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5th November 2011 - Wrap Up and Get Out PDF Print E-mail

If the weather isn't too bad this weekend, grab your coat and head off down to the Goldcliff Lagoons at Newport Wetlands Reserve. This is probably the best site locally for wildfowl and waders; On the duck front, shelduck, teal, wigeon, mallard, gadwall and shoveler have all been seen recently. As for waders, sightings over the past few days include dunlin, lapwing, snipe, grey and golden plover, ruff, knot, black tailed godwit, curlew, whimbrel, greenshank and spotted redshank.

Other sightings from around Gwent include groups of brambling (a winter visiting finch) at Mynydd Maen and Pantside, snow bunting (a rare passage migrant) at Collister Pill, Magor, and a spoonbill at Goldcliff.

The short grass found on local hilltops and along the coast often attracts overwintering birds of prey and recently a short eared owl (pictured)  was spotted at Peterstone and hen harriers have been noted at Mynydd Maen, Brynmawr, Clydach and Goldcliff.  

There have also been a few reports of late departing summer visitors; Three swallow were seen at Llanwenarth on October 26th and four house martin appeared at Brynithel on the 27th. A few local birders were also lucky enough to see two small groups of ring ouzel in North Gwent; Up to five birds were seen at Victoria, Ebbw Vale on October 29th and two birds were present at Pwll Ddu, Blaenavon on November 2nd.

Birdwatching Events

GOS's season of indoor talks continues at Goytre Village Hall (just off the A4042 by the Goytre Arms) next Saturday, 12th November when Paul Bowden will be presenting 'Birding in the Land of the Camel'. Paul has been birdwatching in some very unusual places – including Libya and Oman! His tales of travel, twitching and run ins with the authorities are not to be missed!

A fortnight later on Saturday 26th November the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust will be on hand to give out the latest news from the Great Crane Project. Cranes are a huge bird that sadly became extinct in Britain about 400 years ago. A scheme to rear chicks and introduce them to the Somerset levels is in place - and this talk will reveal how the reintroduction is faring.

The next GOS guided walk takes place on Sunday 13th November when Rob Parsons will lead a leisurely  two hour stroll around Cwmtillery Lakes. If you are interested, join Rob at the car park next to the lakes (SO 218 061) at 8.00am.

There is no need to book places on GOS walks and talks - just turn up. New faces (especially Argus readers) are always very welcome.

Talks start at 7.30pm and entry is £1.50 - including tea and biscuits.

Walkers should remember to bring suitable clothing (boots essential), food and drink – and binoculars if you have them.

For more information visit www.gwentbirds.org.uk or give me a call on the number below. Likewise, if you want me to send you a copy of GOS's programme of walks and talks, just let me know.

Keep in Touch

Thank you to all readers that have taken the time to get in touch.

 I always enjoy hearing from you and can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or on 01633 866470.