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April is the second most productive month of the year species seen on Severnside. At least one individual of 184  species have been seen in April. A month when the last of the “winter” birds depart and the first “summer” birds arrive. Birds to expect are at least four Tern species, Skuas, “ sylvia” Warblers, Common Redstarts, Whinchats, Yellow Wagtails with the chance of Pied Flycatcher, Grasshopper Warbler, Wood Warbler and Hobby. Rarer sightings include; Slavonian Grebe (1989, 2000), Ring-necked Duck (1988), Sabine’s Gull (1990, 1992), Red-rumped Swallow (1988) and Willow Tit (1988).

April  2003

April 30th
At Severn Beach there were 2 Whinchat and a Garden Warbler amongst an influx of Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats. On this mornings high tide there were 16 Whimbrel here and a Red-legged Partridge (local rarity) was flushed from the beach this evening. At New Passage a Little Egret was seen flying south this morning. Other notable birds here were single Common Tern, Hobby, Yellow Wagtail and 2 more Whinchat. A total of 9 Wheatears were seen. There were four Short-eared Owls on Chittening Warth this evening.

April 29th
Today there were 11 Whimbrel and 3 Wheatear at New Passage, a Common Sandpiper at Severn Beach and a few Swifts passing by. This evening there were three Short-eared Owls on Chittening Warth and a Little Tern off  New Passage.

                                                                                        Wheatear, New Passage  29.4.3

April 28th  
This evening there were at least 350 Kittiwakes one Gannet and 5  “Commic” Terns off  Chittening Warth and 2 Short-eared Owls there on the salt marsh. Late this evening reports were received of an Arctic Skua, 3 Little Terns, 50 “Commic” Terns and a Great Crested Grebe off Severn Beach. Waders at Severn Beach included 11 Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpiper. A number of Swifts and Swallows were moving upriver. There were another 4 Whimbrel at New Passage.

April 27th
A brief sea watch from Chittening Warth ( 07.15- 09.15 ) produced 3 Great Skuas, 7 Fulmars, a minimum of  27 Gannets and 90 Kittiwakes. One Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel and a Yellow Wagtail were also present. This afternoon a Cuckoo was present at the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth and a Garden Warbler was at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach.

April 26th
At least 2 Short-eared Owls remained at Chittening Warth early morning. Also here were Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 15 Whimbrel. Birds at Severn Beach included 7 Whimbrel, 2 Swift and another 2 singing Lesser Whitethroat. Moderate strength wind produced 30 Kittiwakes, 3 Little Gulls and 4 Arctic Terns from Chittening Warth late afternoon. Further north at Northwick Warth there were 3 more Lesser Whitethroats, a fine male Whinchat and a fly over Yellow Wagtail.

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                                    Short-eared Owl, Chittening Warth 26.4.3                                Whinchat, Northwick Warth 26.4.3

April 25th
The first proper  rain showers of the month produced a few migrants. The totals for the more interesting birds were 6 Lesser Whitethroat (4 on Northwick Warth), 3 Whinchats, 6 Wheatear, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Swift, single Tree Pipit and the first Cuckoo of the spring on Northwick Warth. Other notable birds were 7 Whimbrel, 2 Little Egrets flying east over New Passage and a Great Crested Grebe off New Passage. Twelve“ Commic” Terns were seen from Severn Beach. At least 3 Short-eared Owls were still present on Chittening Warth at dusk.

April 24th
First of the year birds involved 2 Reed Warbler at Chittening Warth, Lesser Whitethroat at Severn Beach and Swift at New Passage. Five Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Whimbrel were present on Northwick Warth this afternoon. This evening another 11 Whimbrel were on Severn Beach and 4 Short-eared Owls were hunting over the salt marsh at Chittening Warth.  Only  2Wheatear were seen today but there was a heavy passage of Swallows with a few House Martins.

