Recent sightings from 27 May to 2 June 2019

More and more orchids appeared all over the reserve with the southern marsh orchid being the most common one but there are also some common spotted orchids and a good number of bee orchids to be found. We are still waiting for pyramidal orchids and marsh helleborine, but the bee orchids are well and truly spectacular. Spectacular is also a fitting description for dragonflies. Amongst others, hairy dragonflies and four-spotted chasers were on the wing in good numbers. When you get a close-up view you can really appreciate their beauty! The wealth of butterflies didn’t go unnoticed by a hobby which made an appearance on Monday. Low pressure weather systems brought good numbers of swifts, house and sand martins as well as swallows hunting over the reedbeds. A common sandpiper, some black-tailed godwits and a late whimbrel were highlights on the mudflats, whilst in the reeds the Savi’s warbler remained the main attraction and was recorded on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Bearded reedlings and Marsh harriers were spotted on several occasions as well and on Friday a peregrine was flying around the tower of the old power station with some lunch in its talons. Common and lesser whitethroat were once again seen regularly this week as was the cuckoo. On Tuesday, a willow warbler was around as well. Goldcliff Lagoons still held a surprisingly big number of dunlin and there was a late wigeon about on Wednesday. Four bar-tailed godwits joined the black-tailed godwits on Saturday, and little ringed plover and avocet were seen with young ones.

It was a very interesting week with regards to moths as well. We had the first sightings of the year of Scarlet tiger moth, cream spotted moth and latticed heath moth. If you want to learn more about moths, then our Moths Walks on 15th June and 16th June might be exactly the right thing for you. On Saturday 8th June our new bronze relief model of the Gwent Levels will finally be revealed by TV presenter and RSPB President Miranda Krestovnikoff. Apart from several walks and talks there will also be an exhibition showcasing displays of artefacts that have been found on the Gwent Levels. Details of all these events can be found on our website:

Avocet, Bar-tailed godwit, Bearded reedling, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common sandpiper, Common whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Cuckoo, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Greylag goose, Herring gull, Hobby, 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, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Sand martin, Savi's warbler, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Sparrowhawk, Swallow, Swift, Tufted duck, Whimbrel, Wigeon, Willow warbler, 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: Four-spotted chaser by Jeremy White