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January is a slightly better month than December, the daylight hours slowly lengthen resulting in a monthly total of 159 species. Like any of the mid winter months it can be good for wildfowl sightings if inland waters freeze, with the chance of Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander and Ruddy Duck or some fly by Bewick’s Swans. Seabirds seen in gales have included Cory’s Shearwater (2004), Storm Petrel, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk, Red-throated Diver (1991,1993) and Grey Phalarope. Other January birds include; Great Grey Shrike (2004) and Shorelark (2004), Waxwing (1958), two Common Cranes that flew over Severn Beach (2000), two Whooper Swans (2005) and a few rare sightings of Hen Harrier.

January 2010

January 31st
Yet another cold dawn (-1°C) followed by a settled day. Reports from Northwick Warth included 24 Shelduck, 140 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 60 Lapwing, 70 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlew, 20 Redshank, just 60 Dunlin, 2 Peregrines, a male Sparrowhawk and 3 Foxes. A Short-eared Owl, 3 Kestrels, a Peregrine, a Buzzard and a Green Woodpecker were seen at Aust Warth this morning.

January 30th
A frosty (-2°C) dawn followed by a bright and sunny day. Sightings from Severn Beach included 100 Dunlin, 25 Turnstones, 15 Redshank, 3 Ringed Plover, 50 Curlew, 2 Grey Herons, 17 Shelduck, single Water Pipit, Rock Pipit, Yellowhammer and female Blackcap. Reports from Northwick Warth involved a Grey Plover, just 50 Dunlin, at least 70 Oystercatchers, 40 Curlew, 30 Lapwing, 20 Redshank, 15 Turnstones, 100 Wigeon, 100 Teal and 20 Shelduck. A Short-eared Owl eventually appeared on Aust Warth just before 5pm where 2 Peregrines, a Kestrel and 2 Buzzards were also seen.

January 29th
A cold day with rain showers. Few reports today; a high count of 126 Oystercatchers from New Passage, a Merlin and Kestrel at Aust Warth late afternoon, 2 Yellowhammers at Severn Beach and a Little Grebe, 8 Gadwall, 6 Teal, 10 Shoveler, 7 Pochard, 25 Tufted Duck and 2 Mute Swans in the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.

January 28th
A Short-eared Owl was seen at Severn Beach late this afternoon.

January 27th
A quiet day with reports from New Passage of 40 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 22 Turnstones, 100 Wigeon and 70 Teal. A drake Green-winged Teal has been found just outside the Severnside recording area at Oldbury Power Station. Hopefully it will wander a few miles south to become the first Severnside record.

January 26th
The only reports from New Passage were of 25 Barnacle Geese, a Golden Plover, 30 Lapwing, 60 Curlew and 2 Grey Herons. Two Short-eared Owls showed well late afternoon Aust Warth where 2 Peregrines and 2 Kestrels were also seen. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works included 10 Teal, 10 Gadwall, 7 Pochard, 24 Tufted Ducks, a Chiffchaff and 4 Bullfinches.

                                                                                   Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 26.1.10

                                                                                  Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 26.1.10

January 25th
A cold (5°C) day with a light north wind. A Slavonian Grebe (only 4th severnside record), 26 Shelduck, 200 Dunlin and a Peregrine were seen from Severn Beach. A party of 25 Barnacle Geese flew high up river past Severn Beach early afternoon before being relocated on Northwick Warth and then being seen again in flight from Aust Warth. Additional reports from Northwick Warth included 5 Shelduck, 100 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 90 Redshank, 150 Dunlin, 40 Curlew, 15 Lapwing, 6 Turnstones and 8 Snipe. Two Short-eared Owls showed very well at Aust Warth (first bird appeared at 16.05) where 2 Peregrines, single Kestrel and Raven were also seen.

                                                                              Barnacle Geese, Northwick Warth 25.1.10
                                                                              the largest flock  ever recorded on Severnside.

                                                                                  Slavonian Grebe, Severn Beach 25.1.10
                                                 It spent most the time asleep amongst a small group of Mallard
                                                                  and Gadwall but never close enough for anything other than a record shot.

                                                                           Short-eared Owl and Kestrel, Aust Warth 25.1.10
                                                                        The Kestrel and Owls were scrapping again this evening.

