SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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March is a slightly better month than February with a total of 166 species recorded during this month. As each day passes the expectation of an early spring migrant increases, Wheatears usually being seen by mid month along with Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins and possibly Little Ringed Plovers. Rarities have included Black Kite (2010), Avocets, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Hen Harrier and Cetti’s Warbler (2003), Bearded Tit (2004), Great Grey Shrike (2004), Red Kite (2005, 2010), Mandarin (2006) and Siberian Chiffchaff (2007).

March 2012



March 31st
A cooler end to the month. The best bird of the day was a Long-eared Owl accidentally flushed from dense Hawthorn and Elder scrub at Severn Beach. Other reports at Severn Beach included a 1st winter Little Gull with circa 20 Black-headed Gulls, a Canada Goose, 2 Ravens, a Willow Warbler, a Wheatear and at least 4 Swallows. Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included the female Merlin, the 1st winter Little Gull, 35 Shelduck, 40 Teal, 40 Turnstones, 6 Sand Martins, a House Martin and summer plumage Water Pipit.

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                                                                              Wheatear, Severn Beach 31.3.12  © Vic Savery

March 30th
Another good morning with yet another Red Kite, 8 Sand Martins, 2 Swallows, 40 Shelduck and 9 Buzzards at Severn Beach. A steady movement of visible migrants over New Passage included 2 Crossbills, 4 Siskins, 4 Redpoll,100 + Meadow Pipits, 100 Linnets, 80 Goldfinches and 3 Sand Martins all heading north east. Other reports from Northwick Warth included a Coot (first here for over a year), 5 Buzzards, a Little Egret, 2 Canada Geese, 80 Shelduck, 50 Teal, 35 Oystercatchers, 40 Curlew, 30 Redshank and 30 Turnstones. Three Short-eared Owls, single Merlin, Kestrel and Raven were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                        Red Kite, Severn Beach 30.3.12

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                                                                             Red Kite, Severn Beach 30.3.12  © Rod Holbrook

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                                                                                  Merlin, Aust Warth 30.3.12  © Vic Savery

March 29th
The hottest day of the year so far (22°C). Evening reports from Northwick Warth involved 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 30 Redshank,a Lapwing, a Little Egret, 90 Shelduck, 40 Teal, 7 Greylag Geese, 2 Canada Geese and a female Merlin.

March 28th
Another hot day (20°C). Combined sightings from New Passage and Northwick Warth included a pale-bellied Brent Goose, a Little Egret, at least 80 Shelduck, 50 Teal, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 130 Turnstones, 35 Oystercatchers, 20 Curlew, 15 Redshank, 5 Snipe, an adult female Peregrine and 2 Water Pipits. Reports from Severn Beach involved 6 Little Egrets at the Tesco Pool, 2 Ravens, 4 Gadwall and 3 Swallows at the Orchard Pools. A Little Grebe was seen on the Stupp Pill pool at Chittnening Warth. Three Short-eared Owls continued to show well at Aust Warth this afternoon.

March 27th
The dry sunny weather continued. A Bar-tailed Godwit, 40 Redshank, 80 Shelduck, 40 Teal, 2 Canada Geese, 3 Wheatear, a Sand Martin and a Short-eared Owl  were seen at Northwick Warth. Another 2 male Wheatears were found at Chittening Warth this morning. A Red Kite was seen over Severn Beach railway station drifting towards the river at 3 pm and the same or another Red Kite was seen coming off the sheep field at Aust Warth before heading off north at 3.30pm. Another 3 Short-eared Owls showed well at Aust Warth this evening and a Cetti’s Warbler was heard at the square pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                          Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 27.3.12 © Ian White

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                                                                                    Wheatear, Chittening Warth 27.3.12 © Steve Hale

March 26th
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included 12 Mute Swans, 2 Canada Geese, a Greylag Goose, 80 Shelduck, 40 Teal, male and female Merlin, 2 Kingfishers, a Water Rail and flyover migrants including 2 Brambling and 25 Redpoll. Reports from Aust Warth included 3 Short-eared Owls, a male Merlin, 2 Ravens and a Swallow. Another Short-eared Owl was flushed by a dog from the salt marsh at Severn Beach.

