• Rarities at Goldcliff

    Recent sightings from 06 to 12 January 2020

    Star attraction this week remained the black-necked grebe at Goldcliff lagoons which was first recorded Sunday a week ago and has since been seen on a daily basis. Goldeneye, the glossy ibis and the peregrine were other regulars at Goldcliff, where on Wednesday a pintail made a rare appearance as well. At the RSPB Newport Wetlands reserve once again the waders took centre stage…

    • 15 Jan 2020
  • Huge flocks and great close-ups

    Recent sightings from 30 December 2019 to 05 January 2020

    Starlings remained a main draw thanks to them staying around much longer than last year when they left the reserve at the middle of December. Whilst the numbers are down to around 5.000 to 10.000 now, they did indeed show some nice murmurations which mainly took place over the reedbeds towards the lighthouse. There was also a staggering amount of birds once again…

    • 5 Jan 2020
  • All I need for Christmas is an otter or two

    Recent sightings from 23 to 29 December 2019

    Christmas week started promising with the sighting of a bittern and two otters in the lagoons on Monday. The bittern was once again spotted on Christmas Eve and then all through the weekend. My favourite Christmas present came on a misty Friday morning when not only a large flock of long-tailed tits was jumping around in the reeds but also the otter was out fishing actively…

    • 30 Dec 2019
  • Flocks of waders

    Recent sightings from 16 to 22 December 2019

    Once again, the mudflats were the busiest part of the reserve with numbers of wading birds and wildfowl on the up. Especially at high tide, a lot of birds could be seen from the coast path. At least 70 wigeon and around 50 teal and shoveler joined more than 100 shelduck on the water’s edge. Large flock of several thousand dunlins could be spotted performing their aerial display…

    • 22 Dec 2019
  • Busy mudflats

    Recent sightings from 2 to 15 December 2019

    The starlings were still accompanying us throughout the first half of December. Numbers peaked at the beginning of the month with well over 40.000. Since then the numbers have dropped slightly and on some days we could see that the flock split into some larger groups which went down in different parts of the reedbeds. Redwing and fieldfare remained regulars especially in the…

    • 15 Dec 2019
  • Thrush party

    Recent sightings from 25 November to 1 December 2019

    Once again there were big numbers of redwing and fieldfare all over the reserve, feasting on the remaining berries. Blackbirds, song and mistle thrushes completed the thrush party. They did, however, not quite outnumber the starlings of which around 30.000 were roosting in the reedbed. Marsh harriers were still very interested in all the starling activities and on Wednesday…

    • 2 Dec 2019
  • Otterly delicious

    Recent sightings from 18 to 24 November 2019

    The otters were once again very much the star attraction at Newport Wetlands this week. Up to two otters could be seen fishing in the lagoons on a daily basis and on a rainy Friday two were feasting on apparently utterly delicious fish in front of the hide for no less than 45 minutes. Unsurprisingly the starlings were a big attraction as well and some nice murmuration of around…

    • 24 Nov 2019
  • First signs of winter

    Recent sightings from 11 to 17 November 2019

    This week we finally had some bigger numbers of fieldfare and redwing although the flocks are still not quite as big as you would expect at this time of the year. Especially redwings could be seen feeding on the berries along the paths and flying over in flocks of around twenty or thirty. Perry Lane was full of thrushes in the mornings with some song thrushes and mistle thrushes…

    • 17 Nov 2019
  • Autumn at its best

    Recent sightings from 04 to 10 November 2019

    We had some heavy rain this week but also some glorious autumn sunshine. Common darters, migrant hawkers and red admirals made the most of the weather and could be seen on sunny days. Finally, the winter thrushes made it back to the wetlands in some numbers although there haven’t been big flocks of fieldfare and redwing yet. Noticeably the number of blackbirds has increased…

    • 10 Nov 2019
  • Three favourites in the limelight

    Recent sightings from 28 October to 03 November 2019

    The week started with some nice autumn weather before things took a turn to much wetter and windier conditions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Large flocks of long-tailed tits could be seen all over the reserve and managed to put a smile on everyone’s face. Goldcrests and green woodpeckers remained regular sights as well and the calls of bullfinches could be heard…

    • 3 Nov 2019
  • Glorious sunshine and relentless rain

    Recent sightings from 21 to 27 October 2019

    The week got off to an exciting start on Monday. Huge flocks of woodpigeon were dominating the sky, red admiral and comma were on the wing, goldcrests were jumping about in the trees and black-tailed godwits, wigeon and shoveler were seen along the coast. On Tuesday morning three brent geese were flying over the visitor centre and around 20 of them were later spotted on the…

    • 28 Oct 2019
  • Winter guests and late summer visitors

    Recent sightings from 14 to 20 October 2019

    The most visible bird species this week was without any doubt the stonechat. Stonechats could be seen jumping around in the reedbeds, on the paths and along the foreshore in good numbers and were a joy to watch. In general, the salt marshes were busy with little birds and flocks of linnets and reed buntings regularly joined the stonechats and a wheatear on Monday and a whinchat…

    • 21 Oct 2019
  • Wet wetlands

    Recent sightings from 07 to 13 October 2019

    It was a wet week at Newport Wetlands which brought some rather unpleasant weather conditions which weren’t perfect for birdwatching. However, there were still plenty of nice sightings. Flocks of long-tailed tits were jumping around all over the reserve and brought a ray of sunshine to many a grey day. In amongst them you could regularly find goldcrests and chiffchaffs. Stonechats…

