It’s been another beautiful week here, with a nice variety of bird species around including a number of passage migrants. There are still lots of wader species hanging around the lagoons including Ruff, Little Stint and Ringed Plover among others.
Other notable sightings include the passage migrant Tree pipit, and the autumn arrival of Goldcrest and even a Firecrest which was spotted on Tuesday 16th in the poplars near the hide at Uskmouth. What a fantastic little bird! And I really mean little – Goldcrest and Firecrest share the joint honour of being the UK’s smallest bird.
Firecrest in Wiltshire by David Kjaer (rspb-images.com)
On Tuesday 9th there were reports of a brightly coloured bird in the tree near the play area. A few visitors managed to get photos of the bird, and we tentatively identified it as a Turaco – possibly a Hartlaub’s or White-cheeked Turaco but no one is sure! These are birds endemic to sub-Saharan Africa so our visitor was probably an escapee from a private collection somewhere in the UK. The Turaco only stayed at the Wetlands for a day, but the following day we received a phone call saying it had been spotted in Beechwood Park in Newport.
Turaco at Newport Wetlands 09.09.14 - Photo by Jo Jones
Sightings 07.09 to 17.09
Avocet, Bearded tit, Black headed gull, Black tailed godwit, Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue tit, Buzzard, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Common sandpiper, Common snipe, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Curlew sandpiper, Dunlin, Firecrest, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Herring gull, House sparrow, Kestrel, Knot, Lapwing, Little egret, Little grebe, Little owl, Little stint, Long tailed tit, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Osprey, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Raven, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Ruff, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler, Sparrowhawk, Spotted redshank, Swallow, Teal, Tree pipit, Tufted duck, Turnstone, Water rail, Wheatear, Whimbrel, Whinchat, Wigeon, Willow warbler, Wood sandpiper, Wren.
Clouded yellow, Grass snake, Shrill carder bee, Speckled wood, Weasel, Turaco.
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!
Well goodness me, what a week of sightings! On Friday and again on Monday there were reports of an Osprey flying over – migrating back to Africa no doubt. Alas, they weren’t hanging around, so only a lucky few got to spot them.
And of course we’ve had some other interesting sightings this week including the Red Arrows and lots of Merlins and Ospreys (this time it’s aircraft, not birds!) flying over during the NATO summit.
Photo by David Brooks 31/08/2014 at Newport Wetlands
There are lots of waders around at Goldcliff at the moment, including Wood sandpiper, Curlew sandpiper, Little stint, Ruff, and Ringed plover among others.
Raptors have been quite active this week too, with our usual Kestrel by the Visitor Centre, the two Marsh harriers over by the hide, the strange looking white Buzzard over at Goldcliff, Sparrowhawk hunting over the reedbeds, and even a Short-eared owl over the estuary.
Kingfishers have been seen a number of times this week, both on the Scrape by the visitor centre, and up on the reserve by the first viewing screens in the central path.
Kingfisher in Norfolk by Kevin Sawford (rspb-images.com)
It’s not all birds that are exciting me this week though, with a possible otter sighting on Saturday morning by the pontoon bridge!? Only one person saw it and even he wasn’t sure...but still an exciting prospect!
Full list from 25/08 to 07/09
Avocet, Bearded tit, Black headed gull, Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Curlew sandpiper, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great black backed gull, Great crested grebe, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey wagtail, House martin, House sparrow, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knot, Lapwing, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little stint, Long tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Mediterranean gull, Moorhen, Mute swan, Osprey, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pintail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Ruff, Sand martin, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Short eared owl, Shoveler, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Spotted flycatcher, Starling, Stock dove, Swallow, Swift, Teal, Tufted duck, Turnstone, Wheatear, Whimbrel, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Wigeon, Willow warbler, Wood pigeon, Wood sandpiper, Wren, Yellow wagtail.
Bank vole, Brimstone, Cinnabar moth, Clouded Yellow, Comma, Common blue (butterfly), Common carder bee, Common darter, Gatekeeper, Hare, Large white (butterfly), Otter (possible), Porpoise, Rabbit, Red admiral, Speckled wood, Tortoiseshell, Weasel.
Wildlife sightings 8th – 24th August 2014
In the last blog we talked about transitional periods and how seasonal changes affect nature and the movements and migrations of animals. A suggestion that autumn passage migrants would soon arrive was soon followed by the arrival of Dunlin and Knot on the foreshore, as well as Ruff in their less colourful (non breeding) attire.
Post breeding dispersal means that unfortunately we have said goodbye to some of our summer visitors including swifts. For now, their close relatives swallows, sand martins and house martins are still here but it will not be long before they too make the long and tiring journey back to sub-Saharan Africa.
As we say goodbye to some, we say hello to others and welcome redstart, whinchat, wheatear, tree pipit and willow warbler. After breeding in upland areas like mid Wales, they will stop off at Newport Wetlands to rest and refuel before heading to central and southern Africa to spend the winter months basking in the glorious sunshine. It’s alright for some! We wish them good luck.
If you want to see redstart at the reserve, your best chance of seeing them is in the wooded areas. Wheatear and whinchat usually hang out on the rocky areas between the coast path and the estuary. Keep your eyes on the trees and hedgerows as you approach the visitor centre to catch a glimpse of a willow warbler or tree pipit.
Redstart by Nigel Blake (rspb-images.com)
Whinchat Steve Knell (rspb-images.com)
Tree pipit David Tipling (rspb-images.com)
Avocet, Bar-tailed godwit, Bearded tit, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great crested grebe, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, House martin, House sparrow, Kestrel, Knot, Lapwing, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Redstart, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Ruff, Sand martin, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Teal, Tufted duck, Turnstone, Water rail, Wheatear, Whimbrel, Whitethroat, Willow warbler, Wood warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellow wagtail.
Mammals, butterflies, moths and the like:
Bank vole, Brown hawker, Clouded yellow, Comma, Common blue, Common frog, Common lizard, Common newt, Common toad, Common white, Field digger wasp, Fox, Gatekeeper, Large white, Magpie moth, Meadow brown, Mole, Painted lady, Peacock butterfly, Rabbit, Red admiral, Ruddy darter, Shrew, Shrill carder bee, Small skipper, Small tortoiseshell, Small white, Speckled wood, Stoat, Weasel, Wood white butterfly.