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                                                                            Merlin, Northwick Warth 26.3.12 © Richard Bowerman

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                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 26.3.12 © Rod Holbrook

March 25th
Another misty start followed by bright sunshine and a cool breeze. A flock of 17 Little Gulls (12 adults, 4 second summer and 1 first summer from photographs) were seen off New Passage where at least 70 Black-headed Gulls (also heading north east), 4 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 30 Redshank, at least 100 Turnstones, 20 Curlew, 40 Oystercatchers, 3 Shoveler, 2 Wigeon, 34 Shelduck, a Wheatear, a Peregrine, many visible migrants including Redpolls, Siskins, Goldfinches, Meadow Pipits and even a Coal Tit heading over into the north east breeze. The male Little Ringed Plover and female Merlin were seen again on Northwick Warth. Two Ravens flew south over Severn Beach. Two Short-eared Owls were present again at Aust Warth this afternoon.

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                                                              Little Gulls and Black-headed Gull, New Passage 25.3.12

March 24th
A foggy start but warming up to 20°C by early afternoon. Morning highlights from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area included 4 flyover Crossbills, single Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Merlin, Water Pipit and Little Owl, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Dunlin, 120 Turnstones, 25 Redshank, 38 Curlew, 44 Oystercatchers, 22 Teal, 4 Shoveler and 35 Shelduck A female Merlin, 50 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 60 Curlew, 30 Turnstones and a Sand Martin were seen at Severn Beach. There was a steady north east passage of Wood Pigeons, Goldfinches, Siskins and a few Redpolls. Chiffchaffs were singing everywhere. At least 4 Short-eared Owls continued to show very well at Aust Warth this afternoon.
 
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                                                                                    Little Ringed Plover, Northwick Warth 24.3.12

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                                                                                 Redpoll, Aust Warth 24.3.12 © Rod Holbrook

March 23rd
A glorious sunny spring day. Combined morning and evening reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a Red Kite over at 08.10, a female Merlin, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 60 Redshank, 30 Curlew, 60 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 60 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 2 Canada Geese, 10 Chiffchaffs, 2 male Blackcaps, 2 Water Pipits, 6 Redpoll, a Siskin and a male Wheatear. A Red Kite was seen over Aust Warth at 08.20, presumably the bird reported earlier at New Passage. At least 3 Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth later in the day.

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                                                                          Red Kite, Aust Warth 23.3.12 © David Knowles

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                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 23.3.12 © Richard Bowerman

March 22nd
The warmest day of the year so far  (18°C). Sightings from New Passage involved 50 Shelduck, 30 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and at least 70 Redshank. At least 2 Short-eared Owls were showing well at Aust Warth late afternoon. Several Chiffchaffs were singing throughout the area today.

March 21st
Sightings from the New Passage area included 2 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Snipe, just a single Redshank, 30 Curlew, 2 Canada Geese, 60 Shelduck, 40 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 3 Chiffchaffs and 8 Swallows. A Short-eared Owl was seen hunting at Severn Beach near the pipes at 4.30pm, 5 Little Egrets remained nearby at the Tesco pool and another 3 Short-eared Owls showed well on Aust Warth this afternoon.

March 20th
A Merlin, 85 Shelduck, 2 Canada Geese, 40 Oystercatchers, 70 Curlew, at least one Water Pipit and a Wheatear were reported from Northwick Warth. Sightings from Severn Beach included 7 Little Egrets at the Tesco Pool and 4 Chiffchaffs at the Orchard Pools. Single Snipe and Little Grebe were seen at Chittening Warth. The only reports from Aust Warth were of a Peregrine a fly by Siskin and plenty of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.

