The Cascades

My Walk this Week 198 – Gnoll Country Park

birds watching

My walk this week is from Gnoll Country Park in the Neath Valley, South Wales. It is a beautiful park on the edge of Neath and is enjoyed by many of the local inhabitants, including the wildlife. Where this blog post is concerned, the wildlife is the birds – mostly aquatic.

I have not provided much in the way of open vista shots of the park (you can always visit the park website via the link above), and for all the images I have provided of birds, water and woodland, it was the sound I had to deliberate over more than the selection of photos. The soundscape below starts with the sound of a motor bike of some sort in the background – I was able to filter this out (mostly) but ended up with a “thinner” audio experience that seemed false to me.

I was going to post two different soundscape mixes but decided in the end that it gave a better context for the park if all the sounds were included, not just the natural, but also the bikes and bangs, yapping dogs and shouting children, calling birds and splashing fish. There is a splash or two towards the end of the soundscape that had me dropping my jaw as I caught a glimpse of the biggest fresh water fish I have ever seen! I cannot say what it was but it has a reddy orange colour underneath.

So click the play button to listen while viewing the images below – click the first one and then again to move forward through the carousel.

Posted in My Walk this Week, Photography, Soundscape, Travel, Walks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. This was a sublime pleasure for me, Alastair. I appreciate the work you put into the soundscapes, and I find myself closing my eyes while I listen, easily transporting myself to your park. As a birder, I do a lot of bird identification via sound, and hear every single bird. Here it was a joy to hear the children and human sounds, the richness of the strong flow of water. But it’s the birds here that relaxed me. Sounds like a chickadee-like bird in about two or three places. And the rhythmic cooing of the dove was wonderful. Then I heard the two big splashes. OMG! It must’ve been a really big fish, because it sounded like a person jumping in. Great fun and so relaxing, thanks so much, Alastair.

    • Thank you Jet. I’m pleased you heard the dove – they are very relaxing I think, though I know others who disagree (silly them ). Isn’t it interesting that we sometimes “see” better with our eyes closed! I know I see more around me when I stand still and listen/record the environment both with eyes open and closed. Now I must read about the sloths

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