It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new year! And, to paraphrase the song by Muse, I'm feeling good!
On New Year's Day, I woke before sunrise (unlike most of the country) and headed to Holkham Beach in Norfolk with my good friend Charlie for a spot of photography and bird-watching. In winter, there's no place like Holkham. With its vast stretches of sandy beach and dunes, ancient pine forests, lagoons and big open skies, it is surely one of the country's most stunning beaches. It is also one of England's largest NNRs (national nature reserves), and in winter it is home to huge numbers of wildfowl such as pink-footed and dark-bellied brent geese, wigeon and teal.
The "pink-feet", the main attraction here, are a wonderfully evocative bird. I've had the pleasure of photographing these birds many times with participants on my Scottish photography workshops, and each time I see the geese take flight - all 10,000 of them lifting higher and higher - their familiar whistling greetings and synchronised wings beat out fond memories for me of past winters. It's great to be back here hearing their call. With a further nod to Muse, here are some photos to show you the atmosphere of that first dawn of 2018 on Holkham Beach.
Birds flying high, you know how I feel.
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel.
Reeds drifting on by, you know how I feel.
It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life
For me. And I'm feeling good.
Happy New Year and hoping you all have a wonderful and prosperous 2018!