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                                                                          Little Egrets, Tesco Pool Severn Beach 20.3.12 © Steve Hale

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                                                                              Merlin, Northwick Warth 20.3.12 © Steve Hale

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                                                                              Meadow Pipit, Aust Warth 20.3.12 © Allan Chard

March 19th
A frosty start followed by a sunny dry day. Combined reports from the New Passage area involved a Golden Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Redshank, 20 Oystercatchers, at least 70 Shelduck, 20 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 2 Kingfishers, single Wheatear and Water Pipit. Another Wheatear and 60 Shelduck were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and single Little Egrets were seen at the Tesco Pool and the Orchard Pools. At least 2 Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                     Golden Plover, Northwick Warth 19.3.12 © Vic Savery

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                                                                           Water Pipit, Northwick Warth 19.3.12 © Vic Savery

March 18th
A sunny day with a light, cool north breeze. Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area involved 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Short-eared Owl, 6 Water Pipits, 4 Chiffchaffs, 13 Redwing and at least 5 flyover Siskins. A high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 80 Turnstones, a Ringed plover, 50 Shelduck and a Peregrine. Combined reports from Aust Warth included at least 5 Short-eared Owls, a female Merlin, a Peregrine, 10 Redwing, 2 Stock Doves, displaying Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings.

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                                                                        Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 18.3.12 © Clive Mowforth

March 17th
A Red Kite (only 20th record, all since 2005), at least 4 Short-eared Owls, a female Merlin, 2 Peregrines. 3 Jack Snipe, a Snipe, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Wheatear and 4 Sand Martins were seen at Aust Warth. A Purple Sandpiper, at least 130 Turnstones, 50 Redshank, 15 Dunlin, 53 Oystercatchers, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Shoveler, 30 Teal, 60 Shelduck, 2 Wheatears, a Chiffchaff and a Water Pipit were seen at New Passage. Another Short-eared Owl, 70 Wigeon, 16 Teal, another 3 Shoveler were reported at Severn Beach. A Water Rail and 6 Snipe were present at Chittening Warth.

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                                                                               Red Kite, Aust Warth 17.3.12 © Gary Thoburn

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                                                                              Purple Sandpiper, New Passage 17.3.12 © Vic Savery

March 16th
Combined reports from New Passage included a male Wheatear, a Sand Martin, a flyover Yellowhammer, a singing
Chiffchaff, 2 flyover Siskins, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 90 Redshank, 20 Oystercatchers, 2 Shoveler, 85 Teal, 22 Wigeon and at least 60 Shelduck. Five Little Egrets were seen at the Tesco Pool in Severn Beach. Another male Wheatear, single Short-eared Owl, Merlin, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth.
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                                                                                  Wheatear, Aust Warth 16.3.12 © Allan Chard

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                                                                        Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 16.3.12 © David Knowles

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                                                                    Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 16.3.12 © Richard Bowerman

March 15th
Another foggy start. Reports from Severn Beach included 2 singing Chiffchaffs and a male Blackcap in a garden and 3 Little Egrets at the Tesco Pool. At least 5 Short-eared Owls and a Merlin were present at Aust Warth mid afternoon. A 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull, 3 Shoveler and 30 Redshank were seen from New Passage in a brief late afternoon visit.
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                                                                          Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 15.3.12 © David Knowles

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                                                                                    Merlin, Aust Warth 15.3.12 © David Knowles

March 14th
Reports from Northwick Warth included 2 Golden Plover, 100 Turnstones, 20 Dunlin, 8 Redshank, 52 Shelduck and 3 Canada Geese. Another Canada Goose, 8 Shelduck, single Snipe and Rock Pipit were seen at Chittening Warth. At least 6 Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth this evening with one also showing late morning. Many thanks to Vic Savery for the image below.

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                                                                         Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 14.3.12 © Vic Savery

March 13th
A foggy morning and a grey misty day. A male Stonechat and at least 4 Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth today and another Short-eared Owl and pair of Stonechats were reported further south at Chittening Warth.

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                                                                         Short-eared Owl Aust Warth 13.3.12 © Rod Holbrook

March 12th
Another fine spring day. At least 6 Short-eared Owls were seen from Aust Warth this evening with birds being seen early morning and again late morning, Both male and female Merlins also showed well here today Reports from New Passage involved 53 Shelduck, 35 Oystercatchers,40 Turnstones, 15 Redshank and just 10 Dunlin. Sightings from Severn Beach included 28 Shelduck and a Ringed Plover from the shore at high tide, a Little Egret at the Tesco Pool, single Snipe and Little Grebe at the Orchard Pools and a male Blackcap was still present in a garden.

