Welcome to our AFON Advent Calendar! Each day leading up to Christmas you will find a wonderful new post by a different member. This years theme is your favourite nature reserve; where do you go to escape from the world and connect with nature? Enjoy!
My favourite activity of a winter weekend is taking a trip to my newly opened nearest reserve: RSPB Langford Lowfields. Noisy with the sound of birdlife, mingling with the low rumble of the nearby A46 and the clanking of the quarry on whose land the reserve has been built, and the distinctive bitter smell of the Newark sugarbeet factory lingering in the air; this reserve always has something new for me to see.
190 species of birds have been spotted here and as a newly emerging birder it’s a treasure trove of exciting species! I have seen my first Shovelers, Teals, and a whole bunch of other species here, including my favourites, great crested grebes. I am reliably informed that bitterns, water rails and a merlin are lurking about, and I am drawn back each week to see if I can catch a glimpse. A small part of the reserve is open to the public, with a beautiful floating bridge and boardwalk on which I had my favourite experience yet. I heard the unmistakeable sound of large wing beats and had to duck as three mute swans whistled so low over my head that I felt the breeze! A fantastic place for wildlife that is set to get better and better, and I look forward to seeing it grow.