around on the rocks looking for insects. Interestingly, and well worth mentioning is that there have been many appearances in recent years of Osprey at Llandegfedd Lake as they briefly pause for a few days while passing through heading to their breeding areas in North West Wales. Oh, and while I mention insects, it certainly is the start of insect season that’s for sure as I had stop to wipe and clean the visor a few times én route through the small country lanes I used to get there!

I guess one additional noticeable spot worth mentioning was catching sight of what I thought might have been Mammatus clouds – though I am not 100% sure of this, they did look like what I understand to be this particular cloud formation. Having done a little research after the fact I am now a little less confident these are in fact Mammatus clouds, but they do appear to be similar in formation so if by chance any ‘cloud’ experts happen to stumble upon this blog, please correct me and let me know what you think they are.

Finally, once again if you have read this far… my sincere thanks. Enjoy and keep safe.

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