A lovely day on the Gwent levels. The reed beds are starting to die back and are very quiet, the absence of the summer warblers,who filled the reeds with outbursts of babbling song is very noticeable. The numbers of wintering ducks has increased however, with large flocks of teal, wigeon, shoveler, gadwall ; the ever present coots, mallards, moorhens and swans make it a very busy place!
Along a quiet patch of reeds growing out of a muddy bank, I was very fortunate to see three water rails foraging through the mud and occasionally chasing each other out into the open. They're such secretive birds, and it's rare to be able to watch them for a prolonged period and get a really good look at them.Out on the mudflats, where the Usk meets the Bristol Channel were lots of curlews, filling the quiet day with their lovely babbling call.
A couple of days ago I found to my surprise, a great crested newt swimming around in my dogs water bowl, it's now been re-homed in a suitable pond!