SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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January is a slightly better month than December, the daylight hours slowly lengthen resulting in a monthly total of 162 species. Like any of the mid winter months it can be good for wildfowl sightings if inland waters freeze, with the chance of Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander or some fly by Bewick’s Swans. Seabirds seen in gales have included Cory’s Shearwater (2004), Storm Petrel, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk, Red-throated Diver (1991,1993) and Grey Phalarope. Other January birds include; Slavonian Grebe (2010), American Golden Plover (2002), Great Grey Shrike (2004) and Shorelark (2004), Waxwing (1958), two Common Cranes that flew over Severn Beach (2000), two Whooper Swans (2005), Bittern (2011), Glaucous Gull and a few rare sightings of Hen Harrier.

January 2012


January 31st
Another frosty morning. The usual 350 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 40 Shelduck and 300 Dunlin were seen from New Passage. A Stonechat and a Kingfisher were seen in Severn Beach. A Merlin and at least 2 Short-eared Owls were seen again late afternoon at Aust Warth.

January 30th
A wintry morning with sleet and rain. An influx of 37 Pintail were seen from the seawall at New Passage where at least 350 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 40 Shelduck and 600 Dunlin were also present. A Merlin and at least 3 Short-eared Owls were seen on Aust Warth at dusk.

January 29th
A frosty dawn with much of the same at New Passage with 700 Dunlin, 110 Curlew, 200 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 300 Wigeon, 35 Shelduck and 60 Teal present. Reports from Severn Beach involved 150 Turnstones, 70 Curlew, 35 Oystercatchers, 250 Dunlin, 35 Redshank and 24 Shelduck. A male Merlin and a Short-eared Owl were seen at Aust Warth late afternoon.

January 28th
The usual 1000+ Dunlin, 90 Lapwing, 120 Curlew, 30 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, a Snipe, 40 Shelduck, 350 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 2 Ravens, a Water Pipit and a female Blackcap were seen in the Northwick Warth area. Another 35 Shelduck, 2 drake Pintail, 40 Redshank, 70 Turnstones, 350 Dunlin, 30 Curlew, 15 Oystercatchers and 7 Rock Pipits were seen from Severn Beach. Five Short-eared Owls were flushed by a dog walker at Aust Warth late afternoon where 2 Peregrines were also present.

January 27th
Combined reports from the New Passage area included 1200 Dunlin, 100 Lapwing, 220 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 66 Curlew, 3 Moorhens and 9 Skylark. A Stonechat remained near the Tesco Pool in Severn Beach. At least 8 Gadwall, 24 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, single Pochard and Snipe were reported from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.

January 26th
A breezy day with torrential rain and hail showers. The usual 400 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 45 Shelduck, 2000 Dunlin, 110 Curlew, 100 Lapwing, 25 Redshank and 40 Oystercatchers were seen from New Passage.

January 25th
Combined reports from New Passage involved 2000 Dunlin, 200 Lapwing, 20 Oystercatchers. 30 Curlew, 54 Common Gulls, 46 Shelduck, at least 300 Wigeon and 60 Teal.

January 24th
A brief afternoon visit to New Passage at low tide produced a female Merlin, 300 Wigeon, 40 Teal and 30 Shelduck.

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                                                                                  Sparrowhawk, Severn Beach 24.1.12  © Rod Holbrook

January 23rd
Combined reports from New Passage included at least 2000 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing,15 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 18 Redshank, 5 Turnstones, 300 Wigeon, 30 Teal and 46 Shelduck. Two Stonechats remained near the Tesco Pool at Severn Beach. At least 12 Gadwall, 18 Teal, 9 Shoveler, 2 Pochard and 11 Tufted Duck were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 22nd
Two Jack Snipe and 15 Snipe were reported at Chittening Warth this morning.

January 21st
A breezy day with reports from Severn Beach involving a Fulmar, 30 Turnstones and 20 Dunlin from the shore, a Raven, 4 Gadwall and 4 Tufted Duck at the Orchard Pools and 2 Stonechats still at the Tesco Pool. At least 50 Teal, a Snipe and a Woodcock were seen at the Honda Pools near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 20th
A Merlin, 2 Ravens and a Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth.

January 19th
Combined reports from the New Passage area involved 290 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 30 Shelduck, 300 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 60 Curlew, 43 Oystercatchers, 12 Redshank, 11 Common Gulls and 2 Ravens. Ten Ringed Plover remained at Severn Beach. At least 16 Gadwall, 40 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 11 Tufted Duck, single Pochard and Little Grebe were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 18th
A frost free dawn and a warmer day. A brief late afternoon visit to New Passage produced 2 Shoveler, 350 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 30 Shelduck, 350 Lapwing, 80 Curlew and 400 Dunlin.

January 17th
Another frosty morning. A fly over Golden Plover, 1200 Dunlin, 11 Curlew, 7 Oystercatchers, 8 Redshank, 75 Wigeon and 25 Teal were seen at Aust Warth. Another 130 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 110 Dunlin, 52 Curlew, 8 Redshank and 2 Ravens were reported from New Passage.

January 16th
An icy dawn  (-3°C). A visit to New Passage produced 5 Canada Geese, 30 Shelduck, 240 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 40 Redshank, 400 Dunlin and 120 Lapwing. A Little Egret and a Chiffchaff were seen at the VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works and another Chiffchaff was found at the Sea Bank pools at Chittening Warth.

