Recent sightings from 02 to 08 March 2020

We are right in the middle of a transition period with winter fading out and spring just about to begin. There were still some of the winter visitors seen such as wigeons and shelducks on the foreshore and fieldfares and redwings on the fields, but there was also an increase in bird songs all over the reserve. The characteristic sound of the bittern could not be missed, and it was also seen on Monday, Friday and Saturday. No less characteristic is the “laughter” of a green woodpecker which could be heard several times and every now and then one could catch a glimpse of it flying away. The squeling water rails added to the soundscape. Marsh harriers were also very active and could be seen flying over the reedbeds on several occasions. The kestrel was spotted from the café again and sparrowhawks were around as well. In amongst the songbirds, bullfinches, long-tailed tits and stonechats remained firm favourites, linnets were around on the saltmarshes and our smallest British bird, the goldcrest, was once again spotted as well. In terms of wading birds, it was rather quiet on the mudflats with curlew and oystercatcher being the main sightings alongside the shelducks. Saturday saw a surprise return of a firm favourite, the little owl which was seen for the first time this year. Two otters were recorded on Thursday and one was seen on Saturday. Goldcliff lagoons were a bit busier regarding wading birds this week with ringed plover, avocet and redshank being present. There was also still a good selection of ducks including teal, gadwall, wigeon, shoveler and some goldeneyes on Friday and Saturday. The glossy ibis was around as well and singing skylarks added their tunes to the soundscape of the Gwent Levels. A week which was truly pleasant not only for the visual sense!

Spring is around the corner and to get you in the right mood for this season, the Spring Birdwatching Walk on Saturday 28th March will be exactly the right event for you. With April approaching quickly, it is also not long any more till Easter. We do have special events for the bigger kids on Wednesdays and for the toddlers on Fridays. In the first week it will be all about pond dipping (8th April for the bigger ones, 10th April for the little ones) and in the second week we will go on a bug safari (15th April for the bigger ones, 17th April for the little ones). The middle of April is the time we expect the cuckoo back and hopefully we will get to hear and see this iconic bird on our Cuckoo Experience guided walk on 24th April. On 25th April we will go out in the evening to find some other winged beauties on our Bat Walk. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Avocet, Bittern, Blackbird, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Collared dove, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldcrest, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Greylag goose, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little grebe, Little owl, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Ringed plover, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, 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: Little owl by Jeremy White