Recent sightings from 14 to 20 October 2019

The most visible bird species this week was without any doubt the stonechat. Stonechats could be seen jumping around in the reedbeds, on the paths and along the foreshore in good numbers and were a joy to watch. In general, the salt marshes were busy with little birds and flocks of linnets and reed buntings regularly joined the stonechats and a wheatear on Monday and a whinchat on Sunday could be seen in amongst them as well. Skylarks and meadow pipits were recorded flying over on several days as was a water pipit on Sunday. Long-tailed tits and goldcrest were still around in good numbers and the call of the water rail could not be missed. Starlings started to form small flocks and the first redwings of the season were seen on Wednesday and Friday and were a clear sign that winter is on its way. There were still traces of summer as well with some swallows hanging around by the end of the week and common darter, migrant hawker and red admiral were still on the wing in good numbers. With all the dragonflies in the air, it maybe wasn’t such a big surprise to see a late hobby feasting on them on Friday. Bearded reedlings were recorded on Thursday and Friday and this week brought also a surprise return of another of our reedbed favourites, the bittern, which could be seen flying over the reedbeds on Friday and Saturday. With shelduck, curlew and wigeon the usual suspects were around on the coast and on Wednesday a snipe and a whimbrel joined them. Marsh harriers were spotted regularly as was a sparrowhawk whilst a female merlin was one again seen at Goldcliff on Saturday. A stock dove on Thursday and a kingfisher on Sunday were other great sightings on the reserve. Another highlight was definitely the otter which could be spotted on Friday and Saturday. Especially Friday turned out to be a great day for rare sightings with otter, bittern, hobby and bearded reedling all being recorded despite it being a wild, wet and windy day on which you wouldn’t get your hopes of any good sightings too high. It just shows once again, that the wetlands are well worth a visit regardless of the weather conditions.

Halloween is around the corner and on Monday 28th October and Wednesday 30th October Wild Things at Halloween will take over the wetlands. Spooktacular activities such as den building, mini-beast hunting or smelly potions will get the kids excited. There will also be various drop-in activities going on during the rest of half-term. With the starlings starting to gather slowly but surely, signs are promising for our Soup and Starling events which run every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday throughout November. The event proves to be very popular again and early booking is advisable. Our early morning Dawn Explosion is already fully booked. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Bearded reedling, Bittern, Black swan, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greylag goose, Herring gull, Hobby, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Raven, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock dove, Stonechat, Swallow, Water pipit, Water rail, Wheatear, Whimbrel, Whinchat, 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: Stonechat by Jeremy White