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 significantly. There have been huge flocks of woodpigeons of up to 15.000 and most mornings which filled the sky over Newport Wetlands. A truly spectacular sight! There were still big flocks of long-tailed tits around all over the reserve and goldcrest as well as green woodpecker remained regular sightings throughout the week. Starling murmurations remained a draw from visitors from near and far and up to 20.000 to 25.000 could be seen going down to roost in the reedbeds. Especially Thursday they showed a really nice murmuration. Up to three marsh harriers were regularly waiting for the starlings and on Saturday a water rail decided it wanted to have a good look at our group during the Soup & Starling event and came out of the reeds and could be spotted on the path. A kingfisher was recorded on Monday and once again on Thursday and on Sunday when it was seen hovering over the scrape in front of the café. Perry Lane was a very good place for seeing song birds. Apart from the thrushes, tits and goldcrests, bullfinches were also regularly spotted and heard and on Friday a treecreeper and a blackcap were seen. Curlew, shelduck, wigeon and teal were common sightings along the foreshore and there were some redshank, lapwing and dunlin as well. Grey plovers on Monday were another highlight along the coast. There was still a small number of stonechats around, on Friday a late whinchat was spotted and there were some sightings of skylarks as well. Wednesday brought a sighting of a bittern which was seen flying over the reedbeds and on Sunday the otter was spotted in the lagoons for the only time this week. The same day the bearded reedling was heard for the only time as well. Sunday was a good day at Goldcliff and along the coast avocet, grey plover, knot and black-tailed godwit could be spotted. The “resident” peregrine was around at Goldcliff Lagoons as well.

The starling murmurations are well under way and our Soup & Starlings events prove very popular. Most of the dates (every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) throughout this month are already fully booked, but check on Eventbrite for availability or give us a ring. A Christmas Craft Workshops for all the family will be held every weekend from 16th/17th November to get into the festive mood. If you want to learn a bit more about how to enjoy birdwatching then our Winter Birdwatching for Beginners on 1st December will be the right event for you. If you are especially interested in waders and wildfowl, then come along on 11th December and join us on our Wildfowl and Waders Guided Walk. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Avocet, Bearded reedling, Bittern, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey plover, Herring gull, Hobby, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Treecreeper, Water rail, Whinchat, Wigeon, Woodpigeon and Wren.

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!

Photo credit: Starling murmuration with marsh harrier by Jeremy White