April 23rd
A selection of waders at Severn Beach today, the best of which were 2 Little Ringed Plovers along with 10 Bar-tailed Godwits, 8 Whimbrel, single Grey Plover and Common Sandpiper. Other migrants included a male Stonechat at the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth, 3 Wheatear and a steady passage of Swallows.

                                                                   Little Ringed Plover, Severn Beach 23.4.3 ©  Chris Trott

April 22nd
Not as productive today but still one or two good  birds. At Chittening Warth a Short-eared Owl and 10 Whimbrel were seen late morning. At Severn Beach, 2 Arctic Skuas (pale morph and dark morph) drifted past and a male Whinchat was seen here. At Northwick Warth the best birds were a Grey Plover, female Redstart and Yellow Wagtail.

                                                          Female Common Redstart, Northwick Warth 22.4.3 ©  Gary Thoburn

April 21st
A change of wind direction to the South East and the first rain shower for weeks produced some interesting records. The first Wood Warbler for three years and the first April record of Spotted Flycatcher were in coastal scrub at Severn Beach. Also at Severn Beach  there were at least 7 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Sedge Warblers, 3 Tree Pipit, 2 Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, 3 Redpoll, 5 Kittiwakes and 22 Arctic Terns. At the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach there was a Common Sandpiper and nearby a female Redstart. A second Wood Warbler was singing at the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth. Further up the coast 5 Redpoll, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, single Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper and Yellow Wagtail were seen at New Passage. At Chittening Warth, late afternoon, there was a Short-eared Owl but more of a surprise were 2 Arctic Skua, 8 Sandwich Terns and 38 Kittiwakes despite it being low tide.

April 20th
The strong cold wind continued but some migrants were still found. A Yellow Wagtail and 12 Bar-tailed Godwits flew over Chittening Warth this morning. On Northwick Warth there were 14 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Whimbrel, single Little Ringed Plover and Golden Plover. A Tree Pipit was seen at Aust Warth and there were 200 Swallows, 9 House Martins and 9 Sand Martins past New Passage in an hour and a half this evening.

April 19th
Strong cold North East winds stopped most visible migration. A handful of Swallows, House Martins
Goldfinches and Linnets were seen fighting against the wind. Two Whimbrel were seen at Northwick Warth.

April 18th
At Severn Beach this morning; just 3 Arctic Terns and 2 first winter plumage Little Gulls, 12 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Whimbrel, 3 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit, 4 House Martins and several hundred Goldfinches heading into the cold NE wind. A Great Skua flew north past Aust Warth and a Short-eared Owl was seen there. This evening the only notable birds were 2vLittle Terns off Severn Beach, a Raven and another Short-eared Owl over Chittening Warth.

April 17th
Another very good “tern day“ with over 950 birds seen over the morning and evening tides. The totals were 595 ”Commic“ Tern, 70 Common Tern, 280 Arctic Tern, 11 Sandwich Tern, 2 Black Tern plus 7 Little Gull, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, Great Crested Grebe (scarce here), single Little Ringed Plover, 5 Whimbrel, a Grey Plover. Other migrants at Severn Beach  included 10 Lesser Redpoll, the first 4 Yellow Wagtails of the year, 2 Tree Pipit, at least 5 singing Whitethroat, a Sedge Warbler and the first Garden Warbler of the year. A male Wheatear was on Northwick Warth. Two Short-eared Owls were present on Chittening Warth in the evening.

                                                                              Great Crested Grebe, Severn Beach 17.4.3

April 16th
A quieter day than yesterday. The best birds from Severn Beach were 6 Common  Terns, 60 “commic” Terns, 7 Little Gulls, 3 Fulmars, 15 Whimbrel and 2 Raven. A Little Tern was seen from Chittening Warth in the morning and 4 Short-eared Owls there this evening. There were several Whitethroats and one Wheatear in the area today.

April 15th
The tern passage continued today with 41 Sandwich Terns (exceptional number) and 100 Common Terns, 12 Arctic Terns, 200 “Commic” Terns, 35 Black Terns plus 7 Little Gulls, 50+ Kittiwakes, a Great Skua and 4 Arctic Skuas past Severn  Beach. Waders today included one Sanderling, one Snipe and 48 Whimbrel. At least 5 Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler and 2 Wheatear were seen today.

