SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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February is generally another quiet month with only a total of 151 species recorded. Gales in this month have produced Storm and Leach’s Petrel, Pomarine Skua and all four records of Puffin. Other rarities seen include Spoonbill (2004), Avocets, Ring-billed Gull (1987), Great Grey Shrike (1999,2000,2004), Shorelark (2004) and Cirl Bunting (1943).

February 2009



February 28th
A dry and grey end to the month.Two Firecrests were relocated in the hedge on the approach road to the Orchard Pools
(opposite the green railings. Click here for location) where other sightings included a Little Egret, 2 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Teal, 8 Fieldfares, single Goldcrest, Buzzard and Green Woodpecker. Sightings from New Passage involved a Little Egret, 250 Dunlin, 10 Turnstones, 40 Redshank, 50 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, a Snipe, 30 Shelduck, 50 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 100 Black-headed Gulls and 27 Common Gulls. A visit to Northwick Warth produced 7 Jack Snipe, 19 Snipe, 7 Pied Wagtails and a Rock Pipit.

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                                                                                           Firecrest, Severn Beach 28.2.9

February 27th
Sightings from New Passage included a Great Crested Grebe, 40 Wigeon, 45 Teal, 80 Shelduck, 250 Dunlin, 35 Curlew, 9 Turnstones, 38 Redshank, 39 Oystercatchers and a leucistic Black-headed Gull with 90 normal birds. An impressive 9 Jack Snipe were found on Northwick Warth along with 19 Snipe and at least 3 singing Skylarks were making the best of the settled weather. Reports from the Severn Beach shore included another Jack Snipe, 60 Shelduck, 10 Turnstones, 22 Redshank, 50 Dunlin, 60 Curlew and a Raven. Eleven Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, 2 Teal, 2 Little Grebes, a Water Rail and a Green Woodpecker were reported from the Orchard Pools.

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                                                                                            Shelduck, Severn Beach 27.2.9

February 26th
Another quiet day with just 60 Dunlin, 6 Turnstones, 4 Redshank, 6 Oystercatchers, 14 Shelduck, 20 Wigeon and 6 Common Gulls reported from New Passage. Another 15 Redshank, 22 Turnstones, 7 Oystercatchers and 20 Shelduck were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and 5 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Teal, a Little Grebe, 4 Snipe and a Buzzard were reported from the Orchard Pools.

February 25th
A quieter day with just 200 Dunlin, 15 Redshank, 40 Curlew, 30 Turnstones, 19 Oystercatchers, 2 Lapwing, 24 Shelduck, 60 Wigeon, 50 Teal and 10 Common Gulls reported from New Passage. Sightings from the shore at Severn Beach involved just 10 Wigeon and 12 Turnstones and just inland, a Water Rail, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Teal, 4 Gadwall, single Little Grebe, a Sparrowhawk and Green Woodpecker were seen at the Orchard Pools.

February 24th
A cloudy grey day. The male Merlin, a Little Egret, 700 Dunlin, 55 Redshank, 50 Curlew, 15 Oystercatchers, 4 Turnstones, 12 Common Gulls, 2 Shoveler and a mixed flock of Wigeon and Teal were seen from New Passage. A Firecrest was relocated at the Orchard Pools (near the Pampas Grass on the North end of the 2nd pool) at Severn Beach where a Water Rail, 4 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Teal, a Sparrowhawk and a Green Woodpecker were also reported. A Grey Plover, 65 Dunlin, 22 Oystercatchers and a Stonechat were seen at Chittening Warth. Two Peregrines and a Kestrel were present at Aust Warth this afternoon.

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                                                                           Merlin, Northwick Warth 24.2.9 © Richard Bowerman

February 23rd
The dry and mild weather continued. Sightings from New Passage included 2 Little Egrets, 1000 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 32 Oystercatchers, 8 Turnstones, 2 Shoveler, 150 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 6 Common Gulls, single Raven and Kingfisher. Reports from the shore at Severn Beach involved 52 Shelduck and 40 Oystercatchers and nearby a Water Rail, 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Teal, 2 Gadwall, single Little Grebe and Green Woodpecker were present at the Orchard Pools. The male Merlin and a Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth this afternoon. An adult Yellow-legged Gull, a Great Crested Grebe, 18 Gadwall, 25 Teal, 2 Pochard, 33 Tufted Duck, 2 Ruddy Duck, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Grey Wagtail and another Kingfisher were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 22nd
An early morning visit to Northwick Warth once again produced the male Merlin, a Greylag Goose flying North, followed by 2 Canada Geese a short time later. Sightings from New Passage involved 142 Dunlin, 27 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 13 Redshank, 2 Shoveler, 30 Shelduck, 90 Wigeon and 110 Teal. Reports from the shore at Severn Beach included a Woodcock (flushed by a dog near the railway) and a Stonechat. Four Buzzards, 2 Tufted Duck, single Little Grebe and Green Woodpecker were seen at the Orchard Pools. Another Stonechat was seen at Aust Warth.

