Recent sightings from 11 to 24 February 2019

In the last two weeks, spring seems to have taken over from winter - at least for now. While swallows were flying over the Gower peninsula near Swansea, we saw some butterflies (Peacock, Brimstone and Red admiral) on the wing here at the Newport Wetlands and all the birds around the visitor centre started to burst into song. Love was in the air not only on Valentine's Day. Pair bonding was going on amongst the Little egrets and the Teals and Little grebes were active with trilling all over the reserve and the Bittern has been heard booming as well. There are still lots of Wigeon, Shelduck, Shoveler and Gadwall around the reserve which were joined by a Pintail on 12th February. There is also a growing number of Tufted ducks amongst them and the Scaup could be spotted on several occasions. The Glossy ibis was still in the area as well and could be seen on Valentine's Day and on 21st February flying over the reserve. The Bearded reedlings have made a welcome comeback to the reedbeds. After months without any sightings, they were seen on a regular basis again, mainly from the hide and from the bridge leading towards the lighthouse. There were still big flocks of Chaffinches along the sea wall and on 15th and 24th February a Brambling could be spotted in one of them. The Little owl was still a regular sight as were Marsh harriers and on 18th February a female Hen harrier was seen. The mudflats remain a stronghold for waders. In amongst the "usual suspects" of Curlews, Oystercatchers, Lapwings, Redshanks and Dunlins, there were also some Black-tailed godwits and Grey plovers spotted, as well as a Whimbrel on 11th February and a Greenshank on 22nd February. Highlights at Goldcliff Lagoons were Barnacle geese, White-fronted geese and Spotted redshanks which have been around for a while now. There was also a Black redstart which showed itself very nicely, a Water pipit on 16th February, and a Golden plover on 21st February. Whilst some winter visitors like the Fieldfare were still around in big numbers reminding us that winter might not be over just yet, the forecast is predicting some more mild and sunny weather for next week and who knows what will turn up a bit ahead of schedule then…

Barnacle goose, Bearded reedling, Bittern, Black redstart, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Brambling, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Collared dove, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldcrest, Golden plover, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey plover, Greylag goose, Hen harrier, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little owl, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pintail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Scaup, Shelduck, Shoveler, Siskin, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Spotted redshank, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted duck, Water pipit, Water rail, Whimbrel, White-fronted goose, 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: Peacock butterfly by Jeremy White