April is the second most productive month of the year in the number of species seen. At least one individual of 190 species have been recorded in April. A month when the last of the “winter” birds depart and most “summer” birds arrive. Birds to expect are at least four Tern species, Skuas, “ sylvia” Warblers, Common Redstarts, Whinchats, Yellow Wagtails with the chance of Pied Flycatcher, Grasshopper Warbler, Wood Warbler and Hobby. Rarer sightings include; Stone Curlew (2006), Slavonian Grebe (1989, 2000), Ring-necked Duck (1988), Sabine’s Gull (1990, 1992), Red-rumped Swallow (1988), Willow Tit (1988), Mealy Redpoll (2004) and Long-eared Owl (2006).
Combined sightings from Severn Beach on the morning and evening tides involved 2 dark phase Arctic Skuas, 60+ “Commic Terns”, 47 Bar-tailed Godwits, 11 Whimbrel, 30 Ringed Plover, 25 Dunlin, single Great Crested Grebe, Peregrine and Wheatear. At least 400 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Knot, 38 Oystercatchers, 7 Whimbrel, a Grey Plover, 5 Dunlin and 4 Wheatears remained at Northwick Warth. There were 3 Reed Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat at Aust Warth.
Sightings from Severn Beach today included a Great Skua, 190+ Bar-tailed Godwits, a Little Ringed Plover, 20 Whimbrel, 6 Knot, 4 Grey Plover, 32 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, female Merlin, a Great Crested Grebe, 5 Yellow Wagtails, single Tree Pipit, Garden Warbler and Wheatear. There were 450 Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Whimbrel, 5 Knot, 4 Lapwing, a female Merlin, 2 Wheatears and a Greylag Goose at Northwick Warth. A Whinchat, another Wheatear, 3 Reed Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat were reported from Aust Warth.
Great Skua, Severn Beach 29.4.7
Grey Plover, Severn Beach 29.4.7
Bar-tailed Godwit, Severn Beach 29.4.7
A strong North East wind in the spring often produces some interesting migrants and today was no exception. Several flocks of Bar-tailed Godwits, a total of 450, were seen between Severn Beach and Chittening Warth this morning and at least 85 were seen there this evening. Many of them flew off high and inland in an East direction. Other sightings from Severn Beach today included a mixed flock of 22 Arctic and Common Terns, 4 summer plumaged Knot, 2 Whimbrel, 15 Ringed Plover, 19 Dunlin, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Reed Warblers and 30 Swifts. An early morning visit to Northwick Warth produced a Little Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel, 5 Lapwing, 2 Wheatears and 5 Swifts. The first 2 Whinchats of the year were found at Aust Warth this afternoon where at least 200 Bar-tailed Godwits and 4 Wheatears were also seen.
some of the many Bar-tailed Godwits, Severn Beach 28.4.7
The best find of the day was a singing Wood Warbler at the Seabank Pools, Chittening Warth where single Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed Warbler were also seen. Sightings from Severn Beach included 4 Arctic Skuas, 6 Whimbrel, 26 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, a Peregrine and a Swift. There were 2 Wheatears, 16 Pied Wagtails, another Swift, 35 Oystercatchers, 3 Lapwing and a Whimbrel at Northwick Warth. A Yellow Wagtail, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Reed Warbler were found at Aust Warth. A steady movement of Swallows with a few House and Sand Martins was noted all day as they flew into the moderate strength North East wind.
Sightings from Northwick Warth included 11 Whimbrel, 32 Oystercatchers, 3 Lapwings, 70 Shelduck, 9 Wheatears, 3 Lesser Whitethroats and a Sedge Warbler. There were 36 Ringed Plover and 24 Dunlin on the shore at Severn Beach and 2 Reed Warblers nearby at the Orchard Pools. A Peregrine and 2 Sedge Warblers were reported from the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth.
A light South West wind produced a Guillemot, 2 dark phase Arctic Skuas, 50 “Commic” Terns and 5 Kittiwakes off Severn Beach. Waders seen here included 43 Ringed Plovers, 12 Dunlin and 4 Whimbrel. Reports from Northwick Warth included 25 Wheatears, a Tree Pipit, 14 Whimbrel, 29 Oystercatchers, 3 Lapwings, 6 Teal and at least 70 Shelduck.
