What an exciting day! We have a first for Gwent here, not just on the reserve but right next to the Visitor Centre! A chap came in and said he needed help identifying a bird with strange mask-like black face markings. I had no idea, I was thinking “It’s probably a funny looking sparrow” (oh dear!). So I asked the resident expert (Mat) and he graciously abandoned his desk to have a look, since the bird in question was just outside the visitor centre.

Approximately 10 seconds later, I heard a cry and running feet and Mat burst back into the centre screaming “IT’S A PENDULINE TIT!!!”. Action stations – I grabbed the camera, and Mat sent out the emergency tweet then we ran back out to have a look:

Penduline Tit at RSPB Newport Wetlands. Photo by Lisa Robinson

Awesome bird. I’m sure there will be many more photos on the community pages today, and the bird is still showing well if you want to pop down before it gets dark. Stick around, you might also see some starlings!

Starlings update: There’s been approximately 10,000 starlings seen most nights this week – more than last year! On days when the weather has been clear we’ve had fantastic murmurations, and even when it’s been drizzling they’ve still been swooping around doing a great display. I especially enjoyed yesterday’s “show” which wasn’t as elegant as usual due to very blustery conditions but was very dramatic, almost frantic.

We’re hoping the starlings will stick around throughout November, and maybe even longer. Feel free to phone the Visitor Centre (01633 636363) to hear the latest news, or just risk it and show up at 4ish on a nice day.

I've uploaded a few photos and videos to the Newport Wetlands Facebook page too.

Anonymous