SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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April is the second most productive month of the year in the number of species seen. At least one individual of 194 species have been recorded in April. A month when the last of the “winter” birds depart and most “summer” birds arrive. Birds to expect are at least three 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; Stone Curlew (2006), Slavonian Grebe (1989, 2000), Ring-necked Duck (1988), Sabine’s Gull (1990, 1992), Red-rumped Swallow (1988), Willow Tit (1988), Mealy Redpoll (2004) and Long-eared Owl (2006).

April 2011



April 30th
A sunny day with a strong north east wind. Combined reports from Severn Beach on the morning and evening tides included a dark morph Arctic Skua, 110 Arctic Terns, 2 Commic Terns, a Kittiwake, 8 Black-headed Gulls, a Curlew Sandpiper, 1640 Bar-tailed Godwits, 20 Whimbrel, 4 Knot, 4 Grey Plover, a Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpipers, 90 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover, 12 Turnstones, 7 Yellow Wagtails, a White Wagtail, 5 Tree Pipits, 3 Wheatears and at least 10 Swifts. Another 120 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Commic Terns, 40 Shelduck, 5 Teal, 3 Gadwall, 3 Yellow Wagtails, a Raven and a Swift. The minimum number of Bar-tailed Godwits seen on Severnside today was 1760.

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                                                                                    Curlew Sandpiper, Severn Beach 30.4.11
                          A bonus bird found while trying to photograph a Sanderling. Only noticed the leg ring when downloading the pictures.

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                                                                                    Bar-tailed Godwits, Severn Beach 30.4.11
                     A steady passage of Godwits was noted this evening with at least 10 groups flying in off the estuary and heading off
                       inland low over the village.

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                                                                       Bar-tailed Godwits, Severn Beach 30.4.11  © Allan Chard

April 29th
A grey and gloomy start brightened by the presence of a few waders. Early morning and evening high tide visits to Severn Beach produced 650 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Arctic Skuas (pale and dark morph), 33 Whimbrel, 2 Grey Plover, 30 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover, 15 Turnstones, single Swift and Yellow Wagtail. An additional 600 Bar-tailed Godwits were feeding/roosting off Northwick Warth this morning and several hundred more flew straight over heading north east. Other sightings at Northwick Warth included 40 Shelduck, 5 Teal, a drake Gadwall, 5 Whimbrel, 8 Curlew, a Common Sandpiper, a steady passage of Swallows and a Swift into the cold north east wind. At least 120 Bar-tailed Godwits, 8 Whimbrel, 2 Yellow Wagtails and a Little Egret were seen at Chittening Warth.  One Little Ringed Plover was seen again. A minimum of 1500 Bar-tailed Godwits were seen on Severnside today.

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                                                                               Bar-tailed Godwits, Severn Beach 29.4.11

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                                                                               Bar-tailed Godwits, Severn Beach 29.4.11
            One of the many flocks dropping out of the sky. This group landed on “Spoonbill Island” at 7 this morning,hence the poor light

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                                                                                        Arctic Skua, Severn Beach 29.4.11

April 28th
A Red Kite was seen drifting north over Severn Beach at 07.45 this morning and an evening visit produced at least 120 Bar-tailed Godwits, 22 Whimbrel, 20 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, 2 dark morph Arctic Skuas and a Peregrine.

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                                                                                          Arctic Skua, Severn Beach 28.4.11

April 27th
The cool north east wind continued. A female type Merlin, just 6 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin and 3 Oystercatchers were reported from Severn Beach. A Common Sandpiper and a Wheatear were seen at Aust Warth. An evening visit to Northwick Warth produced 60 Shelduck, 5 Teal, a drake Wigeon, 3 Gadwall, 2 Whimbrel and a Wheatear. One Little Ringed Plover remained today.

April 26th
A sunny but cooler day due to a stronger north east wind. Reports from Severn Beach involved just a Little Egret, 10 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover and a Peregrine from the shore and 2 Tufted Duck and 6 Reed Warblers at the Orchard Pools. A brief afternoon visit to Northwick Warth produced at least 90 Shelduck, a drake Wigeon, single Whimbrel, Curlew and White Wagtail and at least 4 singing Lesser Whitethroats. Another 2 Tufted Duck, a Little Egret, calling Cetti’s Warbler and 3 Canada Geese were reported from Hoar Gout/VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works. Two Little Ringed Plovers were seen today.

