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 168 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 2009


August 31st
A Grey Phalarope was found off New Passage at low tide this morning. It is very distant swimming on the tide line and feeding on the mudflats amongst the 250 Black-headed Gulls and was seen again slightly closer on the evening tide. Other reports from here and Northwick Warth included a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, a Common Gull, 30 Redshank, 73 Turnstones, a Common Sandpiper, 25 Teal, a Peregrine, a Kingfisher, a Redstart, a Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Blackcaps, 3 Sedge Warblers, 11 Stock Doves and 10 Wheatears. At least 1000 Black-headed Gulls, 50 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin were seen from Severn Beach. Two Spotted Flycatchers and at least 4 Wheatears were reported from Aust Warth.

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                                                            Grey Phalarope, New Passage 31.8.9 © John Martin
                                                                               A distant record shot of a grey bird on grey water.

August 30th
Reports from the New Passage area included a juvenile/1st winter Mediterranean Gull, an adult Arctic Tern, 200 Black-headed Gulls, 25 Teal, 30 Redshank, 66 Turnstones, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 10 Curlew, 3 Oystercatchers, 5 Blackcaps, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and 6 Wheatears. At least 80 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin, 3 Knot, a Turnstone, a Wheatear and a Swift were seen at Severn Beach. Sightings from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area involved a Little Egret, 4 Little Grebes, 11 Gadwall, 9 Teal, 9 Shoveler and 33 Tufted Duck.

August 29th
A dawn visit to Northwick Warth for the 3rd ringing session this month produced quality rather than quantity. Just 13 birds were caught including a Grasshopper Warbler. A Redstart hovered around several of the nets avoiding capture and other sightings included a Whinchat, a Yellow Wagtail, at least 5 Lesser Whitethroats, several Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers and Blackcaps, all of which were surpassed by an Osprey that drifted over late morning.The adult Common Tern, a juvenile Arctic Tern, 250 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 46 Turnstones, 30 Redshank, 12 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 23 Teal, 6 Shelduck, a Wheatear and a Kingfisher were reported from New Passage. A “low” 9.2m high tide produced just 80 Ringed Plover, 35 Dunlin, single Knot and Turnstone at Severn Beach,

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                                                                             Grasshopper Warbler, Northwick Warth 29.8.9

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                                                                                           Osprey, Northwick Warth 29.8.9
                                     A record shot as it flapped off  south east towards Pilning where it was also seen
                                                  a few minutes later.

August 28th
A few birds of interest on a windy day with heavy rain showers. An adult Gannet, at least one Fulmar, a Black-tailed Godwit, 200 Ringed Plover, 80 Dunlin, 2 Knot and a Turnstone were seen from Severn Beach.   

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                                                                                         Fulmar under attack, Severn Beach 28.8.9

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                                                                                           Fulmar, Severn Beach 28.8.9

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                                                                                           Fulmar, Severn Beach 28.8.9

Sightings from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included an adult Common Tern, 300 Black-headed Gull, a Black-tailed Godwit, 29 Redshank, 15 Turnstones, 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatchers, a Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpipers, 20 Teal, 6 Shelduck, 3 Ravens and 10 Wheatears. An adult winter plumage Mediterranean Gull, 110 Black-headed Gulls, a Little Grebe, 11 Teal, 5 Shoveler and 25 Tufted Duck were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                           Common Tern, New Passage 28.8.9

August 27th
Another quiet day with just 65 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 5 Grey Herons and a Peregrine reported from Severn Beach. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 5 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 25 Turnstones, 12 Redshank, 2 Oystercatchers, 12 Curlew, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, 12 Teal, 350 Black-headed Gulls, a Kingfisher and 9 Wheatears.

August 26th
A windy and increasingly wet day. Several hours river watching failed to produce any seabirds. Sightings from Severn Beach included 200 Ringed Plover, 70 Dunlin, 2 Knot, 3 Turnstones and a Redshank. A Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpipers, 10 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 15 Redshank, 42 Turnstones, 12 Oystercatchers, 300 Black-headed Gulls and 5 Teal were seen from New Passage.

