Recent sightings from 21 to 27 January 2019

The bird ringers were at the Newport Wetlands on Saturday and their “catch of the day” allowed some rare close-up views of some of our favourite garden birds like Great tits and Blue tits. It is always a great experience to see even a familiar bird from up close (see also separate blog post). Right in time for the Big Garden Birdwatch, there were also big flocks of Goldfinches and Greenfinches around, and Bullfinches were a regular sight on the way from the car park to the visitor centre. From the café window, we could see on several occasions a Sparrowhawk going for Snipe but with no success. Thursday was an exciting day for mammals. A Water vole made an appearance right in front of the office window and two Otters were seen in the morning and in the afternoon in one of the lagoons. While not everyone was lucky to see the Otters, there was a rather unusual sight on Friday on the same lagoon when a Black-tailed godwit was swimming calmly across to the other side of the reedbed. Once again there was a big number of wading birds on the mudflats with up to 200 Black-tailed godwits on Wednesday and up to 500 Lapwings on Saturday. At high tide the amount of Wigeons was quite a spectacular sight with more than 200 lining up on the coast near the lighthouse and the Scaup was present on the lagoons. The Owl Sanctuary at Fantasy Park brought a selection of owls along on the Bird of Prey Day on Sunday to allow an insight into the life of owls, but there were also wild owls to be seen at Newport Wetlands once again. The Little owl was posing nicely on sunny days and the Short-eared owl made another appearance on Tuesday when it didn’t escape the watchful eye of a keen photographer as it was hunting over the meadows of Salt Marsh Lane. The Glossy ibis was also still around. Wednesday afternoon it was seen flying eastwards of the reserve and on Thursday morning flying in the opposite direction. There has also been a sighting of the Glossy ibis from Goldcliff lagoons on Friday. Another highlight at Goldcliff this week were five White-fronted geese on the same day.

Bittern, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Greylag goose, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Lesser redpoll, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little owl, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Scaup, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Shoveler, Siskin, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted duck, Water rail, White-fronted goose, 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: Short-eared owl by Jeff Hall