Recent sightings from 10 to 16 February 2020

The week started with the last impacts of storm Ciara and ended with storm Dennis which came in force towards the weekend and caused lots of havoc throughout the south of Wales. Water levels are really high at the reserve as well but no further weather-related issues here at RSPB Newport Wetlands. There was still a good number of thrushes around with fieldfares in flocks of 40 and more and redwing, mistle thrush, song thrush and blackbird all being reported as well. Goldcrests, stonechats, bullfinches and long-tailed tits delighted the visitors who braved the weather conditions as it is always a joy to see them. It was a rather quiet week on the lagoons although the little grebes just continued with their business as usual being very active diving for food. The otter made an appearance on Saturday, equally not fussed about the adverse conditions. Along the foreshore, there was still a nice selection of waders although you couldn’t blame them for seeking cover from the wind. Lapwing, curlew and dunlin were the most common wading birds that could be spotted from the coast path. Teals and wigeons were seen on the water’s edge whilst shelducks were grazing the mudflats. Once again there were also flocks of linnets along the salt marsh that didn’t get unnoticed. Some snipe and a green woodpecker near the visitor centre were further great sightings. It was a quite a good week for birds of prey. Sparrowhawk, buzzard and kestrel are more or less “part of the furniture” at the wetlands and also the marsh harriers are regulars. A bit more unusual was the sighting of a hen harrier on Tuesday. One of our most popular and sought-after species, the bearded reedling, was seen twice. After a sighting on Wednesday, two females and two males could be spotted on Friday. Glossy ibis, black-necked grebe, and goldeneye remained to be present at Goldcliff lagoons and along the coast from Goldcliff avocets were recorded as well. It goes to show that even in a stormy and rainy week there is plenty to see at Newport Wetlands!

There is still some last-minute availability on our Big Bird Box Build this Friday, 21st February, where kids can build their own nest box. Our March events start with the Pond Species ID Guided Workshop on Sunday 8th which is aimed at adults. It is a great opportunity to meet some of the pond creatures and learn more about their fascinating lives. On 28th March our Spring Birdwatching Walk will take place and we hope not only to see the last of the winter visitors but also the first of the spring arrivals. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Avocet, Bearded reedling, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-necked grebe, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldcrest, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Hen harrier, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, 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: Fieldfare by Jeremy White