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July is another quiet month on Severnside with only 143 species having been recorded. It does have a more optimistic feeling to it than June, with the appearance of returning waders and in recent years the regular appearance of Little Egret, Mediterranean and Yellow-legged Gulls (usually towards the end of the month). Unusual species seen have included dispersing Crossbill, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Goshawk and a Stone Curlew (1999). A good July gale has yet to happen but could produce some real Seabird goodies....

July 2003

July 31st
An adult Yellow-legged Gull at New Passage was the first of the year. Waders here included single Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper, 10 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 40 Turnstones and 7 Common Sandpipers. A Kingfisher was seen here in the Pill. On the evening high tide at Severn Beach there were just 2 Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpipers. Nearby there were 2 Little Grebes on the Orchard Pools.

July 30th
The Little Egret and Mediterranean Gull  were seen again at New Passage along with 12 Common Sandpipers, 38 Turnstones, 17 Dunlin, single Whimbrel and Rock Pipit. There were 3 Whimbrel, a Little Egret, Bar-tailed Godwit, 19 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plover at Severn Beach this evening.

July 29th
An interesting selection of birds at New Passage this morning included the Little Egret, a moulting adult Mediterranean Gull, single Common Tern and Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Common Sandpipers, 25 Dunlin and 20 Turnstones. At Severn Beach there were 7 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, single Common Sandpiper, Common Gull and Rock Pipit this evening.

                                                                                   Mediterranean Gull, New Passage 29.7.3

July 28th
Waders at New Passage today included 6 Common Sandpipers, 20 Dunlin, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Turnstones and 2 Redshank. A Little Egret was seen in the tidal creek here. At Severn Beach there was a Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, 7 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin and a Peregrine.

July 27th
With more settled weather most of yesterdays birds seem to have gone. At Severn Beach the days totals were just 20 Dunlin, 5 Redshank, a Whimbrel amongst 60 Curlew. At New Passage there was a single Common Sandpiper. A Little Egret was seen to go to roost in trees at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach this evening.

July 26th
At least 3, possibly 5 Little Egret were seen at Severn Beach today (one flew south at 06.15, two flew south at 17.20 and three flew north east from Gwent at 18.15). This evening in heavy rain there was an increase in small wader numbers; a moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper with 70 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 3 Turnstone and 6 Redshank. Nearby a Green Sandpiper and a Kingfisher were seen at the Orchard Pools this morning. At New Passage there were another 20 Dunlin.

July 25th
A day of heavy rainfall still produced a few birds, with 14 Dunlin, 12 Turnstone, 4 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Whimbrel at New Passage. Another 2 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone and 3 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach on the rising late afternoon tide. A Peregrine was roosting on a concrete support beneath the Second Crossing.

July 24th
There were 4 Common Scoter and a single Ringed Plover at Severn Beach and nearby, 2 Dunlin and a Whimbrel at Chittening Warth. The Little Egret and 3 Common Sandpipers were still  at New Passage.

July 23rd
The Little Egret and juvenile Mediterranean Gull  were seen  at New Passage this morning. Other notable birds here were 4 Common Sandpiper, single Green Sandpiper, Kingfisher and Hobby.

July 22nd
A Little Egret and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull were at Severn Beach this afternoon. The gull spent most of it’s time asleep on the shingle spit. Waders here included 20 Dunlin and a Sanderling  nearby a Common Sandpiper was at the Orchard Pools. At New Passage there was a moulting adult Mediterranean Gull, one Common Sandpiper and 13 Turnstones, including 2 juveniles. The same or another Little Egret appeared in the pill at New Passage this evening.

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                        Juvenile Mediterranean Gull, Severn Beach 22.7.3                                    Little Egret, New Passage  22.7.3

July 21st
A few interesting migrants appeared at New Passage today; a Little Egret, 4 adult Common Terns  along with single Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, 12 adult Dunlin, 6 Turnstones, 6 Redshank and a Hobby (hunting the local Swallows). Further down the estuary at Severn Beach there were 10 more adult Dunlin, single Sanderling, Ringed Plover and Common Gull.

July 20th
The birding remained quiet with the only notable birds at New Passage being 2 Common Sandpipers, single Turnstone and Redshank. It was not much better at Severn Beach with just 3 adult Dunlin seen. Two Red Veined Darters were seen again at the Orchard Pools and a Painted Lady butterfly was seen settled on Northwick Warth.

                                                                                    Painted Lady, Northwick Warth 20.7.3

July 19th
At New Passage there were at least 5 Common Sandpipers with 8 Dunlin, two Turnstone, 2 Redshank, 3 Sand Martins and a Yellow Wagtail. Another 2 Common Sandpipers and 120 Curlew  were present at Severn Beach. At least two male Red Veined Darters were still at the Orchard Pools.

                                                                   Red Veined Darter, Orchard Pools, Severn Beach 19.7.3    

July 18th
A much quieter day today in terms of the weather and birds. Three Common Sandpipers, single Green Sandpiper, Redshank and Lapwing at New Passage, single Ringed Plover on Severn Beach. There were many Black-headed Gulls in the area including a few juvenile birds. An adult Little Grebe on the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach was a migrant, being the first seen here for over a month.

July 17th
A dramatic change in the weather to heavy rain with a strong south west wind produced some seabirds; a Storm Petrel, at least 100 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Fulmar, an immature Gannet and a drake Common Scoter were all seen from Severn Beach this morning. At New Passage there were 5 Dunlin and 3 Common Sandpipers.