January 24th
Reports from New Passage included at least 40 Wigeon, 15 Teal, 4 Shelduck, 20 Dunlin, 15 Turnstone, 20 Redshank, a Peregrine and 200 Black-headed Gulls. A Short-eared Owl, a Peregrine and a Kestrel were seen again at Aust Warth this afternoon.

January 23rd
Just 500 Dunlin, 4 Oystercatchers, 4 Shelduck, 100 Wigeon and 100 Teal were reported from New Passsage. Ten Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Wigeon and 4 Teal were present on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. Reports from Chittening Warth included a female Peregrine, a Water Rail, 100 Wigeon, 2 Tufted Duck, 22 Oystercatchers, 7 Turnstones and 2 Rock Pipits. A Short-eared Owl was seen interacting with a Kestrel at Aust Warth this afternoon.

January 22nd
No reports were received today.

January 21st
Reports from New Passage included 1000 Dunlin, 40 Lapwing, 10 Oystercatchers, 8 Turnstones, just 100 Wigeon, 50 Teal and 10 Shelduck. Just 40 Curlew and 8 Shelduck were reported from the shore at Severn Beach and just 4 Tufted Duck were seen at the Orchard Pools.

January 20th
A cool day with sleet and rain. The only report received involved a male Blackcap visiting a Severn Beach garden.

January 19th
A misty morning. At least 600 Dunlin, 50 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 24 Oystercatchers, 200 Wigeon, 150 Teal and 10 Shelduck. Sightings from Severn Beach included 70 Turnstones, 32 Redshank and 80 Dunlin from the shore and 12 Gadwall, 8 Tufted Duck, a Wigeon and 3 Lesser Redpolls at the Orchard Pools. A Peregrine, 2 Buzzards, 2 Kestrels and a large mixed flock of Fieldfares and Redwings were seen at Aust Warth. Reports from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area involved a Kingfisher, 6 Gadwall, 4 Teal, 6 Shoveler and 9 Tufted Duck.

January 18th
Sightings from New Passage included 1000 Dunlin (one or two already in breeding plumage), 100 Lapwing, 50 Curlew, 20 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, a Black-tailed Godwit, 600 Wigeon, 150 Teal, 14 Shelduck and a Harrier species (probably Hen). Reports from the shore at Severn Beach involved 60 Turnstones, 10 Redshank and 12 Dunlin and nearby 14 Gadwall, 4 Tufted Duck and a Wigeon remained on the Orchard Pools.

January 17th
A brief afternoon visit to New Passage produced 1200 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 100 Lapwing, 6 Turnstones, 40 Oystercatchers, 500 Wigeon, 150 Teal and 16 Shelduck. Another 14 Oystercatchers and 2 Yellowhammers were seen at New Pill south of Severn Beach and nearby 19 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck and a Wigeon remained at the Orchard Pools. A session of mist netting in a small Severn Beach garden produced 30 trapped birds of note were 13 Great Tits and 9 Blue Tits showing how many birds are dependent on feeding stations at the moment. Once again there was steady passage of Skylarks heading north over Severn Beach.

January 16th
Another frost free day with rain. Reports from Northwick Warth included 900 Wigeon, 140 Teal, 10 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 60 Curlew, 200 Lapwing, a Golden Plover, 300 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 10 Turnstones, 3 Snipe, a Water Rail and 5 Bullfinches. Another 20 Turnstones were seen from the shore at Severn Beach where a female Blackcap was still present in a garden. There was a steady passage of Skylarks heading north this morning.

