Newport Wetlands

Newport Wetlands

Newport Wetlands
Do you love the Newport Wetlands? Share your thoughts with the community. Or if you're thinking about visiting and would like to find out more, ask away!

Newport Wetlands

  • Smitten with the Bittern and colourful waders

    Smitten with the Bittern and colourful waders

    This week I am asking for your help on a few topics.  The first is related to wildlife sightings at Newport Wetlands.  Lately we have received some sightings of bittern on the reserve which is great news.  However, what would really help us is a photo of said bird to guarantee a positive identification, a good description of the location and an idea of its behaviour.  As with all bird sightings, if it’s rare take a photo and show us in the visitor centre.  The most common confusion species here is a female pheasant so here are some photos to try show the difference:

    Bittern by Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)

    Bittern in flight by John Bridges (rspb-images.com)

    Bittern close up by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    Pheasant female by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    Flying Female Pheasant II by WojciechGrzyb

    The second favour to ask is regarding the home ranges of waders between Newport and Cardiff.  The BTO and WWT are monitoring three species of wader (Curlew, redshank and dunlin) and shelduck along the Severn estuary.  If you see any of these species with coloured leg rings or dye-marked feathers can you please report them.  More info here:

    http://www.bto.org/news-events/news/2016-01/new-project-unravel-how-waterbirds-use-severn-estuary?dm_i=IG4,3YN9B,5MFI7Y,EASJD,1

    The third and final thing is about the Big Garden Birdwatch.  It’s this weekend so do it!  If you don’t have a garden you can do it in your local park or you can come to Newport Wetlands and take part in our events.

    Follow this link to see our events:

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/events.aspx

     

    Full list of bird sightings 22/01/16 to 28/01/16

    Bearded tit, Bittern, Blackbird, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin,  Dunnock,  Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great crested grebe, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey wagtail, Greylag goose, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser redpoll, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Siskin, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren.

    Mammals

    Fox, Otter, Rabbit, Weasel.

     Full list of bird sightings 15/01/16 to 21/01/16

    Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey plover, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Shoveler, Siskin, Snipe, Song thrush, Spotted redshank, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, 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!

  • Short-eared owls

    There have been some great sightings of birds of prey over the past view weeks, with the kestrel and marsh harrier often seen over the scrape, offering a great display to enjoy whilst having coffee and cake in the warm and cosy cafe! Another frequent sighting recently has been the short-eared owl, which might sound unlikely. However, this owl commonly hunts in the daytime, particularly around dawn and dusk. It regularly perches on the ground, or a post or bush, making it easier to spot than its more stealthy relations. Although they can be solitary, it is not unknown for them to gather together in roosts, occasionally mixing with long-eared owls.

    The copse has been a good area for sighting woodland birds such as siskins, lesser redpolls and treecreepers. Further around the trail you might see flocks of fieldfares and redwings feeding on berries along the hedgerow by the tree line. There are also lots of lovely garden birds to watch back at the cafe, hopping between feeders, providing a great opportunity to practise your ID skills before the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of the month.

    There are two events during the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend here at Newport Wetlands.  On Saturday 30 January families are invited to come and do a quiz and trail, and make bird feeders, to prepare to do the survey back at home.  On Sunday morning, 31 January, there is a guided walk looking for garden birds in different areas of the reserve.  More info can be found on our events page.

    Short-eared owl

    Recent bird sightings 8 Jan to 14 Jan

    Bearded tit, Blackbird, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch,Grey heron, Hen harrier, Herring gull, House sparrow, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser redpoll, Linnet, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Pheasant,Pied wagtail, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Siskin,Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat,Teal, Treecreeper,Tufted duck, Water rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon andWren.

    Other species

    Otter

    Recent bird sightings 1 Jan to 7 Jan

    Bearded tit, Blackbird, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Hen harrier, House sparrow, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Linnet, Little grebe,Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pochard, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Siskin, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon and Wren.

    Other species

    Fox

    Grass snake

     

    Recent bird sightings 23 Dec to 31 Dec

    Bar-tailed godwit, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Greater black-backed gull, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Hen harrier, House
    sparrow, Kestrel, Lapwing, Linnet, Little grebe, Little owl, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Merlin, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pintail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Shoveler, Siskin, Snipe, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon and Wren,

     

    Recent bird sightings 16 Dec to 22 Dec

    Despite the awful weather, it seems the Wetlands provide a welcome home or stopover for a diverse range of birds as evidenced by this week’s sightings diary.

