• Quiet? Not quite!

    Recent sightings from 01 to 14 July 2019

    Whilst summer is usually a quiet time in regard to birds, there were still quite a few interesting sightings in the first half of July. The month started with a real rarity when a long-eared owl got spotted on 1st July. One day later, a great white egret was another exciting sighting. Although it isn’t a rare bird at the wetlands, sightings of a water rail are very rare indeed…

    • 15 Jul 2019
  • Winged Beauties

    Recent sightings from 24 to 30 June 2019

    The week started off at Goldcliff Lagoons with the Spoonbill remaining the main attraction. Ringed and little ringed plover, black-tailed godwit, lapwing and redshank were also still about, as were a few dunlins. A wood sandpiper was a surprise guest on Tuesday. Shoveler, teal and wigeon were amongst the ducks present at the lagoons, whilst the warblers were still quite active…

    • 30 Jun 2019
  • Breeding Season in Full Swing

    Recent sightings from 17 to 23 June 2019

    After the rain and wind of last week, the weather was much kinder to us this week and with it came lots of exciting sightings. During our Bearded Reedling and Breakfast Walk on Wednesday our group not only got a glimpse of a bearded reedling but also a good view of two otters. This was well worth getting up early for! The bearded reedling was seen once more later that day and once…

    • 23 Jun 2019
  • A Mixed Bag

    Recent sightings from 10 to 16 June 2019

    It was definitely a mixed bag in regard to the weather at Newport Wetlands last week – as it was indeed for most of the UK. Therefore, it wasn’t a big surprise that a lot of birds preferred to seek shelter from rain and wind. It was relatively quiet on the mudflats but there was still a whimbrel about on Monday alongside a good number of shelduck. It was a rather good week for…

    • 17 Jun 2019
  • The Big Reveal

    Recent sightings from 3 to 9 June 2019

    On Saturday our new bronze relief model of the Gwent Levels was finally revealed by TV presenter and RSPB President Miranda Krestovnikoff, but this was not the only highlight during what was at times a very windy and wet week. There was still plenty of new life to be welcomed. Two pochard females were looking after three ducklings, the reed warbler and the green woodpecker also had…

    • 9 Jun 2019
  • True Beauties All Around

    Recent sightings from 27 May to 2 June 2019

    More and more orchids appeared all over the reserve with the southern marsh orchid being the most common one but there are also some common spotted orchids and a good number of bee orchids to be found. We are still waiting for pyramidal orchids and marsh helleborine, but the bee orchids are well and truly spectacular. Spectacular is also a fitting description for dragonflies…

    • 2 Jun 2019
  • An Explosion of Colours and Strange Noises from the Reeds

    Recent sightings from 20 to 26 May 2019

    Reed, sedge and Cetti’s warblers remained very active in the reedbeds and there was also the one or the other sighting of bearded reedlings. The star of the show in the reedbed this week was, however, a Savi’s warbler which appeared during the weekend and attracted a big number of birdwatchers to the reserve. Its characteristic song could be heard Saturday and Sunday morning. Usually…

    • 29 May 2019
  • Raptors, Waders and a Special Ducks

    Recent sightings from 13 to 19 May 2019

    This week brought a sighting of a hobby which was flying over the reserve on Wednesday on the lookout for dragonflies of which more and more are on the wing now. There were also nice displays of kestrels, buzzards and sparrowhawks and a marsh harrier flew over the scrape right in front of the café on Saturday afternoon allowing some rare close-up views. A red kite which was seen…

    • 19 May 2019
  • Spring Brings New Life

    Recent sightings from 06 to 12 May 2019

    The most sought-after species this week were once again the cuckoo and the bearded reedling. The cuckoo has been active most days and up to three individuals could not only be heard but also seen close to the visitor centre. The participants of our Bearded Reedling and Breakfast Walk on Saturday were lucky to get a sighting of a male bearded reedling which was perching nicely in…

    • 12 May 2019
  • Song Birds All Around

    Recent sightings from 29 April to 05 May 2019

    The week started off in style with the sighting of a spoonbill at Goldcliff lagoons on Monday and a grasshopper warbler at the wetlands on Tuesday. Most visitors were hoping to catch a glimpse of a cuckoo or a bearded reedling. Cuckoos still were rather active all over the reserve and could be heard and seen on a daily basis and fortunately there have also been a number of…

    • 8 May 2019
  • Stormy, Wild and Exciting

    Recent sightings from 22 to 28 April 2019

    Whilst things turned a bit wilder this week with storm Hannah making an appearance at the wetlands, those who braved the windy weather conditions were rewarded with some great sightings. This can also be said about the kids who went pond dipping despite of the rain and they were thrilled to see newts, water scorpions and sticklebacks to name but a few. The second week of the Easter…

    • 28 Apr 2019
  • Happy Easter Indeed

    Recent sightings from 15 to 21 April 2019

    The Easter week brought glorious sunshine to the wetlands which not only attracted lots of visitors but also lots of birds and butterflies. On Monday, the first reed warbler of the year was recorded, they have been very active since and can be heard singing emphatically around the visitor centre and all around the reserve. Other arriving migrants included sedge warbler, common…

    • 24 Apr 2019
  • Updated Arrivals Board

    Recent sightings from 08 to 14 April 2019

    After a rainy start into the week things started to brighten up from Wednesday onwards and with that came some more arrivals. Most notably a Grasshopper warbler and a Common whitethroat were recorded for the first time this year on Saturday, and Friday brought the first Speckled wood butterfly. Sand martins continued to fly over the reedbeds and lagoons in big flocks with the…