April 14th
The warmer weather today produced some good birds. Two Greenshank were in the pill at Aust Warth early afternoon. Other waders included at least 3 Common Sandpiper between New Passage and Aust, 10 Whimbrel and 2 Sanderling at  Severn Beach where at least 31 Common Terns and a Sandwich Tern flew upriver. Two Wheatear were seen at New Passage.

April 13th
A steady stream of Sand Martins and Swallows all day but only one House Martin. Singing Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff were“ everywhere”. Migrants included a  flyo ver Tree Pipit at New Passage, a singing Sedge Warbler on Northwick Warth and a male Redstart in coastal scrub at Severn Beach. Eight Fieldfare flew east over Severn Beach this morning and a Raven flew north over Northwick Warth. Waders included a Snipe at Northwick Warth, 3 Grey Plover, 20 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plover at Severn Beach. An escaped Red-whiskered Bulbul was present in gardens at New Passage early this morning before flying off east.

April 12th
A little more migration today with at least 12 Swallows, 5 Sand Martins and the first 3 House Martins of the year. A pair of Wheatear and a Snipe were seen on Northwick Warth. Other birds of note were a total of 5 singing Willow Warblers, 8 Buzzards and a Grey Plover on Chittening Warth.

April 11th
The first Whimbrel of the year was with Curlew on Northwick Warth. A Little Owl  was also present here and a Wheatear was on Severn Beach

April 10th
A cold northerly wind seems to have stopped the spring migration with just single Willow Warbler in Severn Beach, Wheatear on Northwick Warth and White Wagtail at Aust Warth.

April 9th
Four Bar-tailed Godwit at Chittening Warth were the best birds on a quiet day with just 3 Swallows and 2 Willow Warblers being the only other birds of note.

April 8th
A little more migration, with at least 20 Swallows, 5 Willow Warblers and 8 Blackcap seen today. A Raven flew over the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach and a Peregrine was seen on Northwick Warth.

April 7th
A quiet day again. A Swallow flew past Severn Beach this morning and another at New Passage late afternoon. Several Willow Warbler and Blackcap were singing in the area. At least 4 local Buzzards were soaring in the fine weather.

April 6th
Birds seen migrating past Severn Beach included the second Osprey of the year (6th patch record) and 20 Bar-tailed Godwit. At Northwick Warth, unusual fly over migrants included Corn Bunting (last record 1997), Crossbill, Yellowhammer along with the more usual Linnets, Goldfinch, Siskin and Redpoll. A White Wagtail and Lapwing were seen on the flash here. At least two Willow Warbler were heard with the many Chiffchaff present.

April 5th
At New Passage there were two Swallows, a Wheatear and Redpoll. There were 2 sterna Terns off Severn Beach along with 6 Gadwall and 2 Shoveler. A Green Sandpiper was at the Sea Bank Pools. Many Chiffchaff and at least 5 Willow Warbler were seen today.

April 4th
Fine spring weather failed to produce many birds other than the first patch Coal Tit of the year at Severn Beach, single Blackcap and 2 Willow Warbler. There were 12 Gadwall and a Green Sandpiper at Chittening Warth.

April 3rd
A quieter day with single Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Snipe on Northwick Warth. There were still many  Chiffchaff, several Blackcap and Willow Warbler. Once again up to six Buzzards were soaring in fine weather.

April 2nd
An Osprey (only 5th patch record) was seen flying upriver this morning from Chittening Warth then from Severn Beach. Other birds were an anticlimax and in short supply due to a biting north west wind. At least 4 singing Willow Warbler were present and many Chiffchaff.

April 1st
Strong wind produced a light morph Arctic Skua, 2 Fulmar, a Little Gull and at least 80 Kittiwakes off Severn Beach.