SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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February is generally another quiet month with only a total of 151 species recorded. Gales in this month have produced Storm and Leach’s Petrel, Pomarine Skua and all four records of Puffin. Other rarities seen include Spoonbill (2004), Avocets, Ring-billed Gull (1987), Great Grey Shrike (1999,2000,2004), Shorelark (2004) and Cirl Bunting (1943).

February 2010



February 28th
A wet morning and no change in the variety of birds. Two Canada Geese, 200 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 20 Shelduck, 40 Oystercatchers, 40 Curlew and 30 Redshank remained off New Passage.

February 27th
A day of mixed weather with sunshine and showers. An afternoon visit to New Passage produced 6 Greylag Geese, 2 Canada Geese, 250 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 30 Shelduck, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 90 Redshank, 4 Turnstones, 40 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew and and 50 Dunlin. Another 30 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach where at least 10 Reed Buntings were feeding on a garden bird table.

February 26th
An increasingly windy day. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included 3 Knot, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 72 Redshank, 110 Oystercatchers, 6 Greylag Geese, 30 Shelduck and 35 Teal. An afternoon visit to Severn Beach produced 40 Kittiwakes, a Brent Goose, 35 Shelduck, a Great Crested Grebe, 7 Ringed Plover, 20 Turnstones and 60 Dunlin.

February 25th
Reports from the Northwick Warth area included 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Little Egret, a Jack Snipe, a Snipe, 31 Shelduck, 300 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 2 Canada Geese, 6 Greylag Geese, 2 Turnstones, 15 Redshank, 30 Curlew, 8 Pied Wagtails and a Stonechat. Another 38 Shelduck,7 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 6 Redshank, 10 Turnstones, 20 Oystercatchers and 20 Curlew were seen from Severn Beach. A Cetti’s Warbler and a pair of Little Grebes were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 24th
A brief late afternoon visit to New Passage produced just 200 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 21 Shelduck and 2 Canada Geese.

February 23rd
Another cold and wet day. Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved just 28 Shelduck, 71 Wigeon, 16 Teal, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 32 Curlew and 17 Redshank. Another 34 Shelduck, 55 Dunlin, 21 Redshank and a single Ringed Plover were seen from the shore at Severn Beach.

February 22nd
A bitterly cold north wind with rain, sleet and snow showers. At least 135 Wigeon were seen at Aust Warth. Another 60 Wigeon, 24 Shelduck, 28 Teal, 2 Canada Geese, 18 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 4 Lapwing and 6 Curlew were seen in the Northwick Warth area. Reports from Severn Beach involved 31 Shelduck, 120 Dunlin and 28 Turnstones from the shore and a Little Grebe, 4 Mute Swan, 2 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck and a Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Orchard Pools.

February 21st
Another frosty morning eventually turning dry and bright. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 2 Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Lapwing, 35 Redshank, 50 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 40 Turnstones, 100 Dunlin, 40 Shelduck, 300 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 2 Canada Geese, 7 Greylag Geese, 8 Skylark, 6 Pied Wagtails and a Rock Pipit.

February 20th
A frosty (-2°C)  dawn followed by another dry and bright day. Sightings from the shore at Severn Beach included a drake Pintail, 35 Shelduck, 500 Dunlin, 70 Curlew, a Snipe, 250 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Water Pipits and 3 Rock Pipits. A Little Egret, 7 Greylag Geese, 2 Canada Geese, 30 Shelduck, 300 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 30 Oystercatchers, 30 Turnstones, 25 Redshank and 200 Dunlin were seen from New Passage.

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                                                                                        Water Pipit, Severn Beach 20.2.10  

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                                                                                            Water Pipit, Severn Beach 20.2.10  
                         Water Pipits are difficult to see in the salt marsh because they don’t tolerate a close approach, usually flush
                                 readily and then fly high, up and down the shoreline for several minutes before landing a 100 metres from
                                 where they took off. Rock Pipits are quite approachable in comparison and usually only fly a short distance
                                 before landing again.                                         

