Recent sightings from 06 to 12 May 2019

The most sought-after species this week were once again the cuckoo and the bearded reedling. The cuckoo has been active most days and up to three individuals could not only be heard but also seen close to the visitor centre. The participants of our Bearded Reedling and Breakfast Walk on Saturday were lucky to get a sighting of a male bearded reedling which was perching nicely in the reeds. There was more positive news regarding the bearded reedlings as on Thursday a family group of two adults and three juveniles didn’t go unnoticed. There was new life emerging all around this week. Whilst the little grebe chick on the scrape in front of the café was hiding in the reedbeds for most of the time, a Canada goose proudly presented its five goslings and there were also two mallard families with very different breeding success, one having only one duckling and the other one having 13. Out on the reserve a pochard with 7 ducklings could be spotted on the lagoons and a family of shelduck with 5 ducklings was wandering about on the mudflats. There have, however, not only been new additions to our water birds, but also amongst our song birds. A juvenile common whitethroat has been spotted and a tree full of young long-tailed tits, which look a bit like little bandits with their face masks, were a joy to watch on Saturday morning. It shouldn’t be too long until the blackbird and the great tit will have young ones in their nests as well. Apart from the flood of new life, there was once again a great white egret spotted on Wednesday. A turnstone on Wednesday, a flock of 30 black-tailed godwits on Thursday, and whimbrels, which have been seen throughout the week, were the highlights on the mudflats. Wheatear, swift, bittern, marsh harrier, redstart, an array of butterflies (including a green-veined white), a growing number of damselflies and dragonflies, a grass snake, a water vole, and our otter family were other great sightings to name but a few. A big flock of more than a hundred dunlins were still seen flying over the reserve on Friday and they were present in big numbers at Goldcliff lagoons all week long. Goldcliff lagoons were once again a great spot for wading birds with sanderling, grey plover, wood sandpiper, bar-tailed godwit, knot, turnstone, and common sandpiper all being spotted this week in addition to the “usual suspects”. The glossy ibis was still around as well and a male garganey delighted the birdwatchers. To round things off, a short-eared owl made a surprise appearance at Goldcliff on Sunday. A truly eventful week with lots of new arrivals and good old friends!

During May half term from 27th until 31st May we have a special Mud Magic! event on for the kids. If you want to increase your knowledge about moths, then our Day Moth ID Walk on 15th June (2.30pm-4.30pm) and our Moth ID Morning on 16th June (9am-11am) are the perfect opportunities to do so. Our next Bearded Reedling and Breakfast Walk will take place on 19th June from 7.30am – 10.30am. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Avocet, Bar-tailed godwit, Bearded reedling, Bittern, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Coal tit, Collared dove, Common sandpiper, Common whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Cuckoo, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Garden warbler, Garganey, Glossy ibis, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Great white egret, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Grey plover, Greylag goose, Herring gull, House martin, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Lesser whitethroat, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little ringed plover, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Redstart, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Sand martin, Sanderling, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Shoveler, Snipe, Song thrush, Swallow, Swift, Tufted duck, Turnstone, Wheatear, Whimbrel, Wigeon, Willow warbler, Wood sandpiper, 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: Juvenile bearded reedlings by Tim & Rose Smith