SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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March is a slightly better month than February, with a total of 163 species recorded during this month. As each day passes the expectation of an early spring migrant increases, Wheatears usually being seen by mid month along with Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins, possibly Little Ringed Plovers, Sandwich Tern or an early Garganey. Rarities have included Avocets, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Hen Harrier and Cetti’s Warbler (2003), Bearded Tit (2004), Great Grey Shrike (2004), Red Kite (2005), Mandarin (2006) and Siberian Chiffchaff (2007).
March 2008
March 31st
Another fine settled day. Sightings from New Passage included a Wheatear, female Merlin, 30 Redshank, 16 Oystercatchers, 40 Teal, 2 Wigeon, a Canada Goose and the escaped Muscovy Duck. A Willow Warbler, another 3 Wheatears, a White Wagtail, 11 Pied Wagtails, 6 Skylarks, 30 Meadow Pipits, 2 Reed Buntings, 2 Snipe, a Little Grebe and 50 Shelduck were seen on Northwick Warth. A Grey Plover, 40 Turnstones and another 62 Shelduck were reported from Severn Beach. Singing Chiffchaffs were present throughout the area today.

March 30th
A fine spring day with sunshine and blue sky. The first House Martin of the year was found at the Orchard Pools. Just 2 Ringed Plover and 30 Shelduck were seen from the shore at Severn Beach. A Water Pipit, 3 Wheatears, 2 Swallows, 8 Sand Martins, 5 Chiffchaffs and 30 Meadow Pipits were seen at Chittening Warth. Sightings from Northwick Warth included 3 Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe, a Grey Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 24 Redshank, a Little Egret, 30 Teal, 40 Shelduck, 2 Sand Martins, 2 Ravens, a male Wheatear, 25 Meadow Pipits and at least 8 Chiffchaffs. A Little Egret and Chiffchaff were reported from Aust Warth.

March 29th
An increasingly unsettled day with strong Southerly wind and rain by the afternoon.The surprise find this morning was only the 3rd Severnside record of Whooper Swan (an adult that flew low and South) over Severn Beach where other reports included a Peregrine, 40 Turnstones, 35 Shelduck and 5 Chiffchaffs. A Greenshank, 7 Ringed Plover, 6 Redshank, 20 Oystercatchers, a Raven, 3 Wheatears, a Stonechat and 7 Chiffchaffs were reported from Chittening Warth. At least 40 Teal (including a copulating pair) and 44 Redshank remained at New Passage. Another 2 Wheatears, 40 Fieldfares, 10 Redwing, at least 12 Chiffchaffs and 50 Shelduck were seen on Northwick Warth.

March 28th
A windy day with some heavy showers.The first Swallow of the year (same date as last spring) was feeding over the Grebe Pond on Northwick Warth with a Sand Martin. Other sightings from here included at least 5 Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, 50 Shelduck, 20 Teal and 7 Chiffchaffs. Sightings from Severn Beach included a flock of 100 Kittiwakes, 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Gadwall and a drake Pintail.

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                                                                                   Swallow, Northwick Warth 28.3.8

March 27th
A dry and settled day with migrants sill hard to find. Sightings from New Passage included 70 Turnstones, 12 Redshank, 15 Oystercatchers, 2 Shoveler, 3 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 50 Shelduck and 16 Pied Wagtails. At least 7 Buzzards were soaring in the fine weather between Northwick Warth and Aust. A Jack Snipe was flushed on Northwick Warth and the Short-eared Owl was seen again at dusk over Aust Warth.

March 26th
The Short-eared Owl showing very well over Aust Warth from 18.05. Reports from Chittening Warth included 4 singing Chiffchaffs, 2 Ravens, a Stonechat and a Little Grebe.The male Merlin, a Stonechat, 10 Redshank, 20 Oystercatchers, 2 Shoveler and 40 Shelduck were seen on Northwick Warth and several more Chiffchaffs were singing at Severn Beach.

March 25th
Sightings from Severn Beach included a migrant Short-eared Owl that was flushed from driftwood on the beach, the first 2 Canada Geese of the year, 60 Shelduck and 2 singing Chiffchaffs. A Little Egret, a Jack Snipe, 5 Snipe, 20 Redshank, 100 Turnstones, 4 Shoveler, 60 Shelduck, 35 Wigeon, 35 Teal and a Raven were reported from Northwick Warth.

