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).
This evening there were at least 350 Kittiwakes one Gannet and five “Commic” Terns off Chittening Warth and two Short-eared Owls there on the salt marsh. Late this evening reports were received of an Arctic Skua , three Little Terns, 50 “Commic” Terns and a Great Crested Grebe off Severn Beach. Waders at Severn Beach included eleven Whimbrel and two Common Sandpiper. A number of Swifts and Swallows were moving upriver. There were another four Whimbrel at New Passage.
A brief sea watch from Chittening Warth ( 07.15- 09.15 ) produced three Great Skuas, seven Fulmars, a minimum of twenty seven Gannets and ninety Kittiwakes. One Bar-tailed Godwit, two Whimbrel and one 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.
At least two Short-eared Owls remained at Chittening Warth early morning. Also here were Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers, two Lesser Whitethroat and fifteen Whimbrel. Birds at Severn Beach included seven Whimbrel, two Swift and another two singing Lesser Whitethroat. Moderate strength wind produced thirty Kittiwakes, three Little Gulls and four Arctic Terns from Chittening Warth late afternoon. Further north at Northwick Warth there were three more Lesser Whitethroats, a fine male Whinchat and a flyover Yellow Wagtail.
At Severn Beach there were two Whinchat and a Garden Warbler amongst an influx of Blackcaps, Common Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats. On this mornings high tide there were sixteen 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 two more Whinchat. A total of nine Wheatears were seen. There were four Short-eared Owls on Chittening Warth this evening.
Today there were eleven Whimbrel and three 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.
The first proper rain showers of the month produced a few migrants. The totals for the more interesting birds were six Lesser Whitethroat (four on Northwick Warth), three Whinchats, six Wheatear, three Yellow Wagtail, three Swift, single Tree Pipit and the first Cuckoo of the spring on Northwick Warth. Other notable birds were seven Whimbrel, two 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 three Short-eared Owls were still present on Chittening Warth at dusk.
First of the year birds involved two Reed Warbler at Chittening Warth, Lesser Whitethroat at Severn Beach and Swift at New Passage. Five Bar-tailed Godwit and four Whimbrel were present on Northwick Warth this afternoon. This evening another eleven Whimbrel were on Severn Beach and four Short-eared Owls were hunting over the salt marsh at Chittening Warth . Only two Wheatear were seen today but there was a heavy passage of Swallows with a few House Martins.
A selection of waders at Severn Beach today , the best of which were two Little Ringed Plovers along with ten Bar-tailed Godwits, eight Whimbrel, single Grey Plover and Common Sandpiper. Other migrants included a male Stonechat at the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth, three Wheatear and a steady passage of Swallows.
Female Common Redstart
© Gary Thoburn
Little Ringed Plover
© Chris Trott
Not as productive today but still one or two good birds. At Chittening Warth a Short-eared Owl and ten Whimbrel were seen late morning. At Severn Beach, two Arctic Skuas (pale phase and dark phase) drifted past and a male Whinchat was seen here. At Northwick Warth the best birds were a Grey Plover, female Common Redstart and Yellow Wagtail.
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 seven Yellow Wagtails, three Sedge Warblers, three Tree Pipit, two Whinchat, four Wheatear, three Redpoll, five Kittiwakes and twenty two Arctic Terns. At the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach there was a Common Sandpiper and nearby a female Common Redstart. A second Wood Warbler was singing at the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth. Further up the coast five Redpoll, nine 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 two Arctic Skua, eight Sandwich Terns and thirty eight Kittiwakes despite it being low tide.
The strong cold wind continued but some migrants were still found. A Yellow Wagtail and twelve Bar-tailed Godwits flew over Chittening Warth this morning. On Northwick Warth there were fourteen Bar-tailed Godwits, two Whimbrel, single Little Ringed Plover and Golden Plover. A Tree Pipit was seen at Aust Warth and there were 200 Swallows, nine House Martins and nine Sand Martins past New Passage in an hour and a half this evening.
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.
At Severn Beach this morning; just three Arctic Terns and two first winter plumage Little Gulls, twelve Bar-tailed Godwits, seven Whimbrel, three Yellow Wagtails, one Tree Pipit, four 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 two Little Terns off Severn Beach, a Raven and another Short-eared Owl over Chittening Warth.
Another very good “tern day“ with over 950 birds seen over the morning and evening tides. The totals were 595 ”Commic“ Tern, seventy Common Tern, 280 Arctic Tern, eleven Sandwich Tern, two Black Tern plus seven Little Gull, eighteen Bar-tailed Godwit, Great Crested Grebe (scarce here), single Little Ringed Plover, five Whimbrel, one Grey Plover. Other migrants at Severn Beach included ten Lesser Redpoll, the first four Yellow Wagtails of the year, two Tree Pipit , at least five singing Common Whitethroat, one 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
A quieter day than yesterday. The best birds from Severn Beach were six Common Terns, sixty “commic” Terns, seven Little Gulls, three Fulmars, fifteen Whimbrel and two Raven. A Little Tern was seen from Chittening Warth in the morning and four Short-eared Owls there this evening. There were several Common Whitethroats and one Wheatear in the area today.
The tern passage continued today with 41 Sandwich Terns (exceptional number) and 100 Common Terns, twelve Arctic Terns, 200 “Commic” Terns, thirty five Black Terns plus seven Little Gulls, fifty plus Kittiwakes, one Great Skua and four Arctic Skuas past Severn Beach. Waders today included one Sanderling, one Snipe and forty eight Whimbrel. At least five Common Whitethroats, one Sedge Warbler and two Wheatear were seen today.
The warmer weather today produced some good birds. Two Greenshank were in the pill at Aust Warth early afternoon. Other waders included at least three Common Sandpiper between New Passage and Aust, ten Whimbrel and two Sanderling at Severn Beach where at least thirty one Common Terns and one Sandwich Tern flew upriver. Two Wheatear were seen at New Passage.
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 flyover Tree Pipit at New Passage, a singing Sedge Warbler on Northwick Warth and a male Common 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, three Grey Plover, twenty Dunlin and four Ringed Plover at Severn Beach. An escaped Red-whiskered Bulbul was present in gardens at New Passage early this morning before flying off east.
A little more migration today with at least twelve Swallows, five Sand Martins and the first three 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 five singing Willow Warblers, eight Common Buzzard, and a Grey Plover on Chittening Warth.
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
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.
Four Bar -tailed Godwit at Chittening Warth were the best birds on a quiet day with just three Swallows and two Willow Warblers being the only other birds of note.
A little more migration, with at least twenty Swallows, five Willow Warblers and eight Blackcap seen today. A Raven flew over the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach and a Peregrine was seen on Northwick Warth.
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 four local Buzzards were soaring in the fine weather.
Birds seen migrating past Severn Beach included the second Osprey of the year (sixth patch record) and twenty Bar-tailed Godwit. At Northwick Warth, unusual flyover 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.
At New Passage there were two Swallows, a Wheatear and Redpoll. There were two sterna Terns off Severn Beach along with six Gadwall and two Shoveler. A Green Sandpiper was at the Sea Bank Pools. Many Chiffchaff and at least five Willow Warbler were seen today.
Fine spring weather failed to produce many birds other than the first patch Coal Tit of the year at Severn Beach, single Blackcap and two Willow Warbler. There were twelve Gadwall and a Green Sandpiper at Chittening Warth.
A quieter day with single Bar-tailed Godwit and four 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.
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 four singing Willow Warbler were present and many Chiffchaff.
Strong wind produced a light phase Arctic Skua, two Fulmar, one Little Gull and at least eighty Kittiwakes off Severn Beach.