SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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  April is the joint most productive month of the year in the number of species seen. At least one individual of 193 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).
April 2008
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April 30th
A quiet end to the month with many migrants still to arrive. The first Arctic Skua (dark morph) of the year was seen floating on the river off New Passage this morning along with 6 Black-headed Gulls, 5 Teal, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Whimbrel and 17 Dunlin. Another 3 Whimbrel, a Little Egret, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Wheatears, a Sedge Warbler and 6 House Martins were seen on Northwick Warth. Reports from Severn Beach included 9 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 60 Shelduck, 9 Buzzards soaring together and being mobbed by a Raven, 2 Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk, a Cuckoo calling near the railway station, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Sedge Warblers and a Swift. A Great Crested Grebe, 2 Reed Warblers and 4 Sedge Warblers were seen at Chittening Warth.

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                                                                                      Sparrowhawk, Severn Beach 30.4.8

April 29th
A light East wind with afternoon heavy rain. A Cuckoo, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Yellow Wagtail, 2 Swifts, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Sedge Warblers, 14 Whimbrel, 19 Ringed Plover, 32 Dunlin, 2 Gadwall, 42 Shelduck and a Peregrine were seen at Severn Beach this morning. Northwick Warth produced a Little Egret, 3 Whimbrel, a Canada Goose, 2 Teal, 30 Shelduck, 8 Wheatears, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Swifts and 8 House Martins. A Cuckoo, a male Whinchat, 9 Whimbrel and a Peregrine were reported from Aust Warth.

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                                                                              Grasshopper Warbler, Severn Beach 29.4.8

April 28th
A fresher day with a light South West wind. A Little Ringed Plover, 8 Whimbrel, 25 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, a Redshank, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 8 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, 4 Teal, 40 Shelduck, 8 Wheatears, 3 Whinchat, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Swifts and 8 House Martins were seen in the Northwick Warth area. A single flock of 20 Common Terns flew up river past Severn Beach where other sightings included 9 Whimbrel, 45 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Sedge Warblers and a Peregrine. A Grasshopper Warbler was heard at Severn Beach this evening.

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                                                                                 Little Ringed Plover, Northwick Warth 28.4.8

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                                                                                Common Sandpiper, Northwick Warth 28.4.8

April 27th
An astonishing morning with 2 Hoopoe sightings. One was seen flying from the sheep fields at Aust Warth out over the warth and back to the sheep fields again at 08.15. The same or another was reported independently of the 1st sighting, 400 metres south of Severn Beach (4.5 miles from Aust sighting) on the track between the sea wall and railway at about 08.45. Other sightings from Severn Beach included 5 “Commic Terns”, 5 Whimbrel, 72 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Gadwall, 45 Shelduck, a singing Grasshopper Warbler, 6 Sedge Warblers (including one trapped in a ringing session), a Reed Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 20 Whitethroats, 8 Wheatears, a Yellow Wagtail, a Tree Pipit, 3 Redpolls, and a Swift. Sightings from Northwick Warth included a Little Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Snipe, a Lesser Whitethroat and 6 Wheatears. Another 6 Wheatears, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Peregrine were reported from Aust Warth. Seven Gadwall, 7 Tufted Ducks, 3 Ruddy Duck, a Snipe, a Common Sandpiper and 6 Sedge Warblers were seen Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                Grasshopper Warbler, Severn Beach 27.4.8

April 26th
The hoped for influx of migrants failed to happen. A Grasshopper Warbler, 5 Sedge Warblers, 12 Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler and a Wheatear were reported from Chittening Warth. Sightings from Severn Beach involved just 15 Whimbrel, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Dunlin, 5 Turnstones, a Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Whitethroats, 3 Sedge Warblers and a Reed Warbler. A Little Ringed Plover, 2 Snipe and 2 Sedge Warblers were reported from Northwick Warth.

