Recent sightings from 14 to 19 December 2020

This week brought the one or the other early present before the level 4 lockdown restrictions came into force on Sunday 20th December. The starlings continued to show up in good numbers for the murmurations. In previous years we have seen numbers dwindle from the middle of December but there hasn’t been any sign of this so far. Once again, the wading birds competed with the starlings in the contest for the best aerial acrobatics of flocks. Dunlins had by far the highest numbers of individuals amongst the waders. Curlew, oystercatcher, redshank, black-tailed godwit and lapwing were all spotted along the coast this week as well. During high tide there were plenty of wigeons to be seen. Snipes were hiding along the paths and on the edges of the reedbeds. A kingfisher was seen on several occasions and brought a splash of colour to the late autumn days as did the jay.

Photo credit: Jay by Stefan Zitzmann

Kestrel and sparrowhawk were both spotted. Water rails were again very vocal in the reedbeds in which once more reed bunting, Cetti’s warbler and stonechat were often recorded as well. For the third successive week there was a sighting of a bittern which was spotted on Thursday. Gadwall, little grebe and mute swan were present on the lagoons. Bullfinches and goldcrests could be heard and seen along Perry Lane whilst chaffinches, robins, dunnocks and even a moorhen frequented the feeders regularly. Blue tits and great tits competed with flocks of long-tailed tits for the best position on the fat balls.

Photo credit: Long-tailed tits by Stefan Zitzmann

Goldcliff lagoons had some exciting sightings in store in the first half of the week including a female merlin, up to five barnacle geese, avocets, a good selection of ducks – including shoveler, teal and wigeon –, a marsh harrier and a peregrine. On Monday also a brent goose and a common gull were recorded. Saturday brought not only a female black redstart but also a rare sighting of a juvenile kittiwake.

As the Welsh Government announced the lockdown to start on the 20th December, all facilities (including the car park) will be closed as long as Wales is under the Level 4 restrictions. Any changes will be announced on our Twitter page. On behalf of the whole team of RSPB Newport Wetland I wish you a merry Christmas – as far as possible under these circumstances – and for 2021 all the best and most important only the best of health! Hopefully nature can give you the one or the other present during your local walks or on the bird feeder in your garden. Having a close look at the wildlife around you is always rewarding and for example a flock of long-tailed tits does certainly never fail to bring a smile to my face.

Avocet, Barnacle goose, Bittern, Black redstart, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Brent goose, Bullfinch, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti’s warbler, Chaffinch, Common gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Grey heron, Herring gull, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Kittiwake, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Merlin, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Tufted duck, Water rail, 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!