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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

The spring migrants start arriving

For the past week anyone with an interest in birding has been scanning the skies and carefully checking their local patches for the early spring migrants.

Throughout the UK and in parts of Wales there has been sightings of Swallows, Sand Martins , Little Ringed Plovers , Ospreys (5 now at Rutland) and Wheatears.

I was hoping to catch sight of at least one of them on Sundays visit to Goldcliff (admittedly an Osprey would be really pushing my luck) but it was not to be.

Yesterday I had an opportunity to meet up with my friend Nev for an evenings bird watch at Goldcliff Lagoons.

He arrived before me and shortly after my arrival my mobile was going as Nev excitedly told me that he had found a Northern Wheatear near the sea wall.

I made my way there and together we had a great view of a beautiful male. It had probably arrived that afternoon having migrated all the way from central Africa.

So lets suppose this birds wintered in the Senegal region of Africa (which is within its winter range) it had flown approximately 4246 kilometres to arrive at Goldcliff's sea wall. That is absolutely amazing don't you think? It looked in fantastic condition and had probably burned a lot of its fat reserves to get to Wales.

The males tend to arrive earlier than the females. He will no doubt ,after a rest and feed to replenish his energy reserves, make his way North. There he will set up a territory and await the females arrival. Last year I had a great time photographing them in North Gwent. They are quite accommodating birds to get close to and I look forward to more of the same this year.


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