September is one of the most exciting months to visit Severnside. The total of 182 species seen at least once in this month, is the third highest in the year. It is the time when most of the summer visitors will depart and a good selection of early winter visitors will arrive towards the end of the month. The weather can be very changeable, rain and gale force winds are likely, but calm warm days will also occur. Any West or South West gales will produce the usual seabirds but the more exotic have occurred; Sooty Shearwater (1974), Balearic Shearwater (1988), Long-tailed Skua, Sabine’s Gull. Other rarities that have appeared in September include; Red-crested Pochard (2 in 1996), Honey Buzzard (1996), Dotterel (1974), Kentish Plover (2006), White-rumped Sandpiper (1985), Pectoral Sandpiper (1998, 2006 and 2008), Buff-breasted Sandpiper (1989, 2003), Terek Sandpiper (1986), Red-rumped Swallow (1977), Wryneck (2003) and Rose-coloured Starling (2004). Local rarities have included Osprey, Nightjar (2006), Hawfinch (1998), Willow Tit (1992), Nightingale (1999) and Ring Ouzel (2001).
Sightings from New Passage/Northwick Warth included a Little Egret, 40 Redshank, a flyover Golden Plover, 2 Oystercatchers, a Lapwing, 3 Kestrels, single Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and Blackcap, at least 3 Chiffchaffs and 35 House Martins. The only reports from Severn Beach involved 4 Ringed Plover on the shore and 2 Shoveler and 2 Gadwall at the Orchard Pools. Three Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe, 38 Gadwall, 9 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 31 Tufted Duck, a drake Pochard and 2 Cetti’s Warblers were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.
The weather remains better than the birding. Just 40 Redshank, 7 Oystercatchers, 5 Dunlin, 100 Teal, 26 Wigeon, 500 Black-headed Gulls and 4 Grey Wagtails were reported from New Passage. The only reports from Severn Beach were of 10 Ringed Plover and a single Turnstone. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard at Chittening Warth,
Less of the same today. The adult Mediterranean Gull, 100 Black-headed Gulls, 50 Redshank, 100 Teal, 22 Wigeon, just 3 Dunlin, 6 Turnstones, a Rock Pipit and at least 2 Grey Wagtails were reported from New Passage. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works involved single Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe, 31 Gadwall, 19 Teal, 38 Tufted Ducks, 2 Cetti’s Warblers and a Kingfisher.
A much quieter day but the Indian Summer continues. Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area involved a an adult Mediterranean Gull, 50 Redshank, a Grey Plover, 7 Dunlin, 2 Lapwing, 180 Teal, 30 Wigeon, 130 Meadow Pipits, 20 Skylark, 30 Linnets, a Wheatear, 3 Blackcaps, 7 Chiffchaffs and 2 Grey Wagtails. An early morning visit to Severn Beach produced just 60 Curlew, 25 Turnstones, 6 Grey Herons, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, single Wheatear and Stonechat. A Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth (also roaming to and from Northwick Warth) where other sightings included 100 Dunlin, another 40 Redshank, 6 Curlew, 2 Peregrines, 2 Kestrels, at least 6 Chiffchaffs, single Whinchat and Stonechat.
Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 27.9.9
A fine and memorable day. The first Ruff of the year was found this morning at the mouth of Cake Pill on Aust Warth where a Curlew Sandpiper, a Knot, 35 Redshank, 70 Dunlin, 30 Wigeon and 2 Stonechats were also seen. Things got even better when the first Severnside record of a juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper was identified from New Passage late morning where other sightings included an adult Mediterranean Gull, the Ruff (from Aust Warth), just 7 Dunlin, 35 Turnstones, 45 Redshank, an immature Gannet, a Merlin, the Common Scoter, 30 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 3 Ravens, a Kingfisher, 2 Wheatears and a Rock Pipit. A Grey-headed Wagtail was reported with Meadow Pipits around the cattle on Northwick Warth this morning and the Short-eared Owl appeared again at 6.35pm. A Greenshank and the usual ducks were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.
