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Despite the onset of winter and the decrease in hours of daylight, October is a month with the highest number of recorded species, with a grand total of 196. Rarities have included the only records of Black-necked Grebe (1996), Montagu’s Harrier (1991), Long-billed Dowitcher (1977), Lesser Yellowlegs (1984), Red-necked Phalarope (2001), Black Guillemot (1998) and Yellow-browed Warbler (2001). Other national and local rarities recorded include Glossy Ibis (2009), Ring-billed Gull, Roseate Tern, Hooded Crow, Dartford Warbler, Hen Harrier, Ring Ouzel, Mealy Redpoll, Firecrest and Common Crossbill.

October 2010

October 31st
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 2 Little Egrets, 75 Redshank, 150 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 30 Curlew, just 20 Turnstone, 200 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 14 Gadwall, 2 Water Rails, a singing Cetti’s Warbler (at New Passage), single Chiffchaff and Blackcap, flyover migrants including Chaffinches, 5 Siskin, single Redpoll and Brambling, 55 Redwing and 20 Fieldfare. Another Little Egret and a Peregrine were seen at Severn Beach. Two Jack Snipe, a Snipe, 2 Siskins and a Blackcap were seen at Aust Warth. Two Stonechats and another Blackcap were reported at Chittening Warth. Late News was received of a Treecreeper seen at the Glen, New Passage in recent days.

October 30th
A dry bright and sunny day. Sightings from the Northwick Warth included a Crossbill flying south, at least 9 fly over Yellowhammers ( 1N, 2S, 1S & 5S), 500+ Woodpigeons (S), 4+ Siskin, 3 Brambling, a Redpoll, 2 Little Egrets, single Grey Plover, Green Sandpiper and Snipe, 150 Dunlin, 180 Turnstones (influx), 65 Redshank, 20 Curlew, at least 3 Water Rails, 250 Wigeon, 110 Teal and 3 Shelduck. Another Little Egret, 2 Peregrines, single Stonechat, Yellowhammer and Grey Wagtail were reported from Aust Warth. A Water Pipit, 3 Rock Pipits, a Peregrine, a Water Rail, 3 Turnstones and 5 Culew were seen at Severn Beach and nearby 110 Curlew, 35 Oystercatchers, 70 Redshank and another 3 Rock Pipits were reported from Chittening Warth.

                                                                          Water Rail, Northwick Warth Grebe Pond 30.10.10

October 29th
A brief visit to New Passage at dusk in the rain produced just 300 Wigeon, 180 Teal and 200 Dunlin.

October 28th
A brief morning visit to Northwick Warth produced 3 Little Egrets, 2 Water Rails, single Greenshank and Green Sandpiper, 300 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 10 Turnstones, 30 Curlew, at least 550 Wigeon, 120 Teal and 3 Shelduck. Another Little Egret and a Rock Pipit were seen at Severn Beach.

                                                                              Greenshank, Northwick Warth Grebe Pond 28.10.10

October 27th
Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 3 Little Egrets, 250 Dunlin, 45 Redshank, 25 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, at least one Water Rail, a female Goldeneye, 200 Wigeon and 180 Teal. A steady but light passage of Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches, Siskins and Skylarks was noted high over New Passage with most birds flying south and south west .

October 26th
At least one Little Egret, 300 Dunlin and the usual Wigeon and Teal flock remained off New Passage.

October 25th
A cold and frosty start followed by a dry and bright day. Three Little Egrets, single Grey Heron, Water Rail and Green Sandpiper, at least 400 Dunlin, 40 Redshank, 200 Wigeon, 180 Teal and a ground feeding Brambling were reported from the Northwick Warth area. Reports from the VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works included 6 Shoveler, 8 Teal, 4 Tufted Duck, 2 Mute Swans and a singing Cetti’s Warbler. A Little Egret was seen at dusk over Aust Warth.