    • 16 Apr 2019
  • Spring Has Taken Over

    Recent sightings from 01 to 07 April 2019

    Whilst one swallow doesn’t make a summer, hundreds of Sand martins definitely make a spring. Although some colder weather brought back some snow on the hilltops on Thursday morning, visitors to the wetlands who braved the weather conditions were treated to a sky full of Sand martins which were flying low over the reedbeds and lagoons especially on Thursday and Friday. Some Swallows…

    • 7 Apr 2019
  • Rare Visitors, Brilliant Singers and a Bit of Magic

    Recent sightings from 25 to 31 March 2019

    It was another exciting week at Newport Wetlands. Spring is well and truly on its way now with an array of butterflies in the air and with Chiffchaffs singing everywhere on the reserve competing with the Cetti’s warblers for the crown of the most vocal bird. One of our nicest singers, the Blackcap, is spreading joy with its melodious yet slightly melancholic song. Swallows and…

    • 31 Mar 2019
  • Another “Otterly” Brilliant Week

    Recent sightings from 18 to 24 March 2019

    The stars of the week were without a doubt once again our Otter family (probably a female with three young ones) which showed themselves nicely and were seen nearly every day. It is just always a very special encounter to see these fascinating animals in the wild. There were also some sightings of Weasels and a Water vole was spotted on Wednesday. With some great sunny weather…

    • 26 Mar 2019
  • More Wind and Rain and Active Otters

    Recent sightings from 11 to 17 March 2019

    It was another wet and windy, yet quite exciting week at Newport Wetlands. Whilst Bittern, Cetti's warbler, Water rail and Bearded reedling did their best to make themselves heard in the stormy conditions, most birds tried to seek shelter from the wind. One can't blame the Little owl to only make an appearance on the odd occasion during the last few days, although it did enjoy…

    • 17 Mar 2019
  • Rain, Wind and Much More

    Recent sightings from 03 to 10 March 2019

    The week started very promising indeed and on Monday a female Hen harrier which has been seen on several occasions since the end of November was spotted from the hide. One day later it made another appearance and this time it delighted us with flying right in front of the cafe window just before 5pm to allow some great close-up views. Some Snipe that were flying off in the presence…

    • 12 Mar 2019
  • Lively Lagoons

    Recent sightings from 25 February to 03 March 2019

    After some quiet months in the reedbeds and on the lagoons at the Newport Wetlands, things are starting to change and to become much livelier again. Lots of Tufted ducks and a good number of Gadwall, Pochard, Canada geese and Coot can be found on the lagoons alongside the always active Little grebes and on Thursday there was still a Scaup in amongst them as well. Fortunately…

    • 4 Mar 2019
  • Spring is Coming Early

    Recent sightings from 11 to 24 February 2019

    In the last two weeks, spring seems to have taken over from winter - at least for now. While swallows were flying over the Gower peninsula near Swansea, we saw some butterflies (Peacock, Brimstone and Red admiral) on the wing here at the Newport Wetlands and all the birds around the visitor centre started to burst into song. Love was in the air not only on Valentine's Day.…

    • 24 Feb 2019
  • Windy Wet-Lands

    Recent sightings from 04 to 10 February 2019

    The often windy and rainy conditions this week allowed some stunning views of the hovering Kestrel. While all its body was in motion with the wings flapping and the tail trying to steady the bird in the high winds, the head itself was absolutely still. A similar technique was used by the Stonechats over the reedbeds on a smaller scale, but not less impressive. On Thursday afternoon…

    • 10 Feb 2019
  • Wetland Winterwatch

    Recent sightings from 28 January to 03 February 2019

    In a week in which Winterwatch spoilt us on the telly with some great footage from the Cairngorms National Park, the Newport Wetlands were the location for its very own Winterwatch with lots of joyful moments, snow, and animal stars. On Tuesday the Short-eared owl made another appearance, this time right next to the visitor centre. The Little owl was still around this…

    • 3 Feb 2019
  • Close-up Views, Swimming Wader and Owls

    Recent sightings from 21 to 27 January 2019

    The bird ringers were at the Newport Wetlands on Saturday and their “catch of the day” allowed some rare close-up views of some of our favourite garden birds like Great tits and Blue tits. It is always a great experience to see even a familiar bird from up close (see also separate blog post). Right in time for the Big Garden Birdwatch, there were also big flocks of Goldfinches…

    • 27 Jan 2019
  • What Ringed Birds Can Tell You

    Bird Ringing Demonstration 26 January 2019

    The Goldcliff Ringing Group were our guests on Saturday morning for a bird ringing demonstration. Richard Clarke from the group kindly gave us a summary of the results:

    “A total of 33 birds were trapped and processed during the bird ringing event, which included 23 Blue tits (12 male/10 female), 8 Great tits (2 male, 6 female) and 2 Great spotted woodpeckers (both male and hatched…

    • 27 Jan 2019
  • Glossy & Golden

    Recent sightings from 14 to 20 January 2019

    Another well and truly exciting week at the Newport Wetlands with lots of interesting sightings. The mudflats continued to be full of wading birds. Huge flocks of Curlew, Lapwing and Dunlin were once again joined by Oystercatchers, Redshanks and Black-tailed godwits. A flock of 200 of the latter was present on Tuesday and were disturbed by a Peregrine which caused panic amongst…

    • 21 Jan 2019