April 25th
A warm day (15°C) with a light southerly wind. Sightings from Severn Beach included 10 Whimbrel, 6 Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstones, a Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler and 2 Green Woodpeckers. A Grasshopper Warbler, 10 Whitethroats, 8 Sedge Warblers and a Whimbrel were reported from Chittening Warth. Another Grasshopper Warbler was heard at New Passage where 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler, 3 Whitethroats, many Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps were in song and 2 Curlew, a Whimbrel and 6 Teal were seen. Another 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler, a Little Egret, 22 Oystercatchers, 10 Whimbrel and 35 Shelduck were present on Northwick Warth.

April 24th
A breezy day with occasional heavy showers. A Little Tern was seen flying down river from Severn Beach at 09.35 where other sightings included 16 Kittiwakes, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Whimbrel, a Curlew, 7 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin, 3 Little Grebes, 4 Gadwall, a Tufted Duck, a Wheatear, 2 Sedge Warblers, a Reed Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat and 5 Whitethroats. A singing Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Wheatears and a Yellow Wagtail were seen at Northwick Warth. Three Whimbrel, 2 Redshank and 6 Teal were seen from New Passage. A male Whinchat was reported from Aust Warth.

April 23rd
A change in wind direction from the South West. Sightings from Severn Beach included 2 Little Gulls, a Little Ringed Plover, 16 Whimbrel, a Grey Plover, a Curlew, 6 Ringed Plover, 12 Dunlin, 2 Shoveler, 5 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat and 4 Wheatears. Another Little Ringed Plover, 20 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpipers, 16 Oystercatchers, 4 Redshank, a Little Egret, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Reed Warbler, a Sedge Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, a Whitethroat, a Tree Pipit and 2 Wheatears were reported from Northwick Warth. Another Sedge Warbler was singing at the Sea Bank car park

April 22nd
A warm and sunny day. A ring tail Hen Harrier was seen flying low and North East over Aust Warth this morning and 2 Short-eared Owls were seen this evening. Sightings from Northwick Warth involved 2 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Whimbrel, 4 Redshank, a Little Egret, 12 Oystercatchers, 25 Shelduck, single Peregrine, Wheatear, Lesser Whitethroat and White Wagtail. Ten Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, 21 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin, 70 Shelduck, at least 10 Wheatears (including some possible Greenland types), a Whinchat and 3 Whitethroats were seen at Severn Beach. Another Whinchat, a Sedge Warbler and 2 Shoveler were seen at Chittening Warth. There was noticeable movement of many Goldfinches and Meadow Pipits heading North East during the morning.

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                                                                                    Wheatears, Severn Beach 22.4.8

April 21st
A cloudy and wet morning followed by warmer and brighter conditions. An adult Little Gull flew upriver past New Passage where other sightings included 2 Little Ringed Plovers with a Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 30 Shelduck, 17 Teal, 6 Pied Wagtails, 4 Wheatears and a male Whinchat. Sightings from Severn Beach this evening included 4 Sandwich Terns, 83 Whimbrel in several flocks, a Grey Plover, 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Curlew, a Snipe, 70 Dunlin, 23 Ringed Plover, a Turnstone, 2 Little Egrets, 35 Shelduck, 11 Wheatears, a Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler.

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                                                                           Little Ringed Plovers, New Passage 21.4.8

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                                                                                  Whinchat, New Passage 21.4.8

April 20th
A cloudy day with a cold North East wind. Visible migration this morning (06.50-09.50) at Severn Beach included at least 90 Yellow Wagtails, a male Blue-headed Wagtail, 12 Pied Wagtails, at least one White Wagtail, 16 Tree Pipits, 450 Meadow Pipits, a Swift, 500 Swallows, 50 Sand Martins, 3 House Martins, 600 Goldfinches, 200 Linnets, 4 Siskins, a Redpoll and a Hobby. The totals for most these birds were much higher with birds passing through for the rest of the day. Other sightings from Severn Beach included 40 “Commic Terns”, 7 Arctic Terns, a summer plumaged Knot, 2 Sanderling, a Grey Plover, 2 Common Sandpipers, 12 Bar-tailed Godwits (including the colour ringed bird), 24 Whimbrel, 70 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover, 40 Shelduck, 4 Gadwall, 13 Wheatears, 3 Whitethroats and a Reed Warbler. Reports from Chittening Warth included 2 Grasshopper Warblers, 20 Whitethroats, 3 Wheatears, 20 Willow Warblers, 3 Sedge Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Redpolls another 10 Yellow Wagtails and a Raven. Another Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Wheatears, 3 Tree Pipits, 2 Siskins, 22 Whimbrel, 40 Shelduck, 35 Oystercatchers, 21 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover and a Little Egret were reported from Northwick Warth. A Short-eared Owl, another 2 Yellow Wagtails and a Peregrine were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                Yellow Wagtail, Severn Beach 20.4.8

