A stormy end to the month with South West gales. Despite an extensive sea watch from Severn Beach, the only seabirds found were a single flock of 90 Kittiwakes mid afternoon. Other sightings from here included a drake Pintail, 12 Ringed Plover, 30 Turnstones, a single Snipe and 3 Great Black-backed Gulls. The only reports from New Passage involved 50 Redshank, 80 Lapwing, 100 Dunlin, 14 Shelduck and 110 Teal.
A dry and sunny day. Reports from New Passage involved just 100 Dunlin, 120 Lapwing, 50 Oystercatchers, 12 Redshank, 10 Turnstones, 38 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler and the usual Wigeon and Teal. Another 30 Redshank and 10 Dunlin were seen on Chittening Warth. No reports were received from Aust Warth.
The usual 200 Dunlin, 108 Lapwing, 17 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, 48 Common Gulls, 28 Shelduck, 150 Wigeon and 100 Teal were reported from New Passage and 17 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Duck remained on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. A late afternoon visit to Aust Warth produced many thousands of Starlings heading across the river to Gwent, the male Merlin and a Short-eared Owl from 17.00.
A high tide visit to New Passage produced a Little Egret, 200 Dunlin, 100 Lapwing, 18 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, a Snipe, 2 Shoveler, 28 Shelduck, 150 Wigeon and 100 Teal. Another 12 Shelduck and 4 Ringed Plover were seen from Severn Beach. A male Merlin appeared briefly at dusk on Aust Warth.
Sightings from New Passage included 200 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 50 Lapwing, 50 Oystercatchers, 20 Turnstones, 130 Curlew, 48 Shelduck, the usual Wigeon and Teal flocks and 7 Fieldfares. There were 17 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Ducks and a Little Grebe on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. A Stonechat was seen on Aust Warth this morning and a Short-eared Owl was still present this afternoon.
Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 27.1.8 © R.W.L. Bowerman
Another dry day with a cold wind. An exhausted Fulmar was seen floating off Severn Beach and although it flew several times, it eventually floated up river beyond the Second Severn Crossing. The only other reports from Severn Beach involved 60 Turnstones and 30 Lapwing. A late afternoon visit to Aust Warth produced 2 Ravens, a Peregrine, many thousands of Starlings swarming across to Gwent and the male Merlin and a Short-eared Owl finally appeared at dusk.
Fulmar, Severn Beach 26.1.8
A windy but dry and sunny day. A Raven, 3 Rock Pipits, 60 Turnstones, a Snipe, 5 Shelduck and 2 Great Black-backed Gulls but no seabirds were seen from Severn Beach this morning. A Bar-tailed Godwit, 2000 Dunlin, 120 Curlew, 80 Oystercatchers, 40 Redshank, 30 Lapwing, 28 Shelduck, 5 Shoveler, 100 Teal and 150 Wigeon were reported from New Passage. A Short-eared Owl eventually showed over Aust Warth at dusk and several large flocks of Starlings once again were observed heading towards Gwent to roost.
Another dry day and a repeat of yesterday. There were still 2000 Dunlin, 45 Oystercatchers, 9 Redshank, 60 Lapwing, 20 Common Gulls, 3 Shoveler and the usual Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck from New Passage. There were 2 Short-eared Owls again at Aust Warth the first of which showed briefly at 16.10. Other sightings from Aust included several large flocks of Starlings heading west, a Raven and a Peregrine.
Reports from New Passage included 2000 Dunlin, 35 Oystercatchers, 8 Redshank, 48 Common Gulls, 3 Shoveler, 20 Shelduck, 200 Wigeon and 100 Teal. At least 2 Short-eared Owls eventually appeared over Aust Warth at 17.05. The male Merlin showed well here earlier and many thousands of Starlings were seen crossing the estuary towards Gwent at 16.40.
A drier and settled day. Sightings from New Passage included a male Merlin, 2000 Dunlin, 110 Lapwing, 30 Oystercatchers, 11 Grey Plover, 14 Redshank, 5 Shoveler, 20 Shelduck, 200 Wigeon and 100 Teal. Three Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach. The male Merlin was seen again this evening on Aust Warth where a Short-eared Owl showed briefly at 17.00.
A Bar-tailed Godwit at New Passage was the first this year but other birds were seen in even lower numbers with just 14 Redshank, 24 Oystercatchers, 8 Dunlin and 10 Shelduck. A good selection of wildfowl were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works including a female Goldeneye, 22 Shoveler, 40 Tufted Duck, 12 Pochard and 12 Gadwall. The South West wind increased in strength this afternoon producing an exhausted Fulmar and 90 Kittiwakes from Severn Beach at dusk.
