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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 198. 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, Whooper Swans, Roseate Tern, Hooded Crow, Dartford Warbler, Hen Harrier, Ring Ouzel, Mealy Redpoll, Firecrest and Common Crossbill.

October 2011

October 31st
The only reports today involved 120 Wigeon, 35 Teal, 52 Oystercatchers, 1100 Dunlin, 18 Curlew,15 Redshank and 8 Turnstones at Northwick Warth.

October 30th
A morning visit to Northwick Warth produced at least 1000 Dunlin, 40 Lapwing, 4 Shelduck, 200 Wigeon, 40 Teal,  2 adult Peregrines with a kill, 2 Ravens, 30 Pied Wagtails and a Kingfisher. A Little Egret, a Grey Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, 40 Curlew, 7 Turnstones and a Snipe were seen from the shore at Severn Beach. Another Little Egret, 120 Wigeon, 30 Redshank, 3 Grey Plover, a Redpoll and 2 Blackcaps were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                           Grey Plover, Severn Beach 30.10.11

October 29th
A good number and variety of birds were seen in the Northwick Warth area this morning including an adult Little Gull, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Grey Plover, a Golden Plover, 3 Knot, 50 Lapwing, at least 1200 Dunlin, 80 Oystercatchers, 90 Redshank, 50 Curlew, 40 Turnstones, a Snipe, 14 Canada Geese, 3 Shelduck, 300 Wigeon, 60 Teal and a Sparrowhawk. A Short-eared Owl was seen mid morning at Aust Warth where a Kingfisher, 5 Fieldfares and a flyover Yellowhammer were also reported. Another Grey Plover and 2 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach and 50 Turnstones, 3 Sparrowhawks and a Rock Pipit were reported at Chittening Warth.

                                                                                             Little Gull, New Passage 29.10.11

                                                                                             Little Gull, New Passage 29.10.11

October 28th
A foggy start followed by bright sunshine by late morning. Combined reports from the New Passage area involved 2 Little Egrets, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 300 Dunlin, 90 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, 7 Lapwing, 200+ Wigeon, 50 Teal, 5 Shelduck and a flyover Yellowhammer. At least 30 Curlew, 20 Redshank, 100 Dunlin and a Water Rail were seen ay Chittening Warth and nearby 150 Turnstones, a female Blackcap and a Wheatear were reported at Severn Beach.
The Pied Wheatear was still present today a few miles north of the Severnside patch. Many thanks to Allan for the image below.

                                                              female Pied Wheatear, Oldbury on Severn  28.10.11 © Allan Chard

October 27th
A thoroughly wet day. A very brief after work visit to New Passage produced just a Little Egret, 200 Dunlin, 3 Lapwing and the mixed flock of 300 Wigeon and Teal on the low tide line.

October 26th
Reports from New Passage involved 8 Brent Geese, at least 240 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 2 Little Egrets, 300 Dunlin, 90 Oystercatchers, 140 Redshank, 70 Curlew, 7 Lapwing and a Snipe.

                                                                     female Pied Wheatear, Oldbury on Severn  26.10.11 © Gary Thoburn
                                                                                 A fantastic image taken in better weather today.

October 25th
No sightings yet for today. A Pied Wheatear was found late afternoon a few miles north of Severnside at Thornbury Sailing Club, Oldbury on Severn. This is the first South Glos/Avon record.

October 24th
The 8 Brent Geese remained on view from New Passage where 2 Little Egrets, at least 300 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 50 Oystercatchers, 4 Lapwing, 80 Redshank, 240 Dunlin and 4 flyover Fieldfares were also seen.

October 23rd
A Little Egret, 8 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 200 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 140 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, 25 Lapwing, 3 Snipe, 5 Turnstones, a Blackcap and a flyover Yellowhammer were reported from Northwick Warth. At least 30 Turnstones, 100 Curlew, 40 Oystercatchers, 8 Ringed Plover and a Wheatear were seen from the shore at Severn Beach.

                                                                                         Brent Geese, Northwick Warth 23.10.11

                                                                                            Snipe, Northwick Warth 23.10.11

October 22nd
The tame Snow Bunting was seen again at New Passage today feeding on the lower sea wall footpath just north of the Severn Crossing. Combined reports from Northwick Warth involved a Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 180 Dunlin, 28 Lapwings, at least 90 Redshank, 30 Curlew, 2 Turnstones, 200 Wigeon, 40 Teal, a Kingfisher, 2 Tree Sparrows, 2 Yellowhammers, a Chiffchaff, 2 Swallows, 4 Fieldfare, 2 Siskins and 2 Redpolls. Another Kingfisher and 2 Blackcaps were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                               Goldfinch,  22.10.11 © Vic Savery

October 21st
A Little Egret, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 250 Dunlin, at least 90 Redshank, 15 Turnstones, 300 Wigeon, 50 Teal and 5 Shelduck were seen from New Passage.

                                                                 New Passage and the Pilning Wetland  21.10.11 ©  John Luke
                                                 Ready for some flooding, we just need lots of rain now.......