April 25th
A Grasshopper Warbler, a Whinchat, 2 Wheatears, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Sedge Warblers, a Reed Warbler, 30 Shelduck, 2 Whimbrel and 3 Ravens were reported in the Northwick Warth area. The only report from Severn Beach involved 5 Ringed Plover, single Yellow Wagtail and White Wagtail. A Red-legged Partridge, 11 Sedge warblers, 3 Reed Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat were seen at Chittening Warth this morning.

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                                                                                 White Wagtail, Severn Beach 25.4.11

April 24th
Another warm and hazy day with a north east breeze. The star find was a Turtle Dove in scrub along the Severn Way at Severn Beach (the first Severnside record since September 2003!). Combined reports from Northwick Warth involved 5 Mediterranean Gulls (2 adults & 3 1st summer), a Whimbrel, 6 Dunlin, 60 Shelduck, 5 Teal, a Cuckoo, 2 Grasshopper Warblers (one trapped and ringed), 8 Sedge Warblers (trapped), 6 Reed Warblers (trapped), 6 Lesser Whitethroats (one trapped), 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Wheatear and the 2 Ravens. Other sightings at Severn Beach included a dark morph Arctic Skua, 24 Black-headed Gulls, a different Cuckoo, 5 Common Sandpipers (at Orchard Pools), 20 Turnstones, 2 Ringed Plover, 9 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Lesser Whitethroats. A Cuckoo and more Reed and Sedge Warblers were seen around Old Passage at Aust Warth. A Little Egret and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported from Hoar Gout/VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                         Cuckoo, Northwick Warth 24.4.11

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                                                                                          Cuckoo, Severn Beach 24.4.11

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                                                                               Grasshopper Warbler, Northwick Warth 24.4.11

April 23rd
The heat wave continues. Combined reports from Severn Beach included another 3 Arctic Skuas (2 dark, 1 pale), 2 Sandwich Terns, a first summer Mediterranean Gull, at least 60 Common Gulls, 32 Black-headed Gulls, 18 Whimbrel, 5 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Gadwall, the first Hobby of the year, 2 Peregrine, 2 Wheatears, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Reed Warblers, 8 Yellow Wagtails and a Grass snake. Two Grasshopper Warblers, 3 Yellow Wagtails and 3 Lesser Whitethroats were reported from Northwick Warth. Another 4 Reed Warblers were seen and heard at Aust Warth and a Little Egret was feeding on the Hoar Gout/VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                            Reed Warbler, Aust Warth 23.4.11  © Vic Savery

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                                                                         Sedge Warbler, Aust Warth 23.4.11  © Rod Holbrook

April 22nd
Another warm (23°C) day with hazy sunshine and river mist. A few hours sea watching at Severn Beach this morning produced 3 Arctic Skuas, 2 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, at least 35 “Commic” Terns, a Gadwall, a Little Egret, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, at least 50 Whimbrel (total of 4 flocks) and birds on the beach included a Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 3 White Wagtails and 3 Wheatears, while flyover migrants included a Tree Pipit and 3 Yellow Wagtails. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 70 Shelduck, 8 Teal, 2 Gadwall, a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, a Redstart, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 8 Sedge Warblers, a Wheatear, a Redpoll and 2 Ravens. Another reeling Grasshopper Warbler, 8 Sedge Warblers, 3 Reed Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, single Sanderling and Whimbrel were reported at Chittening Warth this morning.