No improvement in the weather or birds. A brief visit to New Passage produced 50 Redshank, 70 Oystercatchers, 90 Curlew, 20 Lapwing and 110 Teal. Severn Beach was even quieter with 50 Turnstones on the shore and 11 Gadwall and a Little Grebe on the Orchard Pools.
Another day of continuous rain. A wet visit Northwick Warth produced 2 Jack Snipe and 24 Snipe, 35 Lapwing, 60 Curlew, 60 Redshank, 12 Shelduck and 110 Teal. At least 190 Turnstones were counted feeding below the sea defences at Severn Beach.
A wet and breezy day. A single flock of 80 Kittiwakes were seen in the gloom off Severn Beach this afternoon along with 90 Turnstones, 60 Curlew and a single Ringed Plover. The reports from New Passage involved another 67 Turnstones and 80 Curlew.
A quiet day with just 45 Lapwing, 20 Turnstones, 14 Oystercatchers, 2 Shoveler, fewer Wigeon with the usual Teal and Shelduck reported from New Passage. There were 120 Turnstones at Severn Beach. Just 50 Dunlin, 15 Redshank and another 20 Turnstones were seen from Stupp Pill at Chittening Warth this afternoon.
A Little Egret, 35 Redshank, 15 Shoveler and the usual Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck were reported from New Passage. Another 48 Redshank and just 25 Dunlin were seen at New Pill, Chittening Warth. The 6 Ringed Plover and 55 Turnstones remained on the shore at Severn Beach and 10 Gadwall remained on the nearby Orchard Pools. A Short-eared Owl eventually showed on Aust Warth from 16.55.
More strong wind and rain but no seabirds. There were 300 Dunlin, 90 Redshank, 15 Turnstones, 50 Lapwing, 50 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, 3 Shoveler, 20 Shelduck, 180 Teal and 230 Wigeon at New Passage. A high tide visit to Severn Beach produced just 6 Ringed Plover and 80 Turnstones on the shore and 12 Reed Buntings were feeding in the salt marsh. A late afternoon visit to Aust Warth produced a Stonechat and a Peregrine but no Owls yet again.
The wet and unsettled weather produced 7 Kittiwakes at high tide from Severn Beach. The usual reports from New Passage included 100 Dunlin, 46 Redshank, 60 Oystercatchers, 110 Curlew, 20 Shelduck with the mixed Wigeon and Teal flock.
A breezy day with a moderate strength southerly wind turning wet again in the afternoon. Nothing of excitement to report from New Passage with 40 Redshank, 30 Dunlin, 35 Oystercatchers, 70 Curlew, 24 Shelduck, 8 Shoveler, 300 Wigeon and 130 Teal being seen. Two Great Black-backed Gulls and 50 Turnstones were reported from Severn Beach. The male Merlin was seen again at dusk on Aust Warth where many thousands of Starlings put on an aerial display before heading across the Severn to roost. No Owls were seen by 16.50, probably due to the poor weather.
A drier day with some morning sunshine. Sightings from the shore at New Passage involved just 30 Redshank, 45 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, 4 Shoveler, 28 Shelduck and the mixed flock of at least 300 Wigeon and Teal. The flooded fields at Southworthy Farm, New Passage produced a winter plumaged adult Mediterranean Gull. There were 12 Gadwall and 3 Tufted Ducks on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. A Stonechat was seen on Aust Warth and a Short-eared Owl eventually appeared here at 16.50 near the reed bed.
A day of foul weather with torrential rain, poor visibility and snow were some of the reasons for nothing of note being reported locally today. The main reason was the attraction of a White-crowned Sparrow, hopping around on a gravel drive in darkest Norfolk. Having known of it’s presence for 6 days I finally cracked and made the journey today. Despite the 550 mile round trip made worse by road closures, a multiple car crash, the terrible weather and flooded roads, seeing the bird made it all worthwhile.
White-crowned Sparrow, Cley, Norfolk 11.1.8
A windy morning produced 2 drake Common Scoter, 3 Kittiwakes and 40 Redshank at Chittening Warth. Another 80 Redshank, 300 Dunlin, 60 Oystercatchers, 110 Teal and 220 Wigeon were seen from New Passage. No sea birds were seen from Severn Beach in a one hour search but 40 Turnstones were found roosting on the rocky beach above the Severn Tunnel.
Little to report from New Passage with just 5 Grey Plover, 80 Oystercatchers, 2 Turnstones, 32 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler and a reduced number of Wigeon and Teal being seen.
