SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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December is one of the quietest months with only 156 species recorded during the month. It can be a good month for wildfowl with the chance of Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander and Ruddy Duck if inland waters freeze or some fly by Bewick’s Swans. A good selection of seabirds have occurred in December gales including Black-throated and Great Northern Divers, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk, Grey Phalarope and Pomarine Skua. Other rarities have included Glaucous Gull, Waxwing (2010) and in the winters of 1940 & 1941, Cirl Bunting.

December 2011



December 31st
A grey and dreary end to the year. A Purple Sandpiper on Northwick Warth was a surprise find. Combined reports from New Passage included at least 1000 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 60 Curlew, 440 Wigeon, 75 Teal, 20 Shelduck and 2 Ravens. Another 40 Redshank, 4 Turnstones, at least 200 Lapwing and regrettably 2 wildfowlers were seen at Aust Warth. At least 150 Turnstones and 8 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach. The Little Gull reappeared on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                        Purple Sandpiper, Northwick Warth 31.12.11 © Tony Scott   

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                                                                           Purple Sandpiper, Northwick Warth 31.12.11

December 30th
A late afternoon visit to New Passage produced little more than 1000 Dunlin, 30 Redshank. 50 Curlew, 20 Turnstones, 250 Wigeon, 50 Teal and 10 Shelduck. Seven Shoveler were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 29th
A wet and windy day. The only report was of a Short-eared Owl being mobbed by gulls over the river, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, at least 12 Kittiwakes and 11 Ringed Plover from Severn Beach.

December 28th
An adult Mediterranean Gull, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 40 Lapwing, 2000 Dunlin, 25 Redshank, 3 Snipe, 60 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlew, 18 Shelduck, 15 Turnstones, 200 Wigeon and at least 70 Teal were seen from New Passage. One of the Dunlin seemed to have survived an attack and showed to close range on the Flash at Northwick Warth. The Little Gull was reported again on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                               Dunlin, New Passage 28.12.11  © Vic Savery      

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                                                                            Dunlin, Northwick Warth 28.12.11  © Vic Savery      
  
December 27th
The Little Gull was reported on the Square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works for it’s 17th day where 5 Pochard were also present. A Jack Snipe, 10 Snipe and 2 Ravens were seen at Chittening Warth.

December 26th
No reports were received today.

December 25th
A mild and breezy day.A visit to New Passage produced at least 450 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, 30 Lapwing, 35 Curlew, 20 Oystercatchers, 200 Wigeon, 80 Teal and 11 Shelduck. A drake and 2 female Pintail were seen off Severn Beach.The Little Gull remained at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 24th
At least 10 Ringed Plover, 42 Dunlin and 12 Redshank were reported from the shore at Severn beach and nearby 8 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall and a Kingfisher were seen at the Orchard Pools.The Little Gull remained on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 23rd
At least 400 Dunlin, 70 Oystercatchers, 90 Curlew, 60 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 150 Wigeon, 40 Teal and 3 Shelduck were seen from New Passage and at least one Water Pipit was seen on the “now getting wet” Pilning Wetland on Northwick Warth. The Little Gull remained at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 22nd
The only reports involved 80 Lapwing, 80 Turnstones and 90 Oystercatchers from New Passage and a Blackcap at Old Passage.

December 21st
A Golden Plover, 50 Lapwing, 500 Dunlin, 32 Redshank, 20 Oystercatchers, 7 Shelduck and a Raven were seen from New Passage. The Little Gull remained on the square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 20th
Several hundred Fieldfares were seen at Chittening Warth this morning and at least 400 Lapwing were seen over Northwick Warth late afternoon.

December 19th
A wet day with just a Little Egret, 300 Dunlin, 70 Curlew, 200 Wigeon and 30 Teal reported from New Passage in a brief visit. The Little Gull remained at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 18th
A cold and frosty morning with little reported. A Little Egret, 400 Dunlin, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 40 Redshank and 30 Curlew were reported from New Passage.Two Buzzards and 2 Peregrines were seen at Aust Warth this afternoon. A Barn Owl was found roosting in a hedge near Avonmouth Sewage Works this morning where the Little Gull remained on the Square Pool.

December 17th
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area involved a 1st winter Little Gull, single Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit, 60 Redshank, 100 Curlew, 400 Dunlin, the usual Wigeon and Teal and at least 200 Fieldfares. A Little Egret, 2 Snipe, 190 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 5 Shelduck, 50 Fieldfares, 20 Redwing and a Rock Pipit were seen at Aust Warth. The 1st winter Little Gull was still at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 16th
A high tide visit to Northwick Warth produced 300 Dunlin, 120 Curlew, 200 Lapwing, 60 Oystercatchers, 60 Redshank, a Snipe, 70 Teal and 200 Wigeon. Eleven Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach. Another 200 Wigeon, 100 Dunlin and 30 Fieldfares were reported at Aust Warth. The Little Gull remained at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                       Fieldfares, Aust Warth 16.12.11

December 15th
The Little Gull, a Shoveler, 2 Pochard and 22 Tufted Duck were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works. A Short-eared Owl showed for a few minutes late afternoon at Aust Warth

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                                                    Little Gull, Avonmouth Sewage Works 15.12.11  © Allan Chard                                                            

December 14th
Another day of torrential rain and hail with lighting thrown in for good measure. The only report received was of the Little Gull on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 13th
A very wet and windy day with rain, sleet and hail. The Little Gull was seen again on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works. A Peregrine was seen at Aust Warth late afternoon.

