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. 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 2009




March 31st
The month ends with a trickle of fresh migrants. Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a House Martin, 3 Swallows, 3 Wheatears, 4 Raven, 2 Little Egrets, 20 Redshank, 20 Turnstones, 24 Oystercatchers, 3 Canada Geese, 26 Shelduck and 12 Teal. Severn Beach was quiet with just a Wheatear reported from the shore and the usual 2 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Buzzards and a Green Woodpecker at the Orchard Pools. A Ring Ouzel was reported at Aust Warth (in the Sheep fields at 6pm) where 2 Short-eared Owls, another Wheatear and 3 Pheasants were also seen. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 30th
Reports from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area included the first 3 Little Ringed Plovers of the year, the drake Garganey, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 30 Tufted Ducks, a Snipe, 2 Buzzards, 2 singing Blackcaps and several singing Chiffchaffs. A Little Egret, 35 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 40 Oystercatchers, 36 Curlew, 52 Shelduck, 20 Teal, 2 Ravens, single Sand Martin, Swallow, Wheatear, Redpoll and Siskin were seen from New Passage. A Peregrine was seen at Severn Beach. Two Short-eared Owls showed at Aust Warth from 5.30pm where 2 Pheasants and a Snipe were seen earlier.

March 29th
The weather synchronised with the start of British Summer Time with a fine and sunny day. The drake Garganey remained on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works where 14 Tufted Duck, 10 Gadwall and 6 Shoveler were also seen. Sightings from New Passage included 2 Swallows, 2 Wheatears, a Little Egret, 70 Turnstones, 80 Oystercatchers, 3 Snipe, 45 Curlew, 60 Shelduck, 30 Teal, a Wigeon, 3 Snipe, 4 Ravens, 9 Buzzards, a Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk. Another 6 Swallows, 3 Sand Martins, 2 cock Pheasants, single Peregrine, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard were seen at Aust Warth this afternoon.

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                                                                                     Garganey, Avonmouth Sewage Works 29.3.9

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                                                                                                Ravens, New Passage 29.3.9   

March 28th
A cool day with a moderate North wind with brief heavy rain showers. The drake Garganey was reported again on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works early this morning. Sightings from New Passage included 65 Shelduck, 30 Teal, 50 Oystercatchers, 35 Redshank, 12 Turnstones, 3 Buzzards and 2 Ravens. Two Swallows, 2 Sand Martins, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, single Little Grebe, Buzzard, Kestrel and Green Woodpecker. Two Short-eared Owls appeared over Aust Warth at 4.50pm where a Kestrel and 2 cock Pheasants were also seen.

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                                                                                  Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  28.3.9

March 27th
A visit to Northwick Warth produced a Jack Snipe, 8 Snipe, 40 Oystercatchers, a male Wheatear, 4 Pied Wagtails, 10 Skylarks, 2 Ravens, 2 Buzzards and 70 Shelduck. Nearby there were 45 Redshank, 30 Turnstones and 30 Teal at New Passage. A Barn Owl was seen early morning crossing the coast road at Severn Beach where other sightings included 3 Ringed Plover on the shore and the usual 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Gadwall at the Orchard Pools. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works involved 2 Great Crested Grebes, 23 Gadwall, 24 Tufted Duck, 3 Shoveler and a Cetti’s Warbler. A late afternoon visit to Aust Warth produced 2 Short-eared Owls showing very well from 5pm.

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                                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  27.3.9

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                                                                                      Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  27.3.9

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                                                                                      Skylark, Northwick Warth  27.3.9

March 26th
Another windy day with not much to report. A single 1st summer Kittiwake, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese and 22 Shelduck were reported from the shore at Severn Beach and 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, single Little Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker remained at the Orchard Pools. Sightings from New Passage involved just 22 Redshank, 70 Oystercatchers, 76 Shelduck and 14 Teal.