Reports today from Severn Beach included a pale phase Arctic Skua, 4 Whimbrel, 21 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 2 Redstarts, 6 Common Whitethroats, 4 Lesser Whitethroats and a Reed Warbler. A Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing, 12 Ringed Plover, single Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroats and 9 Wheatears were reported from Northwick Warth.
Little Ringed Plover, Northwick Warth 24.4.7
Only a few reports were received today. There were 4 Whimbrel, 30 Turnstones, 8 Wheatears, single Tree Pipit and Sedge Warbler on Northwick Warth. Just 19 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, another 3 Wheatears and a Reed Warbler were seen at Severn Beach.
Despite a lot of coverage from dawn, only a few migrants were found, the best of which was another singing Grasshopper Warbler. A search of Severn Beach produced 5 Common Whitethroats, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Wheatears, just 8 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper and 55 Turnstones on the shore and 3 flyover Canada Geese. Other sightings from Chittening Warth included 8 Sedge Warblers, a Reed Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Common Whitethroats, another 2 Wheatears and a Raven. Sightings from Northwick Warth included single Little Egret, Wheatear and Tree Pipit.
Tree Pipit, Northwick Warth 22.4.7 © John Martin
A good start to the day when a Grasshopper Warbler was heard and seen early this morning at Severn Beach.The other birds of note here were a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull, an adult Little Gull, 4 fly over Yellow Wagtails, single Tree Pipit, Raven and Peregrine, 3 Lesser Whitethroats and 3 Common Whitethroats. Northwick Warth was quiet with just 5 Lapwing, single Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail and another Common Whitethroat reported.
A singing Nightingale was found this morning at Severn Beach and was the first record since 2002. Other reports from Severn Beach included 2 Common Sandpipers, single Great Crested Grebe, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Raven, Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatears, 3 singing Lesser Whitethroats and 2 Common Whitethroats. A Raven was seen at Chittening Warth. Another 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 14 Whimbrel, 8 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 3 Lapwing, 3 Wheatears, 4 Lesser Whitethroats and 3 Yellow Wagtails were seen at Northwick Warth.
Another warm and settled day. Sightings from Northwick Warth included 3 Little Egrets, 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Lapwing, 14 Whimbrel, 6 Dunlin, single Redshank, Snipe and Ringed Plover, 2 Wheatears and 4 singing Lesser Whitethroats. There were at least 2 more Lesser Whitethroats at Severn Beach this morning and an evening visit produced 2 Arctic Skuas flying North East, 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Whimbrel and 2 Ringed Plover.
The Ring Ouzel reappeared in the sheep fields at Aust Warth today where a Yellow Wagtail, 3 Lesser Whitethroats and a Wheatear were also found. There were 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Lapwing, 10 Whimbrel, 5 singing Lesser Whitethroats and 2 Wheatears on Northwick Warth. A visit to the Seabank Power Station on Chittening Warth produced 2 Ravens and 3 Willow Warblers.
Ring Ouzel, Aust Warth 18.4.7 © Gary Thoburn
A few new birds arrived today including 2 Little Ringed Plovers on Northwick Warth where there were 5 singing Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Whimbrel, 2 Redshank, 38 Oystercatchers, 70 Shelduck and a Wheatear. A Common Sandpiper was found at New Passage. Sightings from Severn Beach included 3 Mediterranean Gulls (adult, 2nd summer and 1st summer birds), a Kittiwake, 2 Whimbrel and 8 Ringed Plover. There were 2 Reed Warblers, a Sedge Warbler and 3 Lesser Whitethroats at Chittening Warth.
A Spotted Redshank was heard and seen calling with a flock of 30 Bar-tailed Godwits heading East over Severn Beach this morning. Other migrants seen or heard today included 6 Whimbrel, a Cuckoo, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Wheatears, a Whitethroat, a male Yellow Wagtail along with 2 Canada Geese, a Peregrine, 53 Curlew, 8 Ringed Plover, just 3 Dunlin and 40 Turnstones. Yet another male Ring Ouzel (the 8th in six days) was found on Northwick Warth where 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, at least 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 3 Wheatears were also present. Another Whimbrel was seen at Aust Warth this morning and the female Ring Ouzel was still present this afternoon. A Sedge Warbler and Wheatear remained at Chittening Warth.