Semipalmated Sandpiper, Ruff and Redshank, New Passage 26.9.9 © Gary Thoburn
Semipalmated Sandpiper, New Passage 26.9.9
Semipalmated Sandpiper, New Passage 26.9.9
This Semi P was never close enough for anything other than distant shots with my camera equipment. A low flying light aircraft
flushed all the birds and the Sandpiper and Dunlin flew past at about 50 metre range. This heavily cropped image shows the
broad based, blob tipped bill.
Semipalmated Sandpiper, New Passage 26.9.9 © John Martin
A “digiscoped” image
The dry and sunny weather continues. Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area remained much the same including the Common Scoter, a Little Egret, 2 Grey Herons, 45 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, 8 Oystercatchers, 30 Skylarks, 40 Linnets, a Wheatear, a Little Owl and a hunting Short-eared Owl (from 6.30pm). Just 20 Turnstones, 4 Ringed Plover, 50 Curlew, a single Dunlin and 4 Grey Herons were seen at Severn Beach.
Wheatear, Northwick Warth 25.9.9
A misty start followed by a fine and sunny day. Sightings from the New Passage/Northwick Warth included the Common Scoter, 33 Redshank, a Snipe, 60 Teal, 3 Wheatears, at least 2 Whinchats, 2 Blackcaps, 90 Meadow Pipits, 50 Linnets and this evening a Short-eared Owl hunting from 5.45pm near the old landfill site. Just 3 Dunlin and 47 Turnstones were reported from Severn Beach this morning.
Snipe, Northwick Warth 24..9.9 © Allan Chard
Short-eared Owl, Northwick Warth 24..9.9
Sightings from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 7 Knot, 60 Dunlin, 70 Turnstones, 30 Redshank, 10 Oystercatchers, 2 Snipe, a Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, a Common Scoter, 80 Teal and 6 Wigeon. Reports from Severn Beach involved just 2 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 11 Turnstones, 5 Grey Herons and 2 Peregrines. A Great Crested Grebe and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.
A change in wind direction from North to South West but no improvement to the quality of birds. The Common Scoter, a Little Egret, 80 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 10 Oystercatchers, 7 Wigeon and 100 Teal were seen from New Passage. A search of Northwick Warth produced 3 Snipe, a Wheatear and 70 Linnets. Reports from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area involved just 3 Mute Swans, a Little Grebe, 8 Shoveler, 30 Tufted Duck and a Cetti’s Warbler.
The Common Scoter remained viewable from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area where other reports included 50 Redshank, 110 Dunlin, 100 Turnstones, 30 Curlew, 8 Oystercatchers, 7 Snipe, one Ringed Plover, 130 Teal, 18 Wigeon, 70 Mallard, single Spotted Flycatcher, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and Great Spotted Woodpecker, 50 Meadow Pipits, 30 Linnets, 15 Blackcaps and 10 Chiffchaffs. Sightings from the Severn Beach shore included 120 Turnstones, just 11 Dunlin, 13 Ringed Plover and 25 Pied Wagtails and a visit to the nearby Orchard Pools produced 2 Shoveler and 2 Gadwall. Another 25 Redshank, 2 Wigeon, 4 Shelduck, 2 Snipe, 2 Stonechats and 3 Chiffchaffs were seen at Aust Warth. A Green Sandpiper and a Cetti’s Warbler were present at the Hoar Gout/VOSA pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.
Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area involved a female/immature Common Scoter, a Golden Plover, the usual 30 Redshank, 70 Dunlin, 50 Turnstones, 30 Curlew, 2 Snipe, 10 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 3 Buzzards, 3 Kestrels, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers (migrants flying North East), a Green Woodpecker, a Kingfisher, a Rock Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtails, 7 Whinchats, 4 Wheatears, 60 Meadow Pipits, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 8 Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs, single Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and Siskin. A Nuthatch was seen at Old Passage/Aust Warth (only the 8th Severnside record, last recorded in 2004 and a rarer bird here than the Hen Harrier seen yesterday). Another 3 Buzzards, 8 Lapwing and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported from Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.
