Recent sightings from 22 to 28 April 2019

Whilst things turned a bit wilder this week with storm Hannah making an appearance at the wetlands, those who braved the windy weather conditions were rewarded with some great sightings. This can also be said about the kids who went pond dipping despite of the rain and they were thrilled to see newts, water scorpions and sticklebacks to name but a few. The second week of the Easter holidays started as exciting as the first one ended, and Monday brought sightings of wheatear, whimbrel, a hundred black-tailed godwits and bearded reedling on the reserve and the Goldcliff lagoons attracted spotted redshanks, a curlew sandpiper and as “special guest” a red-necked phalarope. The red-necked phalarope was also spotted the following two days and during the rest of the week there were also glossy ibis, spoonbill, common sandpiper, four bar-tailed godwits, whimbrel and golden plover recorded at Goldcliff and five arctic terns on Saturday rounded off a week full of rarities there. At Newport wetlands reserve itself, bittern and marsh harrier were still heard and spotted on a regular basis and swallows, sand martins and house martins filled the air at times whilst reed warblers and sedge warblers were very active in trying to attract partners and to mark their territories with singing continuously. The cuckoo remained a major attraction for visitors and made itself heard all over the reserve. A nuthatch made a rare appearance on Wednesday and garden warblers were recorded on Thursday and Saturday. Other highlights of the week included a Brent goose on the foreshore on Thursday and our family of otter on Saturday. There was good news from our little grebes on the scrape in front of the café as well as they have two chicks and the adults can be seen catching food for them very successfully so hopefully the young ones will thrive. The first swift of the year was spotted on Sunday and is a clear sign that summer is on its way!

Don’t forget our events next week with the Friends of Goldcliff leading a breeding waders walk at Goldcliff on 4th May from 8am - 11am and a Family Birdsong Walk on the same day from 9.30am - 11am. On Monday 6th May NRW will be leading a Dawn Chorus walk on Monday 6th May from 5.15am - 7.30am. Details of all these events can be found on our website:

Also, a reminder about the road closures in relation with the Newport Marathon next Sunday on 5th May which will stop access to Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve as follows (the visitor centre will be open as normal throughout the day):

Meadows Road closed 09:00 - 14:40 / Access between 10:00 -10:45. Full details can be found on the website of the Newport Marathon:


Avocet, Bar-tailed godwit, Bearded reedling, Bittern, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Brent goose, Bullfinch, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Collared dove, Common sandpiper, Common whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Cuckoo, Curlew, Curlew sandpiper, Dunlin, Gadwall, Garden warbler, Glossy ibis, Golden plover, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Greylag goose, Herring gull, House martin, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser whitethroat, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little ringed plover, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Nuthatch, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Raven, Red-necked phalarope, Redshank, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Sand martin, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Spoonbill, Spotted redshank, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Tufted duck, Wheatear, Whimbrel, 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: Red-necked phalarope by Jeremy White