Pics from Newport Wetlands - 1st Merlin.

Took a trip to Newport Wetlands today. Started off at Goldcliff Lagoons part of the reserve and it was nowhere near as muddy as last time I was there. High tide had been about half an hour before I got there, so there were plenty of birds in the lagoons.Amazingly it was colder in the first hide than it was outdoors(-:).

A Snipe in the open

Little Egret

Spotted Redshank and Teal.

Joined by a Greenshank.

The Spotted Redshank continued to follow the Greenshank about until the Greenshank chased it off and then relocated itself.

Grey Heron

first sight of the female Merlin - my first ever Merlin in the wild. A long way off but had some good views through the scope.

The Merlin put these up and flew in under them - surely these Black Tailed Godwits are a bit bifg for a Merlin?

Merlin again after that fly through

The Godwits having settled in a different pool.

A Pied Wagtail on the way to the next hide.

There were also Meadow Pipits, Filedfare and Redwing but they kept between me an the sun as well as constantly flitting off.

Another Black tailed Godwit.

This Little Egret managed to put up some Snipe - first time I've mabanged Snipe in flight that aren't justa blur!

The Snipe didn't go far(-:)

Ordinary Redshank

A couple of Avocet and a Shoveler.

Merlin again in a different area.

A Buzzard turns up.

Time to leave the lagoons and off into Newport wetlands centre itself.No sign of the Little owl in their usual spots, so round onto the foreshore. Unfortunately by this time the tide was reasonably well out and, as ever with Newport. you look and shoot into the sun (if there is any).

Hda a fascinating time watching a large flock of Dunlin, settling, lifting off, wheeling, settling again - it didn't seem as if there was anything putting them up. They were closer than I have ever seen them before though, but still not near enough(-:).

A Small Tortoiseshell

Oystercatcher, with a very muddy bill.

lots of Curlew, this was the closest

There wasn't a great deal else going on on the reserve: some fleeting glimpses of Reed Bunting, only a few Pochard, Tufted Ducks Coots and Moorhens on the pools and not a sniff of a Bearded Tit. According to the sightings book there had been no sign of the Little Owls all day but I made one last visit just before going back to the visitor centre. Still no sign of them.

As I left I decided to try one l;ast look for the Little Owls by gloing along the path on outside of the edge of the reserve - this path passes behind the trees that the Owls usually roost on but unfortunately when looking at the trees you are usually looking into the sun. However, it was worth the trip. They were bothe there, sitting in different trees and it was easy to see why they hadn't been visible from the other side. A perfect end to the day(-:)

Cheers,

Bob

Birding Blog here.

Flickr photos here.

  • Bob, both Limpy and I think your photos are beautiful and have the WOW factor!  We're so pleased you saw the Merlin - it's a bird which is regularly seen around here, just not by us!  Yet.  You obviously had a great day but to come home with pictures like this are such a bonus.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • In reply to bob's_retired_now:

    Hi Bob Great pics,and spotting the Merlin and little owls must have made your day,it would have mine.

    Looks like you had a good time all in all with loads to see.

    thanks for posting Bob.

    Des

  • In reply to bonsaiman:

    Super pictures bob, the egrets are lovely and a Merlin is a bird i'd love to see.

    www.andrewa.zenfolio.com

  • In reply to Plover:

    Bob, Great images :-)

    and don't worry about wastage, I'm doing well if I keep one in ten of the shots I take, and I'll only share One in ten of those, on-line. It's the name of the game, especially with wildlife photography.

    At least it's possible to do in this digital age, imagine the costs involved if we were still working with Film!!!

    Best regards
    Nigel

    | My Images |  Newport Wetlands on Flickr @barman58

  • In reply to barman58:

    barman58 said:
    At least it's possible to do in this digital age, imagine the costs involved if we were still working with Film!!!

    Not to mention the patience required in waiting for development - we're all spoiled now Nigel - thank goodness!!!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • My goodness, Bob, you are certainly ranging far and wide with your birding trips. What a variety of birds you are seeing and a cracking set of photos. You'll be rivalling Seymour with your bird list at this rate.

    Nice to see the Spotshank and the Greenshank feeding together. Great shot of the Curlew in flight too. Well done with the Merlin. I've only ever seen one and that was in Iceland of all places.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    We were all more patient then,

    I started out with Slide Film, and had to ration my usage, I would probably take two rolls of film with me for a day's shoot, that's 72 or so images, and possibly have shots remaining at the end of the day.

    Then when you finally finished you waited for a week or so for the slides to return.

    Then you'd probably keep about half of them.

    Now I think nothing of shooting the equivalent of two rolls of film on a single subject or even more, (if something special is in front of me I have been known to fill a memory card, (250+ images), in a few minutes).

    The fact that we have the ability to "waste" images has, I think vastly improved the quality of images that we see

    Best regards
    Nigel

    | My Images |  Newport Wetlands on Flickr @barman58

  • In reply to doggie:

    What an amazing set of photos Bob with so many birds, I was spoilt for choice !    I've never seen a Merlin before and the Tortoiseshell butterfly was beautiful,  very well done and thanks for such an interesting post.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Forgot to say what great pics B_r_n but just one thing, get that Oyster-Catcher to clean his bill LOL !!!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to bob's_retired_now:

    Typical Merlin poise using a fence post as a lookout,get similar views on our local reserve in winter.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can