Recent sightings from 31 August to 06 September 2020

It was another busy week at RSPB Newport Wetlands. Willow warblers, chiffchaffs, bullfinches and blackcaps remained regulars as did the green woodpecker. Buzzard, peregrine and sparrowhawk were all seen and a hobby on Tuesday might well have been attracted not only by the dragonflies but also by swallows, sand and house martins which were flying over in sizeable flocks. Wednesday brought the first wigeon after the “summer break” to the foreshore where whimbrel, linnet and stonechat were also spotted. One day later a pintail made a rare appearance.

Photo credit: Whimbrel by Jeremy White

On the lagoons was a good number of gadwalls and there were also a few tufted ducks joining our ever-active little grebes. Our smallest bird, the goldcrest, was found several times from the middle of the week onward. One of the highlights of the week were without any doubt the sightings of the kingfishers, well and truly a regal bird that lives up to its name. Up to two were seen throughout the week. On Thursday two were flying past us very close to our welcome marquee and there were further sightings from them fishing in the lagoons. They certainly always brighten up any rainy day!

Photo credit: Kingfisher by Stefan Zitzmann

Stoats were seen on several occasions. Migrant and southern hawker as well as common and ruddy darter were the dominating dragonfly species on site and shrill carder bee, Roesel’s and speckled bush-cricket as well as the patchwork leaf-cutter bee were all spotted. This first week in September brought still eleven different butterfly species. Highlight was a painted lady on the coast path on Monday whilst small, large and green-veined white, small copper, common blue, red admiral, small tortoiseshell, speckled wood, meadow brown and comma were all still on the wing as well. Our moth trap on Friday morning revealed square-spot rustic, centre-barred sallow, Chinese character, large, bulrush, common and southern wainscot, green carpet, latticed heath, light emerald and pinion streaked snout to name but a few.

Photo credit: Light emerald by Hannah Beynon

Goldcliff lagoons proved to be once again a good spot for watching wading birds. Lapwing, knot, dunlin, ringed plover, black-tailed godwit and redshank were present throughout the week and were joined by greenshank, sanderling, avocet, little stint and curlew sandpiper during the weekend. The glossy ibis was spotted on Wednesday and on Saturday when also a pintail was seen flying past. A kestrel caused some panic amongst the waders on Sunday. It was also a busy week in regard to migrating songbirds. Siskin, yellow and grey wagtail as well as stonechat were all recorded.

Photo credit: Grey heron on the estuary by Jeremy White

We are getting step by step closer to re-opening our visitor centre, but right now it is still closed therefore toilets, shop, café and playground are not available yet. The car park is open daily between 9am and 5pm and the majority of the paths is open as usual. For updates follow us on Twitter or click here.

Avocet, Bittern, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Common redstart, Common whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Curlew sandpiper, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey wagtail, Herring gull, Hobby, House martin, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little stint, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pintail, Raven, Redshank, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Sand martin, Sanderling, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler, Siskin, Skylark, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Stock dove, Swallow, Teal, Tufted duck, Wheatear, Whimbrel, Wigeon, Willow warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren and Yellow wagtail.

Please note that we take our recent sightings list from the visitor sightings board that anyone can contribute to. This is great as everyone can get involved, but obviously can lead to potential errors too as they aren’t always verified! We try to keep this list as accurate as possible but if you see something unusual feel free to comment here!