February 19th
A fine dry and sunny day. The 7 Greylag Geese, 2 Canada Geese, 24 Shelduck, 150 Wigeon, 50 Teal remained on Northwick Warth where other reports included 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1000 Dunlin, 25 Redshank, 100 Curlew, 30 Turnstones, 20 Oystercatchers, 8 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, just one Lapwing and 3 Water Rails. Another 40 Shelduck and 4 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach. A female Blackcap remained on feeders in a Severn Beach garden. A Little Grebe, 12 Gadwall, 12 Pochard and 26 Tufted Duck were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                    Greylag Geese, Northwick Warth 19.2.10  

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                                                                                       Jack Snipe, Northwick Warth 19.2.10  

February 18th
An unpleasant day with temperatures hovering just above 0°C in a north east breeze and horizontal wet snow. A morning high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 2 Canada Geese, 10 Shelduck, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Snipe, 60 Redshank, 500 Dunlin, 70 Turnstones, a Peregrine and 3 Yellowhammers (in the same area as Feb.6th). At least 6 Reed Buntings and a female Blackcap were feeding in a Severn Beach garden. The 2 Canada Geese were relocated on Northwick Warth late morning in a blizzard where other sightings included 7 Greylag Geese with 30 Shelduck, 200 Wigeon, 50 Teal,  3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 50 Lapwing, 40 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 300 Dunlin, 20 Redshank, 14 Snipe and a Rock Pipit. A Green Sandpiper was present at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                 Bar-tailed Godwits, Northwick Warth 18.2.10  

February 17th
A cold day with rain showers. The same birds as yesterday were reported from New Passage with 5 Shelduck, 200 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 30 Oystercatchers, 25 Redshank and 60 Curlew being seen in a brief visit late afternoon. A female Merlin was seen at Aust Warth.

February 16th
At least 150 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 30 Oystercatchers and 20 Redshank remained off New Passage.

February 15th
Once again the only reports were from the Northwick Warth area involving 500 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank, 63 Curlew, 2 Lapwing, 80 Wigeon, 40 Teal, an adult male Peregrine, 13 Fieldfare and 2 Green Woodpeckers.

February 14th
Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved a Little Egret, 300 Dunlin, 20 Redshank, 50 Lapwing, 40 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlew, 2 Snipe, 240 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 3 calling Water Rails and 4 Ravens.

February 13th
Much of the same today. The only reports received from New Passage area involved the mixed flock of 400 Wigeon and Teal, 12 Shelduck, 280 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, 70 Lapwing, 28 Redshank, 60 Curlew and  3 Ravens. Another Raven was seen at Aust Warth this evening.

February 12th
A Jack Snipe and 3 Ravens were reported from Northwick Warth this morning and sightings from New Passage this afternoon involved 25 Redshank, 30 Dunlin, 50 Curlew and a mixed flock of 400 Wigeon and Teal.

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                                                                                Teal, New Passage 12.2.10  © Richard Bowerman

February 11th
A less windy but icy (-2°C) start to the day. A visit to Severn Beach produced 11 Ringed Plover, 30 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank and 25 Shelduck. Two Ravens remained at Northwick Warth. At least 70 Wigeon, 18 Lapwing, 3 Peregrines, a Kestrel and a mixed flock of 30 Redwing and Fieldfares were seen at Aust Warth. Eleven Gadwall, 41 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 3 Pochard and 17 Tufted Duck were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 10th
The cold wind continued. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 60 Teal, 30 Wigeon, 10 Shelduck, 2 Canada Geese, 30 Curlew, 25 Redshank, 6 Lapwing, single Kestrel, Buzzard and 3 Ravens. A Merlin and 2 Ravens were seen at Aust Warth late afternoon. Reports from Avonmouth Sewage Works involved just a Little Grebe, 12 Gadwall, 2 Pochard and 13 Tufted Duck.

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                                                                        scrapping Ravens, Northwick Warth 10.2.10  © Richard Bowerman

February 9th
Another day with a biting north east wind. Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 120 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 14 Shelduck, 4 Ravens and a large immature female Peregrine. A female Merlin was seen at Aust Warth this morning. With the tide being out all day and it being so cold, I shared the journey over to mid Wales to get even colder at Gigrin Farm in Powys. At least 200 Red Kites, a Black Kite, dozens of Buzzards and Ravens performed well at the feeding station giving superb views.

