SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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April is the second most productive month of the year in the number of species seen. At least one individual of 197 species have been recorded in April. A month when the last of the “winter” birds depart and most “summer” birds arrive. Birds to expect are at least three Tern species, Skuas, “ sylvia” Warblers, Common Redstarts, Whinchats, Yellow Wagtails with the chance of Pied Flycatcher, Grasshopper Warbler, Wood Warbler and Hobby. Rarer sightings include; Stone Curlew (2006), Slavonian Grebe (1989, 2000), Ring-necked Duck (1988), Sabine’s Gull (1990, 1992), Red-rumped Swallow (1988), Willow Tit (1988), Mealy Redpoll (2004) and Long-eared Owl (2006).


April 2012



April 30th
A vast improvement in the weather. A warmer and sunny day with a moderate strength south east breeze produced some good birds. Sightings from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included single Pomarine Skua and Arctic Skua heading upriver prior to 08.00, 23 Bar-tailed Godwits, 11 Whimbrel, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a Greylag Goose, 2 Canada Geese, 2 Ravens, at least 8 Yellow Wagtails, 10 Tree Pipits, 14 Wheatears, 4 Whinchats, a Redstart, single Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat. A Red-throated Diver flew up river past Severn Beach just before 11.00, passing high over the Second Severn Crossing. Other sightings at Severn Beach included 95 “Commic” Terns most of which that were identified as Common Terns, 17 Arctic Terns, just 2 Black-headed Gulls, 17 Bar-tailed Godwits, 11 Whimbrel, 22 Grey Plover, 10 Knot, 20 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, 20 Turnstones, 2 Peregrines, 4 Yellow Wagtails, a Redpoll, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 35 Wheatears (most at the Tesco Pool), a Whinchat and a Short-eared Owl. Another Short-eared Owl, 14 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Cuckoo, at least 4 Lesser Whitethroats and 8 Wheatears were reported at Aust Warth. A steady flow of Swifts and Swallows heading north east was seen throughout the area all day with a few Sand Martins and House Martins as well.

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                                                                                          Redstart, Northwick Warth  30.4.12
 
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                                                                                        Bar-tailed Godwits, Severn Beach 30.4.12

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                                                                                             Grey Plover, Severn Beach 30.4.12

April 29th
An atrocious day weather wise following a night of near gale strength north east wind and torrential rain that continued for most of the day. Five Little Ringed Plovers, a Greenshank, 9 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Turnstones, 2 Dunlin, 40 Shelduck, a drake Gadwall, 12 Swifts, 4 Yellow Wagtails and 3 Wheatear were reported from New Passage. A mixed flock of 30 Dunlin and Ringed Plover, 6 Wheatear and 3 Swifts were seen at Severn Beach.

April 28th
A cold and breezy day. A flyover Little Ringed Plover (headed north east), 13 Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling, 40 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, 15 Wheatears, a single flock of 30 House Martins, and at least 20 Swifts were seen at Severn Beach. Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved single Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit, at least 20 Wheatear, 40 Swifts, 290 House Martins, 100’s of Swallows and Goldfinches heading into the north wind. An Arctic Tern, another 6 Whimbrel, 10 Swifts and a Wheatear were reported from Aust Warth.

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                                                                                         Whimbrel, Severn Beach 28.4.12

April 27th
Some heavy rain showers cleared by mid morning producing a few new migrants. A Cuckoo was heard calling at Severn Beach early morning where sightings later included 3 dark morph Arctic Skuas (heading north east at 11.20), 3 Whimbrel, 22 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover, 4 Gadwall, 4 Black-headed Gulls, a Short-eared Owl, 16 Wheatears, 5 Yellow Wagtails and a Tree Pipit. Several visits to Northwick Warth produced a male Blue-headed Wagtail, 9 Yellow Wagtails, a White Wagtail, at least 34 Wheatears, a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, 11 Swifts, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Sedge Warblers, 2 Tree Pipits, a first summer Mediterranean Gull, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 9 Whimbrel, 3 Common Sandpipers and a steady stream of Swallows with a few Sand Martins and House Martins as well. A late afternoon visit to Aust Warth produced 2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Ravens, single Buzzard (a pale individual), Whimbrel, Little Egret, Wheatear and Lesser Whitethroat.