March 25th
Almost a repeat of yesterday. The drake Garganey was still present on the roadside Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works but was elusive at times. Other sightings here included 15 Tufted Duck, 22 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler and 2 Teal. A Little Egret, 70 Oystercatchers, 36 Shelduck and 2 Ravens were seen in the New Passage/Northwick Warth area. Sightings from Severn Beach included the usual 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, single Little Grebe and Green Woodpecker
at the Orchard Pools and 4 Ringed Plover and 20 Shelduck on the estuary shore. Tony Scott kindly supplied the record shot that was digiscoped through a chain link fence/ brambles just as his camera battery went flat. Better than anything I could manage today as I could only see the head of the bird on my visit.

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                                                                        Garganey, Avonmouth Sewage Works 25.3.9 © Tony Scott
March 24th
A bright and breezy day. There was some excitement this morning when a drake Garganey was seen from the roadside on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works (click here for an aerial view of the square pool and others not viewable from the road). Other reports from here included 8 Tufted Ducks, 14 Gadwall and a Shoveler. Sightings from New Passage included a Little Egret, a Raven, 20 Redshank, 70 Oystercatchers, 32 Shelduck. 30 Teal and 2 Wigeon and the usual 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 2 Buzzards and single Green Woodpecker were seen at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach.

March 23rd
A cloudy and breezy day. An immature Merlin, just 66 Oystercatchers, 36 Shelduck and a few Teal were reported from New Passage. A dark-bellied Brent Goose, 35 Shelduck, 30 Oystercatchers and 40 Kittiwakes were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and just 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Gadwall remained at the Orchard Pools. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works included 2 Great Crested Grebes, 18 Gadwall, 10 Teal, 4 Shoveler and several Chiffchaffs.

March 22nd
Another dry and sunny day. An early morning visit to Northwick Warth produced the immature Merlin, a Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe, 2 Little Grebes and a Little Egret. Sightings from New Passage involved a Swallow, 40 Redshank, 29 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 35 Teal, 70 Shelduck, 2 Ravens, 20 Pied Wagtails and 20 Meadow Pipits. Reports from the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach included a calling Water Rail, the usual 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Gadwall, single Little Grebe and Green Woodpecker. An afternoon visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced a single flock of at least 130 Kittiwakes, 40 Shelduck, 50 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 27 Turnstones and a Canada Goose. A single Sand Martin was seen over Aust Warth this morning and a Peregrine and 2 Ravens were present in the afternoon. A few singing Chiffchaffs were still present throughout the area.

March 21st
A frosty (-1°C) start followed by a sunny but quiet day. Two Merlins (adult male and immature) were seen again on Northwick Warth this morning where other reports included a Peregrine, 2 Ravens, 32 Shelduck, a Redpoll and 2 Siskins. Forty Redshank and 30 Teal were seen at New Passage. A high tide visit to the Severn Beach shore produced just 70 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 15 Curlew and 20 Oystercatchers. Nearby the first Brambling of the year was found at the Orchard Pools, where other sightings involved a fly through Merlin (female), 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 2 Siskin, single Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker. A Short-eared Owl was seen this evening at Chittening Warth and a Cetti’s Warbler was heard near here at the Cabot Park/Honda Pools. A few singing Chiffchaffs were heard throughout the area.

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                                                                                     Merlin, Northwick Warth 21.3.9 © Richard Bowerman

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                                                                                               Gadwall, Severn Beach 21.3.9   

March 20th
Another fine settled day. Two Merlins (male and female), 2 Ravens, 24 Redshank, 5 Canada Geese flying South, 16 Shelduck, 50 Wigeon, 30 Teal and 3 Siskins flying North East were reported from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area. Sightings from the Severn Beach shore involved a Water Pipit, 30 Shelduck, 12 Oystercatchers and 2 flyover Siskins and nearby a Water Rail, 2 Little Grebes, a Green Woodpecker and 3 Lesser Redpolls were reported at the Orchard Pools. A Wheatear was seen at Chittening Warth.

March 19th
A morning of dense fog turning bright and sunny again in the afternoon. The male Merlin, 50 Shelduck, 20 Teal, 12 Curlew, 22 Redshank, a Dunlin, 2 Little Grebes and 22 Pied Wagtails were reported from Northwick Warth. Reports from Severn Beach included 100 Meadow Pipits from the salt marsh and the usual 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall,  2 Bullfinch, single Sparrowhawk, Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Orchard Pools. Four Sand Martins and several flyover Siskins were seen at Chittening Warth. Two Great Crested Grebes, 12 Gadwall, 19 Tufted Duck, a Shoveler and 2 Buzzards were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works. Numerous Chiffchaffs were reported throughout the area.