August 25th
A quiet day with fewer visible migrants. The only reports from New Passage area despite an extensive search were of 42 Turnstones, 16 Oystercatchers, 24 Redshank, 15 Curlew, 5 Dunlin, single Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper, 300 Black-headed Gulls, 15 Teal, 6 Shelduck, 60 Mallard, a Yellow Wagtail, 25 Pied Wagtails, 2 Wheatears and a Sparrowhawk. The wader roost at Severn Beach contained 250 Ringed Plovers, 90 Dunlin and 2 Turnstones.

August 24th
A wet morning followed by a bright and dry afternoon. A juvenile Little Stint, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 200 Ringed Plover, 100 Dunlin and 2 Turnstones were seen at Severn Beach. Reports from the New Passage area included a first winter Mediterranean Gull, 500 Black-headed Gulls, another 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Redshank, 8 Dunlin, 3 Ringed plover, 48 Turnstones, 20 Oystercatchers, a Common Sandpiper, 20 Curlew, 9 Teal, 6 Wheatears, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, 13 Pied Wagtails, a Hobby, 2 Kestrels, 6 Stock Doves, a Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroats, 200 Swallows and 20+ House Martins. Another 73 Ringed Plover and 16 Oystercatchers were seen at Chittening Warth. Sightings from Avonmouth Sewage Works included a pair of Great Crested Grebes with 3 chicks, 7 Teal, 18 Gadwall, 25 Tufted Duck, a Shoveler and 8 Chiffchaffs and nearby single Little Grebe and Little Egret were seen on the Hoar Gout/VOSA Pool.

August 23rd
Another fine settled day and very high tide produced some interesting sightings in the New Passage area including a juvenile/1st winter Yellow-legged Gull, at least one adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Avocets, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, a Green Sandpiper, 26 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 40 Turnstones, 3 Common Sandpipers, 45 Curlew, 50 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 10 Herring Gulls, 300 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 13 Teal, 8 Shelduck, 50 Mallard, a Hobby, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, at least 15 Yellow Wagtails, 15 Pied Wagtails, 10 Wheatears, 6 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Whitethroats, 6 Willow Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, at least 50 Swallows, 10 House Martins and a Green Woodpecker. A Little Egret, another Common Sandpiper and 2 Green Woodpeckers were reported from Aust Warth. A mixed flock of 100 Ringed Plover and Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach this evening.

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                                                                           Yellow Wagtails, Northwick Warth 23.8.9 © Allan Chard
                                  The high tide flooded the grazing marsh producing good feeding for the 8 Wagtails in this image.

August 22nd
A Marsh Warbler was trapped this morning in an area of sedge at the Grebe Pond on Northwick Warth. The identity was suspected at the time and digital images, measurements and wing formula were sent to experts to confirm the identity. A supportive reply was eventually received from a very experienced “Acro” ringer in early September. This is the first Severnside record following an undated report of a singing bird near Avonmouth Sewage Works in the 1970’s. Other reports from the Northwick Warth area on a day with very high tides included an adult Mediterranean Gull, 300 Black-headed Gulls a Little Egret, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank, 2 Knot, 3 Common Sandpipers, 40 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 40 Curlew, 2 Grey Herons, 4 Teal, 6 Shelduck 50 Mallard, 2 Ravens, a Little Owl, at least 17 Yellow Wagtails, 6 Wheatears, 2 Tree Pipits, 7 Lesser Whitethroats, 9 Whitethroats and a Garden Warbler (other birds trapped in the ringing session included Reed Warblers, Sedge Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 Whitethroats and 2 Blackcaps). The Severn Beach wader roost contained 210 Ringed Plover, 70 Dunlin and 2 Turnstones this evening.

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                                                                                Marsh Warbler, Northwick Warth 22.8.9 © Ed Drewitt
                                One of the images taken early this morning. For the ringers out there  “Age 3. White/pale edges to
                                 primaries; wing 67mm; P2 to wingtip 3.5mm; P2 notch 10mm; Emargination P3 only; Primary projection
                                 18mm; Bill (F) 11mm (too short for Reed Warbler!)