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                                                                                                Red Kite, Powys 9.2.10  

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                                                                                    Black Kite with Red Kites, Powys 9.2.10

February 8th
A very brief visit to New Passage in a bitterly cold north east wind produced just 44 Redshank and 7 Shelduck.

February 7th
A Little Owl was seen early morning near Sea Banks power station. A male Merlin was present on Northwick Warth for 2 hours early this morning, Sightings from New Passage included 2 Peregrines, 90 Wigeon, 40 Teal and just 3 Redshank, 20 Curlew and 12 Turnstones. Reports from Aust Warth included a Merlin, 2 Peregrines, single Buzzard and Kestrel, 80 Wigeon and a Rock Pipit. Two Great Crested Grebes, 40 Shelduck, 30 Oystercatchers, 40 Curlew and at least 4 Bullfinches were seen at Severn Beach. Midday sightings from Avonmouth Sewage Works involved 19 Gadwall, 11 Teal, 12 Pochard, 24 Tufted Duck, 2 Green Woodpeckers, single Sparrowhawk and Grey Wagtail.

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                                                                                         Rock Pipit, Aust Warth 7.2.10  

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                                                                                          Bullfinch, Severn Beach 7.2.10  
                                                            The drabbest and the brightest birds seen today

February 6th
Reports from Severn Beach involved 50 Shelduck, 40 Curlew, 30 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 70 Oystercatchers, 50 Turnstones, a Snipe, a Water Pipit, 2 Rock Pipits, 3 Yellowhammers, a Merlin and a Peregrine from the shore and 10 Gadwall, 28 Mallard, 3 Tufted Duck, single Wigeon, Teal and Water Rail, 4 Mute Swans, 2 Moorhens, 4 Coot, 3 Bullfinches and a Green Woodpecker at the Orchard Pools. Sightings from New Passage involved just 140 Wigeon, 30 Teal and 12 Redshank. Twelve White-fronted Geese flew north east over Aust Warth at 15.20 having apparently been seen earlier over Northwick Warth. A Little Grebe, a Tufted Duck and 2 Ravens were seen at Chittening Warth,

February 5th
The warmest day for weeks with day time maximum of 10°C. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included an adult female Merlin, a female Peregrine, 300 Dunlin, 70 Turnstones, 52 Redshank, 12 Shelduck and a reduced number of Wigeon and Teal. Two Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth at 1.30pm where 2 Kestrels and a Peregrine were also present. Reports from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area included 9 Gadwall, 11 Teal, 9 Mallard, 2 Pochard, 13 Tufted Duck, 40 Lapwing and 5 Snipe.

February 4th
The only reports received were from New Passage involving a male Merlin, 500 Dunlin, 10 Oystercatchers, 12 Redshank, 24 Shelduck, at least 300 Wigeon and 100 Teal.

February 3rd
Another wet day with a 14 metre high tide. The Short-eared Owl, a male Merlin, a Peregrine, 2 Buzzards and 3 Kestrels were seen at Aust Warth this morning. The waders and wildfowl were very mobile this morning with usual roost sites under water but approximate totals between New Passage and Aust were 800 Dunlin, 80 Oystercatchers, 70 Curlew, 50 Redshank, 8 Snipe, 340 Wigeon, 110 Teal and 20 Shelduck.

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                                                                            Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 2.2.10  © Chris Jones

February 2nd
A breezy day with heavy rain showers. The Short-eared Owl, 2 Peregrines, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, 6 Pochard were reported from Aust Warth this morning. The only other reports involved 500 Dunlin, 30 Shelduck, 300 Wigeon and a 100 Teal from New Passage and 60 Redshank at Chittening Warth.

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                                                                     Aust Warth covered by a 14.4 metre tide  © Chris Jones
                                                                     A similar tide will occur at about 9.35 tomorrow morning.

February 1st
The high spring tide covered Aust Warth this morning pushing many Voles out of cover and causing the usual feeding frenzy by Gulls, Crows, Kestrels and a Short-eared Owl. Reports from New Passage included 500 Dunlin, 12 Redshank, 10 Lapwing, 24 Shelduck, 300 Wigeon and 100 Teal. Another 80 Dunlin, 40 Redshank and 14 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach. Sightings from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area included a Green Sandpiper, a Snipe and at least 100 Lapwing.
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