March 18th
Yet another fine spring day with a scattering of migrants. A male Merlin, a Jack Snipe, 8 Snipe, 2 Little Grebes, a Wheatear, a roosting Little Owl, 3 Chiffchaffs, a White Wagtail, 11 Pied Wagtails, several flyover Siskins, 50 Meadow Pipits and 5 Skylarks were seen on Northwick Warth. Two Ravens, 42 Redshank, 20 Turnstones, 32 Shelduck, 45 Teal and 6 Wigeon were seen from New Passage. Another Wheatear, a Water Pipit and at least one Scandinavian Rock Pipit were seen in the salt marsh at Severn Beach where flyover migrants included dozens of Meadow Pipits, a Siskin and a Redpoll heading into the North East breeze. A Water Rail, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were reported from the Orchard Pools. At least one Swallow was seen with 15 Sand Martins over Aust Warth this evening. A visit to the Hoar Gout/VOSA pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works produced 9 Gadwall and a Cetti’s Warbler.

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                                                                                 Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Severn Beach 18.3.9   

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                                                                                            Raven, New Passage 18.3.9   

March 17th
A Firecrest was seen again late morning at the Orchard Pools where a Water Rail, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebes, at least 3 Chiffchaffs, single Green Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Bullfinch and Sparrowhawk were also present. Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a very early House Martin, 3 Sand Martins, 2 Wheatears, a singing Chiffchaff, 24 Pied Wagtails, 15 Meadow Pipits, a Raven, 3 Canada Geese, 40 Shelduck, 20 Teal, 20 Oystercatchers, 18 Turnstones and 3 Snipe. A Water Pipit, 3 Water Rails, a Little Grebe, 11 Oystercatchers and 2 Buzzards were reported from Chittening Warth. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works included a Great Crested Grebe, 20 Gadwall, 24 Tufted Duck, 3 Shoveler and a Cetti’s Warbler and the Green Sandpiper remained on the Hoar Gout/VOSA pool (this pool is easily viewable from the roadside. Click here for a map).

March 16th
Two Firecrests were reported again today in their usual location in the lane leading to the Orchard Pools where a Water Rail, 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Gadwall, numerous Chiffchaffs, single Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker were also present. A Peregrine, just 5 Redshank and 14 Shelduck were seen from the shore at Severn Beach. New Passage was also quiet with 20 Redshank, 12 Turnstones, 20 Oystercatchers, 40 Shelduck and 20 Teal being the only reports received. Two Short-eared Owls were seen again over Aust Warth from 4.30pm. A Green Sandpiper remained on the Hoar Gout/VOSA pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 15th
A fine spring morning with a light southerly wind producing a few new migrants. The first 2 male Wheatears of the year were found at Chittening Warth where a Short-eared Owl, 8 Gadwall, a Little Grebe, 30 Redshank, 50 Curlew, 2 Redpolls, single Stonechat and Chiffchaff were also seen. An adult summer plumaged Mediterranean Gull, another male Wheatear, 2 Ravens, 10 soaring Buzzards, 35 Teal, 50 Shelduck, a Canada Goose, 10 Turnstones and 37 Redshank were seen from New Passage. A Jack Snipe, 3 Chiffchaffs and a Coal Tit were reported from the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach. At least 80 Wigeon, a Peregrine and 2 cock Pheasants were seen at Aust Warth this evening.

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                                                                                         Wheatear, Chittening Warth 15.3.9  

March 14th
Two Firecrests remained in the lane leading to the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach where other sightings included 3 Goldcrests, at least 4 Chiffchaffs, 4 Sand Martins, a Little Grebe, 4 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 2 Buzzards, single Green Woodpecker and cock Pheasant. A visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced a Water Pipit and just 12 Shelduck. A female/immature Merlin was seen early this morning on Northwick Warth where 2 Little Egrets, 52 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlew, 80 Shelduck, 30 Teal and 16 Pied Wagtails were also present. A Water Rail was reported from Sea Bank pools at Chittening Warth. Two Short-eared Owls were found hunting over Aust Warth from 17.50 this evening.

