Recent sightings from 07 to 13 October 2019

It was a wet week at Newport Wetlands which brought some rather unpleasant weather conditions which weren’t perfect for birdwatching. However, there were still plenty of nice sightings. Flocks of long-tailed tits were jumping around all over the reserve and brought a ray of sunshine to many a grey day. In amongst them you could regularly find goldcrests and chiffchaffs. Stonechats were a regular sight in the reedbeds and along the seawall and sometimes small groups of up to five of them could be spotted. Water rails added a pre-Halloween feel to the reedbeds with their unusual calls and there was also a lot of “pinging” going on. A flock of bearded reedlings could be heard on Wednesday and Sunday, a pair was spotted on Thursday and no less than seven came close to the path on Saturday and allowed some great close-up views. The mudflats were dominated by curlews and shelducks and there was also a redshank around on Tuesday. Gadwalls remained the most numerous duck in the lagoons, but there was the occasional teal in amongst them. Little grebes also were once again a regular and during the weekend one came back to the scrape and could be seen from the café windows. Flocks of linnets could be seen on the salt marsh and some wigeon were along the water’s edge. On Thursday a mixed flock of knots and black-tailed godwits was spotted flying over the reserve. Highlights on a rainy Sunday were a snipe on the foreshore and a late redstart trying to stay out of the rain. Despite of the weather conditions, birds of prey were quite active all week long. Kestrel, sparrowhawk, buzzard and up to two marsh harriers could be recorded on the reserve and a female merlin was resident at Goldcliff lagoons from Wednesday onward and was joined by a peregrine on Saturday. Great spotted woodpeckers made regular appearances on the bird feeders and were a favourite with our visitors as they could be spotted from inside without getting wet…

There is still some last-minute availability on our Autumn Birdwatching Guided Walk on Wednesday 16th October on which we will be looking at birds in the reedbeds and along the coast. At the end of this month we run our event Wild Things at Halloween on Monday 28th October and Wednesday 30th October which has something to offer for all kids interested in spooktacular activities such as den building, mini-beast hunting or smelly potions. There will also be various activities going on during the rest of half-term. Our Soup and Starling events throughout November (every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) are filling up quickly, so early booking is advisable to avoid disappointment. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Bearded reedling, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Knot, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Merlin, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Redshank, Redstart, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, Teal, Water rail, 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: Long-tailed tit by Jeremy White