July  16th
This morning there were 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Dunlin and a Knot at New Passage. At Severn Beach there were 3 more Dunlin with a Sanderling this morning and a Whimbrel was seen in the evening. Nearby at the Orchard Pools there were six male Red Veined Darters, one of which was mating with a female.

July 15th
A few notable birds were seen today in very hot weather (33°C); 4 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, single Whimbrel,  juvenile Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail at Severn Beach, another Common Sandpiper was seen at New Passage and an early returning Snipe was at the Grebe Pond on Northwick Warth.

July  14th
A brief visit this morning to Severn Beach on the incoming tide produced a Greenshank, Common  Sandpiper and 22 Dunlin. There were two Sand Martin and a Redshank at New Passage. This evening at  Severn Beach there were a similar number of Dunlin, a single Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpipers. The Curlew numbers have increased to at least 175 birds.

July 13th
High tide at  Severn Beach this morning produced the first Lapwing for over a month and two Common Sandpipers. Two Ravens soared over heading south late afternoon and on this evenings high tide, 12 adult Dunlin were present. At New Passage this afternoon there were 5 Common Sandpipers and a Redshank in the pill. Two Yellow Wagtails were seen heading south over here this morning. There were at least four Red Veined Darters at the Orchard Pools along with a Hummingbird Hawk-moth and an Essex Skipper butterfly.

July 12th
An extensive search of area produced little more than the usual one hundred plus Curlew, 20 Oystercatcher and many Black-headed Gulls. There was a Common Sandpiper and several broods of Shelduck on Northwick Warth along with young Meadow Pipits, Skylark and Reed Buntings being fed by parents. Five Red  Veined Darters were present at the Orchard Pools.

July 11th
An early morning visit to New Passage produced a Kingfisher in the Pill and a roosting Whimbrel. The same or another Whimbrel was present at Severn Beach late afternoon. A male Red Veined Darter was still present at the Orchard Pools.

July 10th
A summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher were seen at New Passage while further south there were 160 Curlew and 20 Oystercatcher at Severn Beach.

July 9th
A hot day produced few new birds other than 6 Dunlin at Severn Beach and another 11 at New Passage with a Common Sandpiper. A total of 35 young Shelduck were present on Northwick Warth. Four male Red Veined Darters were still present at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach.

July 8th
Notable birds were a juvenile Little Egret at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach (plus two male Red Veined Darters).  Further up the estuary there were 2 Common Sandpipers and a Hobby at New Passage.

                                                                                        Little Egret, Orchard Pools 8.7.3

July 7th
A few more returning birds were seen today. The most notable was a summer plumaged adult Mediterranean Gull  on Northwick Warth with Black-headed Gulls, 60 Curlew and a single Dunlin. At New Passage this afternoon, there were single Hobby, Common Sandpiper and Kingfisher. An adult Common Tern flew south early evening. At Chittening Warth and Severn Beach there were 3 more Common Sandpipers, 80 Curlew and 12 Oystercatchers.

July 6th
A change of wind direction to a light south easterly produced some interesting birds. Most notable were a Little Egret and 3 Greenshank  on Severn Beach along with a Common Sandpiper and the usual 80 Curlew and 12 Oystercatcher. There were at least 3 juvenile Black-headed Gulls amongst the returning older birds. Nearby on the Orchard Pools, the only notable birds were a pair of Tufted Duck and a family party of Green Woodpeckers (three Red Veined Darters were seen amongst the other dragonflies present, an Essex Skipper butterfly and a Six-belted  Clearwing Moth were also seen here). Further up the estuary the only birds of interest were Common Sandpiper and an adult Common Gull at New Passage.

                                                                            Essex Skipper, Orchard Pools, Severn Beach  6.7.3

July 5th
The Little Grebe and 3 young remained on the Grebe Pond at Northwick Warth along with the usual 40 Curlew here. A Turnstone and Common Sandpiper were seen  nearby at New Passage.
A Reed  Warbler was giving excellent views at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach. A visit to Severn Beach at dusk produced a roosting flock of Curlew.

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                                                     Little Grebes,, Severn  Beach  5.7.3                                     Reed Warbler, Severn Beach 5.7.3

July 4th
An adult Sandwich Tern was watched settled on the mud at New Passage this afternoon. Other notable birds were 3 young Little Grebes on the “grebe pond ”at Northwick Warth and this evening a party of 6 Sand Martin that flew south past New Passage.

July 3rd
This morning there was an influx of 500 Black-headed Gulls at Severn Beach. Three Dunlin were also present at Severn Beach today with the usual Curlew and Oystercatcher. An early returning juvenile Wheatear  was seen at New Passage.

July 2nd
The best bird of the morning was an adult Common Tern with Black-headed Gulls at Severn Beach. Waders in the area today included 100 Curlew, 10 Oystercatcher and 2 Redshank. There were 3 Sand Martins at New Passage. The evening tide produced 4 Dunlin at New Passage, 4 Redshank, 2 Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper at Severn Beach.

July 1st
The first Redshank for over a month was present at New Pill, Chittening Warth. Other waders in the area included 70 Curlew and 6 Oystercatcher. Other birds of interest were a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 3 Green Woodpecker. Two juvenile Black-headed Gulls were seen this morning. This evening a Sand Martin was feeding over a freshly mown field  at Northwick Warth but no “small” waders could be found at Severn Beach  just before high tide.