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                                                                                       Whimbrel, Severn Beach 22.4.11

April 21st
Another hot day with river mist and a north east wind. Perfect conditions for some spring sea watching. Combined reports from Northwick Warth included a singing Grashopper Warbler, 6 Tree Pipits, single Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear, 2 Ravens, 5 Whimbrel, 125 Shelduck and 5 Teal. Two Black Terns, at least 60 Arctic Terns,  2 dark morph Arctic Skuas, a Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 6 Whimbrel, 9 White Wagtails, 4 Yellow Wagtails, single Wheatear, Lesser Whitethroat, Tree Pipit and Red-legged Partridge were seen at Severn Beach. Another 2 Wheatears were seen at Aust
Warth.
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                                                                                 Grasshopper Warbler, Northwick Warth 21.4.11
                                                                                         
April 20th
The fine weather continued. Severn Beach produced the best birds today with a fine male Ring ouzel, a Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit, a Wheatear and a Grey Plover, 24 Turnstones, 6 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover being reported this morning and a Barn Owl was seen and heard along the seawall south of Riverside Park this evening. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included at least 62 Shelduck, 3 Wigeon, a Grey Plover, 21 Whimbrel, 2 Ravens, a Whinchat, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Redpoll, at least 7 Yellow Wagtails and 60 Meadow Pipits. Another 30 Shelduck, 3 Gadwall, 2 Wheatears and a Tree Pipit were seen at Aust Warth. Three Ravens and a Common Sandpiper were seen at Chittening Warth.

April 19th
A warm day with an afternoon temperature of 23°C. Combined totals for Severn Beach included 44 Whimbrel, a Grey Plover, 8 Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover, 9 Knot, 3 Curlew, 3 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 7 Wheatears and 2 Lesser Whitethroats. Another 7 Wheatears, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, single Peregrine and Common Sandpiper were reported at Aust Warth A late afternoon visit to New Passage produced an impressive 130 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 2 Ravens and a Yellow Wagtail.

April 18th
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included 30 Shelduck, 6 Teal, 2 Gadwall, a Common Sandpiper, a Raven, 5 Wheatears, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 10 Sedge Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Raven. Sightings from Severn Beach included a Great Crested Grebe, a Whimbrel, 9 Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover, 9 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Wheatears and a Lesser Whitethroat. A Little Egret and a Common Sandpiper were reported from Chittening Warth. Another 4 Wheatears were seen at Aust Warth. Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats were seen and heard throughout the area.

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                                                                          Willow Warbler, Severn Beach 18.4.11  © Richard Ford

April 17th
Another fine sunny day after dawn mist. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included a Great Crested Grebe, 45 Shelduck, 8 Teal, 2 Gadwall, drake Wigeon, 2 summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, 12 Curlew, 14 Oystercatchers, 13 Redshank, 10 Dunlin, 2 Ravens, 3 Tree Pipits, 3 Wheatears, single Brambling, Siskin, Yellow Wagtail and Lesser Whitethroat. Reports from Severn Beach involved a Whimbrel, 5 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin, a Grasshopper Warbler, at least 10 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat and 3 Wheatears, another 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 6 Redpoll and a Peregrine. Three Whinchats were reported at Aust Warth. Two Little Ringed Plovers were seen this morning and a Grey Seal was seen off Severn Beach this evening.

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                                                           Black-tailed Godwits, Northwick Warth 17.4.11

April 16th
A warm and sunny day with a good variety reported. Reports from Severn Beach included a male Merlin, a female Eider,
at least 20 Whimbrel, a mixed flock of 35 Ringed Plover and Dunlin, a Grey Plover, 27 Black-headed Gulls, 6 Whitethroats, single Lesser Whitethroat, Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included 3 Greylag Geese, 40 Shelduck, 12 Teal, a drake Wigeon, drake Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 2 Common Sandpipers, 12 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, a Grasshopper Warbler, 6 Sedge Warblers, a Reed Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroats, 3 Wheatears and 2 Ravens. Two Wheatears, single Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat were seen at Aust Warth and another Lesser Whitethroat was heard at Sea Bank Power Station, Chittening Warth.

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                                                                             Eider, Severn Beach 16.4.11
                                                                                                                                   
April 15th
Combined reports from Severn Beach involved a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, at least 8 Wheatears and 6 Whitethroats, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a mixed flock of 10 Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Another 11 Wheatears, 2 Sedge Warblers, 2 Whitethroats, 4 House Martins, 12 Swallows, 3 Sand Martins, 2 Ravens and 3 Common Sandpipers were seen in the Northwick Warth area.