Another warm day. The female Ring Ouzel remained in the sheep fields at Aust Warth and a Wheatear was also present here.The male Merlin and a Little Egret were seen again from New Passage where a Tree Pipit flew over this morning. A Whimbrel, 2 Wheatears and at least 4 Lesser Whitehroats were present on Northwick Warth this evening. A visit to Severn Beach this morning produced a Common Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 singing Willow Warblers and 2 flyover Tree Pipits. Sightings from Severn Beach this evening included an Arctic Skua flying high up river, a Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 140 Curlew, 30 Ringed Plover, 15 Dunlin, 60 Turnstones, 40 Shelduck and 2 Pintail. A Wheatear was reported from Chittening Warth.
Arctic Skua, Severn Beach 15.4.7
A day of quality started when a “cream crown” Marsh Harrier flew up river past New Passage this morning.
It was later seen from Aust Warth where yet another female Ring Ouzel was found in the sheep fields and only the 4th Severnside record of Red Kite flew over. Other sightings from Aust included single Peregrine, Wheatear, White Wagtail, and Lesser Whitethroat. Four Little Gulls flew over Northwick Warth where single Jack Snipe, Snipe, male Merlin, male Redstart, Tree Pipit, Wheatear and 3 singing Lesser Whitethroats were also reported. Migrants seen at Severn Beach included 6 Common Terns, 10 Ringed Plover, 9 Dunlin, a Common Whitethroat, 4 flyover Siskins, single Yellow Wagtail, Lesser Whitethroat and a number of singing Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. A Sedge Warbler, 2 Wheatears and a Raven were seen at Chittening Warth
Red Kite, Aust Warth 14.4.7 © Richard Ford
Another day and 2 more male Ring Ouzels were found early this morning in the sheep fields at Aust Warth before they flew off North making an astonishing total of 6 in three days. A Wheatear and a Willow Warbler was also present here. The best bird of the spring so far was found this evening when an Osprey flew low and North over Northwick Warth where a female Merlin, 2 singing Lesser Whitethroats a Little Egret, 30 Shelduck and 30 Teal were also present. A dawn visit to Severn Beach produced another Lesser Whitethroat, at least 5 Willow Warblers, a Raven, 50 Shelduck, 40 Turnstones and 4 Dunlin. Another Wheatear and 3 Willow Warblers were reported from Chittening Warth. There was a noticeable passage of Swallows, Goldfinches, a few Sand Martins and House Martins into the light North East wind.
Lesser Whitethroat, Northwick Warth 13.4.7
A few more good birds today. Another male Ring Ouzel was found at New Passage early this morning before it flew North onto Northwick Warth. A Tree Sparrow appeared briefly at New Passage before also flying towards Northwick Warth. Other sightings from here today included a singing Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Wheatears, 36 Oystercatchers, 3 Lapwings, 2 Redshank, 40 Shelduck, 40 Teal and a steady passage of Swallows this evening with a few Sand Martins and 3 House Martins. Another 2 Ring Ouzels (male and female) were found at Chittening Warth where 3 Willow Warblers were also present. There were just 12 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin and 40 Turnstones on the shore at Severn Beach.
Another warm day. A Ring Ouzel was an excellent find this afternoon in sheep fields at Aust Warth. Sightings from Northwick Warth were less exciting with just 30 Shelduck, 50 Teal, a Wigeon, 24 Oystercatchers, a White Wagtail and several Swallows reported. There were 3 House Martins at New Passage. There were 90 Turnstones, 14 Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin at Severn Beach. Another 2 Swallows, a Sand Martin and a Willow Warbler were seen at Chittening Warth.
Ring Ouzel, Aust Warth 11.4.7
A warm and settled day but still no influx of migrants. The early Sedge Warbler and a Wheatear were reported from Chittening Warth. Another Wheatear, 40 Shelduck, 46 Teal and a drake Wigeon were seen at Northwick Warth. There were 12 Ringed Plover, 110 Turnstones and a single Dunlin on the shore at Severn Beach.
