Recent sightings from 01 to 14 July 2019

Whilst summer is usually a quiet time in regard to birds, there were still quite a few interesting sightings in the first half of July. The month started with a real rarity when a long-eared owl got spotted on 1st July. One day later, a great white egret was another exciting sighting. Although it isn’t a rare bird at the wetlands, sightings of a water rail are very rare indeed especially at this time of the year but one individual could be seen from the hide in the 3rd when there was also a bar-tailed godwit present at Goldcliff lagoons. Peregrine, marsh harrier, kestrel, buzzard and sparrowhawk were amongst the birds of prey that were seen and our smallest British bird, the goldcrest, was recorded regularly. A juvenile male bearded tit was around on 4th July and another sighting of this species was from 10th. The weekend 6th and 7th July brought not only a grasshopper warbler and a glossy ibis, which was feeding on the mudflats, but also a treecreeper and two otters. A water vole didn’t get unnoticed either.  Highlight from Goldcliff lagoons included a great black-backed gull on the 6th and a yellow wagtail and a Mediterranean gull on 13th. The real stars of the show during this fortnight were however the invertebrates. Dragonflies, damselflies, moths and butterflies took centre stage. Common darter, hairy dragonfly, black-tailed skimmer, emperor, broad-bodied and four-spotted chaser were the main characters amongst the dragonflies, whilst small red-eyed damselfly, common blue and blue-tailed starred amongst the damselflies. The most numerous butterflies were ringlet and meadow brown, but there were also marbled white, painted lady, gatekeeper, green-veined white and small skipper on the wings to name but a few. One group that never fails to amaze are the moths. From the small barred straw to the delicate Riband wave, the aptly named lilac beauty, the spectacular poplar hawkmoth to the fluffy yellow-tailed moth and the elegant scalloped oak moth, all made an appearance during the first half of this month. Not least these moths are a reminder that there is so much to discover around us when just going out with open eyes, open ears and an open mind.

The summer holidays are coming up and we offer a wide range of activities for families. Each week we have activities to a different theme: Fabulous Fish, Flutterby Butterfly Ball, Fairies & Folklore, Dino Dig, Mr Birds Restaurant and Wild Woods. Events run from Mondays to Thursdays and on Fridays there will be special events for toddlers. Full of events for the whole family is also the Big Wild Sleepout which will take place on 17th August. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Bar-tailed godwit, Bearded reedling, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Common whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Grasshopper warbler, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Great white egret, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Herring gull, House martin, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Lesser black-backed gull, Lesser whitethroat, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little ringed plover, Long-eared owl, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Raven, Redshank, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Sand martin, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler, Siskin, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Swallow, Treecreeper, 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!

Photo credit: Scalloped oak moth by Hannah Beynon