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28th January 2012 - Get an Eyeful of Ibis PDF Print E-mail

Newport Wetlands Reserve has attracted an impressive list of exotic visitors over the past few years - However the arrival of two glossy ibis a fortnight ago has got local birdwatchers very excited. There has only ever been one previous sighting of this species in Gwent.....and that was way back in 1902!

Glossy ibis are very rare visitors to the UK; There are a few places around the Mediterranean where they breed (Southern Spain is probably the nearest), and they then return to Africa for the winter. I'm a bit confused by their presence – I could understand a few birds turning up in the spring, having overflown their intended destination, but to suddenly appear North of their breeding range during the winter baffles me!

Another thing that puzzles me is that there are reports of a single ibis at several other sites in the UK, yet these birds are supposed to be gregarious – did they all decide to fly here independently?

Anyway, strange as it is, they are here, so why not go to see them? They look a bit like a dark heron with a long curved beak and seem quite happy feeding and wandering about the marshy fields of Goldcliff.

For details of where these and other interesting birds can be seen, visit the sightings page at www.gwentbirds.org.uk

Glossy Ibis Glossy Ibis

Nestboxes for Sale

In my last column I featured Richard Evans, who has been busy making and siting nestboxes around Pontypool. I've since found out that Richard has some really good quality boxes which he is happy to sell to Argus readers at a very reasonable price, and which will help fund building more boxes.

Now is an ideal time to put up nestboxes, so why not give Richard a call on 07970 139550 - He will be pleased to have a chat with you about your requirements and offer advice on a suitable box and how to site it.

To view some of Richard's boxes visit www.webster.uk.net and search for 'Project Nestbox'.  

Birdwatching Events

Don't forget tonight's birdwatching talk at Goytre Village Hall. TV  cameraman Stephen Moss, of 'Springwatch' fame will be taking us 'Behind the scenes at the BBC' in what promises to be a fascinating and highly entertaining presentation. The talk starts at 7.30pm and entry costs £2, which includes tea and biscuits.

There is another talk at the same venue in a fortnight's time, Saturday 11th February, when Roger Moss of the Hawk and Owl Trust will be on hand to present 'Regreening Shapwick Moor'. This area of former arable farmland on the Somerset Levels has been restored to wet grassland and fen....with very beneficial consequences to birds such as lapwing and hobby.

Argus readers are particularly welcome to come along to all the events featured in this column. For more details visit www.gwentbirds.org.uk or give me a call on the number below.

Big Garden Birdwatch

Remember to take part in Big Garden birdwatch this weekend. For more details visit www.rspg.org.uk

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.