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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

A journey north to see red

I journeyed north on Sunday to Pwll Ddu planning to set up and watch the Red Arrows flying across from summit of the Blorenge. I marched up to the top of the tips with all my kit and waited. I had been following some websites online that had predicted the time, direction of travel and mapped it all out on Google Earth.

At around 12.49 pm I waited expectantly for them to come screaming in formation doing a loop back to the airshow in Swansea.

They didn't turn up! On about disapointed. I found out via Facebook they had taken a detour in Blackwoods directions.

I looked like a right so and so standing there scanning the skies. I had even told a few folks of what I was going to photograph so was a little embarrased.

But, when your out and about in one of your favourite wildlife places with fantastic views who cares. I laughed it off and concentrated on other flying things.

I did get to see something red at least. Whilst walking through a trail that winds through ferns and borders the steeply sided forested slopes I heard Redstarts calling.

Male Redstart

The males are really colourful and I watched a pair hunting above the ferns for insects catching them often in flight.

One thing I noticed was the abundant numbers of Linnets. Large flocks of 15 to 20 birds were flying around gathering feeding together and then flying to the tops of the Hawthorn trees on my approach.

Linnets

High above, hovering on the hot rising thermals were a pair Buzzards. I can watch these fantastic raptors all day long. They almost effortlessly soar along hardly making a wing beat.

Buzzard

Other species of note were Wheatears on the track leading to the masts and Stonechats perched on various posts. Quite a lot of young fledglings around now.

Most birds I saw were at a distance today. It was too hot for me to do my usual camouflaged stalking through the grass or sitting up in my hide.

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