February 21st
Yet another dry and sunny early spring day. The male Merlin was seen again early morning on Northwick Warth where 2 Jack Snipe were also seen. A Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Golden Plover, 7 Lapwing, 62 Dunlin, 17 Redshank, 12 Oystercatchers, 40 Turnstones, 12 Common Gulls, 8 Shoveler, 110 Wigeon and 130 Teal were seen from New Passage. At least one Firecrest was relocated in brambles at the north end of the 2nd Orchard Pool at Severn Beach where 4 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, a Buzzard and a Green Woodpecker were also reported. Sightings from the estuary at Severn Beach involved 7 adult Kittiwakes, 50 Shelduck and 35 Oystercatchers. A Stonechat and 2 Kestrels were reported from Aust Warth.

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                                                                               Merlin, Northwick Warth 21.2.9 © Richard Bowerman

February 20th
The settled weather continues. Sightings from New Passage included the male Merlin, 2 Little Egrets, 26 Redshank, just 4 Dunlin, 12 Oystercatchers, 70 Curlew, 10 Lapwing, 5 Common Gulls, 6 Shoveler, 30 Shelduck, 130 Wigeon and 110 Teal. Another 40 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 20 Shelduck and 240 Black-headed Gulls were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and 2 Tufted Duck. 2 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 3 Bullfinches, single Buzzard and Green Woodpecker were reported from the Orchard Pools.

February 19th
Another cloudy but mild day. Reports from Severn Beach included 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 28 Oystercatchers, 35 Redshank and 70 Shelduck from the shore and 10 Tufted Duck, 7 Gadwall and a Little Grebe at the Orchard Pools. A Little Egret, 80 Dunlin, 21 Redshank, 12 Lapwing, 8 Oystercatchers, 12 Shelduck, the usual Wigeon and Teal flock and 3 Common Gulls.

February 18th
A dry start to the day followed by drizzle and fog. The male Merlin was seen again on an early morning visit to Northwick Warth where a Sparrowhawk was also seen. Reports from New Passage included 100 Dunlin, 18 Redshank, 15 Lapwing, 6 Shoveler, 10 Shelduck, 160 Wigeon and 70 Teal. Sightings from the shore at Severn Beach involved 3 Ringed Plover, 15 Turnstones, 30 Oystercatchers, 45 Redshank, a cock Pheasant and 20 Shelduck and nearby 4 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall and a Little Grebe remained on the Orchard Pools. A Peregrine was seen over Chittening Warth.

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                                                                                     Merlin, Northwick Warth 18.2.9 © Richard Bowerman

February 17th
Sightings from New Passage involved a Knot, 15 Turnstones, 200 Dunlin, 8 Redshank, 6 Lapwing, 34 Shelduck, 180 Wigeon and 70 Teal. The male Merlin and a Peregrine were seen on Northwick Warth early morning. A visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced 66 Oystercatchers, 73 Redshank and 30 Shelduck.Two Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall and a Little Grebe remained at the Orchard Pools. A Stonechat, a cock Pheasant and 2 Peregrines were seen at Aust Warth this afternoon.

February 16th
A mild (11°C) early spring day. The male Merlin showed well on Northwick Warth early this morning. Sightings from New Passage included 102 Turnstones, just 200 Dunlin, 15 Oystercatchers, 9 Redshank, 70 Curlew, 5 Lapwings, 34 Shelduck, 200 Wigeon and 90 Teal. Reports from the Severn Beach shore involved 90 Redshank, 12 Oystercatchers and 28 Shelduck and nearby 2 Tufted Ducks, 4 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, single Little Grebe, Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker remained at the Orchard Pools.

February 15th
A sunny day with a light South West breeze. A Little Stint and Common Sandpiper were reported from New Passage where 2000 Dunlin, 50 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 60 Turnstones, 40 Shelduck, 200 Wigeon and 90 Teal were also seen. The male Merlin and a Peregrine were were seen again on Northwick Warth early this morning. A Water Rail was flushed at Chittening Warth. Sightings from Aust Warth included 200 Lapwing, 2 Ravens, 2 Peregrines, a Buzzard and a cock Pheasant.

