Lovely view late afternoon of a Rock Pipit feeding amongst the sea weed on the mud between the Millenium bridge and the town bridge in Newport.
It was a pleasure to lead a walk today for a group from Brecon as part of our walks series. There were twelve in the group and we parked in the Dragons Head Llangenny for a circular walk. Thanks here to George and Karen (the proprietors) for the excellent food and allowing us to use the car park. They can be contacted via
We began seeing small groups of Siskins flying about as were Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Blackbirds, Crows and Woodpigeons. Following the edge of the river gave us good views of the local Dipper. Several Alder trees had Common Ganoderma and Turkey Tail fungi growing on them. Several clumps of Woodpigeon remains were also found.
Redwings were plentiful and a Great Spotted Woodpecker perched at the top of an Ash tree. Jay, Dunnock, Magpies, Rooks and Long Tailed Tits were feeding. A Grey Heron flew overhead and a Common Buzzard flew across the valley. A Fieldfare was heard only.
Navelwort, Southern Polypody Fern and Herb Robert was pointed out and the whole group was mesmerised by the huge Sweet Chestnut tree with its 22ft girth. The Dipper was watched again from the adjacent bridge where Green Spleenwort Fern and Ivy Leaved Toadflax were alos pointed out.
Making our way back to the pub we stopped to watch a Mistle Thrush feeding in a field, some Goldfinches and a pair of Pied Wagtails which were on a roof. It was a pleasant easy going walk of about two miles and much enjoyed by the group.
A beautiful afternoon with 56 species seen starting with Starlings aerial feeding, Crows, Chaffinch, Magpies, Goldfinches, Moorhens, Robins, Blackbirds, Woodpigeon, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Jackdaws, Common Buzzards (2), Grey Herons (2) and Mallards.
From the first hide was 14 Black Tailed Godwits, 396 Wigeon, Teal, 539 Lapwing, 1 Spotted Redshank, 91 Dunlin, Meadow Pipits, 3 Little Egrets, 2 Shelduck, 37 Common Snipe, 44 Shoveler, 2 Curlews, a female Kestrel hunting, Herring Gulls, 6 Avocets and Long Tailed Tits feeding in some bushes.
From the viewing platform were 10 Common redshanks, a pair of Pintail, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, Black Headed Gulls, 1 Greenshank and 6 Gadwall.
Along the sea wall were 24 Pied Wagtails feeding with a male Stonechat close by on the fence. On the mudflats were 2 Oystercatchers, Raven, 6 Turnstone, 144 Canada Geese and 1 Greylag Goose on the water, 960 Knot and a small group of House Sparrows feeding on the rocks. En-route back to the car park was a Collard Dove, Fieldfares, Wren, Stock Dove and a Goldcrest.
Whilst Christmas shopping today, we noticed a Plane tree adjacent to Debenhams in Bath city centre which had numerous Pied Wagtails landing in this one tree to roost.
They started to come in from about 5.15pm and there must have been in excess of 250 birds - an amazing sight. Loads of shoppers were stopping to look and take photos.
A walk to conduct a risk assessment prior to the actual walk on Tuesday noted the following species.
Crows, Robin, Dunnock, Blue Tits, Woodpigeons, Chaffinch, Jackdaw, Wren, Nuthatch, a pair of Dippers feeding along the river, Long Tailed Tits feeding with a Goldcrest, Great Tit, Magpies, Redwings, Blackbirds, Coal Tit, Ravens, Jay, Common Buzzard, Rooks, Pied Wagtail, Goldfinches and House Sparrows.
Windy and cold this morning, but a good variety of birds seen. Finch numbers were impressive with 93 Chaffinches feeding together, and 19 Greenfinches mixed in with Goldfinches and Linnets. Also seen were Crows, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Blue Tits, Fieldfares, Herring Gulls, 115 Common Redshanks and 164 Dunlin together on the inlet, Teal, Black Headed Gulls, a flyover female Kestrel, Magpies, Starlings, Mallards, Redwings, Song Thrush, Robin, Wren, Pied Wagtails, Common Buzzard and a Great Tit.
On the mudflats was a Grey Heron, 4 Little Egrets, Mute Swans, 28 Curlew, 40 Shelduck, 13 Grey Plovers, 296 Wigeon, 215 Knot, 24 Pintail, 2 Black Tailed Godwits, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and a male Peregrine which I watched for over half an hour trying to catch Dunlin and perching for periods of time on the mudflats.
A lovely view this afternoon of a Common Gull perched on the support cables with Black Headed Gulls.
Fifty five species of bird at Goldcliff this afternoon - with the highlight being a beautiful female Hen Harrier quartering the lagoons. She turned up at 3pm and again at 3.25pm. Other species seen included Crows, Chaffinch, Magpies, Long Tailed Tits, Redwings, Woodpigeons, Blue Tits, Wren, Buzzards (3), Blackbirds, Moorhens, Fieldfares, Robin, 4 Little Egrets and Starlings.
