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Country diary: the quarry is strictly for the birds now


Glyn Ceiriog, Clwyd: No climbers today brave Hendre’s precarious walls, and daffodils grow by the old tramway

Memory hold the door! My last spring outing before lockdown, I drove steep lanes from Llangollen to the Finger Farm on an eastern ridge of Y Berwyn, from which you look south and west along hill-enfolded Glyn Ceiriog. I’d come to walk the Ceiriog Valley tramway– an old favourite of mine.

A dipper, creamy bib gleaming among ambient greys, gave its chinking flight-call as it sped upriver. Water ouzel is the old name for these tubby, hyperactive birds. It fits somehow, though they’re no relation to the ring ouzel, a rare thrush that frequents high streams of the Berwyn moorland where the Afon Ceiriog rises.

Related: Country diary: a mountain blackbird briefly elevates our almost-mountain

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