January 15th
Another cold morning. Mid morning sightings from Severn Beach involved 13 Brent Geese, 20 Shelduck, 4 Gadwall, 8 Ringed Plover, 200 Dunlin and 2 Stonechats at Severn Beach. Combined reports from New Passage included a 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull, a female Merlin, at least 1600 Dunlin, 120 Curlew, 30 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 300 Wigeon, 150 Teal and 25 Shelduck.

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                                                                                   Brent Geese, Severn Beach 15.1.12

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                                                                             Stonechat, Severn Beach 15.1.12 © Steve Hale

January 14th
Another icy (-3°C) dawn followed by a settled sunny day. Reports from the New Passage area involved 1200 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, 90 Curlew, 8 Snipe, at least 200 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 2 Pintail, 20 Shelduck, a Kingfisher and a flock of 10,000 roosting Starlings attracted a pair of Sparrowhawks and a Peregrine this evening. Another 8 Pintail, 30 Shelduck, 20 Teal, 90 Mallard, 200 Dunlin, 140 Turnstones, 150 Curlew, 40 Redshank, 11 Ringed Plover, 3 Snipe, 3 Great Black-backed Gulls, 5 Rock Pipits and at least 12 Skylarks were seen at Severn Beach,

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                                                                                 Balloons heading west, Severn Beach 14.1.12

January 13th
A cold and frosty start with much of the same reported. A Little Egret, at least 2000 Dunlin, 160 Lapwing, 9 Oystercatchers, 220 Wigeon, 90 Teal and a Peregrine were seen at New Passage today and thousands of Starlings gave a pre roost performance over the Glen here at dusk. Another 40 Wigeon and 14 Oystercatchers were reporte at Aust Warth. Two Stonechats remained near the Tesco Pool on the Western Approach business park at Severn Beach. At least 19 Gadwall, 23 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 5 Pochard, 9 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe were seen in the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.

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                                                                             Little Egret, New Passage 13.1.12  © Tony Scott  

January 12th
A Merlin and Short-eared Owl were seen late afternoon at Aust Warth.

January 11th
No reports were received today.

January 10th
Combined reports from New Passage included at least 2000 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 100 Curlew, 100 Redshank, 50 Oystercatchers, 300 Wigeon and 80 Teal. A Short-eared Owl was seen again at dusk over Aust Warth.

January 9th
A Short-eared Owl showed briefly just after 3 pm over Aust Warth.

January 8th
The 2nd winter Glaucous Gull was relocated off New Passage at low tide today. It was seen at distance with the other large gulls on the The Scars (an area of exposed rocks just upriver from the 2nd Severn crossing) for several hours. Other sightings from here and Northwick Warth included a Little Egret, 10 Grey Herons, at least 2600 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, 90 Turnstones, 140 Lapwing, 80 Curlew, 320  Wigeon, 160 Teal, 20 Shelduck and 2 Rock Pipits. Another Little Egret and 3 Stonechats were seen at the Tesco Pool on the Western Approach business park in Severn Beach.

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                                                                                Buzzard hunting for worms, Severn Beach 8.1.12

January 7th
A female Merlin, a Jack Snipe, at least 2000 Dunlin, 500 Lapwing, 40 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank, 300 Wigeon, 70 Teal and a flock of of 9 Bullfinches were reported from the New Passage area.

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                                                                               Merlin, Northwick Warth 7.1.12  © Vic Savery    

January 6th
Combined reports from New Passage included 500 Dunlin, 160 Lapwing, 150 Curlew, 10 Redshank, 400 Wigeon, 70 Teal and 15 Shelduck. At least 150 Turnstones and 8 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach.

January 5th
A breezy day with the wind veering west to north west. A five minute visit to New Passage late afternoon produced a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull flying low along the sea wall towards Severn Beach (the first here since December 2002), the dark-bellied Brent Goose, 20 Shelduck, 200 Lapwing, 230 Curlew and 600 Dunlin. At least 20 Gadwall, 10 Shoveler, 11 Tufted Duck, 15 Teal and a Pochard were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 4th
Another breezy day with 25 Kittiwakes seen from Severn Beach late afternoon.

January 3rd
A very windy day with heavy rain showers. An adult Little Gull, at least 30 Kittiwakes, a Fulmar, 120 Turnstones and a Peregrine were seen from Severn Beach. The dark-bellied Brent Goose, 23 Shelduck, 500 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 800 Dunlin, 150 Curlew, 30 Redshank, 50 Oystercatchers, 35 Lapwing and a 1st winter Kittiwake were seen from New Passage.

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                                                                                          Fulmar, Severn Beach 3.1.12

January 2nd
Much of the same was reported from New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area including the dark-bellied Brent Goose with 12 Shelduck, at least 480 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 3 Mute Swans, 170 Curlew, 200 Lapwing, 600 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, a female Merlin and a Great Crested Grebe (scarce here). The Little Gull and at least 23 Gadwall were reported on the Square Pool at Avonmouth SewageWorks.

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                                                                                  Great Crested Grebe, New Passage 2.1.12

January 1st
Happy New Year to all visitors and a special thanks to those that bother to contribute news and pictures. The first winter Little Gull remained on the Square pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works with at least 19 Tufted Duck, 15 Gadwall, 7 Teal, 2 Wigeon, single Shoveler and Pochard. Combined reports from Northwick Warth included a female Merlin, at least 600 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 50 Curlew, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 350 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 23 Shelduck, single Water Pipit and Rock Pipit. Nine Ringed Plover remained at Severn Beach.
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