Recent sightings from 28 January to 03 February 2019

In a week in which Winterwatch spoilt us on the telly with some great footage from the Cairngorms National Park, the Newport Wetlands were the location for its very own Winterwatch with lots of joyful moments, snow, and animal stars. On Tuesday the Short-eared owl made another appearance, this time right next to the visitor centre. The Little owl was still around this week as well and on Wednesday and Sunday even two of them showed themselves nicely. Amongst the rarer feathered visitors this week were a Brambling in amongst the flocks of Chaffinches on Wednesday, a Scaup on Tuesday and some Knots on Monday as well as four Common sandpipers on the mudflats on Saturday. On Friday morning the wetlands were covered in a layer of snow which allowed some detective work. We ended up with a good “track record” as there were not only tracks of Rabbits and Foxes in the snow, but also of Badgers, Hares and Otters. Our car park Kestrel allowed close-up views on the same day as well and several Pied wagtails came very close to some of our visitors. The snow seemed to be less welcomed by the Snipe on the scrape in front of the café, as its otherwise perfect camouflage didn’t work against the white backdrop, while the Bittern tested its ice-skating skills when coming out of the reeds on Sunday. The Glossy ibis was still to be seen on the Goldcliff lagoons on Saturday and Sunday morning alongside Avocets, Barnacle geese, up to five White-fronted geese, a Skylark and a Black redstart. The wintery weather brought lots of birds to the feeders once again and it was a lovely moment when a boy saw his first ever Goldfinch which filled him with excitement and rightly so. With all its colourful patterns it is every bit as exotic as a parakeet or parrot and visits our parks and gardens, filling them with bright colours especially in the dark winter times. If that isn’t a reason to get excited, then I don’t know what is.

Bittern, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Brambling, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greylag goose, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Knot, 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, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Scaup, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Shoveler, Siskin, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Stonechat, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted duck, 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: Goldfinch by Jeremy White