October 24th
A dry day with a cool north breeze. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 2 Little Egrets, at least 500 Dunlin, 40 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, 4 Turnstones, 240 Wigeon, 200 Teal, 3 Gadwall, a Water Rail. Visible migration here this morning involved 220+ Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 11 Brambling, 36 Siskins, 13 Goldfinch, 99 Skylark, 2 Yellowhammer, 600 Chaffinch and at least 100 Pied Wagtails. The only report from Severn Beach involved 10 Turnstones. A Greenshank, a Jack Snipe and 2 Rock Pipits were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                 Little Egret, Northwick Warth  24.10.10
                 The partially drained Grebe Pond is attracting Egrets, Herons, Water Rails, Snipe and Green Sandpiper at the moment.

October 23rd
A cloudy morning followed by sunshine and showers in the afternoon. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard singing near the Glen at New Passage where sightings involved a Curlew Sandpiper with 550 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, 4 Lapwing, 20 Turnstones, a Little Egret and a Redpoll. Nearby another Cetti’s Warbler, single Water Rail, Snipe and Grey Wagtail, 100 Curlew, 28 Lapwing, 80 Oystercatchers, 250 Wigeon and at least 200 Teal were seen on Northwick Warth.

October 22nd
Visible migrants in the New Passage area this morning included 13 Brambling, 35 Siskins, 4 Redpolls, 180 Chaffinch, 4 Greenfinch, 6 Goldfinch, 6 Linnet, 2 Yellowhammers, 4 Reed Buntings, 91 Fieldfares, 16 Redwing, 9 Song Thrush, 50 Meadow Pipits, 65 Woodpigeons and 250 Starlings. Other reports from here today involved a late Garden Warbler, a Blackcap, a singing Cetti’s Warbler, a Coal Tit, 12 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Little Egrets, a Green Sandpiper, 3 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, 550 Dunlin, 70 Oystercatchers, 40 Redshank, 4 Lapwing, 120 Curlew, 12 Gadwall, 260 Wigeon, 200 Teal and a Peregrine.A female Merlin showed well at Aust Warth this evening.

October 21st
The usual 400 Dunlin and mixed flock of 500 Wigeon and Teal were seen from New Passage.

October 20th
A Yellowhammer and a Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth early this morning. Once again the main interest was in the Northwick Warth area with a Little Egret, 250 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 25 Oystercatchers, 30 Lapwing, 20 Turnstones, 50 Curlew, 4 Water Rails, 3 Snipe, a Green Sandpiper, 270 Wigeon, 220 Teal, 40 Meadow Pipits, 20 Skylarks, 4 Siskins, 4 Buzzards, 3 Grey Wagtails, a Coal Tit and finally 300 Starlings going to roost in the Grebe Pond reed bed. A Short-eared Owl was hunting over Aust Warth at dusk.

                                                                                Water Rail, Northwick Warth  20.10.10

October 19th
A cool day with a north west wind. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area involved 2 Little Egrets, 250 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 20 Oystercatchers, a Snipe, 250 Wigeon, 250 Teal, a Peregrine, a Water Rail, 100 grounded Meadow Pipits and 6 flyover Siskins. A female Merlin was seen hunting over the shore at Severn Beach where other sightings included a Little Egret, just 7 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover and a Rock Pipit. Another Little Egret and 2 Peregrines were seen at Aust Warth this evening. Three Little Grebes, 13 Teal, 3 Gadwall and 7 Tufted Duck were seen on the VOSA Pool.

October 18th
Sightings from Northwick Warth area included a Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe, 2 Green Sandpipers, at least 3 Water Rails, 56 Lapwing, 40 Dunlin, 55 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, 40 Curlew, 250 Wigeon, 200 Teal, a Cetti’s Warbler (near The Glen at New Passage), 3 Coal Tits, single Swallow, Raven, Brambling and Redpoll, 6 Siskins, 30 Redwing and 10 Song Thrush. A visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced just 2 Rock Pipits and a Little Egret and nearby 6 Gadwall, a Tufted Duck and 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen at the Orchard Pools. A secondhand report was received of a Goshawk seen flying across the river from Gwent towards Aust Warth at 1pm where it circled before flying off north (seen by 3 observers). Other reports from here included 2 Little Egrets, a Snipe, 2 Stonechats and 2 Ravens. Reports from the VOSA Pool at Hoar Gout involved 3 Little Grebes, 8 Gadwall, 10 Teal, 3 Tufted Duck and a Cetti’s Warbler.