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                                                                             Lesser Whitethroat, Northwick Warth 22.8.9

August 21st
A day of sunshine and occasional torrential rain showers. Sightings from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area involved 46 Turnstones, 36 Oystercatchers, 19 Redshank, a Knot, 2 Common Sandpipers, 50 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, 250 Black-headed Gulls, 8 Wheatears, a Whinchat, a Yellow Wagtail, 50 Linnets, a Peregrine, 2 Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk. Reports from Severn Beach included 2 Sanderling, a Whimbrel, 220 Ringed Plover, 90 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Turnstones, 18 Oystercatchers, 15 Pied Wagtails, single Grey Wagtail and Rock Pipit. The Great Crested Grebe brood, a Little Grebe, 6 Teal, 15 Gadwall, 21 Tufted Duck and 8 Lapwing remained in the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.

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                                                                                          Sparrowhawk, Northwick Warth 21.8.9

August 20th
The best bird of the day was a Wood Sandpiper (4th record of the year) that flew south over New Passage. Other reports from New Passage included a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, 20 Redshank, 34 Turnstones, 36 Oystercatchers, 7 Teal, 2 Grey Wagtails and 10 Pied Wagtails. Sightings from Severn Beach included 200 Ringed Plover, 100 Dunlin, a Whimbrel and 60 Curlew. At least 27 Tufted Ducks and a pair of Great Crested Grebes with 3 chicks were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

August 19th
Sightings from the New Passage area involved 29 Oystercatchers, 18 Redshank, 10 Turnstones, 20 Curlew, 4 Teal, at least 400 Black-headed Gulls and a Wheatear. At least 350 Ringed Plover, 150 Dunlin, 2 Turnstones, a Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper were seen at Severn Beach this evening (most of the waders were roosting at the alternate roost site on the rocky “shaft beach” below the 2nd Severn Crossing here). A Little Egret was seen on the Hoar Gout/VOSA Pool.

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                                                                                 Ringed Plover, Severn Beach 19.8.9

August 18th
Three Arctic Skuas were seen at New Passage late morning, causing panic amongst the Gulls before floating off down river. Other reports from the New Passage/ Northwick Warth area included 2 Teal (first of the autumn here), 9 Shelduck, 30 Mallard, a Whimbrel, 3 Common Sandpipers, 4 Redshank, 25 Curlew, 12 Turnstones, 6 Oystercatchers, at least 400 Black-headed Gulls that were all hawking insects over the warth this evening and 6 Yellow Wagtails. An early morning visit to Severn Beach produced just 25 Ringed Plover, 27 Shelduck and 100 Black-headed Gulls. A Green Sandpiper was seen on the Hoar Gout/VOSA Pool.

August 17th
Another dry, sunny and breezy day. Sightings from the New Passage area included a Little Egret, a Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, 40 Curlew, 9 Redshank, 8 Oystercatchers,15 Turnstones, 8 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 300 Black-headed Gulls, a Great Black-backed Gull, 2 Ravens, 10 Pied Wagtails, 30 Linnets and 2 Wheatears. An evening high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 80 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 18 Shelduck and 100 Black-headed Gulls. Reports from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area included 2 Little Grebes, 7 Teal, 11 Gadwall, 27 Tufted Ducks and 9 Lapwing.

August 16th
The adult Mediterranean Gull was reported again at New Passage where 350 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Common Sandpipers, a Sanderling, 10 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 6 Curlew, 10 Redshank, 5 Oystercatchers, 2 Garden Warblers and a Peregrine were also seen. An afternoon high tide visit to Severn Beach produced at least 230 Ringed Plover and 120 Dunlin. Another 40 Redshank, 3 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover were seen at Cake Pill, Aust Warth this evening.

August 15th
A dry, warm and breezy day. The adult Mediterranean Gull remained at New Passage with at least 300 Black-headed Gulls. Other reports from here included a Greenshank, a Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpipers, 20 Redshank, 16 Turnstones, 2 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Curlew, a Kingfisher and 5 Wheatears. At least 130 Ringed Plover, 70 Dunlin and a Turnstone were seen at high tide at Severn Beach. Sightings from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area involved just 10 Lapwing and 19 Tufted Ducks.