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                                                                         Sanderling, Severn Beach 20.4.8 © Mick Garnier

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                                                                          Redpoll, Chittening Warth 20.4.8 ©  John Martin

April 19th
Another cold and wet day. Sightings from Severn Beach included a 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull, the same 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Whimbrel, a Knot, 2 Grey Plover, a Turnstone, 18 Ringed Plover, 11 Dunlin, 30 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 2 Whitethroats and a male Wheatear. Northwick Warth was quiet with just 35 Shelduck, 35 Oystercatchers, 2 Curlew, a Redshank, 10 Pied Wagtails, 3 House Martins and a Siskin reported. Another 2 Siskins and a Redpoll were seen at Chittening Warth.

April 18th
The cold East wind continued. A male Ring Ouzel was found this evening at Severn Beach, 300 metres South of Riverside Park. Other sightings from Severn Beach included 3 Bar-tailed Godwits (including the colour ringed individual), 5 Whimbrel, 10 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin. The only reports from windswept New Passage involved 3 Turnstones, 6 Redshank, 6 Oystercatchers, 35 Shelduck, 15 Teal and the first Swift of the year. Five Snipe, a Whitethroat and 18 Pied Wagtails were seen on Northwick Warth. A Wheatear and 2 Jays were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                        Ring Ouzel and Blackbird, Severn Beach 18.4.8

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                                                                                    Whimbrel, Severn Beach 18.4.8  © John Martin

April 17th
A strong East wind all day. A Hobby was gliding along the coast road at Chittening Warth early this morning. A Red Kite was seen flying from Severn Beach early afternoon and then inland over the ICI works. This evening there were 3 Bar-tailed Godwits (including the colour ringed bird trapped at Terschelling, Holland on 18th May 2004), 3 Whimbrel, 12 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin and a Turnstone at Severn Beach. A male Yellow Wagtail joined 16 Pied Wagtails on Northwick Warth where 3 Whimbrel, 33 Curlew, 27 Oystercatchers and 2 male Wheatears were also seen. A Common Sandpiper was found on the new pool at Hoar Gout.

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                                                                  Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwits, Severn Beach 17.4.8

April 16th
Another cold and misty start to the day with the North East wind producing a few new migrants. A Rose-ringed Parakeet, only the second Severnside record, was found at New Passage this morning where other sightings included a Little Ringed Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Oystercatchers, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 40 Shelduck and 15 Teal. An evening visit to Northwick Warth produced an additional flock of 50 Bar-tailed Godwits flying up river, at least 14 Whimbrel, a Little Egret, 7 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 2 Redstarts (male & female), 2 Wheatears, 30 Swallows and 2 House Martins. Another 22 Bar-tailed Godwits including a colour ringed individual, 13 Whimbrel, a female Redstart and 3 Wheatears were seen at Severn Beach this evening.

April 15th
An icy (-1°C) start then a sunny day with showers. Sightings from New Passage included a Common Sandpiper, the 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 10 Redshank, 12 Oystercatchers, a Shoveler, 40 Shelduck and 15 Teal. Reports from Northwick Warth included 3 White Wagtails, 18 Pied Wagtails, a Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaffs, 10 Swallows and 4 Sand Martins. Four Ruddy Ducks, 2 Shoveler, 15 Tufted Ducks and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works. A Short-eared Owl was hunting along the sea wall at Riverside Park, Severn Beach this evening where 13 Whimbrel, 40 Turnstones and 20 Shelduck were also seen.

