Recent sightings from 12 to 18 October 2020

Along the coast curlew and shelduck were seen in good numbers on the mudflats whilst wigeons were seen at the water’s edge and a pintail was reported on Sunday. Some dunlins were around on Tuesday and Thursday and a flock of lapwings was flying past on Friday. Little egrets were standing out with their bright white plumage. A great black-back gull joined the black-headed, lesser black-backed and herring gulls. Linnets were “jumping” over the saltmarsh. Buzzards were seen several times, a peregrine was recorded on Tuesday and Friday, a female marsh harrier was flying over the reedbeds on Wednesday and Friday and a late hobby was seen on Sunday. On Monday a merlin was flying low over the saltmarshes on the search for prey and two days later a sparrowhawk was eyeing up his chances of a quick snack.

Photo credit: Sparrowhawk by Stefan Zitzmann

It was a good week for thrushes. Mistle and song thrush were seen on several occasions, a fieldfare was spotted on Monday and a redwing was flying over on Friday. The same day meadow pipit and skylark were also seen in flight whilst grey wagtail, snipe and goldcrest were all spotted as well. Kingfisher, raven, bullfinch, green woodpecker and stonechat were regulars. Swallow and sand martin were reported on Tuesday with siskin being added to the list the same day and on Sunday. A wheatear didn’t go unnoticed on Wednesday. On the lagoons were gadwall, shoveler, teal and little grebe and from the reedbeds you could often hear water rails and bearded reedlings. It was a good week for bearded reedlings which were at least heard on most days and up to six of them were seen some days as well.

Photo credit: Bearded reedlings by Jeremy White

There were fewer insects around but a rather remarkable seven different species of butterflies were still recorded this week. On Tuesday speckled wood, small copper, small tortoiseshell and once again a clouded yellow were spotted. Large white and red admiral were seen on Wednesday and a peacock butterfly the following day. Common darter and migrant hawker dragonflies were present in decent numbers alongside the one or the other emperor. During the night from Thursday to Friday we had the moth trap out and the next morning we could identify green-brindled crescent, large wainscot, beaded chestnut, lunar underwing and red-line quaker.

Photo credit: Green-brindled crescent by Stefan Zitzmann

At Goldcliff lagoons a curlew sandpiper was spotted on Wednesday. During the weekend marsh harrier and peregrine were present. Throughout the week there was also a good number of lapwings alongside some dunlins, black-tailed godwits, redshanks and oystercatchers. Teal and shoveler were swimming on the lagoons and stonechat and wheatear were regular sightings.

As a result of the Wales Firebreak, the visitor centre including shop, café and toilets, plus the car park, are closed from 5.00pm Friday 23 October until 9.00am Monday 9 November 2020.  For anyone considering visiting the reserve during this time, please refer to the Firebreak rules. We look forward to welcoming visitors back once the Firebreak ends. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Bearded reedling, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Collared dove, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Curlew sandpiper, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great crested grebe, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Grey heron, Grey wagtail, Herring gull, Hobby, Jay, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Merlin, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pintail, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Sand martin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Siskin, Skylark, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, Teal, Water rail, Wheatear, Wigeon, Willow warbler, 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!

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