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                                                             Short-eared Owl, Severn Beach 25.3.8  

March 24th
Sightings from Northwick Warth included much of the same with 3 Jack Snipe, 5 Snipe, 35 Redshank, 35 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, 2 Shoveler, 45 Wigeon, 45 Teal, 55 Shelduck and 3 Chiffchaffs. A flock of 55 Turnstones and 2 Wheatears were seen at Severn Beach. The Short-eared Owl was seen again on Aust Warth at 18.30.  

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                                                                                      Chiffchaff, Northwick Warth 24.3.8

March 23rd
Sightings from New Passage included a flock of at least 170 Kittiwakes (counted from photograph) heading up river, 85 Shelduck, 25 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 30 Redshank, 25 Oystercatchers, 10 Turnstones, a Peregrine and 2 singing Chiffchaffs. A visit to Northwick Warth produced a male Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaffs, 7 Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe, a Little Grebe and a Little Egret.

March 22nd
A dry and bright day but a gale force North wind made finding anything of interest difficult. A visit to Northwick Warth again produced 5 Jack Snipe, 7 Snipe a Chiffchaff and 2 Reed Buntings at the Grebe pond and 30 Oystercatchers, at least 50 Shelduck and 25 Wigeon on the saltmarsh. Thirty Redshank and 35 Teal remained at New Passage. A Grey Plover was found at Severn Beach, 30 Fieldfares and 4 Gadwall were seen nearby at the Orchard Pools. Sightings from Avonmouth Sewage works involved 18 Tufted Ducks, 6 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler and a Chiffchaff.

March 21st
Winter returned today with a strong North West wind. Reports from Severn Beach included an adult Mediterranean Gull, 17 Kittiwakes, 105 Turnstones and a male Wheatear from the shore and 2 singing Chiffchaffs at the Orchard Pools. Sightings from New Passage included 35 Redshank and 40 Teal and a visit to nearby Northwick Warth produced at least 5 possibly 7 Jack Snipe, 11 Snipe, 3 Chiffchaffs and 2 Reed Buntings around the Grebe Pond and 80 Shelduck, 7 Shoveler, 20 Wigeon and 15 Curlew from the shore. Despite the heavy rain and hail showers the Short-eared Owl was perched on a log on Aust Warth at 18.10 this evening. I managed to locate the Jack Snipe below in it’s hiding mode watching me from just a few metres.

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                                                                                 Jack Snipe, Northwick Warth 21.3.8
                                      
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                                                                               Jack Snipe, Northwick Warth 21.3.8

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                                                              Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 21.3.8  

March 20th
A male Firecrest and a singing Chiffchaff were reported near the Grebe pond on Northwick Warth at 10.30 this morning.The male Merlin, just 5 Dunlin, 6 Turnstones, 20 Oystercatchers, 6 Shoveler and 45 Shelducks were seen from New Passage. Another 64 Shelduck were seen off Severn Beach.

March 19th
The cold North wind continued, ensuring new migrants were hard to find. Sightings from New Passage included 50 Redshank, 50 Curlew, 25 Oystercatchers, 5 Shoveler, 45 Shelduck, 35 Teal and a Stonechat.Two Peregrines were seen at Sea Bank Power station, Chittening Warth and a third was seen at Severn Beach where at least one Chiffchaff was singing.Two male Stonechats were found on Aust Warth.

March 18th
Another cold and dry day following a frosty night.The male Merlin, 50 Curlew, 25 Oystercatchers, 2 Redshank, 6 Shoveler, 50 Teal, 30 Wigeon and 60 Shelduck. Another 50 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach and a Chiffchaff was seen in a garden here. Four singing Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap were reported from Chittening Warth. A Peregrine and a Siskin were seen at Aust Warth this morning.

March 17th
A dry day with a light North East wind. Sightings from Severn Beach included a Grey Plover, 2 Turnstones, 3 Oystercatchers, 4 Curlew, 3 Wheatears, a Stonechat and 2 Peregrines. Reports from the New Passage and Northwick Warth area involved 30 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlew, 3 Shoveler, 40 Shelduck, 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Reed Buntings.