A near summer plumaged Mediterranean Gull was seen with Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls on a flooded field near the Western Approaches traffic lights in Severn Beach. Nearby there were 17 Gadwall on the Orchard Pools. A visit to New Passage produced the usual 90 Oystercatchers, 20 Dunlin, 3 Shoveler, 24 Shelduck with the large flock of Wigeon and Teal.
A windy day following a night of gales should have produced a few interesting seabirds but both high tides were in darkness today. A windswept New Passage produced 150 Dunlin, 90 Oystercatchers, 48 Redshank, 20 Shelduck, 3 Shoveler, 300 Wigeon and 150 Teal. A Peregrine was seen attacking a Shelduck during a low tide visit to Severn Beach this morning. A brief sea watch from Severn Beach at dusk, 3 hours before high tide, produced a Fulmar and 9 Kittiwakes. A Short-eared Owl was reported from Aust Warth at 16.30, where a Merlin flew in to roost at 16.55 and a huge Starling flock (half the length of the Severn Bridge) was seen again heading to roost in Gwent.
A dry and sunny day. Sightings from Aust Warth this morning included a Green Sandpiper being chased by 2 Peregrines, 3 Grey Plover, 4 Snipe, 2 Pintail, 3 Stonechats, 3 Rock Pipits and nearby a Blackcap was seen on Aust Cliff. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included a Little Egret, 270 Wigeon, 200 Teal, 40 Oystercatchers, 400 Dunlin, 6 Turnstones and 2 Snipe. A count of 16 Coot and 10 Moorhens at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach was higher than usual.
A brief visit to New Passage between the rain produced 400 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 24 Shelduck, 4 Shoveler and 60 Oystercatchers. A Short-eared Owl, male Merlin, Peregrine, Little Egret and 3 Stonechats were seen on Aust Warth and 55 Common Gulls were in the sheep fields here.
male Merlin at dusk, Aust Warth 5.1.8
This male Merlin is seen most often early morning or at dusk on
Aust Warth where it appears to roost. It has been seen to fly off
inland for the day on several occasions.
A murky grey day. Sightings from New Passage included a Little Egret, 170 Lapwing, 100 Dunlin, 6 Turnstones, 42 Oystercatchers, 30 Redshank, a Great Black-backed Gull, 6 Common Gulls, 150 Teal, 300 Wigeon, 14 Shelduck, 9 Shoveler and a Rock Pipit. Nearby there were 21 Snipe, a Water Rail and a drake Pochard on the Grebe Pond, Northwick Warth. Reports from Severn Beach involved 17 Ringed Plover, just 10 Dunlin, 4 Turnstones, 50 Redshank, 41 Shelduck, 4 Rock Pipits and a Raven. A single Stonechat was seen on Aust Warth and many thousands of Starlings were seen from here heading across the river to roost in Gwent late afternoon but no Short-eared Owls showed by 16.30 when it started to rain heavily.
An uneventful day with a cold East wind. Just 49 Oystercatchers, 3 Dunlin and the usual Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck flock were seen from New Passage. Another 41 Oystercatchers, 2 Turnstones, 3 Ringed Plover, 28 Shelduck and 2 Peregrines were reported from Severn Beach. A Stonechat was seen again on Aust Warth.
A grey day with a cold East wind. A Little Egret, 70 Lapwing, 50 Dunlin, 8 Shoveler, 300 Wigeon and 100 Teal were seen from New Passage. Sightings from Severn Beach included 40 Redshank, 7 Ringed Plover, 15 Shoveler, 24 Shelduck, a Water Pipit, 2 Rock Pipits and a Stonechat. Two Short-eared Owls showed at Aust Warth from 15.50 where single Stonechat and Snipe were also seen.
Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 1.1.8
A dry and calm start to the year. A Little Egret, the usual Wigeon, Shelduck and Teal were seen from New Passage. A Little Owl was found roosting in Willows on Northwick Warth. Two Short-eared Owls were still showing well at Aust Warth this afternoon and a Stonechat was also seen here.
January is a slightly better month than December, the daylight hours slowly lengthen resulting in a monthly total of 155 species. Like any of the mid winter months it can be good for wildfowl sightings if inland waters freeze, with the chance of Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander and Ruddy Duck or some fly by Bewick’s Swans. Seabirds seen in gales have included Cory’s Shearwater (2004), Storm Petrel, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk, Red-throated Diver (1991,1993) and Grey Phalarope. Other January birds include; Great Grey Shrike (2004) and Shorelark (2004), Waxwing (1958), two Common Cranes that flew over Severn Beach (2000), two Whooper Swans (2005) and a few rare sightings of Hen Harrier.