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                                                                                         Goldcrest, Severn Beach 14.3.9   

March 13th
At least 2 Firecrests showed very well in the lane leading to the Orchard Pools. Other reports from the Orchard Pools involved 4 Jack Snipe, a Snipe, 2 calling Water Rails, 2 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Teal, 2 Little Grebes, 4 Buzzards, a Kestrel, a Peregrine, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Bullfinches, single Siskin, Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker. A female and a male Merlin were seen at New Passage this morning where a 50 Redshank, 15 Turnstones, 30 Teal and a Raven were also seen. A visit to Northwick Warth produced a Little Egret, 3 Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe, a Raven, 40 Curlew, 40 Oystercatchers, 45 Shelduck, 100 Wigeon and a flyover Yellowhammer. Another 70 Turnstones, 15 Redshank, a Gadwall and 30 Shelduck were seen from the Severn Beach shore. A Green Sandpiper, a Little Grebe, a Great Crested Grebe, 21 Tufted Duck, 10 Gadwall and 2 Shoveler were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                       Firecrest, Severn Beach 13.3.9    

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                                                                                            Firecrest, Severn Beach 13.3.9          
   
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                                                                      Firecrest, Severn Beach 13.3.9
March 12th
Still little sign of any spring migrants. Reports from New Passage involved 78 Shelduck, 68 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, 65 Common Gulls, 14 Pied Wagtails and a Raven. A Goldcrest, a singing Chiffchaff, 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Gadwall, a Little Grebe, 2 Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe and a Green Woodpecker were seen at the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

March 11th
Two Firecrests were seen again at the Orchard Pools where other reports included a Jack Snipe, 3 Canada Geese, 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Gadwall and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. A Little Egret, 45 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 8 Dunlin, 74 Shelduck, 25 Teal, a Shoveler and 12 Common Gulls were seen from New Passage. A visit to Northwick Warth produced 2 Jack Snipe, 5 Snipe, a Raven, 5 Pied Wagtails and 15 Meadow Pipits.

March 10th
A Firecrest showed very well on occasions in the lane leading to the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach where 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, single Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker were also seen. At least 50 Knot, 30 Redshank, 40 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, 6 Turnstones, a Little Egret, 70 Shelduck and 8 Pied Wagtails were seen from New Passage. A Green Sandpiper, a Raven and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.

March 9th
Reports from the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach included a Firecrest, a Jack Snipe, 2 Tufted Ducks, 4 Gadwall, single Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Sparrowhawk, Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker. A Little Egret, 53 Oystercatchers, 78 Shelduck, 8 Pied Wagtails and 3 Buzzards were seen from New Passage. Sightings from Avonmouth Sewage Works involved a Green Sandpiper, a Great Crested Grebe, 16 Gadwall, 13 Teal, 34 Tufted Duck, 11 Shoveler and a Chiffchaff.

March 8th
Another settled morning followed by a wet and windy afternoon. A Firecrest was reported early this morning in the lane leading to the Orchard Pools where 2 Jack Snipe, a Woodcock, 4 Tufted Duck, 3 Gadwall and a Chiffchaff were also seen. An afternoon visit to the shore at Severn Beach in a strong West wind produced an adult Mediterranean Gull (partial summer plumage), 140 Kittiwakes, 40 Shelduck, 25 Oystercatchers, 4 Turnstones and a Peregrine. A Water Pipit was seen at Chittening Warth.

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Kittiwakes, Severn Beach 8.3.9
March 7th
A settled spring morning turning damp and breezy during the afternoon. Two Firecrests showed well at 9.30 this morning in the lane leading to the Orchard Pools with intermittent sightings during the afternoon. Other reports from here involved 2 Jack Snipe,6 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Teal, a Little Grebe, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests, 3 Siskins, a Coal Tit, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Green Woodpecker and 2 Sparrowhawks. The only other reports involved 40 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, 7 Turnstones and 36 Shelduck from New Passage and another 40 Shelduck and 30 Oystercatchers from the shore at Severn Beach.

