SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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March is a slightly better month than February with a total of 166 species recorded during this month. As each day passes the expectation of an early spring migrant increases, Wheatears usually being seen by mid month along with Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins, possibly Little Ringed Plovers. Rarities have included Avocets, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Hen Harrier and Cetti’s Warbler (2003), Bearded Tit (2004), Great Grey Shrike (2004), Red Kite (2005), Mandarin (2006) and Siberian Chiffchaff (2007).


March 2010


March 31st
A windy day with occasional heavy rain showers. The only report received was of a Red Kite drifting east over the coast road at 15.15 heading towards Pilning being mobbed my many Rooks and Jackdaws.

March 30th
A cool, wet and increasingly windy day. The first Common Sandpiper of the year was seen in Stupp Pill at Chittening Warth this morning where other sightings involved 18 Gadwall and 32 Redshank. The only reports from a wet Northwick Warth were of 2 Mute Swans, 37 Shelduck, 40 Oystercatchers and 13 Redshank. An hour visit to Severn Beach this evening produced an early dark form Arctic Skua, 3 Common Scoter, at least 60 Kittiwakes, 30 Common Gulls, 4 adult Great Black-backed Gulls, 20 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 4 Ringed Plover and a Rock Pipit.

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                                                                                             Arctic Skua, Severn Beach 30.3.10

March 29th
The only reports from the Northwick Warth area provided no excitement, involving just 3 Canada Geese, 38 Shelduck, 28 Oystercatchers, 12 Curlew, 10 Redshank and 4 singing Blackcaps.

March 28th
Less of the same today. Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved a Wheatear, 3 Willow Warblers, 70 Shelduck, 35 Teal, 20 Wigeon, 65 Redshank, a Dunlin, 30 Oystercatchers and 30 Curlew. Another 30 Shelduck, a Great Crested Grebe, 7 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin were seen from Severn Beach this evening.

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                                                                               Willow Warbler, Norhwick Warth 28.3.10 © Allan Chard

March 27th
A dry day. Reports the Northwick Warth area involved 3 male Wheatears, 2 Swallows, a Willow Warbler, numerous Chiffchaffs, 4 Snipe, 40 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank, 40 Shelduck, 20 Teal, 3 Tufted Duck and 2 Little Grebes. Another 10 Oystercatchers, 11 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 2 Swallows and a male Stonechat were seen at Severn Beach. Reports from Chittening Warth involved another Wheatear, 5 Tufted Duck, a Little Grebe, 5 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and a Cetti’sWarbler. Another Cetti’s Warbler was heard near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                    Wheatear, Norhwick Warth 27.3.10

March 26th
Another of rain showers with brief periods of sunshine. Sightings from the New Passage area included 5 Swallows, 2 male Wheatears, Chiffchaffs everywhere, 42 Shelduck, 20 Teal, 35 Wigeon, a Little Grebe, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 60 Oystercatchers, 30 Turnstones, a Snipe, 45 Redshank and 2 Ravens. A Water Pipit, another 60 Shelduck, 6 Turnstones, 30 Curlew and 7 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                         Swallow, New Passage 26.3.10

March 25th
An increasingly wet and gloomy day. The only reports from the New Passage area involved 3 male Wheatears, at least 6 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 8 Pied Wagtails, 40 Shelduck, 40 Wigeon, 20 Teal and 20 Redshank.

March 24th
A few more migrants today. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included 2 Wheatears, at least 10 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, a male Merlin, a Raven, 36 Redshank, 20 Curlew, a Dunlin, 20 Oystercatchers, 50 Teal and 30 Shelduck. A very early Whimbrel was seen with the Curlew flock at Chittening Warth and other reports from here included a male Ring Ouzel and a Cetti’s Warbler. At least 7 Chiffchaffs, 20 Meadow Pipits and 2 flyover Siskins were reported from Severn Beach.

March 23rd
Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included 3 Avocets, 30 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank, 8 Curlew, 17 Turnstones, just one Dunlin, 40 Shelduck, 40 Wigeon, 20 Teal, a Merlin, 2 Wheatears, 5 Sand Martins, a White Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtails, 2 Chiffchaffs, 30 Meadow Pipits and 14 Skylarks. Two Swallows, 5 Ringed Plover, 3 Turnstones, 4 Oystercatchers and 28 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach. Once again a good bird was seen just outside the Severnside recording area; a Black Redstart was found at the Severn Bridge view point near the Aust Motorway Service area.

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                                                                               Avocets, New Passage 23.3.10  © Don Smith

March 22nd
A breezy day with wind from the south and a wet afternoon. A flock of 25 dark-bellied Brent Geese were present all morning at Severn Beach where 20 Shelduck were also seen. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included 80 Shelduck, 40 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 2 Little Grebes, a Jack Snipe, 60 Redshank, 11 Oystercatchers, 23 Curlew, 2 Wheatears, 2 Chiffchaffs and 10 Pied Wagtails.