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                                                                                     Common Sandpiper, New Passage 15.4.11

April 14th
A settled day with a few more reports received. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included a drake Common Scoter drifting up river, at least 60 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 22 Redshank, 5 Ravens, 3 Wheatears, 4 Sedge Warblers, 2 Reed Warblers and a Whitethroat. A Short-eared Owl was flushed by a dog walker on Aust Warth where the Common Scoter, 19 Oystercatchers, 16 Curlew and another Whitethroat were seen. At least one Whitethroat, a Wheatear, 9 Oystercatchers and 55 Curlew were seen along the costal strip at Severn Beach and 2 Little Grebes, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Sedge Warblers and a Reed Warbler were reported nearby at the Orchard Pools. A Little Ringed Plover was seen again today. Many thanks to Rod for the superb image below.

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                                                         Whitethroat, Aust Warth 14.4.11  © Rod Holbrook

April 13th
A cloudy morning and wet afternoon. A brief evening visit to Northwick Warth produced just the usual 70 Shelduck, only 5 Teal, 21 Redshank, 15 Swallows and a Sedge Warbler.

April 12th
Another sunny day with a cool South west breeze. The only reports from Severn Beach involved a singing Whitethroat near the railway station, 2 Ravens on the seawall and 2 Little Grebes on the Orchard Pools. At least 100 Shelduck, 28 Teal, 3 Wheatears and 20 Swallows were seen on Northwick Warth. A Little Ringed Plover was a new arrival today.

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                                                               Little Ringed Plover, Severnside  12.4.11

April 11th
A cooler day with a west breeze. The only reports from New Passage involved a drake Gadwall, 30 Teal, 60 Shelduck and a Wheatear. A Yellow Wagtail was seen at Severn Beach this evening.

April 10th
Yet any another day of sunshine and temperatures passing 20°C. Reports from Northwick Warth included a Little Egret, 5 Greylag Geese, 65 Shelduck, 30 Teal, 2 Ravens, a male Redstart, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Sedge Warblers (trapped and ringed), 5 Wheatears, a Yellow Wagtail, a House Martin, a Sand Martin and 4 Swallows. Two Great Crested Grebes, a Peregrine, 40 Curlew, just a single Ringed Plover, 3 Wheatears, single Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Redpoll and Sand Martin and 3 White Wagtails were seen from the shore at Severn Beach. Two Little Grebes remained at the Orchard Pools. Another 4 Wheatears, a Sedge Warbler and 10 Shelduck were reported from Chittening Warth. A Short-eared Owl, a Common Sandpiper, a Yellow Wagtail, at least 40 Meadow Pipits and 4 Wheatears were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                            Little Grebes, Orchard Pools 10.4.11 © Vic Savery

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                                                                           Grass Snake, Orchard Pools 10.4.11 © Vic Savery

April 9th
A warm and sunny day. Combined reports from Northwick Warth involved 25 Teal, 65 Shelduck, 20 Redshank, a Snipe, 2 Shoveler, 2 singing Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Wheatears, a Tree Pipit, 2 Ravens, several flyover Redpolls, 4 Buzzards and a local scarcity in the form of a Red-legged Partridge. Another 2 Wheatears were seen on the rocks at New Passage. Another Whitethroat, 4 Wheatears, 2 Sand Martins, 2 Redpolls, 2 Whimbrel, 26 Curlew, 2 summer plumaged Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 2 Ravens and a White Wagtail were reported from the shore at Severn Beach and nearby another Sedge Warbler, 5 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebes and 2 Swallows were present at the Orchard Pools. Single Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler and another 4 Wheatears were reported at Chittening Warth. Six Canada Geese were seen at Aust Warth. Two Cetti’s Warblers were reported  from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area. A Polecat was seen very well this morning on the Severn Way footpath south of Severn Beach.