February 14th
A cloudy dry day. The male Merlin was seen to catch and eat a bathing Starling on Northwick Warth where other sightings included 7 Jack Snipe, 31 Snipe, a Little Egret, a Raven, 70 Fieldfares, 20 Redwing, a Bullfinch and a Peregrine kill (drake Wigeon). The usual 2000 Dunlin, 60 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, 6 Shoveler, 250 Wigeon, 90 Teal and 60 Shelduck were seen from New Passage. A visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced another 300 Dunlin, 140 Turnstones, 80 Redshank, 70 Oystercatchers, 110 Curlew, a Snipe, 32 Shelduck, 5 Grey Herons, 600 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls, a pair of Peregrines (chasing a Wood Pigeon), 2 Stonechats, 3 Rock Pipits and a large flock of 43 Magpies and nearby there were 3 Pochard, 8 Tufted Ducks, 2 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Buzzard at the Orchard Pools.Two Short-eared Owls, 2 Kestrels, a Buzzard, a Raven and 2 cock Pheasants were reported from Aust Warth. A male Merlin and 2 Water Pipits were seen at Chittening Warth.

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                                                                  Merlin with Starling, Northwick Warth 14.2.9 © Richard Bowerman

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                                                                                          Jack Snipe, Northwick Warth 14.2.9

February 13th
At least 2000 Dunlin, 40 Lapwing, 30 Oystercatchers, 12 Redshank, 50 Shelduck, 4 Shoveler, 300 Wigeon and 120 Teal were reported from New Passage. Another 300 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, 3 Ringed Plover, 20 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 2 Stonechats and a cock Pheasant were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and 7 Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, a Pochard and 2 Bullfinches were seen at the Orchard Pools. At least one Short-eared Owl, an adult male Merlin (that caught a Meadow Pipit), an adult female Peregrine, 2 Buzzards, a Kestrel, 2 Snipe and at least 20 Redwings were seen at Aust Warth.

February 12th
A cold dawn (-4°C) and a 14.1 metre high tide combined to produce a good variety of thousands of birds. Sightings from New Passage included a Merlin, 5 Knot, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Golden Plover, at least 3000 Dunlin, 1000 Lapwing, 200 Curlew, 66 Oystercatchers, 18 Redshank, 15 Turnstones, 70 Shelduck, a Shoveler, 300 Wigeon and 130 Teal. An impressive 5 Jack Snipe, 44 Snipe, 70 Fieldfares and 50 Redwing were seen on Northwick Warth.

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                                                                                      Jack Snipe, Northwick Warth 12.2.9

The high tide flooded the salt marsh at Aust Warth causing a feeding frenzy of Crows and Gulls eating Voles. Three Short-eared Owls, a female Merlin, 2 Peregrines, a pair of copulating Kestrels, 2 Ravens, another Jack Snipe, 8 Snipe, 30 Redshank, 80 Wigeon and 40 Redwings were also seen here this morning. Eight Ringed Plover, 22 Redshank, 12 Shelduck and 2 Stonechats were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and 7 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, a Green Woodpecker and 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen at the Orchard Pools. A Chiffchaff was reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                      Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 12.2.9

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                                                                               Carrion Crows, Aust Warth 12.2.9 © Richard Bowerman

February 11th
An icy (-2°C) and foggy morning followed by a sunny afternoon. Sightings from New Passage included a Little Egret, 1000 Dunlin, 600 Lapwing, 42 Oystercatchers, 10 Redshank, 62 Shelduck, 6 Gadwall, 350 Wigeon and 80 Teal. Another 30 Redshank, 50 Dunlin, 8 Turnstones and 2 Stonechats were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and nearby there were still 5 Gadwall on the nearly frozen Orchard Pools. Three Short-eared Owls showed well over Aust Warth this afternoon where 2 Ravens, a Kestrel and a cock Pheasant were also seen. A high count of 61 Shoveler, 14 Gadwall, 12 Teal, 7 Pochard, 39 Tufted Duck, a Ruddy Duck, a Little Grebe and a Chiffchaff were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                   Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 11.2.9

February 10th
A cool but sunny dry day. Reports from New Passage included 1000 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, 32 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, 600 Lapwing, 8 Turnstones, 150 Wigeon, 130 Teal, 2 Gadwall and 52 Shelduck. Sightings from Severn Beach involved 10 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Ducks, 2 Shoveler, single Buzzard, Kestrel, Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Orchard Pools and 15 Shelduck, 12 Oystercatchers and 16 Turnstones from the estuary. A male Merlin, a Kingfisher and 2 Kestrels were reported from Aust Warth where 3 Short-eared Owls showed very well from 4.35pm with plenty of “talon grappling” taking place.

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                                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 10.2.9

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                                                                                      Short-eared Owls, Aust Warth 10.2.9

February 9th
A nasty wet day with almost no coverage. A brief visit to New Passage produced just 200 Lapwing, a Golden Plover, 20 Redshank, 50 Oystercatchers, a Snipe, 200 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 2 Gadwall and 50 Shelduck.