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                                                                                       Mediterranean Gull, New Passage 15.8.9

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                                                                                             Greenshank, New Passage 15.8.9

August 14th
Sightings from the New Passage area included a moulting adult Mediterranean Gull (with a limp), 500 Black-headed Gulls, 22 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 14 Redshank, 13 Turnstones, 20 Curlew, 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Ravens, a Peregrine, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, at least 6 Blackcaps, 2 Garden Warblers, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Whitethroats and a few Chiffchaffs. A Knot, at least 90 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers and 5 Grey Herons were seen at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                     Knot, Severn Beach 14.8.9 © Allan Chard

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                                                                                Ringed Plover, Severn Beach 14.8.9 © Allan Chard

August 13th
Just 14 Redshank, 13 Turnstones, 4 Oystercatchers, 3 Common Sandpipers and 300 Black-headed Gulls were reported from the New Passage area. Sightings from Severn Beach included 25 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 3 Turnstones, 2 Oystercatchers and a Peregrine were reported from Severn Beach. A Peregrine, 2 juvenile Kestrels, single Reed Warbler, Blackcap and Whitethroat were seen at Chittening Warth and nearby 2 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Teal, 6 Gadwall, 21 Tufted Duck, a Green Sandpiper and 5 Lapwing were reported from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.

August 12th
The usual adult winter Mediterranean Gull, 300 Black-headed Gulls, 15 Redshank, 16 Turnstones, 4 Oystercatchers, 3 Common Sandpipers and 2 Ravens were seen from New Passage. At least 17 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin and 3 Oystercatchers were reported from Severn Beach. Sightings from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area included a Little Egret, 9 Lapwing, 22 Tufted Ducks and a Green Sandpiper.

August 11th
The adult winter Mediterranean Gull remained on Northwick Warth where other sightings included 2 Little Egrets, the return of 23 Canada Geese, 300 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Common Sandpipers, 5 Oystercatchers, 4 Turnstones, 20 Curlew and 2 Wheatears. Two Knot, 3 Sanderling and 3 Grey Herons were seen at Severn Beach. A Pied Flycatcher was reported in the Glen at New Passage this morning. Three Green Sandpipers and 11 Lapwing were seen at the Hoar Gout/Vosa Pool.

August 10th
Much the same today with an adult winter plumaged Mediterranean Gull, 300 Black-headed Gulls,12 Redshank, 14 Oystercatchers, 12 Turnstones, a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher reported from New Passage. The only report from Severn Beach involved 8 Oystercatchers. A Little Egret, 10 Lapwing and a Green Sandpiper were seen on the Hoar Gout/VOSA Pool.

August 9th
An adult winter plumaged Mediterranean Gull, 300 Black-headed Gulls, 23 Canada Geese, 50 Curlew, 14 Oystercatchers, 10 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Little Egret, 4 Kestrels, single Sparrowhawk and Peregrine, 3 Buzzards, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers, at least 6 Reed Warblers, 4 Sedge Warblers, 9 Blackcaps, 16 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers and 50 Linnets were reported from the Northwick Warth area. Reports from Chittening Warth involved 4 Common Sandpipers, 2 Redshank, 18 Turnstones, 4 Rock Pipits and a Raven. A Green Sandpiper and the usual Lapwings remained on the Hoar Gout/Vosa Pool.

August 8th
Another warm (24°C) and sunny day with a good variety of birds. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers, 6 Snipe, a Little Egret, 200 Black-headed Gulls, 23 Canada Geese, a Whinchat, a Siskin, a Kingfisher, 2 Sand Martins, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Whitethroats, a Garden Warbler, at least 12 Reed Warblers, 6 Sedge Warblers, several Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 5 Ravens, 2 Kestrels, single Little Owl and Sparrowhawk.

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                                                                                   Sedge Warbler, Northwick Warth 8.8.9   
                       The first attempt at mist netting at the Grebe Pond on Northwick Warth resulted in just 2 Sedge Warblers,
                               2 Reed Warblers and a Willow Warbler being caught. Another session is planned for later in the month when
                              hopefully many more birds will be moving through the area.