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                                                                      Whitethroat, Northwick Warth 9.4.11

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                                                                 Wheatear, New Passage 9.4.11 © Allan Chard

April 8th
Another fine dry and sunny day. Combined reports from Northwick Warth included a Yellow Wagtail, 4 Wheatears, 5 Swallows, at least 90 Shelduck, 14 Teal, 20 Redshank, 2 Ravens and a Kingfisher. A Cetti’s Warbler remained near the VOSA Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                   Raven, Northwick Warth 8.4.11

April 7th
Another fine day but fewer new migrants. Combined reports from Northwick Warth involved 150 Turnstones, 30 Redshank, 30 Curlew, 60 Shelduck, 12 Teal, a drake Gadwall, 3 Wheatears and at least 20 Swallows. Another 30 Shelduck, 45 Curlew, a Peregrine, female Sparrowhawk and 4 Swallows were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and nearby 6 Tufted Duck and 4 Little Grebes were seen on the Orchard Pools. A Stonechat and Merlin were reported at Chittening Warth. Numerous Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps were seen and heard throughout the area. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard again near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

April 6th
A warm (20°C) day finally produced a few of the early migrants reported elsewhere in the region. At least one male Redstart was found on Northwick Warth where 13 Wheatears, 10 singing Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, 28 Swallows, 20 Oystercatchers, 20 Turnstones, 20 Redshank, 30 Curlew, 30 Shelduck, 15 Teal, 2 Wigeon and the drake Common Scoter were also seen. A Reed Warbler, another 2 Willow Warblers, a Wheatear and 3 Swallows were seen at Severn Beach.

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                                                     Common Scoter, Northwick Warth 6.4.11 © Don Smith

April 5th
A day of rain and drizzle should have produced more than was reported with a good variety of migrants seen elsewhere. Another brief afternoon visit to Northwick Warth produced the drake Common Scoter, 35 Teal, 20 Redshank, 2 Ravens, 10 Swallows, numerous singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps and a Wheatear.

April 4th
The only report involved the drake Common Scoter, 45 Teal and 55 Shelduck from New Passage in a 5 minute visit after work this evening.

April 3rd
A calm and sunny start to the day. The drake Common Scoter, Barnacle Goose, 2 Canada Geese, 30 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 40 Shelduck, 25 Oystercatchers, 20 Curlew, 45 Redshank, 5 Turnstones, 2 Ravens, a Wheatear, 10 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers, 5 Swallows and 4 Sand Martins were reported from the Northwick Warth area. Combined reports from Severn Beach involved 30 Shelduck, 4 Gadwall, 3 Oystercatchers, 25 Turnstones, 2 Ringed Plover, 52 Curlew, male Sparrowhawk, 9 Blackcaps, 5 Chiffchaffs, 4 Willow Warblers, 3 Swallows and a singing Coal Tit. Four Buzzards and 4 Pheasants were seen at Aust Warth. Another 2 Willow Warblers and 2 Wheatears were reported from Chittening Warth.

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                                                              Common Scoter, Northwick Warth 3.4.11

April 2nd
Overnight rain showers with a southerly breeze produced a few migrants today. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area produced the drake Common Scoter, Barnacle Goose, 2 Canada Geese, 100 Shelduck, 30 Teal, 40 Curlew, 20 Redshank, 15 Oystercatchers, 30 Turnstones, a Dunlin, 7 Wheatears, a Swallow, 3 Sand Martins, early Tree Pipit and Yellow Wagtail, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, numerous Chiffchaffs, a singing Coal Tit and 2 Ravens.Two Sandwich Terns were seen flying over the seawall at Severn Beach and down river this morning. Other sightings from here included another 6 Common Scoter, 2 Gadwall, 30 Shelduck, 47 Curlew, 2 Ringed Plover, a female Merlin, male Sparrowhawk, 3 Wheatears, 4 Swallows, 4 Sand Martins, 5 singing Blackcaps, many Chiffchaffs and another Coal Tit. Reports from the Avonmouth Sewage works area included a singing Cetti’s Warbler, 6 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall and the first Coot brood of the year. Two Little Ringed Plovers were seen this morning.

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                                                               Little Ringed Plovers, Severnside  2.4.11

April 1st
Combined reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included the drake Common Scoter, Barnacle Goose, 2 Canada Geese, 60 Shelduck, 60 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 90 Turnstones, 20 Oystercatchers, a Dunlin, 2 Ravens and a Wheatear. Two Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach.
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