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                                                                           pale Buzzard, Aust Warth 27.4.12 © Vic Savery

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                                                                                Short-eared Owl, Severn Beach 27.4.12
                                                                       in addition to the Aust birds

April 26th
Another wet day with a moderate breeze. A female Red-breasted Merganser was seen at Severn Beach 8.20 this morning floating up river on the rising tide. Other sightings here included 16 Ringed Plover,18 Dunlin, 4 Whimbrel, 8 Black-headed Gulls, single Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear and Raven. A visit to Northwick Warth in the rain produced 2 Little Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel, 20 Oystercatchers, 6 Gadwall, 6 Wheatears, single Raven and Peregrine. A Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth at 07.00. Another Short-eared Owl was seen near Stupp Pill at Chittening Warth this afternoon.

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                                                                             Little Ringed Plover, Northwick Warth 26.4.12

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                                                                            Red-breasted Merganser, Severn Beach 26.4.12
                             The first here for 2 years.Not quite as close as the LRP, a record shot taken at over 100 metres range

April 25th
A very unsettled wet day following a very wet night. Just 10 Ringed Plover, single Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin, 45 Black-headed Gulls and 7 Wheatears were reported at Severn Beach this morning and a single Whimbrel and 30 Turnstones this evening. Two Little Ringed Plover, a Cuckoo, 3 Yellow Wagtails, a Peregrine and a Raven were seen at Northwick Warth. Two Whimbrel and 2 Gadwall were reported at Aust Warth. Hundreds of Terns were seen further up the estuary at Slimbridge this morning so they must have sneaked by when no one was looking!

April 24th
Two Little Ringed Plover were seen from New Passage. Four Short-eared Owls and a Little Egret were seen at Aust Warth this evening. Another Short-eared Owl and a Raven were seen at Severn Beach. Three Sedge Warblers and 3 Reed Warblers were reported at Chittening Warth.

April 23rd
A Turtle Dove was a surprise find at Severn Beach this morning as it dropped out of the rain and landed on the sea wall railings before heading off north. A Short-eared Owl showed very well over Aust Warth at 4.30pm. Nine Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Common Sandpipers and a Wheatear were seen at Severn Beach this evening.

April 22nd
The first Severnside record of Red-throated Pipit was found on Northwick Warth in front of the Wardens building this morning before it flew of north and appeared to land on the salt marsh. Other sightings from her included 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Whimbrel, 32 Turnstones, a Little Egret, yet another fly over Red Kite heading north east (7th record of this spring), 2 Ravens, 4 Wheatears and 4 Tree Pipits. Three Short-eared Owls, a Whimbrel and 2 Gadwall remained at Aust Warth. A Peregrine was seen to catch a Grey Plover 300 metres from the shore, over open water from Severn Beach. It then flew upriver towards the Second Severn Crossing carrying the prey while being harassed by a Lesser Black-backed Gull. After a couple of minutes it was all too much for the falcon and it dropped it’s kill into the water to save itself from also getting wet. A Kittiwake, 26 Shelduck, 10 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover, at least 2 Whitethroats and 2 Ravens were also reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                       Red-throated Pipit, Northwick Warth 22.4.12 © John Martin

April 21st
A breezy day with sunshine and heavy rain showers. Three Short-eared Owls remained at Aust Warth where 2 Whimbrel. 5 Curlew, 26 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall and a Raven were also seen. A Little Ringed Plover, 6 Whimbrel, 9 Curlew, 22 Turnstones, 18 Oystercatchers, single Redshank and Lapwing, 60 Shelduck, 2 Wheatears, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and 2 Whitethroats. A Red Kite flew over the sea wall at Severn Beach at 2.15pm and then continued north west across the river. Other sightings at Severn Beach involved 3 Whitethroats in the railway scrub and at least 11 windblown Kittiwakes on the evening tide. A Brent Goose, 3 Gadwall and a Moorhen brood were seen at Chittening Warth.

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                                                                      Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 21.4.12 © Rod Holbrook

April 20th
Three Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth this morning and 3 Whimbrel were seen there this evening. The only reports from Severn Beach were a Whitethroat near the railway station and at least 35 Kittiwakes from the shore on the evening tide. At least 90 Shelduck, 11 Teal, 8 Redshank, 12 Turnstones, a Dunlin, 11 Wheatears and a Whitethroat were seen in the Northwick Warth area.

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                                                                         Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 20.4.12 © Rod Holbrook

April 19th
Another day of sunshine, heavy showers with the occasional roll of thunder. Two Short-eared Owls, 2 Ravens and a female Redstart were seen at Aust Warth this morning. A Whimbrel, a Lesser Whitethroat and 9 Wheatears were reported at Northwick Warth and combined reports from Severn Beach included a Grey Plover, a Lapwing, 4 Ringed Plover, 4 Teal, 70 Shelduck, single Whitethroat, Reed Warbler and Raven.