March 16th
Another very wet morning and a cold North East wind all day. Despite the weather a few migrants were still found including a Wheatear and Sand Martin at New Passage, 3 Stonechats at Severn Beach and a Chiffchaff on Northwick Warth. Sightings from Aust Warth included 40 Redshank, a Snipe, 50 Wigeon, 40 Teal and 2 Stock Doves. A Jack Snipe, 10 Snipe, another 30 Redshank, 50 Teal, 10 Wigeon, a Shoveler and 45 Shelduck were seen on Northwick Warth. A short journey south to Portishead in search of  yesterday’s Franklin’s Gull was unsuccessful but I took the opportunity of seeing the regular Purple Sandpipers on Battery Point. It would be nice if one of the five I found made the short flight north to Severnside.

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                                                             Purple Sandpiper, Battery Point 16.3.8  

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                                                           Purple Sandpipers, Battery Point 16.3.8  

March 15th
A grey, wet day with a light North East wind. The first 5 Wheatears of the spring, 2 Water Pipits, 3 Stonechats, a few Meadow Pipits, 70 Turnstones and 45 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach. Another 2 male Wheatears, 2 Shoveler, 2 Pintail, 15 Wigeon, 20 Teal and 50 Shelduck were seen from New Passage. Sightings from a wet Northwick Warth included a Jack Snipe, 11 Snipe, a Lapwing, a Little Egret, a flock of 21 Golden Plover flying North East, 3 Sand Martins, 150 Meadow Pipits and 20 Pied Wagtails. Another 2 Stonechats were seen on Aust Warth.
 
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                                                                                   Wheatear, Severn Beach 15.3.8  

March 14th
A quiet day. A low tide visit to New Passage this evening produced just 35 Curlew, 12 Snipe, 60 Shelduck, 50 Teal and 10 Wigeon. A Little Grebe and 2 Kestrels were reported from Chittening Warth but no migrants could be found.

March 13th
A much calmer day with some light rain. Sightings from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included the male Merlin, a Little Egret, 12 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, 84 Shelduck, 50 Teal, 12 Wigeon and a mixed party of 50 Fieldfares and Redwings. A Peregrine and 3 Kestrels were seen at Aust Warth.

March 12th
After a night of West gales, sea watching from Severn Beach produced less than expected with just 120 Kittiwakes and the first Great Skua of the year. The Skua continued to fly high and North East beyond the Second Severn Crossing. Other reports from Severn Beach included 40 Common Gulls, 3 Great Black-backed Gulls, 40 Turnstones, a Stonechat and a Peregrine. A brief visit to windswept New Passage produced just 60 Shelduck.
A mixed group of 17 Gadwall and 17 Tufted Ducks were seen on the square pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                   Kittiwakes, Severn Beach 12.3.8  

March 11th   
A walk around the Grebe Pond on Northwick Warth flushed 5 Jack Snipe and 17 Snipe. Reports from New Passage included 50 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 40 Oystercatchers, the drake Pintail, 5 Shoveler, 50 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 60 Shelduck, an escaped Muscovy Duck, a Water Pipit and a Raven. Another 20 Turnstones were seen at Severn Beach where the South West wind increased in strength at midday producing at least 140 Kittiwakes and a Fulmar.
                                                                             
March 10th
An even higher tide this morning with many Crows and Gulls feeding again on Short-tailed Voles at both Aust Warth and Chittening Warth. The Short-eared Owl, male Merlin, a Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, 50 Oystercatchers, 50 Redshank, 10 Turnstones, 2 Sand Martins, 30 Fieldfares and 20 Redwing were seen at Aust Warth this morning. A Water Pipit was seen at New Passage. Some torrential showers and gusty wind arrived late morning producing at least 100 Kittiwakes off Severn Beach where 45 Turnstones and a Stonechat were also present.
                
March 9th
A day of sunshine and occasional heavy showers, the lull before some stormy weather predicted for tomorrow. Another spring tide pushed many Short-tailed Voles from cover on Aust Warth where dozens were caught by Crows and Gulls. Other sightings from Aust Warth this morning included the Short-eared Owl, a Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe, 40 Redshank, 70 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, a Rock Pipit, a Raven and 2 Peregrines. Sightings from New Passage involved 70 Redshank, 50 Dunlin, 10 Turnstones, the drake Pintail, 2 Shoveler,80 Teal,150 Wigeon, 80 Shelduck, the first Coal Tit of the year and another Raven. A single Ringed Plover and 30 Shelduck were reported from Severn Beach.