    • 13 Oct 2019
  • A colourful autumn mix

    Recent sightings from 30 September to 06 October 2019

    There was definitely no shortage of great sightings this week. The colourful kingfisher could be spotted on most days and was once again seen hovering over the lagoons (see photo below) while fishing. A truly spectacular sight! Some of the migrating passerines were still about as well. There were regular sightings of wheatear along the seawall and a yellowhammer was…

    • 6 Oct 2019
  • Wet, windy and wild

    Recent sightings from 23 to 29 September 2019

    The week was definitely on the wild side in regard to the weather and brought a fair share of wet and windy conditions. Unsurprisingly, insects such as dragonflies and butterflies were not as active as in the previous weeks although there were still some migrant hawker, comma, red admiral, painted lady and a vapourer moth spotted this week. The feeders in front of the café…

    • 29 Sep 2019
  • Sparkling in the sunshine

    Recent sightings from 16 to 22 September 2019

    It was a week with lots of glorious sunshine. Butterflies and dragonflies made the most of these conditions. Lots of hawkers and darters filled the air and especially common darters could often be seen in tandem flight. The sun shining on the dragonflies certainly brought the best out of them. Speaking of bright colourful delights, the kingfisher once again made regular appearances…

    • 22 Sep 2019
  • The small ones taking centre stage

    Recent sightings from 09 to 15 September 2019

    Once again, the passerines/perching birds took centre stage and produced the one or the other truly exciting sighting this week. Wheatear remained a common sight along the coast, both at Newport Wetlands and at Goldcliff lagoons. Whilst sedge and reed warbler only allowed short glimpses, the Cetti’s warblers were singing loudly even at the beginning of the week with inclement…

    • 15 Sep 2019
  • Little ones on the move

    Recent sightings from 02 to 08 September 2019

    It was a week which was dominated by wading birds and passerines (also known as perching bird or songbirds). A semipalmated sandpiper, a rare visitor from the North American tundra, visited Goldcliff lagoons and attracted many twitchers. The last record of the “semi p” – as it was named – was from Thursday. It wasn’t the only attraction at Goldcliff which once again was a…

    • 9 Sep 2019
  • August ends with a flourish

    Recent sightings from 26 August to 1 September 2019

    The week started off very promising with sightings of three curlew sandpipers, a hen harrier and a glossy ibis at Goldcliff Lagoons. The curlew sandpipers remained at the lagoons for the rest of the week and were joined by large flocks of knot and black-tailed godwit, some whimbrels, ruffs, greenshanks and bar-tailed godwits and by a little stint and three turnstones…

    • 1 Sep 2019
  • Best of both seasons

    Recent sightings from 19 to 25 August 2019

    Not only the heatwave over the bank holiday weekend was a clear sign that summer isn't quite over yet. Plenty of dragonflies enjoyed the warm and sunny conditions. Butterflies were very active as well. There were still some quite faded painted lady butterflies around and lots of common blue butterflies added a splash of colour to the scenery as did a kingfisher which flew past…

    • 26 Aug 2019
  • All in white

    Recent sightings from 12 to 18 August 2019

    There was a fair share of rainy and windy days this week which resulted in birds, butterflies and dragonflies seeking shelter wherever possible. Painted ladies were, however, still around this week and in the woodlands a big number of speckled wood filled the air. These medium sized butterflies might not be the most colourful ones but with their delicate pattern they are very…

    • 18 Aug 2019
  • Good old friends

    Recent sightings from 04 to 11 August 2019

    There were still plenty of painted lady butterflies around the reserve to the delight of our visitors. Up to 100 were seen struggling with the conditions on a windy Friday. Common and ruddy darter as well as southern and migrant hawker were seen in good numbers on the sunny days. More than a hundred curlew were present on the mudflats throughout the week and there were some redshank…

    • 11 Aug 2019
  • Migration has started

    Recent sightings from 29 July to 04 August 2019

    One of our most spectacular summer visitors, the swift, started to gather for their way back to their wintering grounds in south Africa. On Tuesday, we could see a group of at least 40 of them flying over the reserve. Swallows, house martins and sand martins could be seen in small numbers over the water as well. Once again, the reserve was full of insects. Lots of butterflies…

    • 4 Aug 2019
  • A Lot Of Strangely Shaped Bills

    Recent sightings from 22 to 28 July 2019

    The green woodpecker made several appearances close to the visitor centre this week and could be seen regularly in the mornings. Surprisingly busy were the mudflats. Not only were there a good selection of gulls (including great black-backed gulls) and a good number of shelduck, but also a variety of wading birds. Up to 100 curlews were seen probing the mud with their distinctively…

    • 29 Jul 2019
  • Wetlands Are Buzzing

    Recent sightings from 15 to 21 July 2019

    Family groups of long-tailed tits were seen regularly during this week and sometimes you could even find a goldcrest in amongst them. Lots of the other song birds preferred to keep out of sight, finishing their breeding business or being in the process of moulting. You could still get glimpses of reed and sedge warbler and with a good portion of luck even get a nice view of a Cetti…

    • 21 Jul 2019