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A new era dawns

A new era dawns. Today marked my first visit to Goldcliff Lagoons since the sad death of  Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. She was a great and very respected monarch throughout the world.  Her passing marked the end of the modern Elizabethan era and the dawn of a new one. King Charles III has now ascended to the throne - "God save the King". The new era will be called the Carolean age under King Charles III. I thought his first speech was very touching and I believe he will be a great King like his mother. We also now have a new Prince of Wales with Prince William taking on his father's previous titles.  Every time I now take picture of the second Severn crossing - namely the Prince of Wales bridge there will be a different face that now pops up in my head. The Prince of Wales Bridge I've had a very stressful and busy week myself and I was in real need of some bird therapy today for a few hours to take my mind off things. A visit to Goldcliff Lagoons alway

Back to Goldcliff Lagoons

 


Today marks my first visit to Goldcliff Lagoons of 2022. Time has just been speeding by, I cannot believe it will be March very soon.

The reserve is looking pretty good. Parts of it are quite muddy, especially around the Marsh Platform where lots of people apparently have been practically camping out to watch the Barn Owl. Rumour has it there is plans for a coach service soon ;) The Willow fencing in various places is looking a little tired and there are gaps so perhaps later this year it may get fixed.

The Marsh Platform is like a quagmire 


The rear of the Marsh Platform


It would be good if things calm down somewhat at Goldcliff concerning the Owl as there have been reports of people trespassing to get "closer views" of it and it seems to be getting like a bit of circus down there. Please note the fenced-off areas around the Marsh Platform are out of bounds nobody should be climbing over the fences and standing in front of the screens.

Otherwise, the reserve is looking all set for the spring passage and breeding season. The water levels are quite high and I hope NRW lower them a little so it will encourage more waders into the lagoons.

Monks Lagoon from the Redshank Platform

Priors Lagoon (very full)

The view from the seawall hide. Becs Lagoon on the left and Priors Lagoon on the right.

Panoramic from the seawall


A fox has been seen inside the reserve recently. It has probably dug under the fence. NRW with a bit of luck should sort this issue out before breeding starts. The electric fence is now on so if anyone touches it they will get quite a shock.

There was definitely a feel of spring in the air today. Some of the trees are coming into blossom and it's lovely to hear birds singing around the lagoons.

I walked around the reserve today and checked out the view from each hide and platform.

Monks Lagoon had a flock of Lapwings and it appears that a number of Lapwings were getting broody and making scrapes on the island.  I watched a pair of them put on a display flight and I enjoyed listening to them calling.

 A Lapwing display flight


Monks Lagoon viewed from Hide 1



Spotted Redshank on Monks ( record shot)

I saw three Redshanks and also a nice bonus was a Spotted Redshank that most of the time kept itself hidden away near Hide 2 but eventually it showed quite well.

A female Marsh Harrier quartered Becs and Priors Lagoon and dropped onto something for about thirty minutes before flying off.

Female Marsh Harrier outs the Wigeon Flock up.


Out on the foreshore, a flock of eight Avocets were feeding at the water's edge. Curlews, Shelducks and Black Headed Gulls were out on the mud.

From the seawall hide, I had a distant view of the Pink Footed Geese flock that were grazing in with the Canada Geese between Becs and Monks Lagoon.

Avocets on the foreshore

There were quite a few species of ducks around. Wigeon and Teal are the most numerous. I also saw Gadwall, Mallards and Mute Swans on Priors Lagoon.

Skylarks were singing their hearts out and were joined in a chorus from Reed Buntings and Stonechats.

Gadwall Duck

Reed Bunting


I was quite surprised to see good numbers of Fieldfares and Redwings in the hedgerows and woody areas surrounding the reserve.

Flock of Fieldfare and Redshanks


One of my highlights today was watching a Red Kite from the roadside where we park the cars being mobbed by just about every corvid in the area.

It was good to be back on the patch. I am really looking forward to the spring migration and I just hope I have some time spare to visit a little more regularly. I am sure my friend "Video" John who I bumped into today at the reserve will keep me appraised when I cant make it with his fantastic videos of the wildlife of the reserve.


Red Kite flying over the reserve.

Bird List

  1. Redshank
  2. Skylark
  3. Lapwing
  4. Canada Goose
  5. Greylag Goose
  6. Pink Footed Goose
  7. Robin
  8. Blackbird
  9. Blue Tit
  10. Great Tit
  11. Chaffinch
  12. Fieldfare
  13. Redwing
  14. Starling
  15. Spotted Redshank
  16. Marsh Harrier
  17. Woodpigeon
  18. Stonechat
  19. Reed Bunting
  20. Black Headed Gull
  21. Herring Gull
  22. Carrion Crow
  23. Shelduck
  24. Wigeon
  25. Teal
  26. Gadwall
  27. Mallard
  28. Mute Swan
  29. Little Egret
  30. Starling
  31. Moorhen
  32. Cormorant
  33. Curlew
  34. Cettis Warbler ( heard)
  35. Avocet
  36. Red Kite
  37. Magpie




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