October 20th
A tame Snow Bunting was reported showing at 4 feet range on the sea wall at New Passage before being flushed by a dog. Other reports involved 50 Redshank, 120 Dunlin, 200 Wigeon and 50 Teal. At least 26 Meadow Pipits, a Rock Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtails, 3 Grey Wagtails, a Fieldfare and 4 Redpolls were seen at Chittening Warth this morning.

October 19th
Reports from New Passage involved 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Black-tailed Godwit, 200 Dunlin, 80 Turnstones, 30 Curlew, a Lapwing, 105 Wigeon, 16 Teal and 6 flyover Redpolls.

October 18th
A breezy day following a very windy night produced a juvenile Pomarine Skua that showed very well from New Passage off and on for several hours. Many thanks to the 3 visiting birders that supplied the news and pictures.

                                                                        juvenile Pomarine Skua, New Passage 18.10.11 ©  Brian Trott

                                                                         juvenile Pomarine Skua, New Passage 18.10.11 ©  Brian Trott

                                                                       juvenile Pomarine Skua, New Passage 18.10.11 ©  Brian Trott

October 17th
A Curlew Sandpiper, 95 Dunlin, 18 Curlew, single Knot and Black-tailed Godwit, at least 50 Oystercatchers and 110 Wigeon were seen from New Passage. A Short-eared Owl and 2 Wheatears were seen at Chittening Warth. A Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, 2 Teal and a Little Grebe were seen on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

October 16th
The Spoonbill was seen again from New Passage at first light by early birders before it flew off south east. Other reports here included a Little Egret, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Lapwing, 230 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 60 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, 50 Redshank, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 4 Shelduck, 40 Wigeon, 60 Teal, a Wheatear, a flyover Crossbill (heading north east over Northwick Warth), a late Reed Warbler (in a Pine Tree!), a Coal Tit,  2 Brambling, a singing Chiffchaff, 45 Meadow Pipits, a Rock Pipit, a calling Little Owl, a Kingfisher, a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel and a small number of flyover visible migrants consisting of Chaffinches, Godlfinches, Siskins, Greenfinches, Redpolls, Linnets, Pied Wagtails, Starlings, Redwings and Jackdaws. An early morning visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced a male Merlin, a Little Grebe on the Severn (unusual here), 140 Curlew, 25 Redshank, 3 Rock Pipits, a Chiffchaff and at least 5 Blackcaps.

October 15th
A Spoonbill was seen again early morning at New Passage before flying off south east and a large Pipit, thought to be a Richard’s Pipit was reported feeding on Northwick Warth. Other sightings from here involved single Little Egret, Bar-tailed Godwit, Golden Plover and Snipe, 200 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 80 Curlew, 60 Oystercatchers, 10 Lapwing, a Peregrine, a Wheatear, a Kingfisher and some flyover visible migrants including 6 Cormorants, Skylarks, Reed Buntings, Siskins, Redpolls, Chaffinches, Redwings and a lone Yellowhammer. A Short-eared Owl, a Stonechat, 8 Redpoll, 5 Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff were the pick of the bunch at Chittening Warth where Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails, a Fieldfare, 12 Blackbirds, 5 Redwings, 20 Skylarks and 70 Jackdaws were also seen.

                                                                                   Spoonbill, New Passage 15.10.11 ©  Tony Scott

October 14th
A Woodlark was reported flying south over New Passage at 8.05 am. Other sightings from here included a Spoonbill, a Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Ringed Plover, 14 Lapwing, 200 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 50 Redshank, 60 Oystercatchers, 2 Greylag Geese, 4 Swallows, 8 Redpoll, 8 Brambling, 42 Siskins, a Raven and many Fieldfares and Redwings flying over.

October 13th
A Curlew Sandpiper, a Golden Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 250 Dunlin, 50 Redshank and 3 Fieldfares were reported from New Passage. Another 16 Redshank, 18 Curlew, 48 Wigeon, single Wheatear, Redpoll and Redwing were seen at Aust Warth and 2 Stonechats were reported at Chittening Warth.

October 12th
The only reports involved 2 Little Stints, a Curlew Sandpiper, 250 Dunlin, 35 Tunstones, 60 Oystercatchers, 50 Redshank and a moribund Fulmar at New Passage and 3 Lapwing on the Northwick Warth flash.

                                                                                Little Stint, New Passage 12.10.11 ©  Tony Scott

October 11th
A juvenile Little Stint, single Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Green Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit and Lapwing, 300 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 70 Oystercatchers, 110 Curlew, 110 Redshank, 90 Wigeon, 170 Teal, a Peregrine, a Raven, 4 Siskins, a Redpoll and a Wheatear were seen on the New Passage/Northwick Warth area. Combined reports from Severn Beach involved a Guillemot, drake Common Scoter, 100 plus Curlew, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 60 Turnstones, a Raven and a Wheatear.