March 6th
Another frosty dawn (-2°C). A quiet day at New Passage with just 30 Turnstones, 40 Redshank, 20 Dunlin, 24 Shelduck and a few Wigeon and Teal reported. A Firecrest showed well at 3 pm in the lane leading to the Orchard Pools where a Chiffchaff, 4 Tufted Ducks, 4 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Green Woodpecker and 2 Buzzards were also seen. Sightings from the Severn Beach shore included 2 Peregrines, 20 Redshank, 36 Oystercatchers, 10 Turnstones and 26 Shelduck.

March 5th
The 2 Firecrests showed again at Orchard Pools at Severn Beach (in the large leylandii just beyond the green railings). Other reports from the pools included a Water Rail, 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Gadwall, 3 Teal, 2 Little Grebes and 2 Buzzards. Sightings from the New Passage area included 2 Little Egrets, 2 Jack Snipe, 12 Snipe, 82 Turnstones, 40 Redshank, 8 Oystercatchers, 52 Shelduck and a few Wigeon and Teal. Another 46 Oystercatchers and 24 Shelduck were reported from the Severn Beach shore. Another 3 Buzzards, 2 Ravens, single Peregrine, Kestrel and Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth.

March 4th
A cold night with a dawn temperature of -2°C. Sightings from New Passage included 60 Turnstones, 60 Redshank, 40 Dunlin, 30 Wigeon, 45 Teal and at least 10 Buzzards could be seen soaring in the fine weather. Reports from Northwick Warth included a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Jack Snipe, 11 Snipe, 52 Curlew, a Lapwing, 35 Shelduck, 6 Canada Geese, a Little Grebe, 8 Skylarks and a Raven. A visit to the Orchard Pools produced 2 Jack Snipe, 6 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall, 5 Teal, single Little Grebe, Buzzard and Green Woodpecker and nearby an almost summer plumaged Water Pipit, 40 Shelduck, 35 Oystercatchers and 20 Kittiwakes were seen from the shore at Severn Beach. A female type Black Redstart was reported on Aust Warth at 2pm.

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Tufted Ducks, Severn Beach 4.3.9

March 3rd
An increasingly wet and windy day. Two White-fronted Geese flew North over Aust Warth at 9.55 this morning.
Sightings from New Passage included 50
Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 2 Ringed Plover, 56 Shelduck and even fewer Wigeon and Teal. Two Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe and 8 Pied Wagtails were seen on Northwick Warth. Another 38 Shelduck were reported from the shore at Severn Beach and 7 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall, a Snipe, a pair of Bullfinch, single Green Woodpecker and Goldcrest were reported nearby at the Orchard Pools.

March 2nd
Reports from Severn Beach included a partial hooded adult Mediterranean Gull, an adult Yellow Legged Gull, 180 Black-headed Gulls, 10 Redshank and 30 Shelduck from the shore and at least one Firecrest, 6 Tufted Ducks, 4 Gadwall, 2 Teal, 2 Little Grebes, single Green Woodpecker and Buzzard at the Orchard Pools. A Little Egret, 15 Redshank, 50 Dunlin, 10 Turnstones, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Snipe, 36 Shelduck and a reduced number of Wigeon and Teal were seen from New Passage. Three Jack Snipe and 9 Snipe were flushed on Northwick Warth. A Great Crested Grebe, a Little Grebe, 11 Teal, 22 Shoveler, 18 Gadwall and a Pochard were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 1st
A quiet start to the month on a fine early spring day. The male Merlin and 3 Green Woodpeckers were reported from Northwick Warth early morning. Sightings from New Passage involved 150 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 30 Oystercatchers, 60 Curlew, a drake Shoveler, 35 Shelduck, 55 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 55 Common Gulls and a Sparrowhawk. Reports from the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach involved 2 Shoveler, 4 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebes, a Water Rail, 5 Goldcrests, single Buzzard, Siskin, Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker. An adult summer plumaged Mediterranean Gull was reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.


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