SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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Following two of the quietest months of the year, August can be an interesting month with a total of 167 species having been recorded during this month. The numbers and variety of waders increase, as do the numbers of migrating warblers, Whinchat and Wheatears. Mediterranean and Yellow-legged Gulls are expected. Rarities in August have included Slavonian Grebe (1996), Red Crested Pochard (1998), Goshawk, Osprey, Sabine’s Gull, Kentish Plover, White-rumped Sandpiper (1995, 2001), Wryneck (1976,1984 and 2003) and Red-backed Shrike (2003).

August 2008



August 31st
A foggy dawn followed by warm rain showers in the morning and then a dry afternoon with a freshening West wind. Two Black Terns, the first Little Stint of the year, 3 Greenshank, 53 Redshank, 60 Tunstones, 70 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 19 Teal, 4 Wheatears, a Kingfisher, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs and a Kingfisher were seen at New Passage. Reports from Northwick Warth included the first Spotted Redshank of the year, a Snipe, a Raven, 5 Wheatears and 2 Lesser Whitethroats. Sightings from Severn Beach 2 Little Egrets, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 50 Dunlin, 50 Ringed Plover, 30 Oystercatchers, 4 Teal, 2 Redstarts, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 8 Whitethroats, 7 Blackcaps, a Willow Warbler, 4 Wheatears, 6 Pied Wagtails and another Kingfisher.

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                                                                      Redstart, Severn Beach 31.8.8

August 30th
A dry and warm late summers day with a good variety of sightings. Sightings from the New Passage area included an adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 40 Curlew, 45 Redshank, 70 Turnstones, 60 Dunlin, 11 Oystercatchers, 26 Teal, the first 4 Wigeon of the autumn, a Shoveler, 10 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Grey Wagtails, 3 Wheatears, a Raven and a Tree Pipit. Reports from Severn Beach involved 3 juvenile Little Ringed Plovers, 140 Dunlin, 35 Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 50 Curlew, 2 Little Egrets, 5 Grey Herons, a Redstart, a Sedge Warbler, 7 Lesser Whitethroats, 13 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 4 Buzzards, 7 Bullfinches, a Siskin, 7 Wheatears, 8 Yellow Wagtails, a ringing session produced a number of migrants including another 5 Whitethroats, a Goldcrest, a Willow Warbler and a juvenile Spotted Flycatcher. Many Swallows and House Martins with a few Sand Martins were seen throughout the area.

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                                                                 Goldcrest, Severn Beach 30.8.8 © Ed Drewitt

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                                                                      Spotted Flycatcher, Severn Beach 30.8.8 © Ed Drewitt

August 29th
A dry and warmer day. Sightings from the New Passage area included 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 70 Turnstones, a Green Sandpiper, 41 Redshank, 30 Dunlin, 8 Teal, a Whinchat, 7 Wheatears, 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Garden Warbler, several Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats and Blackcaps. A mixed flock of 200 Dunlin and Ringed Plover, a Peregrine and a Little Egret were seen at Severn Beach this morning and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Grey Herons and a Wheatear were present there this evening.

August 28th
A Little Egret, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 34 Redshank, 50 Turnstones, 30 Dunlin, 8 Teal, a Kingfisher and a Whinchat were reported from New Passage. A mixed flock of 350 Dunlin and Ringed Plover, a Sanderling, 20 Turnstones and 2 Wheatears were seen at Severn Beach this evening.

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                                                                                           Whinchat, New Passage 28.8.8    

August 27th
Two Bar-tailed Godwits, 14 Redshank, just 12 Dunlin, 7 Teal and a Whinchat were reported from New Passage.
At mixed flock of at least 500 Dunlin and Ringed Plover remained at Severn Beach where 3 Sanderling and a Wheatear were also seen. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works included a Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebes, 22 Tufted Ducks and 18 Gadwall.

August 26th
A breezy but dry day. A dark morph Arctic Skua, 240 Ringed Plover, 200 Dunlin, 160 Curlew, 25 Turnstones, a Sanderling and a Knot were seen from Severn Beach this afternoon. A Little Egret, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 35 Dunlin, 22 Redshank, 21 Turnstones, 7 Oystercatchers, 2 adult Great Black-backed Gulls, a Kingfisher, a Hobby and 2 Yellow Wagtails were reported from New Passage.

