With the Spring migration in full flow, Newport Wetlands is blessed to have a fantastic variety of Warblers at this time of year. Not forgetting our residents that are here all year round of course such as the Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Cetti’s (pronounced Chetty) Warbler.
But joining our resident friends this month from their long and sometimes dangerous journey from Africa across Europe are some of their courageous cousins. In the past week’s sightings, the following have been spotted: Reed warblers, Sedge warblers, Common whitethroat, Lesser whitethroat, Grasshopper warbler and Willow warbler.
Other notable sightings from the past week were the high volume of butterflies now at the reserve with Holly blue, Peacock, Brimstone, Red admiral, Speckled wood, Orange tip, Green-veined white, Small white, Common blue and Small tortoiseshell all fluttering around.
A lonesome Garganey drake has been seen daily since Friday and what started as one Common crane has now turned into two it seems. Hmm...let me clarify, there is now a pair of Common cranes. The one did not morph into two! As previously stated by Lisa, it is likely that the cranes are releases from the Great Crane Project in Somerset.
Garganey by David Tipling (rspb-images.com)
Avocet, Bar-headed goose, Bearded tit, Blackcap, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Buzzard (pale morph), Canada goose, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Cuckoo, Curlew, Dunlin, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Golden plover, Goldfinch, Grasshopper warbler, Great crested grebe, Great crested grebe, Great tit, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey plover, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser whitethroat, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pochard, Raven, Redstart, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Ruff, Sand martin, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Skylark, Song thrush, Spotted redshank, Stock dove, Swallow, Teal, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wheatear, Whitethroat, Willow warbler, Wren, Yellow wagtail.
Butterflies and other wildlife:
Brimstone, Common blue, Green-veined white, Holly blue, Orange tip, Peacock, Red admiral, Small tortoiseshell, Small white, Speckled wood.
Bumblebees, Grass snake, House spider, Smooth newt, Water snail, Weasel.
A few great sightings over the last week on the reserve, including a Cuckoo on Friday, and Reed warbler, Sedge warbler, and Lesser whitethroat towards the end of the week. Also a Common crane was spotted flying over Goldcliff way twice, which is most likely a release from the Great Crane Project over in Somerset. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if a crane made it’s home at Newport Wetlands?
Common Crane by Nic k Upton (rspb-images.org.uk)
There are already Mallard chicks around, and various other birds are on the nest including the Mute swans and Canada geese which have been seen getting a bit fighty on the reserve.
Every day we've been seeing more and more swallows and martins around here, but none have used the sand martin boxes yet!
Sedge warbler by David Tipling
Also keep your eyes peeled for butterflies when you're out and about as there's lots of different species to spot.
That's all for this week! Remember we've got family activities on all Easter holidays if you're popping down with kids in tow.
Blackcaps, Wheatears and Redstarts.
This morning, if you walked from the car park to the visitor centre you may well have been greeted with the pleasantries of Blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla. In fact, one visitor did question the call, saying it was different to the calls he hears at Ham Wall. A variation in regional dialect perhaps?
At 13cm they are slightly smaller than House sparrows and are so called because of their distinctive black head above their eyes. But did you know that the female actually has a chestnut red cap rather than the black colour sported by the male?
Hedgerows and woodland areas of the reserve are the most likely places to see them.
Blackcap male, Roger Tidman (rspb-images.com)
Blackcap female, Tony Hamblin (rspb-images.com)
A summer visitor to our shores is the Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe and at Newport Wetlands they are particularly keen on the tables in the picnic area. Another favourite area of the reserve is the rocks along the foreshore so look out for a bird that is a touch larger than a robin with a grey back, yellow breast with black wings and eye mask with the 'flash' of their white rump as they fly between perching.
Wheatears spend winter in Africa, including the ones that breed in Canada and Greenland (spp. Leucorhoa) therefore are considered among the world’s real long-distance migrants.
Wheatear, Nigel Blake (rspb-images.com)
With only two sightings this week it is a bit of a tease but on the topic of Summer visitors, there are currently Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus on site. This majestic species tends to be seen on passage as it makes its way through to its preferred breeding habitat of broad leafed woodland.
Avocets, Bearded tit, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Buzzard, Canada goose, Cetti's Warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great crested grebe, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey plover, House sparrow, Kestrel, Knot, Lapwing, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Mallard, Meadow pipit, Merlin, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pintail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Redstart, Reed bunting, Ringed Plover, Sand martins, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Song thrush, Spotted redshank, Swallow, Teal, Tufted duck, Wheatear, Willow warbler, Wren.