Recent sightings from 30 March to 05 April 2020

As all the RSPB reserves are still closed until further notice due to the Coronavirus, this week’s recent sightings blog will be concentrating once again on what our team from RSPB Newport Wetlands have seen in their gardens or have come across during their one daily exercise walk, nearby their homes. Once again, the variety of sightings was quite astonishing with the one or the other surprise visitor to the garden…


Photo credit: Red-legged partridge by Steve Jones

A red-legged partridge is not the first bird species that springs into mind when thinking about typical garden birds and yet one just happened to walk straight into Steve’s garden. It goes to show, nature sometimes simply comes to you (as happened with the herd of goats which were roaming the streets of Llandudno last week). Once again songbirds took advantage of well filled feeding stations and long-tailed tits and goldfinches brought joy to many of our garden birdwatchers. Bullfinch, chaffinch, greenfinch, goldcrest, coal tit and siskin were further nice additions to the list. There were sightings of robins too – quite fitting in times when we all make the most of what we still have in our store cupboards and might find some forgotten Christmas pudding, mulled wine or mince pie filling in there. Robins are very territorial and some of their fights can get very vicious. In fact, a staggering 10% of all adult death within this species results for robins fighting each other. Speaking of birds that our smaller garden visitors need to look out for, buzzard, sparrowhawk and even a peregrine were all seen from gardens by our team this week. Blackbird, blackcap and song thrush formed the garden choir with chiffchaff, starling and mistle thrush as background singers. Jackdaws were once again widespread and there were several recordings of great spotted woodpecker and green woodpecker. Jays added a splash of colour whilst visiting the bird feeders. Nuthatch, treecreeper, raven, pochard and little egret were just some of the highlights during the daily exercise walk. The most unusual additions to this week’s sightings list came from Sarah who was lucky to spot little owl, rock pipit, chough, black redstart, wheatear, fulmar, shag and even a gorgeous gannet. Admittedly, these sightings were not from a garden or an exercise walk within south east Wales but from Ramsey Island off the Pembrokeshire coast where she is helping during this challenging period. Porpoises and grey seals were further rewards for her commitment.


Photo credit: Seven-spot ladybird by Kim Spencer

Like last week, there was a big number of other sightings apart from birds too. Honeybees started to get active and were reported from several gardens as were white-tailed, red-tailed, buff-tailed and tree bumblebees, including some rather impressive queens. There was even a potential sighting of a tawny mining bee. Centipedes and a seven-spot ladybird didn’t get unnoticed and there was once more a wealth of different moths around. On top of last week’s findings there were also common plume, double-striped pug and oak beauty found. What a poetic name! In terms of butterflies there were orange tip, peacock, red admiral, small tortoiseshell and even a holly blue fluttering through the gardens. A few of our volunteers took a closer look at the flora around them as well and – to name but a few – found apart from wild garlic, wild strawberry and dandelion other plants such as yellow archangel, common field speedwell and ivy leaved toadflax which names would be even fitting for a moth… Badgers made an appearance in a garden again and they are undoubtedly a joy to watch, usually coming out at dusk just before the light fades away. One of our volunteers even kept looking out in the darkness and was rewarded with seeing the Venus among the Pleiades in the starry sky on Friday night. This once again proves that it is worth keeping the eyes open at any time of the day and sometimes even during the night…


Photo credit: Badger by Aileen Wallen

Badger, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Blue tit, Brindled pug, Brown rat, Buff-tailed , bumblebee, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Centipede, Chaffinch, Chestnut, Chiffchaff, Clouded drab, Coal tit, Collared dove, Common plume, Common quaker, Coot, Double-striped pug, Dunnock, Early grey, Feral pigeon, Fieldfare, Garden snail, Girdled snail, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Grey squirrel, Greylag goose, Hebrew character, Herring gull, Holly blue butterfly, Honey bee, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Lesser black-backed gull, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Nuthatch, Oak beauty, Peacock butterfly, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Rabbit, Raven, Red admiral, Red-legged partridge, Red-tailed bumblebee, Robin, Seven-spot ladybird, Siskin, Small quaker, Small tortoiseshell, Small white butterfly, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Tree bumblebee, Treecreeper, Wasp, White-tailed bumblebee, Woodpigeon and Wren.

Please note that we take our recent sightings list from members of our team. We try to keep this list as accurate as possible but if you see something unusual feel free to comment here!