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                                                                           Short-eared Owls, Aust Warth 12.3.12 © Vic Savery

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                                                                          Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 12.3.12 © Steve Hale

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                                                                              Blackcap, Severn Beach 12.3.12 © Rod Holbrook

March 11th
A foggy morning with nothing reported. A late afternoon visit to Aust Warth produced at least 4 Short-eared Owls hunting at sunset.

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                                                                            Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 11.3.12 © David Knowles

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                                                                        Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 11.3.12 © David Knowles

March 10th
A fine spring day with plenty of sunshine. Three Short-eared Owls, 2 Ravens, single Merlin, Peregrine and Jack Snipe were reported at Aust Warth this morning. Combined reports between New Passage and Aust Warth involved 7 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Knot, 150 Dunlin, 100 Turnstones, 120 Curlew, 80 Oystercatchers, 200 Redshank, 200 Teal, 80 Shelduck, 100 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler and 2 Merlins (male & female). Reports from the shore at Severn Beach included 50 Shelduck, 2 Ringed Plover, 320 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Siskins and 3 Little Egrets remained nearby on the Tesco Pool.

March 9th
An early morning visit to Aust Warth produced 2 Short-eared Owls and a Jack Snipe pushed out by the almost 14 metre high tide. A summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit, a Knot, 75 Redshank, 32 Dunlin, 8 Turnstones, 50 Oystercatchers, 80 Shelduck, 20 Wigeon and 80 Teal were seen early morning from New Passage. Sightings from Severn Beach involved 2 Little Egrets at the Tesco Pool, 4 Gadwall at the Orchard Pools and a female Blackcap in a garden.

March 8th
Combined reports from the New Passage area involved 2 Water Pipits, 30 Redshank, 22 Dunlin, 70 Oystercatchers, 3 Turnstones, 60 Shelduck, 50 Wigeon and 70 Teal. Three Little Egrets were seen on the Tesco Pool in Severn Beach and the same or another 3 Little Egrets were seen from a train at Chittening Warth. At least one Short-eared Owl and a Chiffchaff were reported at Aust Warth this evening.

March 7th
The female Merlin was seen to catch a Pipit at Aust Warth this morning.

March 6th
A frosty morning. Combined reports from New Passage included a Bar-tailed Godwit, 52 Redshank, 68 Oystercatchers, 3 Turnstones, 20 Dunlin, 60 Shelduck, 80 Teal, 90 Wigeon and a Raven. Another 2 Ravens were seen at Chittening Warth.

March 5th
The only reports received involved a female Merlin on Aust Warth and 4 Little Egrets at the Tesco Pool in Severn Beach.

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                                                                                      Pilning Wetland 5.3.12 © John Luke
                                                   An image showing the small wet areas that are now appearing.

March 4th
A cool day with a moderate strength north west wind following a night of torrential rain. A large female Peregrine caused total panic to 60 Shelduck, 50 Teal, 40 Wigeon, 30 Oystercatchers, 35 Redshank, 80 Curlew from windswept New Passage. Another 80 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach. Two Ravens were feeding on fly tipped rubbish at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                    Raven, Aust Warth 4.3.12 © Mike Pruett

March 3rd
A breezy day with sunshine and showers. A flock of 21 Kittiwakes lingered for 20 minutes off the seawall at Severn Beach on the afternoon high tide. It was quiet at New Passage with just 35 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 40 Shelduck, 40 Oystercatchers, 40 Redshank, 80 Curlew and a Water Pipit being seen.

March 2nd
Another foggy day. Combined reports from the New Passage area involved single Bar-tailed Godwit and Knot, 35 Redshank, 100 Teal, 80 Wigeon, 15 Shelduck, 2 Water Pipits and at least 10 flyover Siskins. Two Little Egrets were seen at the Tesco Pool in Severn Beach and a Great Crested Grebe was seen off Chittening Warth. A female Merlin was present again at Aust Warth this morning and a Short-eared Owl eventually showed here at 6.25pm.

March 1st
A foggy morning followed by a warm and sunny day. A late afternoon visit to New Passage produced just 90 Teal, 40 Shelduck, 50 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank and 50 Curlew. A female Blackcap was seen on feeders in a Severn Beach garden. At least 3 Short-eared Owls showed over Aust Warth at dusk.


      
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