April 18th
A day of sunshine amd showers. A Grasshopper Warbler and Whitethroat were heard from the railway platform at Severn Beach this morning. A Lesser Whitethroat singing below Aust Cliff this evening.

April 17th
A windy day with a west wind. An early morning visit to New Passage produced 5 summer plumage Black-tailed Godwits, 15 Redshank, 20 Teal, 30 Shelduck, 2 Black-headed Gulls, at least 42 Wheatears and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler. A Red Kite was seen over Aust Warth where at least 50 Kittiwakes were seen this afternoon. Another 3 Kittiwakes, 25 Redshank, 15 Turnstones, single Whitethroat and Raven were reported at Severn Beach.

April 16th
A Short-eared Owl and 5 Wheatears were seen Aust Warth this morning. Just 2 Wheatears were reported from Northwick Warth. Reports from Severn Beach included 2 Reed Warblers and a Whitethroat at the Orchard Pools, 3 Little Egrets at the Tesco Pool and a Raven and 15 Kittiwakes from the shore.

April 15th
A sunny day with a moderate strength cool north east breeze. A female Ring Ouzel was seen in fields in the Aust Cliff/Aust Warth area where at least 5 Redstarts and 2 Short-eared Owls remained. Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area involved a Greenshank, 3 “Commic” Terns, a singing Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Wheatears and a White Wagtail.
Just 30 Shelduck, 6 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 2 Black-headed Gulls and a Peregrine were reported from the shore at Severn Beach and nearby a Reed Warbler was present at the Orchard Pools. A Little Grebe, 4 Ravens, a Tree Pipit and 4 chick Coot brood were reported from Chittening Warth.

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                                                                                   Redstart, Aust Warth  Sheep fields 15.4.12

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                                                                          Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 15.4.12 © Matt Burch

April 14th
A mainly dry day with a cold north east breeze. Combined reports from the New Passage area involved single Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Grey Plover, 7 Canada Geese, 2 Gadwall, 3 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 6 Black-headed Gulls, 12 House Martins, 5 Sand Martins, a male Redstart, 8 Wheatears, a male Whitethroat, a White Wagtail, 7 Yellow Wagtails, 11 Tree Pipits and a Kingfisher. Another 8 Canada Geese, 10 Wheatears, 7 Redstarts (5 males), a Sedge Warbler and 3 Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth. Nine Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 2 Black-headed Gulls, another 16 Wheatears, 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Sedge Warbler, 3 House Martins and 2 Ravens were seen at Severn Beach and another male Redstart and a Grasshopper Warbler were reported at Chittening Warth. There was a steady passage of hundreds of Goldfinches and Meadow Pipits and Swallows heading north east for most of the day.

April 13th
Combined reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a third year Glaucous Gull (flew east at 08.15), 23 Teal, 45 Shelduck, a Whimbrel, 11 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, 5 Wheatears, a House Martin and a steady light passage of Swallows and Sand Martins. Three Short-eared Owls and a female Merlin remained at Aust Warth where Sand Martins and Swallows were also seen this evening. Another 2 male Wheatears were present on the shore at Severn Beach, a Raven flew over the Orchard Pools and 2 Little Egrets remained on the Tesco Pool.

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                                                                          Wheatear, Northwick Warth 13.4.12 © Steve Hale

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                                                                       Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 13.4.12 © Rod Holbrook

April 12th
Another day with heavy rain showers. A female Eider was seen off Severn Beach today. Three Short-eared Owls continued to show at Aust Warth this morning. A Little Egret and a Cetti’s Warbler remained near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 12.4.12 © Allan Chard

April 11th
A day of sunshine and heavy showers. Combined reports from Severn Beach included 15 Shelduck, single Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler, at least 7 singing Blackcaps, 10 singing Chiffchaffs, 5 Willow Warblers and 7 Swallows. Four Short-eared Owls, 2 Wheatears, 9 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins and a Willow Warbler were seen at Aust Warth this evening. Another Short-eared Owl flew south west past New Passage this evening. A Little Egret and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

April 10th
A breezy and wet start followed by sunshine. A flock of at least 150 Kittiwakes were seen off Severn Beach over the morning high tide and nearby the first Reed Warbler of the year, 2 Tufted Duck, A Little Grebe, a Coot brood and a Swallow were reported at the Orchard Pools. Three Short-eared Owls, a Peregrine and 5 Swallows were seen at Aust Warth. At least 130 Shelduck were seen between New Passage and Aust Warth. There was some excitement elsewhere in the  “Avon” recording area when a Black-winged Stilt was found at Chew Valley Lake this morning. It would have looked nicer on Severnside.