                                                                               Water Rail, Northwick Warth  18.10.10

October 17th
A cold dawn followed by a clear and sunny day. Visible migrants at New Passage (most heading north east) included 70 Woodpigeons, 2 Collared Doves, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 150 Redwing, 35 Fieldfare, 4 Mistle Thrush, a Song Thrush, 12 Long-tailed Tits, 5 Coal Tits, 2 Great Tits, a Blue Tit, 310 Jackdaws, 300 Starlings, 160 Chaffinch, 20 Greenfinch, 10 Goldfinch, 6 Siskin, 5 Bullfinch, a Brambling and a Magpie. Similar species were seen migrating over Aust Warth with the addition of 33 Pied Wagtails, a Raven and a Yellowhammer.

October 16th
Two Whooper Swans flew south over New Passage this morning (only the 5th Severnside record). Visible migrants over New Passage this morning included 2 Swallows, 270+ Fieldfare, 29 Redwing, 240+ Chaffinch, 35 Greenfinch, 27 Siskin, 2 Linnet, 2 Redpoll, 300 Jackdaws, 11 Collared Dove, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 15 Skylarks and 2 Grey Wagtails. Other reports from the area involved 2 Peregrines, 2 Common Gulls, 230 Wigeon single juvenile Little Stint, Golden Plover, Green Sandpiper, Water Rail, Wheatear, Coal Tit and Chiffchaff.

October 15th
A Woodlark was seen and heard flying north over Northwick this afternoon. Other reports from here included 400 Dunlin, at least 70 Redshank, a Lapwing, 250 Teal and 150 Wigeon, a Peregrine, single Whinchat and Wheatear and 2 Siskins. An adult Mediterranean Gull was seen from New Passage where visible migrants seen in 90 minutes this morning included 2 Swallows, 7 Meadow Pipits, 9 Pied Wagtails. 2 Redwing, 320 Starlings, 660 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling, 7 Greenfinch, 67 Siskin, 5 Linnet, 3 Redpoll, 2 Bullfinch and 3 Reed Buntings. A Ringed Plover, a Snipe, 4 Rock Pipits, a Raven and 5 flyover Siskins were seen at Chittening Warth. A Great Crested Grebe and 7 Gadwall were seen on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. With the lack of pictures from the Severnside “flaparazzi”, here is another picture from Shetland to brighten the page.

                                                                       Red-flanked Bluetail, Kergord Plantation, Shetland  15.10.10
October 14th
Another cool and cloudy with a north east wind produced a good number of visible migrants in 2 hours over New Passage this morning including a Lapland Bunting, at least 3690 Chaffinches, 4 Brambling, 1000+ Starlings, 21 Meadow Pipits, 69 Pied Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Blackbirds, 7 Redwing, 50 Jackdaws, 4 Skylarks, 36 Wood Pigeons and a Stock Dove. Other sightings from New Passage involved 3 Little Egrets, single Green Sandpiper and Snipe. At least 390 Dunlin, a Jack Snipe and 3 Rock Pipits were reported at Northwick Warth. Just 3 Stonechats were reported from Aust Warth and a Cetti’s Warbler was heard at the VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

                                                          Red-flanked Bluetail, Kergord Plantation, Shetland  14.10.10
           The Shetland excursion continues: a wet day produced just this bird with a couple of Yellow-browed Warblers in the same trees.

