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Newport Wetlands

A documentation of my time spent volunteering at RSPB Newport Wetlands

I have been volunteering at RSPB Newport wetlands. It is a fantastic place that is full of brilliant wildlife and awesome people. I love sitting in the onsite hide and patiently waiting to see what will turn up.


Scroll to see what I have seen!


"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." - RSPB Newport


The Otter Family

It was a pretty grey day at Newport wetlands on the 23rd November. It's days like this in the winter that people often say 'there's nothing about today'. It is such a common misconception that wildlife just disappears when the weather is bad. You just need a little more patience, perseverance and a watchful eye!

I headed out to the hide for my morning shoot, as soon as I walked into the empty hide, I could see the bubbles on the water. I immediately gasped. I had been hearing about sightings of the otter for a few weeks now, but I never believed I would be lucky enough to see them.

But there they were, a father otter and his two pups. They were (or seemed) oblivious of me, and continued to play endlessly and catch the adundant amount of fish in the water.

They went and came back twice a few hours later. I honestly feel so lucky to have observed this elusive creature. It was wonderful to see a wild animal playing and having so much fun.


The Elusive Bittern

Bitterns are birds belonging to the subfamily Botaurinae of the heron family Ardeidae. Bitterns tend to be shorter-necked and more secretive than other members of the family. 

Before volunteering at Newport wetlands, I had never heard of a bittern before. It was a beautiful clear day when I was sitting in the hide. This was actually my first day volunteering at Newport wetlands. I heard a huge rustle of reeds to the left of me and out flew this huge heron shaped bird. I was quick to capture an image. 

I walked back to the centre and then told the others what I had seen, it was only from their reaction that I gaged how lucky I was to of seen this bird! They are rare to see and others have still never seen one. I guess I am just very fortunate because I often see the breeding pair of bitterns when I am sitting in the hide.


Watch this short film I created about the history of Newport Wetlands! ---->

The Stunning Marsh-harrier

I am a true lover of raptors but I only became aquainted with marsh harriers after I started volunteer work at RSPB Newport. We have two breeding pairs here.


I find these birds so striking, I love the way they dance together above the reed beds. I actually managed to watch them dancing together on the day I captured these images, it was so fast but spectacular!

These images, although not pin sharp and perfect, really captured something for me. I noticed how in the background you could see the huge wall of industrialisation, from the old factory and the pylons surrounding. 

I actually love how nature and industry clash so beautifully at Newport Wetlands. The contrast created is so ugly that it becomes beautiful!

I went on to bond with the marsh harriers by getting up early to film them hunting when filming my 'Power in Numbers' film featuring the starling murmuration. I find them to be pretty secretive and so they are usually most active in the early hours. I plan to do more studying of these raptors in the future and get to know them even more.

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More Wildlife

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reed bunting 1.jpg


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