Whinchats, Northwick Warth 20.9.9
The dry, warm and sunny weather continues. Sightings from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a ringtail Hen Harrier that flew East, 2 Little Egrets, 50 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 30 Redshank, 30 Curlew, 3 Snipe, 100 Teal, 10 Wigeon, 2 Shelduck, 22 Canada Geese, 2 Ravens, 3 Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, at least 6 Whinchats around the Grebe Pond, 8 Wheatears, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 100 Meadow Pipits feeding in the fields and on the salt marsh, 60 Skylarks, a flock of 100 Linnets, 50 Goldfinches feeding on thistles, 10 Blackcaps, 30 Chiffchaffs, a Garden Warbler, 2 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler. Two Grey Plover, 35 Turnstones, 10 Ringed Plover, 12 Dunlin and 10 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach. An adult Mediterranean Gull, another Whinchat and 8 Chiffchaffs were reported from Aust Warth. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works included a Great Crested Grebe, 6 Little Grebes, 26 Gadwall, 25 Teal, 7 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 48 Tufted Duck, single Sedge Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler.
Sedge Warbler, Northwick Warth 19.9.9
Linnets, Northwick Warth 19.9.9
Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included 2 Little Egrets, a Knot with 40 Turnstones, 30 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 50 Curlew, a Little Grebe (on the river Severn), 120 Teal, 16 Wigeon, a Little Owl, 2 Ravens, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Whitethroats, 7 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, 2 Reed Warblers, 5 Chiffchaffs, 2 Whinchats, 12 Wheatears, a Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Kingfisher, 20 Swallows, 20 House Martins and 2 Sand Martins (an early morning hour mist netting resulted in the capture of 9 birds including 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps and a Reed Warbler). Another 3 Ravens, 40 Curlew, 30 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover and a Rock Pipit were seen at Severn Beach. Sightings from Aust Warth included a Peregrine, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Whinchats and 2 Stonechats.
Knot, New Passage 18.9.9
The only reports from Severn Beach involved 32 Turnstones, 16 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin, 3 Grey Herons and a Wheatear. A Knot, the usual 30 Redshank, a Snipe, 40 Teal, 4 Wigeon and 2 Little Egrets were seen from New Passage.
Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included the first Short-eared Owl of the autumn, 32 Redshank, single Little Egret, Green Sandpiper and Snipe, 26 Oystercatchers, 100 Teal, 12 Wigeon and at least 3 Wheatear. At least one juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 45 Dunlin, 45 Turnstones, 20 Ringed Plover and 3 Wheatears were seen at Severn Beach this evening. Sightings from the Aust Warth area included 2 Whinchats, 2 Stonechats (first of Autumn), a Spotted Flycatcher and 6 Chiffchaffs. Four Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe and chick, 37 Gadwall, 25 Teal, 9 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 76 Tufted Duck, 6 Mute Swans, single Kingfisher and Cetti’s Warbler were reported from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.
Curlew Sandpiper, Severn Beach 16.9.9
Whinchat, Aust Warth 16.9.9 © Tony Scott
The North East wind continued all day. No reports were received from New Passage. A brief evening visit to the shaft beach at Severn Beach produced 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, a Golden Plover, 40 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover and 30 Turnstones. Reports from Aust Warth included 3 Spotted Flycatchers and 8 Chiffchaffs. Two drake Pochard, 73 Tufted Duck, 31 Gadwall, 17 Teal and 2 Little Grebes were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.
Curlew Sandpipers, Severn Beach 15.9.9
A record shot taken as the waders roosted deep among the rocks. Hopefully there will be more
opportunities over the next few days to capture better images of these birds.
