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Newtown Estuary - BirdForum Opus

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England, Isle of Wight


This nature reserve of more than 300ha is one of the best birding areas on the Isle of Wight and combines excellent mudflats and saltmarshes with the surrounding woods and farmland.

There is a sand and shingle spit at the entrance of the estuary and a wader scrape with islands has been created to increase feeding and breeding habitats. There are birds of interest during the summer but this estuarine area is best known for its wintering and passage seabirds, waders and waterfowl.


Notable Species

Dark-bellied Brent Goose occur here in ever-increasing numbers in winter and other waterfowl include Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal and Northern Pintail and the resident Canada Goose flock. Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe and other grebes winter on the open waters of the estuary sometimes joined by Red-breasted Merganser, Common Goldeneye and in severe weather also Greater Scaup and Smew.

Wintering waders include most of the regular north European species as well as occasional Greenshank and Spotted Redshank. These two species occur much more frequently on passage when a much wider range of species occurs including Little Stint, Ruff, Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper and Pied Avocet.

The five commoner gull species are usually present year-round as well as Grey Heron and Great Cormorant and non-breeding waders such as Black-tailed Godwit are often present all year.

Breeding species of the Newtown Estuary include Common Shelduck, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Common Redshank and large numbers of Black-headed Gull. Little Tern, Common Tern and Sandwich Tern all breed or have bred in the past. The woodlands hold a variety of species including Nightingale.


Rarer species recorded in the area include Common Crane, Kentish Plover and Sociable Plover and Red-necked Phalarope and Grey Phalarope.


Birds you can see here include:

Red-throated Diver, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Smew, Red-breasted Merganser, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Ringed Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, Feral Pigeon, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Cuckoo, Short-eared Owl, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper, Common Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Common Bullfinch, Reed Bunting

Other Wildlife

Now rare and restricted in southern Britain, the Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris can be found in the woods around Newtown estuary.

Site Information

History and Use

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Areas of Interest

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Access and Facilities

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Contact Details

Tel: 01983 531622 (Nature Reserve)

External Links

Content and images originally posted by Steve