March 21st
A fine dry and sunny day. A flock of 55 Brent Geese lingered off Severn Beach this morning including one pale bellied bird. Other sightings from here included a Jack Snipe, 55 Turnstones, just 2 Dunlin, 20 Shelduck and a Chiffchaff. The usual 60 Shelduck, 50 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 30 Curlew and 30 Redshank remained on Northwick Warth.

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                                                                                    Brent Geese, Severn Beach 21.3.10

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                                                                                    Brent Geese, Severn Beach 21.3.10

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                                                                                   Brent Geese, Severn Beach 21.3.10

March 20th
A wet day with persistent drizzle. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included 3 Sand Martins, 96 Shelduck, 50 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 63 Redshank, 20 Curlew, 12 Oystercatchers, 2 Snipe, a Water Rail and a Merlin (that flew west across to Gwent). Another 30 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 10 Redshank and a Black-tailed Godwit were seen in Cake Pill at Aust Warth. A visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced another 35 Shelduck, 80 Curlew and 20 Oystercatchers.

March 19th
A dry start followed by rain from mid afternoon. A few more spring migrants today with 3 Sand Martins, 3 male Wheatears, 49 Shelduck, 23 Teal, 33 Redshank, 17 Curlew and 20 Oystercatchers reported from the Northwick Warth area. Another male Wheatear, 29 Shelduck and 45 Wigeon were seen at Aust Warth, The only reports from Severn Beach involved 3 Mute Swans, 4 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Duck at the Orchard Pools.

March 18th
A mild cloudy day with a south west breeze and rain by late afternoon. Another First Severnside Record today when a Black Kite was seen mid morning flying along the salt marsh at Severn Beach, it then flew off east while being mobbed by Crows and a Buzzard (the 5th new species since September 2009).The only other reports were of a male Wheatear, 30 Shelduck, 35 Teal, 30 Oystercatchers, 15 Redshank, 10 Curlew and 7 Dunlin at Northwick Warth.
Just outside the Severnside recording area, a male Ring Ouzel was seen at Aust Sewage Works so the sheep fields at Aust Warth may be worth a search.

March 17th
The warmest day of the year so far with temperature reaching 15°C. As predicted, the first Wheatear of the year was found today at Chittening Warth where other reports included a Little Grebe, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Jack Snipe, 25 Dunlin, 22 Redshank, a Cetti’s Warbler and a Chiffchaff. Another male Wheatear was found at New Passage this afternoon where other sightings included 2 Little Egrets, 44 Shelduck, 40 Teal, 15 Oystercatchers, 35 Redshank, 15 Dunlin, 5 Snipe, 23 Curlew and a Great Black-backed Gull.

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                                                                                        Wheatear, New Passage 17.3.10
                        
March 16th
A -1°C dawn with fog clearing by mid morning. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included 33 Shelduck, 45 Wigeon, 60 Teal, a Little Egret, 55 Dunlin, 33 Redshank and 8 Skylarks. Another 70 Shelduck were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and nearby 2 Little Grebes, 5 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Mute Swans, a Snipe and a Chiffchaff were reported from the Orchard Pools.

March 15th
Another dry, sunny but cool day. Just 40 Shelduck, 40 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 20 Redshank, 25 Turnstones and 5 Snipe were reported from Northwick Warth. A Red Kite was reported flying north over New Passage at 12.35. A flock of 35 Kittiwakes were seen off Severn Beach this evening where other sightings involved 70 Shelduck and 5 Ringed Plover.

March 14th
Still no sign of any spring migrants. Reports from New Passage involved 35 Shelduck, 120 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 45 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers and 60 Curlew. Another 40 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach.

March 13th
Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 2 Canada Geese, a Little Egret, 30 Redshank, 8 Snipe, 50 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 20 Shelduck, at least 8 Buzzards, 2 flyover Siskins and 4 Reed Buntings, There were a few new birds at Severn Beach over the afternoon high tide including a single flock of at least 175 Kittiwakes flying high over the Second Severn Crossing, 3 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 60 Shelduck, 15 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 3 Knot, 15 Oystercatchers, 150 Dunlin, 75 Redshank and 85 Curlew.

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                                                                                        Reed Bunting, Northwick Warth 13.3.10

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                                                                                            Brent Geese, Severn Beach 13.3.10

March 12th
The cold north east wind is making it impossible to find any new migrants. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included a Little Egret, 17 Shelduck, 60 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 39 Redshank, 9 Snipe, 25 Turnstones and 2 Little Owls.
Another 40 Shelduck, 6 Ringed Plover and just 10 Dunlin were seen from Severn Beach.

March 11th
The cold but dry weather continues. Reports from New Passage involved 2 Canada Geese, 60 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 44 Oystercatchers, 30 Redshank and 24 Turnstones. Sightings from the shore at Severn Beach included a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot, 60 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 20 Oystercatchers and 40 Shelduck. Nearby 6 Mute Swans, a Little Grebe, 2 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Duck remained on the Orchard Pools.

