SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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February is generally another quiet month with only a total of 155 species recorded. Gales in this month have produced Storm and Leach’s Petrel, Pomarine Skua and all four records of Puffin. Other rarities seen include Spoonbill (2004), Bittern (2011), Avocets, Ring-billed Gull (1987), Great Grey Shrike (1999,2000,2004), Shorelark (2004) and Cirl Bunting (1943).

February 2012



February 29th
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included a Bar-tailed Godwit, 180 Dunlin, 24 Redshank, 80 Curlew, 40 Wigeon, 35 Teal, 2 Water Pipits (in front of 2nd sentry box), at least 50 Meadow Pipits, 20 Pied Wagtails,
a Kingfisher and a fly over Redpoll. A Little Egret, 13 Gadwall and 4 Canada Geese were seen at Severn Beach.

February 28th
A Water Pipit, 6 Snipe and a Peregrine were reported at Northwick Warth. At least 12 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, 9 Moorhens and a Chiffchaff were reported at the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works. Two Short-eared Owls were seen in darkness at Aust Warth this evening.

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                                                                 Chiffchaff, Avonmouth Sewage Works 28.2.12 © Vic Savery

February 27th
A female Merlin was seen again at Aust Warth this morning. Two Little Egrets were reported on the Tesco Pool at Severn Beach. At least 143 Shelduck were counted between Chittening Warth and Northwick Warth.

February 26th
A frosty start followed by another fine sunny day. A Great Crested Grebe, 3 Gadwall, 46 Shelduck, a single Ringed Plover and a female Blackcap were seen early morning at Severn Beach. A female Merlin was seen early morning at Aust Warth and at least 2 Short-eared Owls eventually showed in the evening. Four Water Pipits were seen on the salt marsh near the 2nd sentry box on Northwick Warth. A Kingfisher, a Cetti’s Warbler and a Chiffchaff were reported at the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 25th
A warm and sunny day. An early morning visit to the shore at Severn Beach produced at least 60 Shelduck and Cape Shelduck like bird, a drake Pintail, 2 drake Shoveler, 5 Gadwall, 15 Teal, 6 Cormorants, 3 Jack Snipe, 80 Curlew, 20 Oystercatchers, 2 Rock Pipits, 4 flyover Siskins, a Peregrine and a male Blackcap. A record number of 7 Short-eared Owls were flushed on Aust Warth where other sighting included another Jack Snipe, 60 Teal, 30 Redshank and a Raven. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included a female Merlin, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 20 Turnstones, 250 Dunlin, 30 Lapwing, 90 Curlew, 50 Oystercatchers, 140 Wigeon, 40 Shelduck,70 Teal and 3 Water Pipits.

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                                                                                Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 25.2.12

February 24th
A brief afternoon low tide visit to New Passage produced just 240 Wigeon, 60 Teal and 20 Shelduck.

February 23rd
A misty, grey morning with a high spring tide. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included a Short-eared Owl flushed from long grass near the flash, 500 Dunlin, 90 Curlew, 20 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 68 Oystercatchers, 180 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 60 Shelduck, a Pochard on the river, 20 Pied Wagtails, 30 Meadow Pipits and 2 fly over Siskins. This evening many thousands of Starlings including a white individual performed well over New Passage and the Northwick Warth. Another 20 Shelduck, 9 Pochard and a Peregrine were seen from the shore at Severn Beach this morning and a pair of Blackcaps were seen in a garden. Another 2 Short-eared Owls were seen this evening at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                 Short-eared Owl, Northwick Warth 23.2.12

February 22nd
Two Little Grebes remained on the Stupp Pill pond at Chittening Warth and a Little Egret was reported nearby in a ditch on the coast road near ICI.

February 21st
At least 2 Water Pipits were reported again at New Passage this afternoon. A female Blackcap was feeding again in a Severn Beach garden.

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                                                                     Blackcap, Severn Beach 21.2.12 © Mike Pruett

February 20th
A mild, dry and quiet day. A Black-tailed Godwit, 700 Dunlin, 50 Oystercatchers, 300 Wigeon and 30 Shelduck were seen from New Passage and a female Merlin was present on the north end of Northwick Warth. Reports from Severn Beach involved 17 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Duck at the Orchard Pools and a Stonechat at the Tesco Pool. Two Little Grebes were seen on the Stupp Pill pond at Chittening Warth and at least 5 Ravens were seen over Aust Warth.