The strong North East wind made finding birds difficult. The only reports from Northwick Warth involved a Little Egret, 43 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 8 Curlew, 3 Oystercatchers, 2 Snipe, 5 Wigeon, 40 Teal and 2 Wheatears.
Another dry and settled day. An Avocet was found at Severn Beach over the early afternoon high tide where other waders included just 17 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover and 25 Turnstones. Sightings from Northwick Warth included a Little Egret, 50 Teal, 8 Wigeon, 2 Wheatears, a Whinchat, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps and 9 Chiffchaffs. A Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs and 17 Oystercatchers were reported from Chittening Warth and nearby there were 6 Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe (plus chick), 34 Gadwall, 17 Teal, 55 Tufted Duck, a Green Sandpiper and 7 Chiffchaffs at Avonmouth Sewage Works.
Avocet, Severn Beach 13.9.9
A fine sunny day with a good selection of birds. The second Osprey of the autumn was seen flying South from New Passage at 07.30 this morning where other visible migrants reported heading North East (06.30-08.30) into the wind included 5 Tree Sparrows, 200+ Meadow Pipits, 300+ Swallow, 100 House Martins, 4 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit, 15 Linnets, 10 Greenfinch and 13 Chaffinch. Additional sightings from the Northwick Warth/ New Passage area included 2 Little Egrets, 2 Knot, 6 Whimbrel, 4 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, 45 Turnstones, 50 Teal, 4 Wigeon (first of autumn), 200 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Wheatears, at least 6 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps and 6 Chiffchaffs. Sightings from the shore at Severn Beach included a drake Pochard, 25 Turnstones, 7 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover and a Wheatear. A dead Polecat was found on the coast road above New Pill at Severn Beach.
Lesser Whitethroat, Northwick Warth 12.9.9
A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Knot, 19 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach. Reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth included a Little Owl, 2 Little Egrets, 40 Turnstones, 37 Redshank, 6 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 2 Ringed Plovers, 200 Linnets, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Kingfisher, 70 House Martins, 4 Wheatears and a Whinchat (just an hour mist netting at dawn produced 8 trapped birds including 3 male Blackcaps, single Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff). A White Wagtail was seen with a party of Pied Wagtails near the Burger Bar at Severn Beach. Reports from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area included 5 Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe and chick, 25 Gadwall, 14 Teal, 75 Tufted Duck, a Green Sandpiper and 3 Cetti’s Warblers.
Three Little Egrets, 32 Curlew, 50 Turnstones, 20 Redshank and 40 Teal were seen from New Passage. Just 28 Dunlin and 7 Turnstones were reported from Severn Beach.
A quiet day despite the first North East wind of the autumn. The only reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area involved 2 Little Egrets, a Common Sandpiper, 20 Redshank, 50 Turnstones, 42 Curlew, 2 Snipe, 3 Wheatears and a Garden Warbler. Another 2 Wheatears and 20 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works involved 3 Little Grebes, 22 Gadwall, 11 Teal, 7 Shoveler, 61 Tufted Duck, 8 Lapwing, single Green Sandpiper and Cetti’s Warbler.
The highlight of the day was the report of 2 Little Terns at New Passage this morning. Other sightings from New Passage included 35 Common Terns, 250 Black-headed Gulls, a Common Gull, a Little Egret, 84 Turnstones, 80 Curlew, 10 Oystercatchers, 15 Redshank and a Common Sandpiper. The only report from Severn Beach was of 22 Ringed Plover.
An adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, 2 Little Egrets, a Common Sandpiper, 80 Turnstones, 20 Redshank, 20 Oystercatchers, 40 Curlew, 300 Black-headed Gulls, 60 Teal, a Kingfisher, a Wheatear, a juvenile Hobby, a Little Owl, 2 Garden Warblers, 7 Blackcaps, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Sedge Warblers and 5 Chiffchaffs were reported from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area. Just 2 Ringed Plover and a Peregrine were reported from Severn Beach. Two Whinchats were seen on Aust Warth. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works included 3 Little Grebes, 28 Gadwall, 57 Tufted Duck and a Cetti’s Warbler.
