Close to our cabin is the Welsh home of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (owners of Slimbridge and many other highly regarded reserves). So along with some beautiful castles and gardens (of which I won't bore you in a birding blog) this seemed like an obvious destination.
The reserve is in a format familiar to all WWT visitors - first the wildfowl collection, captive birds that form part of the WWT's conservation and research work. Second is the wild bird reserve, a series of scrapes, pools, reedbeds (see Reed Bunting photo above) and scrublands overlooking the estuary.
Charlie seemed to enjoy the wonderful wildfowl collection, but probably not as much as I enjoyed the wild areas - in a brief 15 minute visit my first thrill was a Spoonbill (photo below), and my second a drake Garganey. Both are pretty spectacular birds, and both were lifers. Unexpected and thrilling.