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Forest Bathing in the Woods of Gwent

  A beautiful Bluebell Wood. This spring I have focused my photography on new areas beyond my usual haunt of Goldcliff Lagoons and have been exploring several wonderful local woods. Life for me is busy at the moment and at times the stresses and strains of life have left me in a real need of opportunities to get outdoors with nature. I am fortunate to have some great woods on my doorstep where I can spend some time "Forest Bathing" to detox and destress from all the hustle and bustle. Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit the woods of Gwent. The woods are full of life. It's like a botanic explosion has occurred with flora and fauna of all kinds coming into life and making an appearance. Walking through the woods is a real sensory experience. The eyes are dazzled with an array of different colours, lots of fresh greens, the whole spectrum of coloured flowers, Yellow celandine, the white of the Anemones, Pinks of the Red Campions, and more yellows from Wild D

Common Crane and Spoonbill

I ventured down to Goldcliff Lagoons this morning. Got there early and had the place to myself for a while.

I could hear panicked bird alarm calls on entering the reserve and caught sight of a Marsh Harrier drifting across the reserve and being mobbed by lapwings.

The view from hide 1 was one of utter commotion as the raptor progressed to the reeds at the far side and caused havoc as just about every bird took to the sky.

After a while life started to calm down the raptor moved off the reserve and everything returned to order.

I was thrilled to see  that the Spoonbill remained at the lagoons and I enjoyed capturing some video of it feeding. Its an impressive bird.

Spring is certainly here at last. Chiff Chaffs were singing away and I saw my first Swallows swoop in across the reserve.

Whilst chatting to a couple of birders a Common Crane cruised in with an escort of Shelduck. It was like watching the bird equivalent of a Vulcan bomber flying in with a fighter escort. To me it looked like the Shelducks were mobbing it. I watched the Shelducks mob just about everything that looked big and raptorish all morning so I guess they were thinking it was big and potentially nasty.

There was a lot of raptor activity today. Whilst sat watching the lagoons with some fellow birders we got to witness flocks of Avocets and Black Tailed Godwits getting harried by a raptor which was fantastic. I managed to get some great pictures but will be keeping those to myself.

As usual quite alot of variety today of bird species. Lots of Shelducks, Shovlers, Ringed Plovers, Redshanks, Teal, Wigeon, Avocets, Pochard, Coots, Meadow Pippits,Black Tailed Godwits, Cormorant,Little Egret,Tufted Ducks, Canadian Geese, Skylarks, Carrion Crows, Ravens, Starlings, Magpies,Chiff Chaffs, Cettis Calling form the hedgerows and Curlews out on the estuary before the high tide came in.

Overall a great morning and enjoyed chatting with fellow birders/photographers.

Greylag Goose coming into land

Black Tailed Godwits

Black Tailed Godwits

Common Crane escorted by Shelducks

Avocets spooked by a raptor

Spoonbill feeding



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