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                                                                                 Arctic Skua, Severn Beach 26.8.8    

August 25th
An adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Knot, 40 Redshank, 50 Dunlin, 80 Turnstones, a Green Sandpiper, the first Snipe of the autumn, 7 Teal, a Hobby, 3 Wheatears, 3 Sand Martins, 4 Yellow Wagtails, a White Wagtail, a Kingfisher, a selection of Warblers including 3 Willow Warblers, 9 Chiffchaffs, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a Whitethroat, 2 Reed Warblers and a Blackcap were seen in the New Passage area. A Little Egret, 260 Ringed Plover, 250 Dunlin, a Knot and a Wheatear were seen at Severn Beach.

August 24th
A dry day following overnight rain. Sightings from New Passage included 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Knot, 50 Dunlin, 90 Turnstones, 45 Redshank, a Wheatear, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps and a Willow Warbler. A Yellow Wagtail, 4 Wheatears and a Greenshank were found on Northwick Warth. Reports from Severn Beach involved 140 Ringed Plover, 100 Dunlin, another Yellow Wagtail and an influx of Whitethroats and Blackcaps.

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                                                                                             Garden Warbler, New Passage  24.8.8

August 23rd
Two Mediterranean Gulls (adult and a juvenile/first winter) were seen from New Passage where other sightings included single Little Egret, Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Whimbrel, 150 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 50 Redshank, 60 Turnstones, 9 Teal, 4 Wheatears, 2 Yellow Wagtails and a Coal Tit. Nearby, a Green Sandpiper and 5 Lesser Whitethroats were found on Northwick Warth. Reports from Severn Beach involved 13 Black-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, 20 Ringed Plover and 10 Dunlin. A Peregrine and 140 Curlew were seen at Chittening Warth.

August 22nd
The fine settled weather continued. Sightings from New Passage involved 200 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 12 Ringed Plover, 20 Redshank, 10 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 20 Pied Wagtails and 2 Wheatears. The wader flock at Severn Beach dropped to just 50 Ringed Plover and Dunlin. A Great Crested Grebe, a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

August 21st
The first dry and sunny day for some time produced a small number of migrants. Three Sanderling were seen with the mixed flock of 200 Dunlin and Ringed Plover at Severn Beach. Another 100 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, 27 Redshank, 70 Turnstones, 19 Curlew, 17 Oystercatchers, 13 Pied Wagtails and 3 Wheatears were seen at New Passage. A search of Northwick Warth this evening produced another 12 Wheatears.

August 20th
A Storm Petrel was seen from Severn Beach at 10.35 where the mixed flock of 250 Dunlin and Ringed Plover remained on the shore. Reports from New Passage included a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Sanderling, a Knot, 2 Common Sandpipers, 200 Dunlin, 80 Turnstones, 2 Ringed Plover, 78 Redshank, 17 Oystercatchers and a Wheatear.Two Green Sandpipers and 15 Tufted Ducks were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

August 19th
Yet another wet and windy day. Sightings from Severn Beach involved 3 Storm Petrels (prior to 08.00), a Shag, 2 Black Terns, an Arctic Tern, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel. Between 10.45 and 11.45, one Storm Petrel was seen to be eaten by gulls and another escaped after being “half eaten”. Reports from New Passage involved 2 Common Sandpipers, 6 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin, 30 Turnstones, 48 Oystercatchers and 4 Wheatears. At least one Storm Petrel and a mixed flock of 250 Dunlin and Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach this evening.

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                                                                                         Storm Petrel, Severn Beach  19.8.8

August 18th
Sightings from New Passage included 2 moulting adult Black Terns, a Knot, 140 Dunlin, 9 Ringed Plover, 44 Turnstones, 16 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank, 3 Common Sandpipers, 4 Teal, a Yellow Wagtail, 30 Pied Wagtails and 3 Wheatears. The mixed flock of 400 Dunlin and Ringed Plovers remained at Severn Beach where a Knot and a Rock Pipit were also seen.

August 17th
Another day of dismal weather more like October than late summer. Sightings from Severn Beach involved a drake Common Scoter, 7 Common Terns, 200 Dunlin, 200 Ringed Plover, single Little Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Knot and Common Sandpiper, 5 Grey Herons, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Wheatears and a Rock Pipit. Another 23 Common Terns, 200 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 30 Redshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 10 Wheaters and 30 Pied Wagtails were seen from New Passage. Another Whimbrel was found at Aust Warth. A Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpipers, Little Grebes, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks and a Grey Wagtail were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.

