Lying between the Severn Estuary and the River Usk on the south Wales coast is Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve, a sizeable chunk of vast reedbeds, shady woodlands, open water and a fair bit of estuary.
It was to this end, the WM Bird Club ventured to close the year with some half-decent sightings.
The reserve was stuffed to the gills with Redwings, nicely accessorised with the occasional Fieldfare or two, and a plentiful supply of waders. The day’s poster boy was a Bittern batting its way across the cold stretch of water above that separated the reedbeds.
Towards the end of the day, a mini-murmuration of Starlings materialized in the distance, and a hunting Peregrine scooped past on a late shopping trip.
Then life sort of happened along with the usual Christmas trappings of drinking and eating and suchlike.
The Cotswolds were in line for a New Year break, and the family headed over to Bourton-on-the-Water for some suitable heralding-in.
I’ll be needing a holiday soon – Happy New Year!