January 15th
Temperatures soared today to 10°C. Reports from the New Passage area included the nixed flock of 600 Wigeon and Teal, 14 Shelduck, 74 Oystercatchers, 8 Curlew, 16 Redshank and a Grey Heron. Just 6 Gadwall, 8 Teal, 10 Shoveler, 21 Tufted Duck and 30 Black-headed Gulls were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 14th
A slight thaw today. Reports from the New Passage area included 400 Wigeon, 110 Teal, 6 drake Pochard, 120 Lapwing, 8 Oystercatchers, 250 Dunlin, 8 Redshank, single Snipe, Raven and Peregrine. A 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull, 70 Black-headed Gulls, just 4 Shoveler, 8 Tufted Duck and the usual Gadwall and Mallard were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 13th
The wintry weather continued with another 4 inches of overnight snow. Reports from an intrepid visiting birder included a mixed flock of 550 Wigeon and Teal, just 3 Oystercatchers, 160 Lapwing, 300 Dunlin, a Snipe, 10 Curlew and 44 Redshank from New Passage. Just 3 Gadwall, 9 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 12 Tufted Duck and 110 Black-headed Gulls were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 12th
Reports today included 80 Dunlin, 18 Redshank, 10 Curlew, 64 Oystercatchers, 450 Wigeon, 100 Teal and 12 Shelduck from New Passage, another 120 Dunlin, 35 Lapwing, 260 Wigeon, 40 Fieldfares and a Kestrel at Aust Warth, another 8 Shelduck and 8 Redshank at Severn Beach and just 7 Gadwall, 8 Teal, 4 Pochard and 6 Tufted Duck at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 11th
A slight thaw with temperatures hovering just in positive territory. An impressive 2400 Wigeon were seen feeding along the tide line from New Passage where other reports included 250 Teal, 500 Dunlin, 30 Oystercatchers, 25 Redshank, 40 Curlew, 250 Lapwing, 2 Snipe, a flock of 40 ground feeding Fieldfares and a Peregrine. A visit to Aust Warth produced just 50 Wigeon, 20 Curlew, 60 Lapwing, 20 Redshank and a Rock Pipit. The small area of unfrozen water at the Orchard Pools held 18 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 14 Coot and a Little Grebe. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works included a Little Grebe, 14 Gadwall, 10 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 5 Pochard, 13 Tufted Duck, a Grey Wagtail and a Chiffchaff.

January 10th
Another frosty (-3°C) start followed by a cloudy day and a temperature of + 2°C. A visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced 200 Dunlin, 90 Oystercatchers, 100 Turnstones, 90 Redshank, 30 Lapwing, 24 Shelduck, 6 Teal, 2 Grey Herons, 8 Reed Buntings and 2 Yellowhammers. A flock of at least 800 Wigeon, 80 Teal and 200 Dunlin remained at New Passage. A Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Curlew, 20 Lapwing, 15 Redshank, 20 Wigeon, 10 Teal, 20 Skylark, 3 Bullfinch, 2 Buzzards and a Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth.

January 9th
A thermometer reading of -4°C early morning. With a moderate north east wind creating a significant wind chill it felt very cold all day. Sightings from the shore at Severn Beach included 8 Ringed Plover, 100 Turnstones, 120 Dunlin, 40 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 24 Shelduck, 7 Tufted Duck and 2 Yellowhammers and nearby a female Blackcap was feeding in a garden. An influx of Wigeon was noted at New Passage where at least 1100 were present along with 150 Teal, 250 Lapwing, 50 Dunlin and a Great Crested Grebe. A Merlin, a Raven and a Snipe were seen at Aust Warth late afternoon. An adult Mediterranean Gull was seen again at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

                                                                                        Blackcap, Severn Beach 9.1.10
                                 Feeding on Pomegranate (originally hung out to attract Waxwings but without success so far)

January 8th
A rise in temperature to -5°C but still plenty of frozen snow covering fields and salt marsh. There were some displaced birds including Blackbirds, Robins and Fieldfares trying to feed on the frozen mudflats and Reed Buntings and a Skylark feeding on seed in a garden at Severn Beach. Other sightings from Severn Beach included 60 Lapwing, 150 Dunlin, 60 Oystercatchers, 90 Curlew, 20 Turnstones, 20 Redshank, 6 Shelduck, 20 Wigeon, 8 Tufted Duck, 2 Snipe and a Rock Pipit from the shore and a Little Grebe, 10 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 4 Mute Swans, 14 Coot, 5 Moorhens, 4 Grey Herons and 2 Snipe at the Orchard Pools. A brief visit to New Passage produced 600 Wigeon, 150 Teal, 2 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 350 Lapwing, 120 Dunlin and 25 Redshank. A Merlin was seen again at Aust Warth late afternoon. An adult Mediterranean Gull was reported on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works. Nearly on Severnside;2 Shorelarks were seen this morning on the edge of the salt marsh just north of Oldbury Power Station.

