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.
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!
Recent sightings 29th July to 7th August
As the breeding season draws to a close and the adult birds and fledglings disperse around the reserve and further afield, it becomes quite difficult to find what you’re looking for during transitional periods. Have no fear, there are signs of autumn passage migrants already and before you know it the winter migrants will be here as well, eeek! Did I just say that?! Putting thoughts of winter to one side, I bring you more fantastic news from the world of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). Sightings continue to increase and this week included a Brown argus butterfly, Latticed heath moth, Shaded broad-bar moth, and six-belted clearwing moth. The clearwing was a particularly nice find. Even though locally distributed in the southern half of Britain, in a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as Nationally Scarce B.
Six belted clearwing moth - Richard Revels (rspb-images.com)
Avocet, Bearded tit, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Blue tit, Buzzard, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Common sandpiper, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Grasshopper warbler, Great crested grebe, Great spotted woodpecker, Green sandpiper, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey wagtail, Hobby, House martin, House sparrow, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little owl, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Raven, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Sand martin, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Shelduck, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Tufted duck, Whitethroat, Willow warbler, Yellow wagtail.
Butterflies, moths, mammals and other creepy crawlies:
Ants, Brown argus, Cabbage white, Cinnabar caterpillar moth, Common blue damselfly, Gatekeeper, Grasshopper, Ladybird, Latticed heath moth, Painted lady, Rabbit, Shaded broadbar moth, Six-belted clearwing moth, Soldier beetle, Spider, Stickleback, Stoat, Water boatman, Water scorpion, Water snail.
Just a quick update on the sightings from last week:
A bittern was spotted on Wednesday of last week, briefly in flight between the lagoon in front of the hide, and the lagoon at the “dead end” in the copse. It was only reported on this one day though...but it’s a great sign, and hopefully in the future will be a regular sighting!
A treecreeper was seen in the copse on Sunday, which isn’t particularly unusual but is a nice one to spot, one of my favourite birds.
Treecreeper by Steve Knell (rspb-images.com)
There are still lots of insects around, and butterflies in particular are drawing a lot of interest. The Big Butterfly Count is ongoing until 10th August, so I encourage you to take part, it just takes 15 minutes to record any that you see.
Here's the full list of sightings:
Avocet, Bar tailed godwit, Bearded tit, Bittern, Black headed gull, Black tailed godwit, Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue tit, Buzzard, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cuckoo (j), Curlew, Garganey, Goldfinch, Great crested grebe, Great spotted woodpecker, Green sandpiper, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey wagtail, Herring gull, Hobby, House sparrow, Knot, Lesser whitethroat, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little owl, Little ringed plover, Little stint, Long tailed tit, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Mediterranean gull, Moorhen, Mute swan, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ruff, Sand martin, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Song thrush, Swallow, Treecreeper, Tufted duck, Wheatear, Whinchat, Willow warbler, Wren, Yellow wagtail.
Blue-tailed damselfly, Cabbage white, Clouded yellow, Comma, Common blue butterfly, Common blue dragonfly, Common darter, Dragonfly larvae, Essex skipper, Gatekeeper, Great pond snail, Green veined white, Holly blue, Large white, Latticed heath moth, Marbled white, Meadow brown, Morning glory plume moth, Peacock butterfly, Rabbit, Red admiral, Ringlet, Small skipper, Small tortoiseshell, Soldier beetle, Speckled wood, Stickleback, Water vole, Water boatman, Water scorpion, Weasel.