    Blue tit, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Hen harrier, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Pheasant, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Shoveler, Sparrowhawk, Stonechat, Treecreeper, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon and Wren.

    Other species

    Otter, Gorse flowering, Pussy willow and Daisy.

    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!

  • Pirates Ahoy!

    It’s been a busy few weeks with the starlings providing some spectacular displays during November, but numbers have dwindled rapidly over the past few weeks, possibly due to the terrible weather. Despite flocks of up to 60,000 birds here at the wetlands it was shocking to discover that since 1969 the population has fallen by 80% and in the past 15 years the number has halved, making it a recent Red List species. However, supporting our events or becoming a member of the RSPB is a fantastic way to help fund research and provide solutions to halt this decline and make starlings a common garden visitor once again.

    In the previous few weeks we’ve had sightings of some unusual species off the coast path, including a Great skua –a pirate of the high seas! As they migrate to our northern most shores from Spain and Africa they can be seen in passage around coasts, often in the neighbourhood of seabird colonies, scavenging from other birds, or picking food from the surface of the sea.

     

    Great skua by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    Closer to the visitor centre was a stunning display from a Marsh harrier hunting over the scrape. The coots and mallards carried on regardless, but the snipe got a fright and was flushed out from the reeds. Another bird of prey that has been seen recently was a ringtail hen harrier. This term is used to describe immature and female birds who have a white rump and long barred tail. They are seen here more frequently in the winter as they fly down from the upland moors to look for food along the coastal marshes.

    Marsh harrier by Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)

    The great spotted woodpecker has also been paying frequent visits to our bird feeder, offering a lovely view from the cafe window. It's easy to tell the sexes apart, as only the male has the patch of scarlet on the back of the neck. Young birds can be easily recognised by their scarlet caps which they lose as soon as they moult into adult plumage. Other garden birds that you can see on the feeders whilst enjoying a cappuccino and a piece of cake are the lovely little coal tits. Coal tits have a few call notes; most often is a buzzy, ‘tuu tee tuu e’ which is repeated. The song is a loud repeated trill, similar to its cousin the Great tit who has an unmistakable call of ’pitchoo pitchoo pitchoo pitchoo.’

     

    Recent bird sightings 9 Dec – 15 Dec

    Blackbird, Blue tit, Brambling, Bullfinch, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Merlin, Moorhen, Mute swan, Pheasant, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Stonechat, Teal, Tufted duck, Water rail, Whooper swan, Wigeon, Woodpigeon and Wren.

    Starling murmurations

    For most of the week there were sightings of only a handful of starlings, 25 to 100 at the most. One day there was a mini roost, but it seems like we have seen the best of the spectacle for this year.

    Recent bird sightings 2 Dec – 8 Dec

    Blackbird, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Herring gull,House sparrow, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Linnet, Little egret, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Pheasant, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Siskin, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon and Wren.

    Starling murmurations

    There has been a rapid decline in the murmerations this week, it seems that the persistent bad weather has final been too much for the starlings and they have had to move to a less exposed site.

    Recent bird sightings 25 Nov – 1 Dec

    Bearded tit, Blackbird, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Hen harrier, House sparrow, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lapwing,  Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Pheasant, Pochard, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Shoveler, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, Teal, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon and Wren.

    Other species

    Otter, Rabbit

    Starling murmurations

    Weather has been very wet and windy which may have affected the starling gatherings. Murmurations have been patchy this week at best, with lower starling numbers and showings. But numbers were still around 20,000.

    Recent bird sightings 18 Nov to 24 Nov

    Despite the awful weather, it seems the Wetlands provide a welcome home or stopover for a diverse range of birds as evidenced by this week’s sightings diary.

    Bittern, Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue tit, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cattle egret, Cetti's warbler ,Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot ,Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great skua ,Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Grey Plover ,House sparrow, Jay ,Kestrel, Lapwing, Linnet, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Merlin, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Shoveler, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk ,Spotted redshank ,Starling, Stock dove, Stonechat, Teal, Treecreeper, Water rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon and Wren.

    Other species

    Weasel, grass snake

    Starling murmurations

    Varied considerably across the week with estimates between 20,000 and 60,000

    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!