August 16th
A day of heavy showers and a moderate strength South East wind. A morning visit to Northwick Warth produced 150 Dunlin, 20 Redshank, a Little Grebe brood, a Yellow Wagtail, 35 Pied Wagtails, 2 Wheatears and a Tree Pipit. Reports from Severn Beach included 2 Whimbrel, 300 Dunlin, 200 Ringed Plover, a Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail.

August 15th
A juvenile Mediterranean Gull was seen from New Passage where other reports included 150 Dunlin, 43 Redshank, 90 Turnstones, 27 Oystercatchers, a Knot, a Whimbrel, 60 Curlew, a Common Sandpiper, 400 Black-headed Gulls, a Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Swifts. A Green Sandpiper and a Teal were seen on Northwick Warth. Sightings from Severn Beach included a Little Egret, 4 Sanderling, a Whimbrel and a mixed flock of at least 400 Dunlin and Ringed Plover. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works included a Great Crested Grebe, 3 adult Little Grebes (with 2 broods), 5 Green Sandpipers, 6 Tufted Duck, a Grey Wagtail, a Reed Warbler and a Garden Warbler.

August 14th
A calmer day with sunshine and heavy showers. A Knot, 4 Common Sandpipers, 24 Redshank, 9 Ringed Plover, 20 Turnstones, 6 Oystercatchers, an adult Common Gull, 250 Black-headed Gulls and a Wheatear were seen from New Passage. Another 2 Knot, a Whimbrel, 300 Dunlin, 150 Ringed Plover and 20 Turnstones were reported from Severn Beach.

August 13th
Sightings from Severn Beach on another wet and windy day included at least 4 Storm Petrels, 3 Manx Shearwaters, a Kittiwake, a mixed flock of 400 Dunlin and Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstones, 2 Sanderling, a Knot, a Whimbrel, a Peregrine and a Wheatear. Another 100 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 8 Oystercatchers, 24 Turnstones, 22 Redshank, 3 Common Sandpipers and 2 Wheatears were reported from New Passage. An exhausted Storm Petrel was found in Severn Beach and taken into care this evening but sadly died soon after.

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                                                                                        Storm Petrel, Severn Beach  13.8.8
                                                     Not the usual over the water shot. This individual was seen
                                                                        flying  along the road  at Riverside Park near the sea wall.

August 12th
A bright and breezy day with occasional heavy rain. A Storm Petrel flew south close to shore at Severn Beach at 18.05 and other sightings from here included a sub adult Gannet, a Kittiwake, 120 Ringed Plover and 70 Dunlin. Reports from New Passage included 15 Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Dunlin, 30 Turnstones, 4 Ringed Plover, 14 Oystercatchers, 2 Redshank and 2 Wheatears.

August 11th
A calmer day with no seabirds reported. Sightings from New Passage included a Black-tailed Godwit, 200 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover, 24 Turnstones, 18 Redshank, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Curlew, 170 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Wheatears, 4 Grey Wagtails and a Kingfisher. Two Little Egrets and a mixed flock of 200 Dunlin and Ringed Plover were reported from Severn Beach. Five Teal, 8 Lapwings and 2 Common Sandpipers were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works and another Common Sandpiper was present nearby on the VOSA pool.

August 10th
A strong South West wind over the early afternoon high tide produced at least 3 Storm Petrels (2 lingering until 3 hours after high tide), a Fulmar, a Manx Shearwater, 3 adult Kittiwakes, 150 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin, 35 Turnstones, a Whimbrel and 3 Common Sandpipers. The juvenile Mediterranean Gull remained at New Passage where 200 Black-headed Gulls, a Little Egret, 250 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, a Sanderling, 42 Turnstones, 12 Redshank, 6 Oystercatchers and 6 Ravens were also seen. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works involved a Great Crested Grebe, 4 Teal, 5 Tufted Ducks and 2 Common Sandpipers.

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                                                                                      Storm Petrel, Severn Beach  10.8.8

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                                                                                       Storm Petrel, Severn Beach  10.8.8

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                                                                                               Storm Petrel, Severn Beach  10.8.8
                       More Severnside Petrel images can be seen here and here. With more unsettled Weather predicted during
                                the week the chance of an early autumn Leach’s or something better is a possibility

August 9th
A day of showers and a moderate strength Southerly wind. Sightings from Northwick Warth included the adult winter plumage Mediterranean Gull and juvenile Mediterranean Gull, 250 Black-headed Gulls, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Green Sandpiper, 250 Dunlin, 50 Turnstones, 20 Ringed Plover, 20 Redshank, a Wheatear and a Whinchat. A brief visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced 150 Ringed Plover, 70 Dunlin, 3 Turnstones and a Common Sandpiper.

