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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

First visit of the year to Goldcliff

Today marked my first visit to the reserve in 2019. Hoorah.

I had a very enjoyable morning. I finally got a glimpse of the Black Redstart that has been hanging around Hill Farm near the sea wall. I first saw it with another birder friend of mine perched on the fence. When I tried to get a closer view it disappeared. Later I got to see it again with another birder perched on the roof of Hill Farm.

I watched it for a good twenty minutes flitting down from the roof and into the farms garden area. Not ideal for photographs or prolonged observation. I often wonder what the farms residents must think. Its in a fantastic spot and is probably one of the most photographed buildings in Newport. I've got some amazing pictures of the place  at sunset and sunrise :)

The Redstart did not venture closer to me so in the end I gave up and it will have to wait until another weekend if it decides to wait around for me.

Black Redstart on the roof of Hill Farm

The duck numbers continue to grow. Lots of Wigeon and Shoveler ducks around - especially on Priors ( lagoon 2).

I spent some time in the Seawall hide and was joined by a number of friendly fellow birders. Its great having conversations with similar minded people who share my enthusiasm for wildlife.

We were treated to a Stoat swimming across Priors lagoon from the big reed bed, across the gap and onto the grassy bank between that is between Priors and Monks. I managed to grab a few pictures. I had a much better view of it through the scope. They are as fast as lightening.

Stoat on the prowl. Look at the middle of the picture and find the rocks. Look to the left and its emerging out of the long grass.

"Bosprey" was loitering with intent around Monks. Moving from post to post doing a rather good impression of a female Marsh Harrier today.

Bosprey and Crow meet

One of the Peregrines has taken a liking to small "mini" island on Monks lagoon in front of hide 1.
It was perched there at first light today so no wonder the lagoon was empty of waders on my arrival.

Peregrine Falcon on Monks mini island at first light.

All in all not a bad days bird watching. Met some nice people who all seemed rather enthused by the reserve and its wildlife. I also kicked off 2019 with my first lifer - a Black Redstart.


  1. It is a great post. Keep sharing such kind of useful information.


  2. Many Thanks Vicky. Will do. Glad you enjoyed my post.


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