March 10th
A bitterly cold wind appeared to have blown most birds away from New Passage where an eye watering visit produced just 50 Teal, 30 Wigeon and 10 Shelduck. At least 45 Knot, 20 Dunlin, 10 Oystercatchers, 5 Ringed Plover and 20 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach late afternoon.

March 9th
Another quiet day. Just 20 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 21 Redshank and a single Dunlin were reported from New Passage. Nearby 12 Snipe and a Little Owl were found on Northwick Warth. Things were no better at Chittening Warth with only 29 Shelduck, 34 Oystercatchers, single Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were seen at Chittening Warth.

March 8th
The cold spell continues. The only reports from wind swept New Passage involved 2 Canada Geese, 10 Shelduck, 14 Wigeon, 17 Teal, 26 Redshank, 20 Curlew, 5 Oystercatchers and 3 Turnstones. The usual 3 Little Grebes, 4 Mute Swans, 2 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Duck remained on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. Two Ravens were seen at Aust Warth.

March 7th
The frost returned (-4°C) this morning with a cold east wind and sunshine. A Scandinavian Rock Pipit and at least one Water Pipit were seen in the salt marsh at Severn Beach where the usual 43 Shelduck, 4 Ringed Plover, 4 Redshank and a Turnstone were also present. Nearby a Jack Snipe and a Grey Plover were reported from Chittening Warth. A brief visit to New Passage produced just 38 Shelduck, 60 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 2 Canada Geese and 15 Redshank. The square pool at Avonmouth Sewage works was reported to be nearly deserted with just 12 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Ducks of note.

March 6th
A frost free morning and another settled day. A flock of at least 140 Knot at Northwick Warth were new arrivals where a Green Sandpiper, 12 Snipe, 50 Dunlin, 20 Curlew, 30 Redshank, 2 Canada Geese, 60 Shelduck, 40 Wigeon and 40 Teal were also seen. Another 40 Shelduck and 4 Ringed Plover were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and nearby 4 Mute Swans, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Duck remained at the Orchard Pools.

March 5th
An icy -4°C start to dry and sunny day. Two Brent Geese were reported early morning flying north over Severn Beach where 3 Little Grebes, a Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck and a Sparrowhawk were seen at the Orchard Pools. A dark-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Canada Geese, 62 Shelduck, 48 Wigeon, 85 Teal, a Pochard, 260 Dunlin, 47 Redshank, 25 Curlew, 10 Turnstones, a Green Sandpiper and 110 Black-headed Gulls were reported from the New Passage area. A Short-eared Owl, 2 Ravens and 4 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                   Stonechat, Aust Warth 5.3.10

March 4th
A cool and dry day with an east wind. At least 58 Shelduck, 28 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 190 Dunlin and 10 Redshank were seen from New Passage Another 130 Wigeon, 160 Teal, a Snipe, 4 Stonechats and 11 Skylarks were reported from Aust Warth.

March 3rd
Reports from the New Passage area involved 48 Shelduck, 160 Wigeon, 170 Teal, 2 Mute Swans, 2 Canada Geese, a Grey Plover, 13 Oystercatchers, 330 Dunlin, 8 Curlew, 15 Redshank, 20 Turnstones, 80 Black-headed Gulls and 8 Skylarks. Another 4 Mute Swans, 2 Little Grebes, 4 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Duck were seen on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. Another 44 Redshank and 4 Tufted Duck were seen at Chittening Warth.

March 2nd
Another -2°C dawn followed by bright sunshine and a 14.5 metre high tide. The star bird was a Common Crane seen flying high up river past Aust Warth at 09.30. Other reports from here included 2 Short-eared Owls washed out of the flooded salt marsh, 6 Greylag Geese, 75 Curlew, 60 Redshank, 300 Dunlin, 200 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 2 Peregrines, a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk and a feeding frenzy of Black-headed Gulls and Crows making the most of the Voles being forced out of cover by the spring tide. Reports from New Pill, south of Severn Beach, involved 650 Dunlin, 82 Redshank, 77 Curlew, 140 Turnstones, 8 Oystercatchers, 6 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 11 Teal, 155 Black-headed Gulls and a fly over Yellowhammer.

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                                                                      Black-headed Gull and Vole, Aust Warth 2.3.10  © Allan Chard

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                                                                             Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 2.3.10  © Allan Chard

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                                                                 Short-eared Owl and spring tide, Aust Warth 2.3.10  © Allan Chard

March 1st
A frosty (-2°C) start to the month followed by a sunny and settled day. Reports from the New Passage area involved a Little Egret, 3 Golden Plover, 45 Redshank, 160 Dunlin, 10 Curlew, 20 Oystercatchers, 2 Canada Geese, 180 Wigeon, 25 Teal, 10 Shelduck and 240 Black-headed Gulls. Morning high tide sightings at Aust Warth included 4 Knot, 350 Dunlin, 235 Wigeon, 50 Teal and 27 Common Gulls.
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