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Newport

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis ©Chris Thomas Website

Birding Newport

Newport is a cathedral and university city and unitary authority area in south east Wales. It is located on the River Usk close to its confluence with the Severn estuary, approximately 12 miles northeast of Cardiff. It is the third largest city in Wales, with an urban population of over 300,000. The city forms part of the Cardiff-Newport metropolitan area with a population of a million people.

The city is largely low-lying, but with a few hilly areas (Wentwood reaches 310 metres above sea level). Areas in the south and east of the county tend to be flat and fertile with some housing estates and industrial areas reclaimed from marshland. Areas near the banks of the River Usk, such as Caerleon, are also low-lying. The eastern outskirts of the city are characterised by the gently rolling hills of the Vale of Usk and Christchurch has panoramic views of the Vale of Usk and the Bristol Channel.

There are four nature reserves: Newport Wetlands, Allt-yr-yn, Solutia (linked by a footpath to Newport Wetlands) and Coed Wen (part of the Penhow woodlands NNR). The name Allt-yr-yn means ‘hillside of ash trees’ and you will also see birch, cherry, oak, alder and non-native trees such as horse chestnut and scamore. The site includes a five acre meadow, three ponds, a canal and woodland areas intersected by a number of footpaths and bridleways.

There are several municplie parts too; Tredegar Park, Belle Vue Park and Beechwood Park and a few playing fields and other open areas.

Top Sites

Llandegfedd Reservoir

Information

Satellite View

Over the county line in Monmouthshire the Llandegfedd Reservoir is important for wintering wildfowl. There is sailing on part of the lake in the summer. Many good spots are too small, and too numerous to list.

Usk Estuary

Satellite View

Peterstone Wentlooge (ST270200); Uskmouth and Goldcliff (ST320820); Collister Pill (ST450850); Black Rock (ST510880) are known for passage waders, some sea-watching, etc. There are small numbers of breeding Redshank, lapwing and curlew on the Levels. Magor Marsh reserve, run by GWT (ST4286). Reedwarblers, etc, breeding Little Grebe. There is to be a new wetland site at Uskmouth to replace the Cardiff Bay. It is not yet clear exactly what habitats will be provided.

Wentwood Forest

Information

Satellite View

Wentwood Forest, at the right times of the year, has crossbill, nightjar, woodcock, redpoll, siskin. Goshawk can be seen in various locations, as can hobby.

County Recorder

Philip Bristow - East Glamorgan County Recorder

2 Forest Oak Close, Cyncoed, Cardiff CF23 6QN

07769 973 890

phlbrstw@gmail.com

Useful Reading

Birds of Glamorgan

Clive Hurford & Peter Lansdown | Hurford & Lansdown | 1995 | Hardback | 228 pages, 30 col & 17 b/w photos, line illus, maps

ISBN: 1872808344

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Gwent

by WA Venables, AD Baker, RM Clarke, C Jones, JMS Lewis & SJ Tyler | Helm | 2008 | Hardback | 416 pages, line drawings, 32 pages of colour photos, distribution maps

ISBN: 9780713676334

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Gwent Bird Report 2015

Buy Direct

Organisations

Glamorgan Birds

Website

Welcome to the Glamorgan Birds Website, the joint website of the Glamorgan Bird Club and Gower Ornithological Society. The main function of these two bodies is to produce the annual bird reports for the East and West of the county of Glamorgan, and of course to provide bird-oriented activities for their members.

Glamorgan Wildlife Trust

Website

Glamorgan has around 35 nature reserves which we manage, including the large reserve of Parc Slip where our main offices are and the Gower reserves.

Reserves

Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

GWT Magor Marsh SSSI

Information

Satellite View

Just over the border in Monmouthshire, this reserve is last remnant of fenland on the Gwent levels and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is a prime example of the succession of plant communities from open water to marsh and scrub woodland. Bronze age pottery fragments have been found and the present layout of reens (drainage ditches) dates from the 14th century.

LNR Allt-yr-yn

Webpage

Satellite View

Allt-yr-yn, or ‘hillside of ash trees’, is one of Newport’s two Local Nature Reserves, designated in 1994 and lies between the Monmouthshire-Brecon Canal and Allt-yr-Yn View, NP20 5EH. OS Grid Ref: ST 300 889. Areas of the woodland have been identified as ancient semi-natural woodland, meaning that it has been continuously covered with native trees since the 1600s, making it particularly important for wildlife.

NNR Penhow Woodlands

Webpage

Satellite View

This nature reserves extends over three areas of ancient semi-natural woodland although only one of them, Coed Wen, is open to the public. The predominant tree species in the woods are Ash, Small-leaved Lime, Wych Elm and Wild Cherry. Management of the site includes coppicing the trees regularly in order to maintain a reasonably open canopy that allows plenty of light into the woodland for the benefit of the woodland flora beneath the trees. This woodland reserve is situated on the tops and slopes of the limestone hills just outside Newport, and this site is an example of an increasingly scarce habitat in the UK. The special plants in the woods reflect this unusual environment and are similarly scarce in Britain. Penhow Woodlands NNR is an excellent place to see our visiting and native breeding birds in spring and summer.

RSPB Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve

Webpage

Satellite View

Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve lies between the Severn Estuary and the River Usk on the South Wales coast. It is owned and managed by Natural Resources Wales, working in partnership with RSPB Cymru, Newport City Council and others, for the benefit of wildlife and people.

Woodland Trust: Wentwood Forest

Webpage

Satellite View

The 353-hectare (873-acre) section of Wentwood owned by the Trust is part of a much larger area of forest, stretching over 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres). Once part of the hunting grounds of Chepstow Castle, it offers a wide variety of walks with some breathtaking views over the Severn Estuary. And its diversity of habitats means it’s home to some wonderful wildlife.

Trip Reports

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Chris Thomas - British Bird Photography

Gallery

British bird photographs, British bird pictures…