December 12th
Combined reports from the New Passage area included a Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Golden Plover (flying south west),
2000 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 56 Oystercatchers and the usual Wigeon and Teal flock. A ringtail Hen Harrier was reported at Aust Warth mid afternoon where a female Sparrowhawk and 100 Chaffinches were also seen. The Little Gull remained on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                       Little Gull, Avonmouth Sewage Works  12.12.11 © Steve Hale

December 11th
A Short-eared Owl was still present at Aust Warth this morning. Combined reports from New Passage involved a Black-tailed Godwit, 1200 Dunlin, 30 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 60 Redshank, a female Merlin, 350 Wigeon, 50 Teal and a Raven. A Little Gull was found on the Square pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 10th
A frosty dawn followed by a cool and dry day. An early morning visit to Severn Beach produced 11 Ringed Plover, 70 Redshank, 60 Turnstones, 50 Dunlin, a Snipe, 23 Shelduck, 2 Water Rails and 2 Rock Pipits. A Short-eared Owl was seen early morning and late afternoon at Aust Warth where a flyover Snow Bunting and Peregrine were also seen. At least 2000 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, 30 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 50 Lapwing, 30 Curlew, 550 Wigeon, 40 Teal, a Peregrine, a Raven, 60 Pied Wagtails, 30 Meadow Pipits and 20 Skylarks were seen in the New Passage area and the huge Starling flock went to roost again this evening. Reports from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area involved 15 Shoveler, 12 Tufted Duck and 4 Little Grebes.

December 9th
A cool but dry day. The only reports from New Passage involved 200 Dunlin, 250 Lapwing and a huge Starling roost again this evening. Click HERE to see another Youtube Video by Phil Baber & Pam Buckle showing the Starlings going to roost.

December 8th
Another windy and wet day. At least 500 Dunlin, 140 Oystercatchers, 50 Redshank, 30 Curlew, 200 Wigeon amd 60 Teal were seen from New Passage. At least 80 Kittiwakes and 4 Gadwall were seen at Severn Beach.

December 7th
A windy day with a strong, cold north westerly. At least 140 Turnstones, 10 Ringed Plover and 35 Lapwing at Severn Beach. The only report from Aust Warth was of 200 Wigeon. Many thousands, up to 30,000 Starlings were reported over New Passage at dusk. At least 12 Gadwall, 3 Teal, 7 Shoveler, 3 Pochard and 9 Tufted Duck were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 6th
The only report received was of the Starling flock on display again at New Passage this evening.

December 5th
A Short-eared Owl showed over Aust Warth at 9.30 this morning. An evening visit to New Passage produced 250 Dunlin, 50 Curlew, 30 Redshank, 300 Wigeon, 40 Teal and 1000’s of Starlings going to roost. Unfortunately a number of birds were stunned after hitting overhead wires will trying to land in Leylandii trees and some were killed.

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                                                                               Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  5.12.11 © Vic Savery

December 4th
At least 400 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 300 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 70 Curlew, 30 Redshank, 2 Ravens, 40 Fieldfare, 15 Redwing and a Blackcap were seen in the New Passage area. Two Peregrines were seen attacking a flock of 100 Dunlin at Aust Warth where a Water Rail, 2 Ravens and a mixed flock of 20 Fieldfare and Redwing were also reported.

December 3rd
A breezy day without any sea birds reported. A brief visit to windswept New Passage produced just 1000 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 20 Curlew, only 100 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 4 Shoveler and 6 Shelduck. Just 15 Ringed Plover and 8 Turnstones were reported at Severn Beach.

December 2nd
A cold and frosty start. A pair of Peregrines caused panic to 1000 Dunlin, 40 Redshank, 40 Curlew and the large mixed flock of Wigeon and Teal at New Passage. Presumably the same pair of Peregrines were seen to catch a Redshank at Chittening Warth. Another 30 Curlew were seen at Severn Beach.

December 1st
Combined reports from New Passage involved 2000 Dunlin, 120 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 16 Curlew, 400 Wigeon and 100 Teal. A Short-eared Owl and 2 Yellowhammers were seen at Aust Warth. Two Little Grebes, 11 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler and 19 Tufted Duck were reported from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.


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