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                                                              Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 9.3.8  

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                                                                                  Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 9.3.8  

March 8th
A breezy day and a high spring tide (13.5 metre) failed to produce any new birds. The only reports from Severn Beach were of 35 Shelduck and a single Ringed Plover. Sightings from New Passage included 30 Redshank, 40 Dunlin, 50 Oystercatchers, 4 Turnstones, 70 Shelduck, 80 Wigeon, 40 Teal and a Peregrine. A Jack Snipe and at least 16 Snipe were flushed from around the Grebe pond on Northwick Warth.

March 7th
Sightings from New Passage included a Little Egret, 50 Redshank, 36 Oystercatchers, at least 20 Turnstones, the drake Pintail, 2 Shoveler, 34 Shelduck, 60 Teal and 15 Wigeon. A visit to the sea wall at Severn Beach produced 6 Ringed Plover and 6 Pied Wagtails and nearby there were 16 Gadwall and 2 Little Grebes on the Orchard Pools.Two Lesser Redpolls were found at the Sea Bank pools, Chittening Warth.

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                                                                                         Pied Wagtail, Severn Beach 7.3.8  
March 6th
A warmer and cloudy day. Sightings from New Passage included 5 Grey Plover, 38 Dunlin. 30 Redshank, 10 Turnstones, 34 Oystercatchers, the drake Pintail, 4 Shoveler and 26 Shelduck. Twelve Gadwall and a Little Grebe remained on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. Two Peregrines were seen at Aust Warth and a mixed flock of 300 mainly Fieldfares with Redwings were feeding in the sheep fields here.

March 5th
A frosty morning after a cold night (-4°C). Much of the same was seen today with a Little Egret, 68 Dunlin, 40 Redshank, 34 Oystercatchers, the drake Pintail, 5 Shoveler, 4 Tufted Ducks, 24 Shelduck, 50 Teal and 20 Wigeon were reported from New Passage. A Stonechat and 16 Oystercatchers were seen at Chittening Warth. Sightings from Severn Beach included 36 Shelduck on the shore and 10 Gadwall, 2 Teal and a Little Grebe at the Orchard Pools.

March 4th
An eye watering North wind made finding anything of interest difficult. Sightings were almost a repeat of yesterday with 20 Redshank, 48 Oystercatchers, the drake Pintail, 3 Shoveler, 44 Shelduck, 50 Teal and 10 Wigeon on view from New Passage. Twelve Gadwall, 2 Tufted Ducks and a Little Grebe were seen on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. A Stonechat was seen on Aust Warth this morning and a Peregrine, the male Merlin and a Short-eared Owl were seen here this evening.

March 3rd
A cold day with less of the same reported. Just 15 Redshank, 24 Oystercatchers, the drake Pintail, 2 Shoveler, 40 Shelduck and a group of 16 migrant Pied Wagtails were seen from New Passage. A Little Grebe and 14 Gadwall were seen on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl was reported again at dusk (18.25) over Aust Warth.

March 2nd
Another quiet day with just 20 Redshank, a drake Pintail, 4 Shoveler, 160 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 60 Shelduck and a Stonechat were seen from New Passage. A Little Egret and a few migrant Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits were found on Northwick Warth. Another 56 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach. A mixed flock of 100 Fieldfares and Redwings were found in the sheep fields at Aust Warth and a Merlin and Short-eared Owl were seen at dusk (18.25) on the salt marsh here.

March 1st
A quiet start to the month following a very windy night. The male Merlin, 45 Redshank, 50 Oystercatchers, 40 Curlew, a drake Pintail, 60 Shelduck, 30 Teal and 35 Wigeon were seen from New Passage. A Little Egret, a larger flock of 250 Wigeon and a group of 20 Fieldfares were seen at Aust Warth this afternoon and a Short-eared Owl eventually showed here at 18.20. Sightings from Severn Beach included an almost albino Black-headed Gull among at least 700 normal plumaged birds, 50 Shelduck, 50 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, a mobile and elusive Water Pipit and 3 Rock Pipits.
  

   
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