                                                                                   Golden Plover, Northwick Warth 11.10.11

                                                                    Grey Plover, Northwick Warth 11.10.11

October 10th
Another windy day. A Great Skua, a Fulmar, a juvenile Black Tern, 2 Shags, 110 Curlew, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 30 Turnstones and a Pintail were seen from Severn Beach. Combined reports from the New Passage area involved a 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull, a juvenile Little Stint, a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, at least 200 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 80 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 2 Lapwing, 80 Wigeon, at least 100 Teal, 2 Ravens, a Kingfisher and a fly over Redpoll.

October 9th
A wet and breezy day. The only reports from New Passage area involved a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, a Golden Plover, a Snipe, 80 Redshank, 250 Dunlin, 40 Wigeon, 70 Curlew, a Raven, a Kingfisher, at least 4 House Martins and 2 Swallows. A female Common Scoter, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, at least 50 Turnstones and a Knot were reported from Severn Beach.

October 8th
A drake Common scoter was seen floating down river off New Passage where single juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit and Snipe, 250 Dunlin and 3 Wheatears were also seen. A Green Sandpiper, 50 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 5 Redshank and 2 Ravens were were reported at Aust Warth. Another 40 Teal, single Wheatear and Whinchat were seen on Northwick Warth.

October 7th
Combined reports from New Passage included a Merlin, a Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Little Stints, 2 Golden Plover, a Green Sandpiper, 3 Snipe, 200 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 35 Oystercatchers, 80 Redshank, 12 Turnstones, 8 Curlew, 130 Teal, 35 Wigeon, 4 Shelduck, 2 Redpoll and a Wheatear. At least 2 Whinchats, 4 Stonechats, 2 Wheatears, 21 Meadow Pipits, 2 Pied Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, single Pheasant, Kestrel and Peregrine were seen at Chittening Warth and another 2 Wheatears were present at Severn Beach. Our shetland highlights today were an American Golden Plover and a Pallid Harrier  on view at the same time.

                                                                                 Green Sandpiper, New Passage 7.10.11 ©  Vic Savery

                                                                                  Pallid Harrier, Quendale, Shetland 7.10.11

October 6th
No reports were received today. Another Isabelline Shrike was the highlight for us on Shetland today.

                                                                Isabelline Shrike, Quendale, Shetland 6.10.11

October 5th
A Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 250 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 35 Turnstone, 60 Redshank, 135 Wigeon, at least 100 Teal and 2 Peregrines were seen from New Passage. A Spoonbill was seen again flying down river from Aust Warth and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was seen off the Pipes at Severn Beach. Today, our very wet and windy excursion to Shetland only produced a soggy Little Bunting, a Citrine Wagtail, another Yellow-browed Warbler, hundreds of Golden Plover and large numbers of Greylag and Pink-footed Geese heading south.

                                                                                     Little Bunting, Geosetter, Shetland 5.10.11

                                                                                  Citrine Wagtail, Fleck, Shetland 5.10.11

October 4th
A cooler day with less to report. The only reports from New Passage were of 120 Wigeon, 25 Teal, 5 Shelduck, a Shoveler, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, at least 250 Dunlin, just one Ringed Plover and 2 Wheatears. Just 3 Wheatears, 20 Meadow Pipits and a Sparrowhawk were reported were Chittening Warth.

October 3rd
Another juvenile Spoonbill was seen at New Passage this morning where other sightings included a Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, a Ruff, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 300 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover, 60 Curlew, 40 Oystercatchers, 50 Redshank, 150 Turnstones, 60 Curlew, 18 Wigeon, at least 80 Teal, 50 Meadow Pipits and 6 Wheatears. Reports from Chittening Warth included a Whinchat, 2 Stonechats, 72 Meadow Pipits, 30 Pied Wagtails, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 90 Goldfinches, 2 Redpolls, 5 Siskins and a Kingfisher.

                                                                                  Spoonbill, New Passage 3.10.11 ©  John Morgan

October 2nd
The heat wave continued.Two juvenile Spoonbills, 2 Little Stints, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, a Ruff, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Black-tailed Godwit, 60 Redshank, 300 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover, 30 Turnstones, a Peregrine, 2 Ravens, 10 Wigeon, 100 Teal and a Tree Pipit were reported from New Passage. The 2 Spoonbills were also seen later from Severn Beach. Meanwhile my excursion to Shetland continues producing 5 Yellow-browed Warblers in “our garden” and Citrine Wagtail, Isabelline Shrike and Alpine Swift elsewhere on the island.

                                                                                 Spoonbills, Severn Beach 2.10.11 ©  Dan White

                                                                   Yellow-browed Warbler, Sumburgh Lighthouse, Shetland 2.10.11

                                                                                     Alpine Swift, Mail, Shetland 2.10.11

October 1st
A hot day with temperatures exceeding 29°C. A Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Whinchats, 7 Redpoll, 9 Chiffchaffs and a Reed Warbler were reported from Chittening Warth. The only reports from New Passage involved single Ruff and Knot, a mixed flock of 200 Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Turnstones, a Kingfisher and the usual ducks off shore. Another Kingfisher was seen at Aust Warth.