KEY POINTS

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding -

1 The win­ter­ing Black-headed Gulls should not be passed with­out care­ful scru­tiny, Mediter­ranean Gulls have been re­ported. In sum­mer, Swifts should be nest­ing in the roof of the bridge, with Sand Martins in the river bank not far away.

2 Where the Monnow merges with the Wye, you should see win­ter­ing Goosanders – it’s amaz­ing to think there had been only eight records for Gwent be­fore 1945, with breeding first con­firmed in 1975, then only the se­cond record for Wales. Cor­morants roost in nearby trees. Look for Grey Herons in the same trees and Reed Buntings on the river­side scrub.

3 Dip­per, Grey Wag­tail and Kingfisher find the vicin­ity of the weir at­trac­tive, though are likely to be en­coun­tered any­where up­stream. You may well be con­cen­trat­ing on river birds but keep a good look out over­head for rap­tors and Ravens.

4 The wood­land pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to add Green and Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker to your day list. What chance a Lesser Spot­ted? There are pre­vi­ous records. Chif­fchaffs and Wil­low War­blers ar­riv­ing in late March will be fol­lowed by Black­caps and Gar­den War­blers and last of all, though not un­til late April or early May, Spot­ted Fly­catch­ers.

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