Thornbury

Newport Wetlands

U3A Birdwatching Visit to Newport Wetlands Aug 12 2019
After a very wet and windy weekend the forecast for Newport promised light breezes , some sunshine and little chance of any rain. Good weather for birding and, happily, it proved to be correct.
Our party of ten gathered at the RSPB Reserve Reception Centre to sign in. As most of us were RSPB members the staff kindly arranged free admission for us all and gave us a brief introduction to the Reserve, during which it was mentioned that, at this time of the year the reed beds were somewhat overgrown, and whilst they contained a lot of birds, it was difficult to see them! Mention was also made of a spot at which a family of otters could frequently be seen – unfortunately not by us today though. During the talk it was suggested that we would probably fare better at the Goldcliff Lagoons, which we had planned to visit on our way home.
Setting off on our usual circuit of the Reserve It was evident that the number of birds present on the open tracts of water was fewer than we would normally expect to see, but Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Mallards, Tufted Duck, Little Egret, Mute Swan, Canada and Greylag Geese and Heron were seen.
Despite it being low tide there were few waders or gulls on the foreshore, though some Curlews were a welcome sight. Also present were Herring and Black-headed gulls.
We did have a very enjoyable walk, and in fact, did manage to see, albeit fleetingly, several small birds, including House Sparrows, Reed Warbler, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Long-tailed Tits, and a high light, Sedge Warbler. Overhead Raven, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Kestrel, Cormorant and Swallow were spotted. Notably this must be our first visit to this Reserve without recording a Cettis Warbler.
After lunching at the picnic tables near the centre we made the short drive to Goldcliff in anticipation of adding to our list from the hides overlooking the lagoons. We were not to be disappointed with numerous birds to be seen on and around the lagoons. Highlights included a Black Swan, Great White and Little Egrets, a very large flock of Black-tailed Godwits, which also contained several Knot and Dunlin. Also present was a Lapwing, several Canada Geese and Black-headed Gulls, and a Kestrel flew low over the hides. Further around on the Severn foreshore our list was completed with several Oystercatchers. A good end to another enjoyable days bird watching.
Species List (RSPB Reserve and Goldcliff Lagoons)

Magpie Herring Gull Mallard Moorhen Mute Swan
Canada Goose Swallow Curlew Little Egret
Robin Buzzard Oyster Catcher Long-tailed Tit Carrion Crow
Raven Black Swan Little Grebe Black-tailed Godwit Lapwing
Coot Knot Pied Wagtail Cormorant Great White Egret
Dunlin Kestrel Tufted Duck Reed Warbler Sedge Warbler
Black-headed Gull House Sparrow Greylag Goose Shelduck

33 Species ED