April 14th
The weather remained unsettled with heavy and gusty downpours. Sightings from New Passage involved 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 8 Redshank, 20 Oystercatchers, 40 Shelduck and 15 Teal. An evening visit to Northwick Warth produced a Little Egret, 18 Pied Wagtails, 2 Willow Warblers, at least 20 Swallows and 2 Sand Martins.
A Tawny Owl was seen at dusk in Severn Beach.

April 13th
A day of sunshine and occasional heavy showers. The first Sedge Warbler and a Little Ringed Plover were first of the year finds at Northwick Warth. A Whitethroat, 2 singing Willow Warblers, 4 Blackcaps and many Chiffchaffs, 35 Shelduck, 12 Curlew and a Ringed Plover were reported from Severn Beach. A Tree Pipit, Wheatear, Willow Warbler and a Whimbrel were found at Chittening Warth. A few Swallows and Sand Martins, the first for a few days, were seen heading North throughout the area. A Cetti’s Warbler was still present at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

April 12th
A quiet day on Severnside with limited coverage and few new migrants. The usual 40 Shelduck, 17 Teal and 5 Snipe were seen at Northwick Warth. Another 20 Shelduck, a single adult Kittiwake and a Wheatear were reported from Severn Beach. Sightings from Aust Warth included 20 Turnstones, 11 Redshank, 40 Curlew, 4 Oystercatchers,10 Teal, 6 Shelduck, 2 Buzzards, many singing Skylarks and a few singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. A Hoopoe was a pleasant distraction in the east of the county at Sands Farm, Dyrham. It was only viewable at a hundred metres range and it was seen within a metre of a male Black Redstart.The record shot below was the best I could get due to the distance from the bird.

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                                                                                    Hoopoe, Sands Farm, Dyrham 12.4.8

April 11th
An early birder was lucky to find a reeling Grasshopper Warbler on Northwick Warth along with a Willow Warbler, many singing Chiffchaffs and a Jay. Just 2 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin, 3 Redshank, 45 Shelduck, 20 Teal, the escaped Muscovy Duck and 6 Pied Wagtails were seen from New Passage. At least 120 Kittiwakes were seen from Severn Beach in breezy conditions this afternoon. Three Kestrels were still present on Aust Warth this morning despite the heavy rain showers.

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                                                          Kestrel, Aust Warth 11.4.8  © Richard Bowerman
April 10th
A warmer day with rain showers and an unusual variety of birds. Sightings from New Passage included a female Merlin, a Little Egret, 20 Redshank, 20 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plover, 20 Teal and 45 Shelduck. At least 6 Snipe, 4 Willow Warblers and 12 Swallows were seen on Northwick Warth. A flock of at least 40 Kittiwakes were seen off Severn Beach heading up river before flying off high back towards Gwent. Other sightings at Severn Beach included 7 Ringed Plover, 5 drake Shoveler, 20 Shelduck, 2 singing Willow Warblers, 2 Blackcaps and several Chiffchaffs. A Short-eared Owl, a Little Grebe, a Water Rail, 2 Ravens, 2 Shoveler, 3 Blackcaps, several Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs were reported from Chittening Warth. The first 2 Whitethroats of the year, a Cetti’s Warbler, 6 Shoveler, 8 Tufted Ducks, 4 Gadwall and 2 Ruddy Ducks were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                          flycatching Willow Warbler, Northwick Warth 10.4.8

April 9th
The same weather and little change in the birds. Sightings from New Passage included 4 Wheatears, 20 Pied Wagtails, 20 Redshank, 30 Turnstones, 4 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 16 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, 45 Shelduck and 20 Teal. Three Ringed Plover and a Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach. A Raven, 16 Swallows and 2 Sand Martins were seen on Northwick Warth this evening. A number of singing Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps were heard throughout the area.

