• Recent sightings 03.03.24 – 03.04.24 Booming Bitterns, Bumblebee Queens and the first of the summer arrivals

    The wet has well and truly been put in the wetlands with the endless rainfall we had in March but despite the weather our wildlife and visitors have shone through! As Easter is drawing to a close the wellies and rainsuits have definitely been a frequent sighting at Newport Wetlands.

    Brimstone butterflies and Buff-tailed bumblebee queens are the first signs of insect life with bright yellow Brimstones fluttering around…

  • Recent sightings 03.02.24 - 03.03.24 It's not just the birds gearing up for Spring!

    It’s been a very wet February and as we write this, we breathe a sign of relief as the sun is shining through the office windows! We have water levels so high the ducks are having to dive a little deeper, longer-lasting puddles meant the toads have taken up residence and squelchy paths means you won't go home without wet, muddy wellies! Despite the never-ending precipitation, the wildlife has not failed to put a smile…

  • Recent sightings 16.01.24-02.02.24 Spring on the way and World Wetlands Day

    As the long march of January has past us by there are a number of birds that have been making more active appearances on the reserve as we’re well into the new year. Today we celebrate World Wetland day so we’ve been paying a little more attention towards the wetland species that call our reedbeds and saltmarsh home.

    Wetland specialists have been sighted frequently throughout the colder months. Shelduck, Teal…

  • Recent sightings 15.11.23 -15.01.24 Sun from the Rain and our residents remain the same.

    These past weeks have seen the arrival of the sunnier albeit colder weather, a nice change from the rain. However, the darker skies from December didn’t necessarily mean a lack of wildlife to be seen.

    We’ll start with our starlings, still murmurating well into the winter. Starlings numbers have been staying consistent in terms of there being tens of thousands of them in full murmuration most evenings. All this…

  • Recent sightings 16.10.23 - 15.11.23 Starlings in their thousands

    It’s a good day for sitting inside composing our monthly sightings blog, drinking coffee, and looking forward to cake in the café. We’ve had lots of rain in the past few weeks and the lagoons, and the café scrape are looking very full, so full that the muddy margins are no longer visible. The wind is driving drizzle and rain up the Severn Estuary, past Cardiff and across the reserve. The trees and reeds on reserve are…

  • Recent sightings blog 16.09.23 – 15.10.23 Bearded tits, fun fungi oh and a Hoopoe!

    It’s Autumn. The trees are changing colour and losing their leaves. The lush growth beside our trails has begun to die back and has been cut back to make room for next year’s early growth. The Hawthorns, Blackthorns and Dog roses are smothered in bright berries. Only a very few dragonflies and bees are flying, but the tiny midges are easily seen dancing in shafts of sunlight.

    But that doesn’t mean that the…

  • Recent sightings 16/08/23 -15/09/23 The last of the summer species

    August brought with it some hot weather and some surprise visitors like this Great White Egret. This individual arrived in the second half of July and stayed with us throughout August (eight weeks in all). It’s a very unusual visitor for us, partly because we have at most half a dozen sightings each year and partly because it was so confiding that it spent most of its time right outside the café windows. We don’t know…

  • Recent sightings 17-07-2023 -15/08/2023 The return of the Kingfisher

    As we say farewell to July and what would normally be a warm and sunny hello to August, the rain we were craving has definitely overstayed it’s welcome, or so it would seem. Despite the wet weather, we’ve had a great turnout of variety here at the Newport Wetlands and all the action seems to be occurring right outside our window!, including the long-awaited return of our Kingfisher!

    Frequently seen in the…

  • Newport Wetlands Big Butterfly Bonanza

    Newport Wetlands is a wonderful place for wildlife of all descriptions.  It’s not just about birds, even though that’s what we often seem to focus on.

    For this blog, we’ll focus on the butterflies that, with a bit of patience and the right choice of weather, you can find on the reserve, and we’ll talk a bit about how what happens behind the scenes to build our knowledge of which species are here, where and…

  • Recent sightings 16.06.23-14.07.23 Big Dark Clouds and Great White Egrets

    A warm hello during all this wet weather we’ve been having, but with the wet weather our beloved wetlands have been having a much-needed soak after our most recent mini heatwave. At this rate we'll be writing to you about a completely different type of weather next month.

    photo credit: Ieuan Evans

    It's that time of year again when the wildflower verges become inundated with a high volume of our resident buzzy…

  • Recent sightings 16.05.23 - 15.06.23 The Usual suspects, thinking like the birds, and Moth Madness!

    As we’ve been watching the sun get higher and hotter as each day goes on, the wetlands have had no short supply of wildlife to keep us captivated while we all try and stay in the shade.

    Our usual suspects have been at large again, with the Canada Geese and their four not-so little goslings have been entertaining all. The Little Egret, Grey Heron, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Moorhens and Coots have kept us company while…

  • Binoculars, Moths and Duke of Edinburgh at Newport Wetlands

    This week’s blog is brought to you by two of our Duke of Edinburgh volunteers; Poppy and Rebecca, who have been with us for the past three months in the shop. They’ve helped to keep the shop neat and well stocked, served our customers, and cleaned a lot of binoculars! In this blog they’ll be talking about their experiences with us, what they’ve learnt, and what they’ve seen. If you’re interested in volunteering, follow…

  • Recent sightings 20/04/23 – 15/05/23 What’s that warbler!

