SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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November is still a month worth looking for birds. It has a respectable total of 170 species recorded during the month with a few surprise birds. Remarkable records include; Britain’s first Black-bellied Storm Petrel and Britain’s 5th Pacific Diver just 2 days apart in 2009. Other national and local rarities include Great Northern Diver (1984), Ring-necked Duck (2000), Smew (2010), White-rumped Sandpiper (1998), Long-tailed Skua (1994), Woodlark, Shorelark, Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting, Cory’s Shearwater (2000), Whooper Swan (1983) and Richard’s Pipit (1993), Dartford Warbler (2005) and Waxwing (2005). A Merlin or two can usually be seen perched on posts anywhere between New Passage and Aust Warth. Short-eared Owls can often be seen hunting at dusk over the salt marsh at Aust Warth. Seabirds seen in South West gales include Leach’s Petrel, Pomarine Skua and Little Auk.

November 2011



November 30th
The only report received was of the large Starling roost again at New Passage this evening.

November 29th
A wet and windy day. An adult Kittiwake, 5 Ringed Plover and 25 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach. An adult Mediterranean Gull. 60 Black-headed Gulls, a Great Crested Grebe, a female Common Scoter, 700 Wigeon, 130 Teal, 35 Shelduck, 2400 Dunlin, 120 Redshank, 40 Lapwing, 60 Oystercatchers, 70 Curlew and 6 Turnstones were seen from New Passage.The Starlings were reported again going to roost at New Passage where the advice from one visitor is take an umbrella and be prepared to have to wash your car. A couple of video stills below taken while experimenting with a miniature HD camcorder.

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                                                                                Mediterranean Gull, New Passage  29.11.11

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                                                                                 Great crested Grebe, New Passage  29.11.11

November 28th
At least 300 Dunlin, 600 Wigeon, 130 Teal, 27 Lapwing, 17 Curlew and 22 Redshank were seen at New Passage today where many thousands of Starlings once again gave a spectacular pre roost display this evening. A Short-eared Owl showed well at Aust Warth this afternoon where 1200 Dunlin were also present. Two Little Grebes, 6 Gadwall and 17 Tufted Duck were reported from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.

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                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  28.11.11 © Rod Holbrook

November 27th
A breezy day following a very windy night. A morning visit to New Passage produced 3000 Dunlin, 200 Lapwing, 130 Redshank, a Grey Plover, 60 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, 40 Turnstones, a drake Pintail, 35 Shelduck, 500 Wigeon, 170 Teal and 4 Ravens. Another 30 Shelduck, 80 Turnstones, 15 Ringed Plover and 20 Lapwing were seen at Severn Beach. A Water Rail, at least 35 Redshank, 4 Rock Pipits and 2 Blackcaps were seen at Chittening Warth. Two Short-eared Owls showed over Aust Warth this evening and the large Starling roost darkened the sky at New Passage.

November 26th
An increasingly breezy day and a morning spring tide produced good numbers of birds. A dawn visit to Northwick Warth produced a Peregrine attacking 3000 Dunlin, 150 Redshank, 240 Lapwing, 50 Oystercatchers, 40 Turnstones, 700 Wigeon, 140 Teal, a Water Pipit, 60 Pied Wagtails and 40 Meadow Pipits. A spectacular 25000 Starlings performed over the gardens and fields at New Passage at dusk.

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                                                                                   Starling tornado, New Passage  26.11.11

November 25th
A morning visit to New Passage produced a Bar-tailed Godwit, 200+ Lapwing, 140 Redshank, 70 Curlew, at least 2000 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 400 Wigeon, 150 Teal, 15 Shelduck, a female Pintail and 70 Pied Wagtails.

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                                                                                    Waders and wildfowl, New Passage  25.11.11

November 24th
A quiet day with just a male Yellowhammer and 2 Ravens reported from Severn Beach and another Raven and a male Blackcap at Aust Cliff. A Short-eared Owl was seen again late afternoon at Aust Warth. The Starling extravaganza continued over New Passage at dusk.

November 23rd
Combined reports from the New Passage area involved 1000 Wigeon, 300 Teal, 13 Shelduck, 40 Oystercatchers, 400 Lapwing, 1200 Dunlin, 40 Curlew and another large roost gathering of 10000+ Starlings. A Short-eared Owl showed well for a film crew from the BBC One Show due for broadcast later this winter.

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                                                                     filming Short-eared Owls at Aust Warth  © Rod Holbrook

November 22nd
A late afternoon visit to New Passage produced the mixed flock of 400 Wigeon and Teal, 140 Curlew, 60 Oystercatchers, 80 Lapwing, 150 Dunlin and finally 10,000 plus Starlings in a pre roost display over the Glen. A Short-eared Owl was seen hunting over Aust Warth again today.

November 21st
A murky and increasingly wet day. A five minute visit to New Passage late afternoon produced just a mixed flock of 400 Wigeon/Teal and a Kingfisher.