April 8th
A frosty (-1°C) start to the day. Sightings from New Passage involved just a Wheatear, 2 Dunlin, 24 Redshank, 14 Turnstones, 16 Oystercatchers, 50 Shelduck and 20 Teal. A brief visit to the Grebe Pond produced a few migrants including 15 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins and a House Martin. A Little Egret was reported from Aust Warth.

April 7th
Another cool day with some sleet and hail showers. Two Wheatears, 10 Oystercatchers and 30 Shelduck were seen from New Passage where a mixed total 50 Swallows and Sand Martins were observed heading North. Five Ruddy Ducks, a Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, a Cetti’s Warbler, 3 Chiffchaffs and 4 Willow Warblers were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works. Another 2 Willow Warblers were seen on Northwick Warth. Two Little Grebes and 2 Jays were seen at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach.

April 6th
A cold day with occasional snow flurries. Sightings from Northwick Warth included 2 Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, 35 Swallows, 4 Sand Martins, a House Martin, 13 Pied Wagtails, a Raven, a Jack Snipe and Snipe, 15 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, 3 Shoveler, 20 Teal and 50 Shelduck. The Short-eared Owl was reported again over Aust Warth this afternoon. Five Gadwall were seen on the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach and 2 Canada Geese, a Peregrine, a Raven and 2 Swallows were seen over Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth.

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                                                                                      Wheatear, Northwick Warth 6.4.8

April 5th
A sunny but cooler day with North West wind and forecast to get colder. A Short-eared Owl, female Merlin, Peregrine, male Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrels, 2 Snipe, 4 Redshank and an unidentified Grey Goose were seen at Aust Warth this morning where a few Swallows, Sand Martins and a House Martin were seen heading up river. Sightings at Northwick Warth included a singing Willow Warbler, Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins, Swallows, small flocks of Meadow Pipits, a Stock Dove and the usual 50 Shelduck, 25 Oystercatchers and 20 Curlew. Five Ringed Plover, a Dunlin, 12 Redshank and 30 Teal were reported from New Passage. A single flock of 25 Sand Martins, several singing Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers (including one caught in a ringing session), a Siskin, a Jay, a female Wheatear and 23 Turnstones were reported from Severn Beach.

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                                                       Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 5.4.8 © Richard Bowerman

April 4th
A foggy morning followed by a sunny afternoon. Reports from New Passage included 12 Sand Martins heading South, a Lesser Redpoll, a Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 30 Curlew, 20 Oystercatchers, 32 Redshank, a Shoveler, 25 Teal and 60 Shelduck. An evening visit to Northwick Warth produced a Little Grebe, at least 10 Sand Martins and 4 Swallows. A party of 17 Whimbrel, 30 Dunlin and 20 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach this evening. A Short-eared Owl and 4 Kestrels were seen over Aust Warth at 11.30 this morning.

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                                                                                    Sand Martin, Northwick Warth 4.4.8

April 3rd
Another quiet day with just a female Merlin, 26 Redshank, 20 Oystercatchers, Little Egret, 5 Shoveler, 30 Teal, 50 Shelduck, 8 Pied Wagtails and 2 Swallows were seen from New Passage.Two Short-eared Owls were hunting over Aust Warth at 19.25 this evening. A few singing Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were heard today.

April 2nd
A few migrants were found but it was generally quiet. A Grey Plover, 8 Redshank, 40 Teal, single Swallow and Sand Martin were seen from New Passage. Another 45 Sand Martins, 60 Shelduck and 20 Curlew were seen at Northwick Warth this evening. A Willow Warbler, a Little Grebe and another 26 Shelduck were reported from Chittening Warth. Chiffchaffs were singing throughout the area.

April 1st
A dry and bright day followed a wet and breezy night. Reports from Severn Beach included a Willow Warbler and a Little Grebe at the Orchard Pools and 5 Kittiwakes from the shore. Sightings from Northwick Warth involved 3 Wheatears, 6 Pied Wagtails, 2 Sand Martins, 4 Grey Plover, 8 Redshank, a Snipe, 2 Wigeon, 40 Shelduck and 30 Teal.