    Since our April update, we continue to welcome new summer visitors to our reserve. 

    The Grasshopper Warbler can be heard singing it’s remarkable insect-like trill that can be sustained for several minutes without a break. It’s song has been likened to the mechanical sound made by an angler’s reel or to the sound made by a grasshopper (hence the name!)  The song, reported by many of our visitors recently…

  • Binocular Blog

    Welcome to our very first binocular blog - we’re passionate about good binoculars and telescopes here at Newport Wetlands, and we want to share that passion with you! For our first blog, we’ll be sharing what you should have a think about before buying your first pair or an upgrade, as well as a little bit about our range.

    This weekend we held one of our regular binocular and telescope events in the Lakeside…

  • Recent sightings 15/03/23 – 20/04/23 Many migrants have arrived

    The reserve is alive to the sound of many different species of migrants that have arrived in numbers over the last few weeks.  Listen out for the song of the male Sedge Warbler with its loud repetitive mixture of varied and fast chattering phrases. Many have arrived from Africa over the last week.

    Image credit: Jeremy White

    Chiffchaffs seem to be everywhere on the reserve at the moment and their distinctive ‘zip-zap,…

  • Recent sightings 16/02/23 – 15/03/23 The Bittern is Booming

    Spring has sprung… the bittern is booming! Britain’s loudest bird is a member of the Heron family and we are lucky to have resident Bitterns that breed here. Having bred for the first time in South Wales in 2020, they have been successful every year since with 6 fledged in 2022. They have been spotted most from the hide; situated on the Eastern side of the reserve, but the famous booming can be heard from anywhere. Their…

  • Recent sightings 16/01/2023- 15/02/2023 Beardie and Bunting Bonanza

    After a very wet few weeks, this month’s recent sightings blog brings some light relief in the form of dry weather and signs of spring. The maintenance team at Newport have been working hard to get the habitats ready for the breeding season. Reeds have been cut, ditches cleared, and willows coppiced ready for the growth to start all over again in the Spring.

    Our handy gang hard at work ... or hardly working! 

    With…

  • Recent sightings 19.12.22 – 15.01.23 The highs and lows of wetland weather

    Christmas came and went in the blink of an eye this year and for the team at Newport, the new year brings only excitement for longer, brighter days. The past 3 weeks have seen some pretty heavy rain, unfavourable to many, but we take our hats off to those of you that braved the stormy skies and gale force winds and came down to immerse yourselves in the wildlife and walk off all the Christmas indulgence I expect. The…

  • What Newport Wetlands means to our volunteers

    As we see in the new year and excitement builds for the year ahead we can't help but take a moment to reflect on the past year and the new faces welcomed to the team at Newport. Grab a cuppa and read all about the world of a volunteer at Newport Wetlands. 

    Image: Simon Bedford

    "Since I was little, I have always felt a connection to nature. I have my parents to thank for the endless camping trips, playing rounders…

  • Recent sightings16-12-2022 Winter weather won’t stop the birds

    After a slow start to the month with a large group of starlings only making a slight attempt at murmurating, our patience paid off with some spectacular views of swirls and twirls in the last ten days. Although our Soup and Starling events have come to an end for another year, the starlings are still here in full force. They have challenged the team a little with the location of their murmuration and now they’ve decided…

  • Recent sightings 20.09.22 - 03.10.22 Wonderful Wildfowl

    Autumn has undeniably arrived. Rose hips and seed heads, leaves coloured red and orange and golden teasels catching the afternoon sunlight. Fresh mornings bringing the added layer of clothing to visitors and staff, yet exciting times ahead as the new season brings an increase bird activity again.

    The lagoons may be a little low in water, but the wildfowl are here in strength with great numbers of mallard, teal, gadwall…

  • Recent sightings - Summertime at the Wetlands

    We have had a whirlwind summer so far here at Newport wetlands. Late July saw the eagerly anticipated arrival of the shrill carder bumblebees on mass. We are extremely lucky to be able to say that one of the UK’s rarest bumblebees can be found in overwhelming numbers here. Along with the brown banded carder bee it is probably harder to spot the more common species in the UK!

    Image credit: Jeremy White - Shrill…

  • Recent sightings - June roundup

    June is a transitional month in the life of the reserve.  After all the spring activity as birds establish territories, find mates and build nests, after the new growth of the reeds, June calms down.  The reedbeds become quieter as the birds shift their effort to feeding young and our migrants start to put on weight for their next journey.  We still have a huge variety of species, 73 bird species in June, but most are a…

  • Recent sightings 16.05.22 – It’s GO GO GO here at Newport

    Image credit: Terry Winter

    What a busy two weeks it has been here at the wetlands! The breeding season is in full swing with many species either wandering round with a trail of fluff or flying over the lagoons hoping to catch a fish. From mallard ducklings to little grebes to blackcap chicks and baby blue tits keeping our kiosk volunteers happy there is plenty of new life to go around.

    Image credit: Kirsty Lindsay

    The…

  • Yogi Duck and me

    Yogi Duck and the Little Chick picturebook written and illustrated by ©IsabelBenavides

    This month, on 30 May 2022, RSPB Newport Wetlands Reserve will be delivering a brand new, bespoke storytelling session for families, ‘Yogi Duck and the Little Chick.’ In this blog, aspiring author illustrator, Isabel Benavides, explains how the idea for a story about a duck who does yoga came into being.

     

    Isabel Benavides…