February 8th
An increasingly wet day with little coverage. Reports from Severn Beach included 40 Shelduck, 22 Oystercatchers, 20 Dunlin, 10 Redshank, 25 Curlew, 20 Lapwing, 4 Ringed Plover and a Stonechat from the shore and a male Blackcap remained on garden feeders. Seven Black-tailed Godwits, at least 500 Dunlin, 500 Lapwing, 2 Mute Swans, 300 Wigeon, 100 Teal and at least 150 Black-headed Gulls were seen from New Passage. Another 300 Dunlin, 6 Snipe, 3 Water Rails and an influx of 10 Song Thrushes were reported from Chittening Warth. A visit to Avonmouth Sewage Works produced 22 Gadwall, 44 Shoveler, 7 Pochard, 38 Tufted Duck and 2 Chiffchaffs.

February 7th
Another icy but dry day. Reports from Northwick Warth included 7 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Golden Plover, a Jack Snipe, 30 Lapwing, 500 Dunlin, 50 Curlew, 40 Oysterctachers, 40 Redshank, 16 Snipe, a Little Egret, a Water Rail, 350 Wigeon, 100 Teal and 40 Shelduck. Sightings from Severn Beach involved another 40 Shelduck, 3 Gadwall, 40 Oystercatchers, 40 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plover from the shore, another Jack Snipe, a Snipe, 12 Gadwall and 2 Shoveler at the almost completely frozen Orchard Pools and a male Blackcap feeding in a garden nearby.

February 6th
Another wet and white morning with heavy snow showers and a cold North East wind. Most of the snow had melted by dusk. An afternoon visit to the Severn Beach shore produced just 40 Shelduck, a Gadwall, 40 Oystercatchers, 10 Redshank, 12 Turnstones, 40 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plover. Another 50 Shelduck, 200 Wigeon and 80 Teal were seen from New Passage.

February 5th
A white morning following several inches of overnight snow and heavy snow flurries in a moderate North East wind. A Black Redstart was seen briefly at Severn Beach on the shaft beach, 100 metres down river from the Second Severn Crossing (unfortunately it disappeared while I was removing my camera from a bag and I could not relocate it). Other sightings from Severn Beach included 70 Shelduck, 100 Redshank, 700 Dunlin, 50 Oystercatchers, a Snipe, 3 Rock Pipits, a Stonechat and several hundred Fieldfares and Redwings heading East from the shore and 5 Tufted Duck, 10 Gadwall and a Shoveler at the Orchard Pools. A visit to Northwick Warth in a blizzard produced the male Merlin, a Jack Snipe, 10 Snipe, 150 Dunlin, 60 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 500 Lapwing, 40 Wigeon, 20 Shelduck and 50 Teal. Another 100 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 3 Snipe and a Raven were seen at Aust Warth where a “wildfowler” was doing his best to blast, with some success, some of the 50 Wigeon and 70 Teal at the mouth of Cake Pill.

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                                                                  Merlin, Northwick Warth 5.2.9

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                                                                                   “ Rambo” with his Teal, Aust Warth 5.2.9
                                                                     
February 4th
Another cold day with very little coverage. A Woodcock flew across the coast road at Chittening Warth from Sea Bank Pools early this morning, just missing several cars. A late afternoon scan from New Passage produced at least 1000 Lapwing, 20 Redshank and 30 Shelduck. A Great Crested Grebe, 19 Gadwall, 22 Teal, 28 Shoveler, 11 Pochard, 36 Tufted Duck and a Green Woodpecker were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 3rd
A cold morning (-4°C) with a light covering of snow. Sightings from Severn Beach included 70 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 100 Curlew, 50 Dunlin, 50 Turnstones, 8 Ringed Plover, a Peregrine and 16 Fieldfares. Another 20 Shelduck, 80 Teal, 40 Wigeon, 300 Dunlin, 200 Lapwing, 23 Golden Plover, 20 Turnstones, 40 Redshank and 40 Oystercatchers were seen from New Passage. A Jack Snipe and 20 Snipe were flushed on Northwick Warth.

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                                                                  New Passage in the snow 3.2.9

February 2nd
An icy start with snow flurries during the day. Little coverage with a late afternoon visit to New Passage producing just 30 Shelduck, 20 Redshank and 3 Lapwing. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works included a Little Grebe, a Great Crested Grebe, 17 Gadwall, 18 Teal, 18 Shoveler, 5 Pochard, 21 Tufted Duck, 500 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Common Gulls and 42 Herring Gulls.

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                                                                              Little Stint and Dunlin, Severn Beach 1.2.9

February 1st
A cold grey day with a biting North East wind. The Little Stint remained at Severn Beach where 200 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 50 Oystercatchers, 8 Ringed Plover, 40 Shelduck, a Water Pipit, 4 Rock Pipits and 4 Stonechats were also seen.

                                                     
                                                                               
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