Recent Sightings from 3rd to 9th May 2021

International Dawn Chorus Day last Sunday was a beautiful day full of birdsong at Newport Wetlands and so it has continued through this week. The more familiar garden birds such as blackbird, robin and wren are singing all along Perry Lane. Great tits, blue tits, long tailed tits, and goldfinch have also been spotted here. This is also a good place to listen for blackcaps and their beautifully melodic song with just that touch of Sylvia warbler scratchiness. Other "Sylvia's" seen were common whitethroat and there were at least two lesser whitethroats singing on Friday. The reedbed specialists are not to be outdone either. Across the reserve the reedbeds are alive with the loud and vibrant songs of the warblers, reed, sedge and Cetti’s.

Photo credit Stefan Zitzmann - A male common whitethroat in bramble

Two of the most distinctive birds to listen out for at Newport Wetlands are the bittern and cuckoo. Both have been heard every day this week. The unmistakable boom of the bittern is is usually how we detect this species but there have been several sightings of a bittern in flight this week. Bitterns fly briefly and low over the reeds to access different feeding areas. They are incredibly secretive birds which makes a sighting all the more special. Cuckoos are also a species heard more often than seen. This week we have had regular sightings of a cuckoo in the trees or on the pylons close to the visitor centre. On Sunday we were treated to two males having a territorial dispute in this area! There is something heart-warming about hearing a cuckoo. Despite the rain, it feels like summer is here.

Photo credit Jeremy White - A male cuckoo close to the visitor centre

Photo credit Jeremy White - A bittern in flight

The first fledglings of the year are appearing around the reserve. On Monday a pair of Canada geese parents were seen leading their young along Perry Lane past the welcome hut. Fortunately, they managed to find their way back to water and a quieter spot for the chicks. Young coots have been making a brief appearance in and out of the reeds waiting to be fed by their busy parents. Equally busy blue tit parents have been feeding fledglings close to the welcome hut.

Photo credit Jeremy White - Adult coot with chicks

Photo credit Sarah Parmor - Canada goose adults leading their five young goslings past the welcome hut

Photo credit Jeremy White - Goslings having a rest after a busy day

After Saturday’s wash out, Sunday was a great day for sightings with all the regulars seen, one of the highlights being a female wheatear making an appearance close to the visitor centre, a bird that is more commonly seen along the foreshore. The week ended with a sighting of our first shrill carder bee of 2021. It is very exciting to see this rare bumblebee and without doubt one of our star species at Newport Wetlands. Click here to watch a video of the shrill carder bee filmed by Rhiannon Munro.

Photo credit Jeremy White - Lovely female wheatear close to the visitor centre

Bearded reedling, Bittern, Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff, Collard dove, Common whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Cuckoo, Curlew, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greylag goose, Herring gull, Hobby, House martin, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Lesser black backed gull, Lesser whitethroat, Linnet, Little egret, Little Grebe, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Raven, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Robin, Sand martin, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, Tufted Duck, Wheatear, Whimbrel, Willow warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren.

Buff tailed bumblebee, Clouded drab moth, Comma butterfly, Common carder bee, Common quaker moth, Early bumblebee, Early tooth striped moth, Large white butterfly, Orange tip butterfly, Peacock butterfly, Powdered quaker moth, Red tailed bumblebee, Shrill carder bee, Small white butterfly, Speckled wood butterfly, St Mark's fly, Tree bumblebee

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!

Visitor information

The car park is open 9am to 5pm and the charge is £3.00. Please pay (cash or card) at the welcome hut. There is no charge for RSPB members, please remember to bring your membership card to collect a free car parking token. The visitor centre is open for access to toilets (9am-5pm) takeaway service and shop (10am-4pm) and access to the reserve is via the Perry Lane gate by the welcome hut. The play area is closed. Dog walking is permitted on the dog walking route only (follow the signs) and please have dogs on leads at all times as there are ground nesting birds and wildlife all over the reserve. Thank you.

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