October 13th
Visible migrants seen from New Passage this morning included a House Martin, 20 Pied Wagtails, 12 Meadow Pipits, 70 Starlings, 130 Chaffinch, 7 Greenfinch, 12 Goldfinch and 2 Siskins. Other sightings from here this morning involved 400 Dunlin, single Snipe, Great Black-backed Gull, Raven, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Kestrel. A Lapland Bunting was seen on the gravel track at Cake Pill at Aust Warth and a Short-eared Owl was also seen here. The sighting of the day involved a ring-tailed Hen Harrier at Northwick Warth being mobbed by a Short-eared Owl at Northwick Warth late this afternoon where other sightings involved a Jack Snipe, 7 Snipe, single Wheatear, Blackcap and Redpoll.

                                                Sketches and field notes by Phil Baber of his Hen Harrier sighting

                                                                          Isabelline Shrike, Scousburgh, Shetland  13.10.10
                                        Another away day on the Northern Isles produced this Shrike with a  mouse larder,
                                                an Olive-backed Pipit and a juvenile Rose Coloured Starling.

October 12th
Another overcast day with a light north east wind. Fewer migrants were noted with a few scarce birds reported. Visible migrants seen from New Passage involved single Hawfinch and Crossbill, 15 Ravens, 15 Pied Wagtail, 6 Fieldfares, 30 Redwing, 3 Brambling, 55 Greenfinch, 6 Goldfinch, 12 Linnet, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Bullfinch, 710 Chaffinch, a Reed Bunting, 15 Meadow Pipit and a Swallow. Additional reports from the Northwick Warth involved 2 Short-eared Owls, a Merlin, a Jack Snipe, 400 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, 180 Teal and 100 Wigeon. Just 30 Turnstones were reported from Severn Beach.The 4th Severnside Marsh Harrier of the year and a Peregrine were reported at Aust Warth this afternoon.

                                                                           Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Eshaness, Shetland  12.10.10

                                                                               Snow Buntings, Eshaness, Shetland  12.10.10
                                             A few snaps taken away from Severnside today during a trip to the Northern Isles;
                                               one of two Buff-breasted Sandpipers and part of a flock of 200 Snow Buntings.

October 11th
A cloudy day with a strong north east wind. Reports from New Passage this morning involved 4 Crossbills, a Hawfinch, 2850 Chaffinch, a Brambling, 80 Siskins, 30 Greenfinch, just 10 Redwing, 1350 Starlings, 7 Skylark, 7 Raven and a Sand Martin, nearly all heading north east into the wind. A Little Egret was also seen at New Passage. A Short-eared Owl, Ring Ouzel, 16 Fieldfares, 2 Siskins, single Peregrine, Raven and Chiffchaff and were reported from Aust Warth.

October 10th
Combined reports from the New Passage area involved a Curlew Sandpiper, a Little Egret, 20 Knot, 17 Lapwing, 500 Dunlin, 120 Curlew, 2 Green Sandpiper and 12 Snipe. Visible migrants seen here included a Ring Ouzel, a Tree Pipit, 35 Swallows, 79 Meadow Pipits, a Rock Pipit, 130 + Pied Wagtails, 450+ Redwing, 780 Starlings, 4000+ Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 50 Greenfinch, 11 Goldfinch, 40+ Linnet, 230+ Siskins, 2 Redpoll, with most birds heading north east.

October 9th
The first Redwings of the autumn were heard flying over Severn Beach at 00.05 am. A migration watch at New Passage produced another 15 Redwing, 1450 Chaffinches, 25 Siskins, 25 Pied Wagtails and 20 Meadow Pipits. A Short-eared Owl and a flock of at least 800 Starlings were seen at Aust Warth this evening.

October 8th
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 3 Little Egrets, 4 Grey Herons, 400 Dunlin, 45 Lapwing,
70 Redshank, 50 Oystercatchers, 140 Curlew, 4 Snipe, single Whimbrel, Knot and Ringed Plover, 220 Teal, 100 Wigeon, a Short-eared Owl and 100 Meadow Pipits. Another Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth this evening where an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Siskin and 2 Ravens were reported earlier.