Sightings from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area included 2 Little Egrets, a Common Sandpiper, 28 Redshank, 78 Turnstones, 30 Curlew, 15 Oystercatchers, a Kingfisher, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, 4 Wheatears, 15 Meadow Pipits, 3 Reed Buntings, 6 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, a Whitethroat, 14 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers, a Sparrowhawk and 5 Buzzards. Just 4 Sanderling, 25 Ringed Plover, 25 Dunlin and a Whimbrel were reported from Severn Beach. Another 6 Redshank and a Whinchat were seen at Aust Warth. Another Little Egret, a Kingfisher, 9 Lapwing, 2 Shoveler and a Little Grebe were reported from the Hoar Gout/VOSA pool.
Whimbrel, Severn Beach 6.9.9 © Allan Chard
A few signs of autumn with a variety of migrants. Reports from New Passage included a Greenshank, 28 Redshank, 30 Turnstones, a Common Sandpiper, 32 Teal, single Raven and Coal Tit and nearby on Northwick Warth there were 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 Whitethroats, a Wheatear, several Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers and Blackcaps, a Wheatear, at least 50 Meadow Pipits, 3 Reed Buntings and a Grass Snake. Another ringing session here resulted in the capture of 16 birds including 2 Meadow Pipits, 2 Reed Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, 3 Whitethroats and a Lesser Whitethroat. Sightings from Severn Beach included single Manx Shearwater, Whimbrel, Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and Wheatear. Five Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Redshank and 2 Whinchats were seen at Aust Warth.
Meadow Pipit, Northwick Warth 5.9.9 © Ed Drewitt
Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 30 Turnstones, 30 Redshank, 9 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 8 Oystercatchers, 35 Teal, 150 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Wheatears and a juvenile Hobby. The only reports from Severn Beach involved 30 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin and a Common Tern.
Wheatear, Northwick Warth 4.9.9 © John Martin
Another windy with less seabirds than expected or hoped for. Reports from Severn Beach included 2 Manx Shearwaters, a Fulmar, an Arctic Tern, a Sanderling, 55 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin and a Turnstone. Sightings from the New Passage area included 25 Dunlin, 28 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 30 Teal, 250 Black-headed Gulls and 4 Wheatears.
Fulmar, Severn Beach 3.9.9
An increasingly wet autumn day. The first 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers of the year, a juvenile Sanderling, 30 Ringed Plover, 9 Dunlin, 2 Turnstones, an adult female Merlin, 3 Wheatears and 20 Pied Wagtails were seen at Severn Beach this evening. Reports from the New Passage area included 2 Little Egrets, 70 Turnstones, 13 Oystercatchers, 22 Redshank, 30 Teal and 2 Wheatears. A Spotted Flycatcher was found in the Sheep Fields at Aust Wath and nearby a Common Sandpiper and a Little Egret were seen in Cake Pill.
Pale-bellied Brent Geese, Severn Beach 1.9.9
A good variety of birds to start the month. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included a Little Egret, 30 Redshank, 50 Turnstones, 200 Black-headed Gulls, 20 Teal, the brief appearance of 3 Ring Ouzels, a male Redstart, a Hobby, 6 Wheatears, a Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Whitethroats, a male Sparrowhawk and 6 Buzzards.
Wheatear, New Passage 1.9.9
Redstart, Northwick Warth 1.9.9
A party of 18 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were found on the evening high tide at Severn Beach (record count) where other sightings included a Manx Shearwater in some increasingly wet and windy weather, 170 Curlew, a Whimbrel, 45 Ringed Plover, 12 Turnstones, just 8 Dunlin and a Little Egret.
Whimbrel, Severn Beach 1.9.9 © John Martin