From the first hide were 52 Common Snipe all in the open along the edge of the lagoons, 8 Knot, Shelducks, Mallards, numerous Teal and Shovelers, Lapwing, 670 Wigeon, a pair of Spotted Redshanks showing well,1 Common Redshank, Canada Geese, 4 Avocets, Black Headed Gulls, Dunnock and a Grey Wagtail. From the viewoing platofrms were 5 Black Tailed Godwits,a female Kestrel hunting and a Greenfinch.
Feeding along the sea wall were 21 Pied wagtails and 2 Meadow Pipits whilst out on the mud flats were Oystercatchers, Curlews, Herring Gulls, a pair of Cormorants, 17 Grey Plovers, 3 Turnstones, 300+ Knot and Dunlin. Looking out over the far end of the lagoons 3 Pintail a pair of Pochard, Grey Heron and a pair of Ravens were seen.
En-route back to the car park seen a Chiffchaff feeding along a reen, 3 Collard Doves and 2 Great Tits.
Another overwintering Blackcap was found today - this time a fine male in a Machen garden.
A cold clear morning made for an interesting and enjoyable mornings birding at Peterstone Wentloog. The first birds to be seen were Redwings, a pair of Cormorants flying over, Robin, Blue Tit, Pied Wagtails, Woodpigeons, Magpies, 26 Common Redshanks with Teal and a Little Egret on the water, Black Headed Gulls, Crows, Blackbirds, small groups of Starlings, Great Tits, Chaffinches and Jackdaws.
Scanning out from the sea wall over the mudflats gave a pair of Whimbrel feeding close in which was a nice surprise as was a Fox (Vixen) walking out over the mud flats. Also feeding out here were 110 Shelduck, Grey Heron, Mute Swans, 46 Curlew, 47 Oystercatchers, 60 Pintail, Mallards, 32 Shoveler, 175 Wigeon, 299 Knot, 15 Grey Plovers, a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls and a female Peregrine Falcon flying along the sea wall.
Feeding elsewhere were Siskins, Linnets, Goldfinches, Fieldfares, Song Thrush, a female Blackcap feeding with a Chiffchaff (both no doubt overwintering birds), Goldcrest, a pair of Reed Buntings, a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers feeding in a Popular tree, Dunnock, Moorhen, Greenfinches and Long Tailed Tits.
Finally a fine Velvet Shank mushroom was found growing from a tree stump on the foreshore.
There was plenty of bird activity at Goldcliff Lagoons today with 55 species seen starting with numerous Redwings and Fieldfares feeding on Hawthorn berries. Also seen were a Dunnock, Woodpigeons, Blue Tit, Magpie, Pied Wagtails, Starlings, Chaffinches, Mallards, Wren, Robin, Crows, 4 Ravens, 4 Little Egrets, Moorhen, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Goldfinches, Blackbird and a Chiffchaff calling. From the first hide were numerous lapwings and Teal, 4 Avocets, 72 Knot, Shovelers, 5 Common Snipe, 7 Black Tailed Godwits, Canada Geese, 12 Curlews, Buzzards, Black headed Gulls, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, numerous widgeon, linnets, Meadow Pipits, Skylark and a Grey Heron.
From the viewing platofrm were a pair of Tufted Ducks, Kewstrel, 40 Common Redshanks and a Goldcrest feeding very close in a hedge. Out on the mudflats were 12 Oystercatchers, 11 Grey Plovers, 8 Turnstones and a fly-by Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Finally from the third hide was a male Pochard and 3 Pintail with a pair of Mistle Thrushes seen on the way back to the car park.
For your information - A superb adult male is showing very well feeding close to the visitor centre at the Newport Wetlands Reserve.
It is feeding in the reedmace but dissapears for a while after the heavy showers.
There were some horrendous showers today but 41 species were seen with the highlight being a male Merlin hunting over the lagoons. Other species seen included Robin, Long Tailed Tits, Jackdaws, Crows, Blue Tit, Moorhens, Blackbirds, Magpies and a Buzzard.
From the first hide were 5 Avocets, 320 Lapwings, 10 Common Redshanks, 10 Shelduck, 435 Widgeon, numerous Teal, Mallards, 41 Canada Geese, 1 Greenshank, 45 Black Tailed Godwits, 311 Knot, 3 Common Snipe, 2 Little egrets, Starlings, Herring Gulls, Cormorant, Skylark, Meadow Pipits, 1 Curlew and a female Kestrel hunting.
From the viewing platforms were Woodpigeons, Grey Wagtail, Grey Heron, Raven,Linnets, Goldfinches, Chaffinch and Pied Wagtails. Oystercatchers and Black-headedGulls were seen from the sea wall.