                                                                                       Orchard Pools at Severn Beach 8.1.10   

January 7th
A bitterly cold dawn with a reading of -9°C. The only report received was from Chittening Warth where 5 Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe and a Peregrine were seen.

January 6th
Another freezing day with 5 inches of snow and moderate strength north east wind. Sightings from the Severn Beach shore included 600 Dunlin, 60 Turnstones, 25 Redshank, 80 Curlew, 20 Oystercatchers, 6 Ringed Plover, 12 Shelduck, at least 40 Skylarks, 6 Reed Buntings and 2 Yellowhammers. A male Blackcap was seen again in a Severn Beach garden. Less than expected was seen at Northwick Warth where fewer Wigeon (just 120), 40 Teal, 24 Shelduck, 250 Dunlin, 350 Lapwing, a Golden Plover, 20 Redshank, 6 Snipe and another 30 Skylarks. An adult Mediterranean Gull and the usual ducks were reported from the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

                                                                                      Yellowhammer, Severn Beach 6.1.10   

                                                                                      Shelduck in a blizzard, Northwick Warth 6.1.10      

January 5th
A warmer dawn at -2°C with snow flurries during the afternoon. The Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth at 2.45 pm where a male Merlin and Stonechat were also present. Twelve Canada Geese were seen with the Wigeon flock on Northwick Warth. Reports from the Orchard Pools included 2 Little Grebes,10 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Mute Swans, 20 Coot, 2 Moorhens, 2 Grey Herons and a Peregrine. Ninety Curlew were counted at New Pill, Chittening Warth. An afternoon visit to Avonmouth Sewage Works produced 3 Little Grebes, 15 Gadwall, 13 Teal, 9 Pochard, 19 Shoveler, 22 Tufted Duck, 12 Common Gulls, 190 Black-headed Gulls and a Grey Wagtail.

January 4th
A very cold dawn (-8°C) and cold day kept the regular birders away. A brief stop at Aust Warth at 4pm produced a hunting Short-eared Owl and a male Stonechat. A Woodcock was flushed in the frozen fields at Northwick Warth. A Little Grebe, 22 Gadwall, 16 Teal, 23 Mallard, 3 Pochard, 14 Shoveler, 16 Tufted Duck, 8 Lapwing and a Grey Wagtail were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 3rd
A sunny but cold day. Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a female Merlin, a Little Egret, a Jack Snipe, 1500 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 50 Curlew, 90 Oystercatchers, 8 Snipe, 500 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 28 Shelduck, 3 Pintail, 3 Grey Herons, 2 Ravens, a Stonechat, a Siskin and a Kingfisher. A visit to the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach produced the usual 12 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 15 Mallard, a Teal, 4 Mute Swans, 12 Coot and 2 Moorhens on the remaining small unfrozen area. Another Stonechat was seen at Chittening Warth.

January 2nd
The icy spell continued with an influx of birds at New Passage where a morning visit produced 2400 Dunlin, 700 Lapwing, 120 Oystercatchers, 70 Curlew, 40 Redshank, 25 Turnstones, 3 Snipe, at least 800 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 24 Shelduck, a Stonechat and 2 Grey Wagtails. A Little Egret, 2 Buzzards, 2 Kestrels, single Raven and Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth. A male Blackcap replaced yesterday’s female in a Severn Beach garden and nearby 10 Gadwall, 4 Tufted Duck, 8 Coot and 4 Moorhens were seen on the almost completely frozen Orchard Pools.

                                                                            Stonechat, New Passage 1.1.10                          

January 1st
An icy start (-3°C) to the new year. Sightings from New Passage included at least 1000 Dunlin, 500 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 60 Curlew, 50 Oystercatcher, 5 Turnstones, 600 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 2 Gadwall, 24 Shelduck and a Stonechat. Nearby a Jack Snipe and 6 Snipe were found on Northwick Warth. Reports from Severn Beach included a female Blackcap feeding in a garden, 70 Redshank and a Peregrine on the shore and 15 Gadwall and 3 Tufted Duck at the Orchard Pools. A hunting Short-eared Owl was seen at dusk from Aust Warth where 2 Ravens were also present. Reports from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area included a Little Grebe, 28 Gadwall, 23 Teal, 4 Pochard, 34 Shoveler, a Ruddy Duck, 6 Moorhens, 8 Coot and a Grey Wagtail.