At least 8 Kittiwakes were seen from Severn Beach where other reports included a Greenshank, 113 Turnstones, 5 Ringed Plovers, 22 Fieldfares, single Raven, Willow Warbler and Wheatear. Sightings from Northwick Warth included 2 Merlins, 35 Shelduck, 30 Teal, a drake Wigeon, 5 Redshank, a Snipe and just a few Sand Martins and Swallows. A Willow Warbler was heard at New Passage. A Red-legged Partridge was photographed at Chittening Warth where a Sedge Warbler, another Wheatear and Willow Warbler were also seen.
Red-legged Partridge, Chittening Warth 9.4.7 © R. W. L. Bowerman
A quieter day today with just a Merlin, a Raven, 2 Swallows, 40 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 35 Teal, a Lapwing, a Willow Warbler, a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps reported from Northwick Warth. There were just 5 Ringed Plover and 30 Turnstones at Severn Beach. Sightings from Chittening Warth included the Sedge Warbler, another Raven, 23 Turnstones, 13 Gadwall, a Stonechat, a Willow Warbler along with singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps.
A fine dry and sunny day with a trickle of new migrants. Sightings from Northwick Warth included the first Tree Sparrow seen on Severnside for 4 years, 2 Merlins together, 3 Snipe, a male Wheatear, 3 Willow Warblers, many singing Chiffchaffs, a Redpoll, a White Wagtail with 5 Pied Wagtails, 3 Wigeon, 45 Teal and 50 Shelduck. Another Wheatear was seen on Severn Beach along with 3 Ringed Plovers and 2 Turnstones. A singing Willow Warbler and Wheatear were found at Aust Warth. A few Sand Martins, Swallows and 2 House Martins were noted heading North East.
White and Pied Wagtails, Northwick Warth 7.4.7
Sightings from Northwick Warth included the male Merlin, 30 Teal, 40 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 30 Curlew, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Snipe, a Lapwing and a single Swallow heading into the light North East wind. A Redwing was seen in the Glen at New Passage. There were 4 Wheatears, 2 fly over Redpolls, 3 Ringed Plover, single Dunlin and Turnstone, 40 Curlew and 40 Shelduck at Severn Beach. The early Sedge Warbler remained at Chittening Warth where 2 Candada Geese and another Wheatear were also found. There were Chiffchaffs singing almost everywhere and there was noticeable visible migration of Wood Pigeons heading North East.
Merlin, Northwick Warth 6.4.7
Still no rush of spring migrants with just a male Merlin, 50 Shelduck, 40 Teal, a Wigeon, 16 Redshank, 26 Curlew, a Lapwing and 17 Pied Wagtails to report from Northwick Warth. Two Peregrines were seen at Severn Beach. There were 11 Gadwall, a drake Pintail, 33 Turnstones, a male Wheatear and a few singing Blackcaps at Chittening Warth.
Sightings from Northwick Warth included 48 Shelduck, 40 Teal, a Wigeon and 3 Swallows. A singing Blackcap and a brood of 4 young Moorhen were found at the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth.
The quietest day of the year so far with just 13 Redshank, 40 Teal and 50 Shelduck reported from Northwick Warth.
There was little improvement today. Sightings from Northwick Warth included a male Wheatear, a steady passage of Meadow Pipits into the wind, 90 Shelduck, 20 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew and 16 Redshank. Two Swallows and a Sand Martin were seen at Aust Warth. The Sedge Warbler remained at Chittening Warth where 3 Wheatears, 90 Dunlin, 8 Turnstones, 8 Gadwall and 18 Teal were also seen.
Great Northern Divers, Cheddar Reservoir, Somerset 1.4.7
A raging cold North East wind kept most birds, if there were any, out of view. A steady passage of Meadow Pipits was seen at Severn Beach as birds flew into the wind. The only other sightings of note here were 80 Shelduck and 2 Ringed Plovers. Another 48 Shelduck were reported on Northwick Warth.
With it being so quiet on Severnside I decided to journey south to Cheddar Reservoir to look for a drake Lesser Scaup that had been present in recent days. I couldn’t find it but 2 Greater Scaup and 2 Great Northern Divers made the short trip worthwhile.