At Peterstone today migration seemed to be underway now with 3 Redwings seen and a group of 68 Fieldfares (my first of the autumn). Also seen were several small groups of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Siskins (33) going over, and a group of 58 Chaffinches feeding on the ground had a female Brambling mixed in. A male Blackcap and a Chiffchaff were seen close by.
Other species seen included Robins, Dunnock, Magpies, Blackbirds, Jackdaws, 6 Greenfinches flying over, House Sparrows, Mallards, Teal, Grey Wagtail, 100+ Starlings, Woodpigeons, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Long Tailed Tits, Crows, Goldfinches, 33 Linnets flying through, Wren, female Reed Bunting, Mute Swans, Black Headed Gulls, 192 Common Redshanks, Pied Wagtails, Grey Heron, Bullfinch, Song Thrush, 80+ Shoveler, Great Spotted Woodpecker calling, 131 Shelduck, Cormorants, Curlew, 3 Little Egrets, 38 Pintail, 100+ Widgeon, 46 Oystercatchers, 6 Grey Plovers and a pair of Ravens.
The walk ended brillaintly for me with a lifer - a pair of beautiful Clouded Yellow butterflies. Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Large White butterflies were also seen.
By the early afternoon the worse of the rain had passed so the oppertunity was taken to visit Goldcliff to see what was about. Forty seven species were present including 19 Collard Doves perched on a telephone wire, Grey Herons, Magpies, Dunnock, Blackbird, 2 Common Buzzards, Crows, Robin, Raven, Skylark, Moorhen, Jackdaws, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Linnet and Goldfinches.
From hide 1: 11 Avocets, 4 Little Egrets, 338 Widgeon, 107 Lapwing (a high count here), Mallards, 389 Knot, 11 Ringed Plovers, 75 Common Snipe, Woodpigeons, Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails, 93 Shoveler, 10 Shelduck, 8 Gadwall, 38 Black Tailed Godwits, 2 Greenshank, 18 Greylag Geese, Kestrel and Starlings.
Viewing platform - Black Headed Gulls, female Sparrowhawk hunting, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff calling and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Sea wall - Another 226 Black Tailed Godwits feeding, 29 Curlew, 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Dunlin, 5 Common Redshanks, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gulls and 145 Canada Geese.
A male Peregrine flew in near to hide 3 and perched for some time on the banking by the sea wall.
I heard my first Redwings of the autumn tonight, small groups calling as they flew overhead on migration around 10.15pm.
Plenty of ducks at Peterstone Gout today out on the mudflats, and lots of other species too starting with Wren, Robin, Chaffinches, 46 Common Redshanks, 80 Teal, Mallards, Coal Tit, Magpie, Grey Wagtail, Moorhens, Black Headed Gulls, Crows, Dunnocks, Herring Gulls, Blue Tits, Starlings, 4 Little Egrets, Meadow pipits and a group of Goldfinches feeding with 15 Linnets mixed in. Several Chiffchaffs were feeding with a single Willow Warbler and a female Reed Bunting.
Other species seen included Woodpigeons, Mute Swans, Grey Herons, 3 Skylarks flying overhead, numerous Oystercatchers and Curlews, Meadow Pipits, Kingfisher flying from a reen, Pied Wagtails, 105 Shelduck, 56 Pintail, 190 widgeon, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 4 Black Tailed Godwits, Cormorant, Great Black-backed Gull, 32 Shoveler, 1 Grey Plover, 3 Ringed Plovers, a pair of circling Buzzards and a flyover Siskin.
If you haven't had a chance to see it yet, the Long Billed Dowitcher was still present today at Raslas Pond feeding near the north-west corner.
A Glossy Ibis turned up during the afternoon at Goldlcifff. It moved off however towards Goldcliff Point but may well still be about.
It was quite windy at Goldlciff today, but forty five species of bird were seen starting with 3 Ravens, Robin, Wren, Mallards, Herring Gulls, Crows, Greenfinch, Magpies and a Chaffinch. From the first hide were 345 Widgeon, numerous Teal, 2 Grey Herons, 3 Little Egrets, 11 Lapwing, 11 Dunlin, Buzzard, Skylarks, Starlings, 4 Greenshanks, 88 Shoveler, 1 Common Snipe, Black Headed Gulls, Canada Geese, a pair of Little Stints showing well, Meadow Pipits and 1 Common Redshank.
From the viewing platofrm were small groups of Swallows passing through, Moorhen, Woodpigeons, 80 Knot, 236 Black Tailed Godwits, a female Kestrel hunting, Linnets, Pied Wagtails, Goldfinch, Rook, 2 Shelduck, 1 Chiffchaff and a Blue Tit. The mudflats from the sea wall gave 42 Curlew and a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls.
Finally from the third hide was a Cormorant, 5 Avocet and 1 Gadwall.
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