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 the scrape on Friday. Whilst big flocks of swallows and house martins (with some sand martins in between) helped themselves to the "insect buffet" in the air, there was also a surprise visit of some late swifts on Saturday when at least two were flying over in the morning and another group of at least were flying over the visitor centre in the late afternoon. Cetti's warblers are getting more active again whereas sightings of reed and sedge warbler were less frequent. A female bearded reedling was seen flying over the reedbed on Thursday. Buzzards made use of the thermals as well and huge flocks of gulls (mainly black-headed and lesser black-backed) were filling the air. A red kite showed itself on Friday and Saturday and kestrel and sparrowhawk were also seen during the week. The salt marshes and mudflats remained a stronghold for curlews and all week long there were at least around 100 of them to be seen. During high tide they were quite well covered in the grass but often some little egrets were sitting in amongst them and blew the cover. Goldcliff lagoons held big numbers of black-tailed godwit, knot and redshank and on Saturday there was also a common sandpiper, a greenshank, a whimbrel and two grey plovers recorded. Apart from the wading birds and a merlin on Saturday, Goldcliff was a very good spot for watching passerines this week. Yellow wagtail, wheatear, common redstart, spotted and pied flycatcher were clear signs that the autumn migration is well under way and that summer is indeed coming to an end. Well, let's enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures as long as they last and let's enjoy some late summer visitors as well as the autumn migrants. Isn't it nice to get the best of both seasons...?

Summer holidays are drawing to a close. This week our kids event is all about the Wild Woods including den building, willow weaving and making creatures out of natural materials. Events run from Mondays to Thursdays and on Fridays there will be special events for toddlers. On our first Bat & Moth Walk last Saturday we could find pipstrelle and noctule bats side by side. Make sure to book your space on the next walk which will take place this Friday 30th August. Details of all our events can be found on our website: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/newport-wetlands/

Avocet, Bearded reedling, Black swan, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common sandpiper, Common whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey plover, Grey wagtail, Greylag goose, Herring gull, House martin, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Lesser whitethroat, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little ringed plover, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Merlin, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied flycatcher, Pied wagtail, Raven, Red kite, Redshank, Redstart, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Sand martin, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Spotted flycatcher, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, Swift, Teal, Wheatear, Whimbrel, 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!

  

Photo credit: Common blue butterfly by Jeremy White

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