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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

Low water Goldcliff lagoons at high tide on a scorching hot morning

The water level at Goldcliff Lagoons continues to be really low. Lagoons 1 and 3 appear to have had some water pumped into them but Lagoon 2 is starting to look like Death Valley with large parts of it now completely baked.

The low waters are attracting lots of birds -  and people to watch them. I have never seen so many Little Egrets. There was probably 20+ onsite.

They were feasting on the fish which now have no where to hide. Eels appeared to be the commonest prey.

The light was good and even with heat haze I was able to get some nice pictures.

At long last I saw the Curlew Sandpiper. It was feeding in Lagoon 3. A small pretty bird that in some respects resembles a Dunlin but has a beak that curves and has a reddy chest.

It was quite a distance away so the pictures are record quality at best.

A male Marsh Harrier flew in and caused havoc sending the birds skywards. The Marshy looked magnificent with his two tone colours.

There were lots of bird species to see today. Comprising of -

Little Egrets, Grey Herons, Marsh Harrier, Black Tailed Godwits, Bar Tailed Godwit, Ruffs, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Curlews Sandpiper, Common Sandpipers, Dunlins,Ringed Plovers, Starlings, Knots, Curlew, Whimbrel, Black headed Gulls, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Linnets, Snipe, Sand Martins, Swallows, House Martins,Carrion Crows, Cormorants, Teal, Sheduck, Mallards, Greylags, Canadian Geese, Yellow Wagtails, Pied Wagtails and Avocets. There was a Little Stint at Lagoon 1 but it did now show for me and my friend Paul Joy.

A good morning was had with some great views of the feathered wonders.

Squabbling Egrets

Eel for breakfast

Curlew Sandpiper

Male Marsh Harrier with Black Tailed Godwits in formation


Big flock of birds in response to a Marsh Harrier flypast.

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