February 19th
A Little Egret and 40 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach. Reports from the New Passage area involved 2 Canada Geese, 20 Shelduck, 300+ Wigeon, 40 Teal, 30 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 30 Redshank, 120 Dunlin and a female Sparrowhawk. A late afternoon visit to the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works produced 27 Gadwall, 17 Shoveler, 2 Pochard and 20 Tufted Duck. A female Merlin, single Short-eared Owl (4-5pm), Peregrine and Raven were seen at Aust Warth.

February 18th
A breezy and wet day. The Little Gull and a flyover Sandwich Tern were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works. Just 40 Shelduck, 60 Dunlin and 20 Turnstones were reported from Severn Beach,

February 17th
The usual 240 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 500 Dunlin, 60 Oystercatchers, 110 Curlew, a Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk were seen ay New Passage. Sightings from Severn Beach involved 60 Shelduck, 8 Gadwall, 8 Ringed Plover and 100 Dunlin from the shore and a female Blackcap in a garden. Five Short-eared Owls, a female Merlin and 4 Golden Plover were seen at Aust Warth this morning.

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                                                                                        Wigeon, New Passage 17.2.12

February 16th
The usual 400 Wigeon, 80 Teal and 500 Dunlin were seen from New Passage. Reports from Severn Beach involved 18 Gadwall and 4 Tufted Duck Orchard Pools, another 2 Gadwall and 2 Ravens at shore and a male Blackcap in a garden. At least one Short-eared Owl eventually showed as darkness fell at Aust Warth.

February 15th
A mild day. A Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Peregrines and 17 Pied Wagtails were reported from Northwick Warth. The Little Gull and a Chiffchaff were reported from Avonmouth Sewage Works. A Short-eared Owl showed just after dusk at Aust Warth.

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                                                                               Sparrowhawk, Severn Beach 15.2.12 © Rod Holbrook

February 14th
The usual 400+ Wigeon, 80 Teal, 15 Shelduck, 500 Dunlin and 16 Pied Wagtails were seen in the New Passage area.
Eight Snipe, a Jack Snipe and a Water Pipit were reported from Chittening Warth and a female Merlin and a Peregrine were seen again at Aust Warth.

February 13th
A frost free day. Two Short-eared Owls were seen to go to roost on Aust Warth at 7am and 2 Ravens were seen later. Combined reports from the New Passage area included a 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Knot, a Golden Plover, at least 1000 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, at least 415 Wigeon, 18 Shelduck, 45 Teal, 6 Gadwall and 5 Water Pipits. Two Redpolls were seen at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach and nearby 2 Stonechats remained at the Tesco Pool. A near summer plumage Mediterranean Gull was found on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works late afternoon.

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                                                                               Stonechat, Severn Beach 13.2.12 © Steve Hale

February 12th
A less cold day. A visit to New Passage produced 400 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 30 Shelduck, a Pochard, 500 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 50 Turnstones, 120 Lapwing, 40 Curlew and 50 Oystercatchers. A female Goldeneye, another 30 Shelduck and 80 Turnstones were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and the female Blackcap remained in a garden here. A female Merlin, a Peregrine, 2 Ravens and 3 Short-eared Owls (eventually showed at dusk) were seen at Aust Warth. The Little Gull, 54 Gadwall and 40 Tufted Duck were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 11th
A bright and sunny day after a very cold (-6°C) night. A morning high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 11 Gadwall, 40 Shelduck, 7 Ringed Plover, 70 Turnstones, 600 Dunlin, 50 Oystercatchers, 40 Redshank, 110 Curlew, a Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe and 6 Rock Pipits from the shore and a female Blackcap remained on garden feeders. At least 800 Wigeon, 80 Teal, another 30 Shelduck, 1000 Dunlin, 170 Lapwing, a Golden Plover, 40 Redshank, 50 Turnstones, 40 Oystercatchers were seen between New Passage and Aust Warth. A female Merlin and a Raven were seen at Aust Warth. The 1st winter Little Gull, at least 85 Teal, 20 Tufted Duck, 7 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler and 2 Little Grebes were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works,

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                                                                                       Jack Snipe, Severn Beach 11.2.12

February 10th
A Water Pipit, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and at least 680 Wigeon were seen from New Passage. A female Blackcap was seen in a another Severn Beach garden.