November 20th
A cloudy, grey day. Reports from Northwick Warth involved 4 Bewick’s Swans (flying north east at 4pm), 500 Wigeon, 140 Teal, 18 Shelduck, 8 Shoveler, 55 Mallard, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 60 Oystercatchers, 70 Redshank, just 20 Dunlin, 70 Curlew and at least 200 Lapwing. Several thousand Starlings roosted again at New Passage. A visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced another 40 Shelduck, 120 Curlew, 60 Oystercatchers, 70 Turnstones and 21 Ringed Plover. Two Short-eared Owls showed again over Aust Warth late afternoon. At least 16 Gadwall, 9 Shoveler, 8 Tufted Duck, 8 Teal and a drake Pochard were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

November 19th
Two Short-eared Owls remained at Aust Warth today. Combined reports from the New Passage area involved 450 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 200 Lapwing, 60 Redshank, 70 Pied Wagtails and 50 Meadow Pipits. At least 140 Curlew, 10 Redshank, 70 Turnstones, 60 Oystercatchers, 60 Mallard, 40 Shelduck and 6 Rock Pipits were seen at Severn Beach. A huge flock of 15-20,000 Starlings came into roost at New Passage again this evening. A video still taken of part of the flock this evening. It has taken nearly ten years for my wife to submit her first picture to website but here it is. Click on the picture below to see a brief video on Youtube.

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                                                                      Starlings, New Passage  19.11.11 © Sally Bowerman

November 18th
A late afternoon visit to New Passage produced just 340 Wigeon, 70 Teal and an impressive 7000+ Starlings giving a good pre roost display over the Glen. A Little Egret was seen at Aust Warth where 2 Short-eared Owls were present at dusk.

November 17th
The only reports received today involved a Short-eared Owl over Aust Warth at 09.30 this morning and 3 Short-eared Owls, a Little Egret, 140 Lapwing and a Kingfisher there late afternoon.

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                                                                           Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  17.11.11 © Matt Morgan

November 16th
A cool (9°C), grey and murky day. A Short-eared Owl was seen hunting over Aust Warth at 11.10 this morning and two showed again at 4.15pm. Reports from New Passage involved 2 Greylag Geese, 300 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 3 Pintail, 170 Dunlin, 24 Redshank, 2 Ravens and a Kingfisher. At least 45 Pied Wagtails were seen nearby on the still dry Pilning Wetland reserve.

November 15th
At least one Short-eared Owl still showing well this afternoon at Aust Warth where 55 Wigeon, 18 Teal and 18 Redshank were also seen. Two “Grey” Geese, at least 310 Wigeon, 75 Teal, 27 Shelduck, 220 Dunlin, 26 Curlew, at least 90 Lapwing, 90 Redshank and a Peregrine were reported from the Northwick Warth area. Four Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck and 3 Teal were seen on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. Another great image below by Rod Holbrook.

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                                                                    Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  15.11.11 © Rod Holbrook

November 14th
A cooler and cloudy day. A Short-eared Owl was seen again early morning and late afternoon over Aust Warth. The only reports from New Passage involved the mixed flock of 500 Wigeon and Teal along the tideline and a spectacular pre roost display by at at least 10,000 Starlings over Caroline Cottage and Puffers End as the birds attempted to roost in the trees and hedge.

November 13th
Another mild (17°C) , sunny. Two Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth today with one showing very well from 2 pm. Combined reports from New Passage involved a dark-bellied Brent Goose, a Little Egret, at least 2200 Dunlin before they were flushed by a Peregrine, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 90 Redshank, 90 Lapwing, 50 Curlew, a Snipe, 40 Oystercatchers, 36 Shelduck, 300 Wigeon, 110 Teal and several small parties of flyover Siskins and Redpolls. A Water Rail was reported at Chittening Warth. Today’s stunners are from Vic Savery and Jeff Slocombe.

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                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  13.11.11 © Jeff Slocombe

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                                                                            Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  13.11.11 © Vic Savery

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                                                                          Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  13.11.11 © Vic Savery

November 12th
A foggy start and staying mild and dry all day. A Short-eared Owl was present again at Aust Warth early morning and again this afternoon. Other sightings at Aust Warth included a Peregrine carrying a Wigeon kill, 30 Chaffinches, Fieldfare flocks and a female Blackcap. Two Little Egrets, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Snipe, at least 2000 Dunlin, 90 Lapwing, 60 Redshank, 50 Curlew, 60 Oystercatchers, 250 Wigeon, 130 Teal, 28 Shelduck, a Peregrine, 15 Fieldfares and a calling Crossbill (flying low east) were reported from the Northwick Warth area.