August 8th
An adult Mediterranean Gull, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, 300 Dunlin, 14 Turnstones and 2 Wheatears were seen from New Passage. Sightings from Severn Beach involved 50 Ringed Plover, another 30 Dunlin, 10 Turnstones, 8 Teal and a Little Egret. Another 4 Teal, 8 Lapwings, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper and 2 Grey Wagtails were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works and nearby single Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper were seen at Hoar Gout.

August 7th
Reports from Severn Beach included a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, 55 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin and a Peregrine. Another 100 Dunlin, 9 Oystercatchers, 6 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpipers and 3 Wheatears were seen from New Passage.

August 6th
Sightings from New Passage included 225 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover, 5 Common Sandpipers, 14 Redshank, 18 Oystercatchers, 30 Turnstones, 24 Pied Wagtails and 3 Grey Wagtails. Nearby 2 Wheatears, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers and 2 Whitethroats were reported from Northwick Warth. Another 80 Dunlin, 60 Ringed Plover and 12 Turnstones were seen at Severn Beach.

August 5th
A wet day. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull, a Black-tailed Godwit, 130 Dunlin, 18 Ringed Plover, 45 Turnstones, 34 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank, 3 Common Sandpipers and a Garden Warbler were seen from New Passage.
A Visit to Severn Beach produced 90 Dunlin and 30 Ringed Plover. A Great Crested Grebe, a Little Grebe, 6 Tufted Ducks, 7 Gadwall, 2 Ruddy Ducks, 2 Common Sandpipers and 3 Chiffchaffs were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works. Another Tufted Duck and a Common Sandpiper were seen nearby at Hoar Gout.

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                                                                   Juvenile Mediterranean Gull, New Passage 5.8.8 © John Martin

August 4th
Sightings from New Passage included a Little Egret, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Common Sandpipers, 6 Ringed Plover, 90 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 20 Redshank, 47 Oystercatchers and the 2 Wheatears first seen yesterday. A Peregrine and a mixed flock of 70 Dunlin and Ringed Plover were reported from Severn Beach.

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                                                                                     Wood Sandpiper, Lodmoor, Dorset 4.8.8
                                      Unfortunately not on Severnside. All we need are some wet pools on the salt marsh.
                                                  This was one of three I saw in Dorset today.                                       

August 3rd
Sightings from New Passage included an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Greenshank, 6 Whimbrel, a Little Egret, 4 Ringed Plover, 70 Dunlin, 47 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank, 30 Turnstones, 3 Common Sandpipers, a Hobby, 2 Wheatears (female and juvenile), a juvenile Whinchat, 8 Chiffchaffs, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Grey Wagtails and 4 Ravens. A Little Egret and 5 Whimbrel were seen from Severn Beach. Three Green Sandpipers, 3 Tufted Ducks and 5 Little Grebes were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works and another Green Sandpiper was found at the Hoar Gout/VOSA pool.

August 2nd
Sightings from New Passage this morning included an Common Tern with the Black-headed Gulls, 5 Common Sandpipers, 30 Turnstones, 70 Dunlin, 20 Redshank, 35 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, a few Lesser Whitethroats, Whitethroats and Sand Martins. Additional migrants on Northwick Warth included a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Whimbrel, 70 Curlew, a Sedge Warbler and a Reed Warbler. Just 3 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin and 2 Common Sandpipers were reported from Severn Beach.

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                                                                         Sand Martin and Swallow, New Passage 2.8.8 © John Martin

August 1st
An adult
Mediterranean Gull (a different almost winter plumaged individual) and a Sandwich Tern were seen with the roosting Black-headed Gulls at New Passage where 5 Common Sandpipers, 20 Turnstones, 34 Dunlin, 24 Redshank, 160 Curlew and 47 Oystercatchers were also reported. An adult Hobby, 5 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper were seen at Severn Beach this evening. A Great Crested Grebe, 2 drake Ruddy Duck and 2 Common Sandpipers were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works and single Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper were seen nearby on the Hoar Gout/VOSA Pool.
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