Recent sightings from 09 to 15 September 2019

Once again, the passerines/perching birds took centre stage and produced the one or the other truly exciting sighting this week. Wheatear remained a common sight along the coast, both at Newport Wetlands and at Goldcliff lagoons. Whilst sedge and reed warbler only allowed short glimpses, the Cetti’s warblers were singing loudly even at the beginning of the week with inclement weather conditions. Long-tailed tits and blackcaps could be seen in good numbers across the reserve and Friday brought a rare sighting of a firecrest close to the woodland area. Stonechat and linnet were on the move as were plenty of swallows and house martins. The bearded reedlings were quite active and were seen or heard most days. Another of our most popular birds – the brightly coloured kingfisher – was also recorded on several occasions this week and was often seen from the first viewing screens on the way towards the lighthouse. Other highlights amongst the songbirds at Goldcliff lagoons were whinchat, yellow wagtail and redstart. Saturday turned out to be a great day for migratory passerines at Goldcliff with willow, wood and garden warbler being seen as well as spotted flycatcher and – as the highlight of the day – a woodlark. Goldcliff lagoons were a good place for waders as well. Knot, ruff and greenshank were around for most of the week. On Tuesday a turnstone was recorded and on Saturday an avocet. Gadwalls continued to take over the lagoons at Newport Wetlands and curlew and shelduck could be seen in good numbers along the mudflats. Water rails started to be more vocal again and could be heard from the reedbeds over which the marsh harrier was patrolling at times. Lots of dragonflies filled the air and many of the migrant hawkers were in tandem flight. There were also still a lot of butterflies on the wing once it got warmer during the end of the week. Holy blue, clouded yellow, painted lady and a huge number of small whites were joined by comma, small skipper and red admiral. For the first time in a long while a bittern could be spotted flying over the reeds on Thursday which proved once again that you never know what you are going to see when going out for a stroll.

On Saturday, 21st September, kids can come along to our Bird Feeder Day and make simple feeders themselves. In October we will have a look at the birdlife in autumn during our Autumn Birdwatching Guided Walk on 16th. If you are interested in an introduction in writing, don’t miss our event Writing in the Wild by Lucy Christopher on 19th. At the end of the months we offer Wild Things at Halloween during half-term with lots of nature based creepy crafts and frightful fun. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Avocet, Bearded reedling, Bittern, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Common whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Firecrest, Gadwall, Garden warbler, Glossy ibis, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green sandpiper, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Greylag goose, Herring gull, House martin, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Raven, Redstart, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Ruff, Sand martin, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Spotted flycatcher, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, Teal, Tufted duck, Turnstone, Water rail, Wheatear, Whinchat, Wigeon, Willow warbler, Wood warbler, Woodlark, Woodpigeon, Wren and Yellow wagtail.

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: Firecrest by Ben Andrew (