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                                                                         Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  12.11.11 © Gary Thoburn

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                                                                    Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  12.11.11 © Jerry Hawker

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                                                                                    Meadow Pipit, Severn Beach  12.11.11 © Vic Savery

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Some more cracking Short-eared Owl shots today from Allan Chard. Present early morning and from 3pm at least today at Aust Warth and a Little Owl was reported nearby in the sheep fields. Combined reports from New Passage involved a Little Egret, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 500 Dunlin, 38 Oystercatchers, 70 Redshank, 38 Common Gulls and the mixed flock of 500 Wigeon and Teal. At least 9 Gadwall. 2 Tufted Duck and a Teal were seen on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

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                                                                         Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  11.11.11 © Allan Chard

November 10th
Combined reports from the New Passage area involved 1000 Dunlin, 150 Lapwing, 130 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 2 Knot, 14 Common Gulls, 17 Shelduck, 300 Wigeon, 200 Teal and 2 adult Peregrines. A Short-eared Owl was seen hunting over Aust Warth at 10.20am. I have been kindly sent these 2 stunning images taken by Chris Perry.

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                                                                                Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  10.11.11 © Chris Perry

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                                                                               Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  10.11.11 © Chris Perry

November 9th
The Black Redstart remained on the rocky sea defences at Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl and a late Swallow were seen at Aust Warth.

November 8th
Another miserable grey day. A Black Redstart was found on the sea defences near the burger bar slipway at Severn Beach. An afternoon visit to New Passage produced  1000 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 80 Oystercatchers, 10 Shelduck, 350 Wigeon, 200 Teal and 2 Ravens. A Short-eared Owl appeared at dusk on Aust Warth. Six Shoveler, 5 Gadwall and a Tufted Duck were seen in the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.

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                                                                                    Black Redstart, Severn Beach 8.11.11

November 7th
A cool, grey and damp day with a north east breeze produced some interesting sightings. A Water Pipit was found late morning on the seaward side of the flash on Northwick Warth where a Green Sandpiper, 2 Grey Plover, a Golden Plover, 60 Lapwing, 60 Oystercatchers, 2 Snipe, a Little Egret, 200 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 2 flyover Redpolls, 20+Fieldfares, 3 Redwings and a Rock Pipit were also seen. A flock of 11 Crossbills were seen flying north west from New Passage at 1.35 pm and nearby a Black Redstart was found on the rocky sea defences just north of the 2nd Severn crossing just after 2pm. A Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth at first light this morning with two birds present early afternoon and a Barn Owl was seen at 9.30 pm on the coast road near the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

November 6th
The dark-bellied Brent Goose and and at least 65 Lapwing were seen on Northwick Warth. A Short-eared Owl and 5 Snipe were seen at Aust Warth this evening.

November 5th
A visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced a Little Egret, 50 Oystercatchers, 30 Dunlin, 90 Turnstones, 20 Ringed Plover, a Snipe, 2 Gadwall, a Wheatear and at least 5 Rock Pipits. The dark-bellied Brent Goose, 200 Wigeon, 200 Teal, 350 Dunlin, 45 Lapwing, 60 Oystercatchers, 50 Redshank and 2 Ravens were reported from Northwick Warth. Three Short-eared Owls showed from 4pm at Aust Warth where a Little Egret, a Snipe and 8 Shelduck were also seen.
                                                                           
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                                                                                        Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 5.11.11

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                                                                                        Wheatear, Severn Beach 5.11.11

November 4th
A morning visit to Northwick Warth produced single dark-bellied Brent Goose and Little Egret, 700 Dunlin, 9 Lapwing, at least 90 Turmstones, 60 Redshank, 240 Wigeon, 80 Teal and a Kingfisher. The female Scaup remained on the VOSA Pool with Tufted Ducks and a drake Pochard. Three Short-eared Owls appeared over Aust Warth at 4.30pm.

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                                                                                 Scaup, VOSA Pool 4.11.11 © Steve Hale

November 3rd
A female Scaup was found with 8 Tufted Duck on the VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works. A dark-bellied Brent Goose, a Little Egret and 110 Dunlin were reported from New Passage and 90 Turnstones, 8 Oystercatchers and 10 Redshank were seen from Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl showed at Aust Warth from 4pm.
                                                                         
November 2nd
Combined reports from New Passage involved just 80 Redshank, 600 Dunlin, 40 Lapwing, 200 Wigeon, 80 Teal and 7 Shelduck. A Short-eared Owl was still present at Aust Warth late afternoon.

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                                                                          Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  1.11.11 © Don Smith

November 1st
A fine sunny day. An adult Mediterranean Gull, 600 Dunlin, a Black-tailed Godwit, 85 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 25 Lapwing, 200 Wigeon, 80 Teal and 2 Ravens were seen from New Passage. A Short-eared Owl was seen hunting at Aust Warth from 2pm where 2 Peregrines and a Kingfisher were also present. Nine Ringed Plover and 20 Oystercatchers were seen from Severn Beach. Another 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Little Egret and 2 Redpolls were reported from Chittening Warth this morning.
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