                                                                                    Short-eared Owl, Northwick Warth  8.10.10

October 7th
Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Little Egrets, 150 Dunlin, 140 Curlew, 75 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 6 Turnstones, a Lapwing, 90 Wigeon, 180 Teal, 30 Meadow Pipits, single Wheatear and Lesser Redpoll. A Peregrine was seen again at Aust Warth.

October 6th
Visible migration from New Passage this morning involved 175 Meadow Pipits, 10 Pied Wagtails, 3 Chaffinch and 30 Starlings heading south west. Other sightings from the New Passage area involved 2 Little Egrets, 4 Dunlin, 95 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, 235 Teal and 80 Wigeon. A Peregrine was seen at Aust Warth.

October 5th
The first 3 Fieldfares of the autumn were seen at Aust Warth where 38 Wigeon, 11 Curlew and a Grey Wagtail were also seen. Combined reports from the New Passage area included 2 Little Egrets, 20 Turnstones, 50 Redshank, 29 Oystercatchers, 10 Curlew, a Lapwing, 2 Shoveler, 80 Wigeon, 140 Teal, 25 Meadow Pipits, 6 Skylark and a Wheatear. Another Little Egret was seen this evening at Severn Beach and a Peregrine was reported at Chittening Warth.

October 4th
At least 3 Little Egrets, 3 Ruff, 55 Redshank, 14 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlew, 180 Teal, 100 Wigeon, 14 Shoveler, a Wheatear and a Spotted Flycatcher were seen from New Passage. A Jack Snipe was reported on Northwick Warth. Another Wheatear and a Rock Pipit were reported at Chittening Warth. A Manx Shearwater was released at Severn Beach following being found and taken into care in Calne,Wiltshire.

October 3rd
A wet and windy morning followed by a dry afternoon. Sightings from Severn Beach involved a Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 2 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin, 20 Turnstones, 150 Curlew, 2 Wheatears and 4 Swallows. A visit to New Passage produced a Little Egret, at least 80 Redshank, 150 Wigeon, 180 Teal, 16 Shoveler and a Kingfisher and nearby a Snipe, 30 Curlew, 6 Wheatears, 40 Meadow Pipits, 10 Skylark, 3 Whinchats, 20 Goldfinches, single Peregrine, Swallow and House Martin were seen on Northwick Warth.

October 2nd
A sunny day with a light south wind. There was a light but steady passage of Jackdaws, Chaffinches, Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails, Reed Buntings, Skylarks, Swallows and House Martins over New Passage this morning. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included a Little Egret, a Jack Snipe (flushed on the salt marsh), 2 Snipe, 80 Redshank, 10 Curlew, 25 Oystercatchers, 2 Dunlin, 140 Wigeon, 220 Teal, 8 Shoveler, 80 Mallard, 2 Wheatears, 3 Whinchat, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Sedge Warblers, single Reed Warbler and Blackcap, at least 6 Reed Buntings, 2 Lesser Redpolls and a Spotted Flycatcher. A visit to Severn Beach produced, 2 Little Egrets, a Grey Plover, 12 Dunlin, 20 Turnstones, 25 Oystercatchers, 2 Redshank, 200 Curlew, 3 Grey Herons, 50 Mallard, 2 Ravens, 100 Black-headed Gulls, a Common Gull, a Wheatear, a Blackcap and 10 Meadow Pipits including a white winged leucistic individual. A Merlin, a Whinchat and 3 Wheatears were seen at Chittening Warth this morning and a dusk visit to Aust Warth produced a Stonechat and another Whinchat.

                                                                                           Whinchat, Northwick Warth  2.10.10

                                                                                               Redpoll, New Passage  2.10.10

                                                                                              Meadow Pipit, Severn Beach  2.10.10

October 1st
A very wet start to the month. A brief late afternoon visit to New Passage produced a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 60 Dunlin, 85 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 200 Teal, 95 Wigeon, a Shoveler and a steady passage of Swallows and House Martins heading south.