August 7th
A warm and sunny day. Reports from New Passage involved 2 Green Sandpipers, 12 Dunlin, 6 Turnstones, 2 Redshank, 2 Oystercatchers, 250 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Kestrels, a Peregrine, a juvenile Cuckoo, a fly over Yellow Wagtail, 12 Pied Wagtails, 3 Wheatears, a flock of 50 Linnets and a Sand Martin. Just a single Dunlin and Ringed Plover were reported from Severn Beach this morning.

August 6th
A moulting adult Mediterranean Gull, an adult Common Gull, 500 Black-headed Gulls, 18 Redshank, 16 Dunlin, 12 Turnstones, 10 Oystercatchers, 12 Curlew, a Common Sandpiper and 4 Kestrels were reported from the New Passage area. Another 11 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover and a Wheatear were seen at Severn Beach this evening. A Little Egret, 9 Lapwing and a Green Sandpiper were reported from the Hoar Gout/VOSA Pool.

August 5th
A warm and sunny day at last. Sightings from the New Passage/ Northwick Warth area included an adult Mediterranean Gull, at least 300 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Whimbrel, 5 Common Sandpipers, 31 Redshank, 40 Curlew, 12 Turnstones, 28 Oystercatchers, 20 Dunlin, a Raven and a Kingfisher. Two Greenshank, a Sanderling, 24 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin and 140 Black-headed Gulls were seen at Severn Beach and nearby 120 Curlew roosted at Chittening Warth.

August 4th
A soggy day with heavy showers and little to report. Sightings from New Passage involved just 4 Common Sandpipers, 24 Redshank, 20 Dunlin, 40 Curlew, an Oystercatcher, 4 Kestrels and 5 Swifts. A flock of 100 Curlew roosted at Chittening Warh this evening. Ten Lapwing, a Great Crested Grebe, a Little Grebe and 19 Tufted Ducks were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.

August 3rd
An adult winter plumaged Mediterranean Gull, at least 400 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Whimbrel, 60 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, 20 Turnstones, 4 Ringed Plover, 5 Common Sandpipers, 20 Curlew, 4 Oystercatchers, a Snipe, 3 Kestrels, a Hobby and a Swift were reported from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area today. An evening high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 2 Sanderling, 50 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 150 Black-headed Gulls and 10 Swifts. The usual Great Crested Grebe, 11 Gadwall, 3 Teal, 2 Pochard, 18 Tufted Duck and 10 Lapwing were reported from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.

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                                                                                   Mediterranean Gull, New Passage 3.8.9

August 2nd
A Tawny Owl was heard very early this morning near the railway platform at Severn Beach. A fine sunny and warm day produced an Avocet flying up river past New Passage at 10.15 where other sightings included another juvenile Mediterranean Gull (unringed), 200 Black-headed Gulls, a Great Black-backed Gull, 6 Common Sandpipers, 18 Redshank, 8 Oystercatchers, 6 Curlew, 30 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstones, 45 Mallard, just 7 Shelduck and a fly over Tree Pipit. An evening high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 4 Sanderling, 14 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, a Turnstone and 150 Black-headed Gulls.

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                                                                                                   Knot, New Passage 1.8.9   

August 1st
No real improvement in the weather but a few more birds of interest. Another juvenile Mediterranean Gull (with a Green plastic leg ring with white lettering; part of a French project) was seen at New Passage where a Little Egret, 14 adult Knot, 9 Common Sandpipers, 120 Dunlin, 23 Ringed Plover, 25 Redshank, 30 Turnstones, 3 Oystercatchers, 13 Curlew, 200 Black-headed Gulls, 50 Mallard, 15 Shelduck, a Peregrine, 5 Kestrels, 24 Pied Wagtails and a Swift were also seen.

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                                                                                                Little Stint, Severn Beach 1.8.9   

Two adult Little Sints, 25 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, 4 Curlew, 2 Little Egrets, 250 Black-headed Gulls, a Wheatear and a Swift were reported from Severn Beach. Sightings from Avonmouth Sewage Works included a Great Crested Grebe, 8 Gadwall, 2 Pochard,15 Tufted Duck, 11 Lapwing, single Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail.
                                                                                
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