With over three weeks leave at my disposal I took the opportunity to chalk off a few this week. A hair appointment for the household Team Leader in the bustling mid Gwent town of Usk allowed me to grab a couple of hours in nearby Wentwood.
First stop was Little Oaks where the ravages of post war tree planting was being corrected and stacked in neat orderly piles. The now regular Great Grey Shrike was quickly and easily found, here too was a constant traffic of overhead Redpoll and Crossbill all to the background of calling Coal Tit.
Onto Stalag 17 known locally as Wentwood Reservoir. Walking from picnic area toward reservoir with a hope of finding a vantage point to scan for wildfowl proved fruitless. More warning signage, trip wires and mine fields. The road above the reservoir provided the best opportunity to count birds although for safety reasons I felt the need to slip on my old NCB florescent jacket.
I'm mildly impressed by the number of wildfowl using this reservoir at the moment. Smashing counts of diving duck and Canada goose were augmented by Coot, Wigeon, at least three Gadwall, a Little Grebe, Cormorant and Great Crested Grebe and so on, I just wish I could get bloody closer!