February 9th
Two Short-eared Owls were seen to go to roost on Aust Warth at 7am. The female Merlin was seen chasing Dunlin early morning at Aust Warth and Northwick Warth. An adult Peregrine was seen unsuccessfully trying to catch a Bar-tailed Godwit off New Passage. A Whooper Swan was reported calling in flight at 09.30 off Severn Beach (initially up river before returning back south). Another female Blackcap was seen in a Severn Beach garden. The 1st winter Little Gull was reported again mid afternoon on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 8th
Another very cold day. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved a female Merlin, 6 Canada Geese, 70 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 40 Oystercatchers, 250 Dunlin, 50 Curlew, 10 Redshank and a Raven. The 1st winter Little Gull was reported again on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works. A female Blackcap was seen again in a Severn Beach garden.

February 7th
Two Avocets were seen from the seawall at Severn Beach at midday. At least 80 Teal, 12 Shoveler, 39 Tufted Duck, 10 Gadwall, 7 Pochard, 2 Little Grebes, a Cetti’s Warbler and a Chiffchaff were reported at the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 6th
A rise in temperature today with a slight thaw. Two Bar-tailed Godwits, 52 Curlew, 300 Dunlin, 17 Redshank, 8 Turnstones, 350 Wigeon and 35 Teal were reported from New Passage. At least 90 Teal, 15 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 24 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebes, a Kingfisher and 2 Chiffchaffs were seen at the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 5th
A very icy start with frozen overnight rain. An early morning visit to New Passage produced a calling Snow Bunting that was seen to circle the shingle beach before finally heading off north east. Other sightings here involved 500+ Wigeon, 80 Teal, 25 Shelduck, 250 Lapwing, at least 1000 Dunlin and 30 Redshank. A female Blackcap remained in a Severn Beach garden and the 1st winter Little Gull was showing well again on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works through the metal gate.

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                                                                         Little Gull, Avonmouth Sewage Works 5.2.12 © Allan Chard

February 4th
Another icy start after a very cold night. An early report of a Mediterranean Gull on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage works where the 1st winter Little Gull was reported early afternoon. Reports from the New Passage area involved 400 Wigeon. 70 Teal, 20 Shelduck, 4 Gadwall, a Tufted Duck, 60 Lapwing, a Golden Plover, 800 Dunlin, 80 Curlew, 5 Snipe, a Water Pipit and 17 Song Thrush. An afternoon visit to the shore at Severn Beach in a snow shower produced a Black-tailed Godwit, 300 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 80 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 40 Turnstones, 2 Ringed Plover, 10 Gadwall, 10 Wigeon, 40 Shelduck, 20 Skylark and 3 Rock Pipits. Other Severn Beach reports involved 2 Stonechats at the Tesco Pool and male and female Blackcaps in gardens. Single Water Rail and Jack Snipe were reported at Chittening Warth.


February 3rd
A bitterly cold and bright day following a -8°C night. Two Bitterns were a surprise find on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works where a 1st winter Little Gull, 140 Teal, 40 Tufted Duck, 10 Gadwall, 14 Shoveler, a Little Grebe and Cetti’s Warbler were also present. A Water Rail was found at Stupp Pill on Chittening Warth. A visit to Northwick Warth produced 600 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 20 Shelduck, 20 Golden Plover, 15 Redshank, 40 Lapwing, 80 Curlew, 150 Dunlin, a Snipe, 18 Skylarks, a Raven, a Water Pipit and the unusual sight of at least 12 Song Thrushes, 8 Blackbirds and 2 Robins hopping about in the saltmarsh lloking for food. Another 300 Dunlin, 20 Redshank, 30 Shelduck, 18 Gadwall and a Peregrine were seen at Severn Beach. A Merlin and a Short-eared Owl were seen again at Aust Warth late afternoon.

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                                                                             Bittern, Avonmouth Sewage Works 3.2.12 © Allan Chard

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                                                                                 Little Gull, Avonmouth Sewage Works 3.2.12

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                                                                                   Little Gull, Avonmouth Sewage Works 3.2.12

February 2nd
A -5°C dawn. Just 150 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 30 Shelduck, single Raven and Sparrowhawk were reported from New Passage this morning. An influx of 130 Teal and a Redshank were seen on the ice free square pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works. Two Short-eared Owls were eventually seen as darkness fell at Aust Warth this evening.

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                                                                              Sunset from Aust Warth 1.2.12  © Clive Mowforth

February 1st
Another bitterly cold day with a biting north east wind. A brief visit to New Passage in eye watering conditions produced just the usual Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck. A female Merlin was seen at Aust Warth this morning and a Short-eared Owl eventually appeared here just as it became dark. A Water Rail and 6 Gadwall were seen at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach. A 1st winter Little Gull, 16 Gadwall, 52 Teal, 9 Shoveler, 21 Tufted Duck and 2 Pochard were reported on the square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.
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