Sunday 21 October 2012

Please can we have one of these?

Before returning to Buckinghamshire, we spent the Sunday of our Welsh weekend at Newport Wetlands, a new-ish RSPB reserve situated between a power station and the Severn estuary.


Hmmm, a wetlands reserve, created from an old industrial site, on the edge of a large conurbation? Don't I know somewhere else like that?

Not with the kind of support that this place has. Just look at those logos. Local and national government funding, support from the national environmental body and run by a national conservation organisation. I could weep.

Rant over, it's not Newport's fault.

The investment and infrastructure have produced a large reedbed (10% of this type of habitat in Wales) and a fantastic visitor centre, with cafe, shop and function rooms. The place was teeming with visitors, and not just wildlife enthusiasts. Being close to the city of Newport, it seemed that plenty of folk just wanted somewhere pleasant to walk, and as there was also provision for cycling and dog walking around the perimeter path, it felt very inclusive.

There was certainly loads of wildlife, so no worries on that score.

Then and now
View from the hide at the eastern edge of the reserve
A very old lady. Female Common Hawker, Aeshna juncea
Up close and personal with a Mute Swan, Cygnus olor
They even had a... Rail way! (sorry)
This was a first for Our Lass, brief views of a Bearded Reedling
Taxonomic nightmare, though. Panurus biarmicus?
Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis, seen from the path!
Female Stonechat, Saxicola torquata
Cetti's Warblers were singing, the estuary mudflats contained waders and ducks aplenty, Common Darters and Migrant Hawkers were soaking up the Autumnal sun and we even spotted a Little Owl perched in a tree along one of the hedgerows of the Newport Levels.

Wonderful weather, wonderful wildlife.


holdingmoments said...

Looks well worth a visit.
Congratulations with the Bearded Reedling; lovely little birds.

Jeannette said...

wetlands are wonderlands...thanks for sharing so many of the birds...lovely post...

and yes...the birds deserve preserves

Imperfect and Tense said...

I can heartily recommend it. And we'll probably drop in again if we're on the way to the Gower or west Wales.

Imperfect and Tense said...

I have to agree with you, Jeannette. Even though I was raised on hedgerows, fields and woodlands, large water bodies and their surroundings are fantastically biodiverse.

Tales of a Bank Vole said...

Reedling indeed, whats wrong with good old fashioned tit?

Imperfect and Tense said...

Presumably the lack of genes for the essentially qualities of the genus Parus?

Tales of a Bank Vole said...

Weeell, you may be correct, but, the RSPB still call them Bearded Tits and include them as part of the Tit family on their website. Besides which, how can we do all the cheap Bill Oddie and Rory McGrath jokes, if they are Reedlings?

Imperfect and Tense said...

Bearded Tit! What a cracking book. Had me crying with laughter, blubbing with sadness and cr-aughing with joy!