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                                                                      Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 10.4.12 © Vic Savery

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                                                                          Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 10.4.12 © Rod Holbrook

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                                                                            Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 10.4.12 © Andy Jordan

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                                                                             Black-winged Stilt, Chew Valley Lake 10.4.12

April 9th
Rain from dawn until dusk with a moderate strength south west wind. Four Short-eared Owls and a female Merlin were seen at Aust Warth this morning. Combined reports from Northwick Warth involved a Golden Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin, 27 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 57 Redshank, 80 Turnstones, 2 Gadwall, 80 Shelduck and 23 Teal. Four Siskins were seen in a Severn Beach garden.

April 8th
A 14.2 metre high tide covered much of the salt marsh today pushing 4 Short-eared Owls out of their roost at Aust Warth where a Peregrine, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 50 Curlew were also seen. At least 80 Shelduck, 52 Teal, 2 Gadwall, a Wigeon, single Little Ringed Plover and Grey Plover, 54 Redshank, 30 Turnstones, another 40 Curlew, 40 Oystercatchers, a female Sparrowhawk and female Merlin were reported on Northwick Warth.

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                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 8.4.12 ©  David Knowles

April 7th
Three Short-eared Owls showed well at Aust Warth where 16 roosting Bar-tailed Godwits, 25 Curlew, 2 Ravens, 3 Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, single Fieldfare, Swallow and male Stonechat were also present. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area involved 17 Bar-tailed Godwits, 55 Redshank, 35 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 2 Canada Geese, 30 Teal, a Wigeon, a Red-legged Partridge, female Merlin, 5 Wheatear, 2 Swallows and 2 Willow Warblers. At least 90 Shelduck and 3 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach this evening. Another 2 Ravens were seen over Chittening Warth.

April 6th
A frosty dawn. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included a Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Redshank, 20 Curlew, 32 Oystercatchers, 20 Shelduck, 18 Teal, 5 Pintail, 2 Canada Geese, a Peregrine, a Raven, 2 Swallows and 8 Wheatears. A morning high tide visit to Severn Beach produced another 90 Shelduck, 7 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin, a White Wagtail, 2 Willow Warblers and a Peregrine.At least 20 Shelduck and 50 Curlew were seen at Aust Warth this morning and 3 Short-eared Owls showed again this afternoon.

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                                                                       Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 6.4.12 © Nigel Bleaken

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                                                                   Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 6.4.12 © Andy Jordan

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                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 6.4.12 © Vic Savery
                                                               
April 5th
Another day with a cold north east wind. Some wader migration today with 9 Knot, 5 Grey Plover, 14 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin on the evening high tide at Severn Beach. A Little Egret was seen flying over Kingsweston Lane near Avonmouth Sewage Works. At least 3 Short-eared Owls showed well at Aust Warth this evening.

April 4th
A cold day with a strong biting north east wind. Reports from Severn Beach included an early singing Sedge Warbler, 2 Swallows and 2 Willow Warblers at the Orchard Pools and a pair of Stonechats at the Tesco Pool. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard again at the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

April 3rd
A Short-eared Owl and Merlin were seen early morning at Aust Warth. Sightings from Severn Beach included a flock of at least 40 Kittiwakes, 5 Shoveler and 6 Wigeon on the afternoon high tide. A female Merlin, 60 Shelduck, 10 Teal, 35 Oystercatchers and 40 Curlew were seen ay Northwick Warth this evening.

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                                                                            Little Egret, Severn Beach 2.4.12  © Vic Savery

April 2nd
Another frosty start followed by sunshine and a cool breeze. Sightings from the New Passage area involved just 60 Shelduck, 30 Teal, 2 Canada Geese, 33 Oystercatchers, 46 Redshank and 2 Grey Wagtails. Reports from Severn Beach included a late Fieldfare at the Orchard Pools, 4 Little Egrets at the Tesco Pool and another 20 Shelduck and just 2 Ringed Plover from the shore. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard at the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works. A Little Egret was seen at Aust Warth this evening but no sign of any Owls by 6.15pm.
                                                                   
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                                                      Blue Snow Geese & Canada Geese, Northwick Warth 1.4.12  © Ian Roberts

April 1st
A frosty dawn followed by a dry and sunny day. A Willow Warbler was singing in the railway scrub at Severn Beach. Combined reports from Northwick Warth involved 2 female Merlins, 5 Little Egrets, 60 Shelduck, 20 Teal, 2 “blue” Snow Geese, 5 Canada Geese, a Coot, 30 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 15 Redshank and 4 Snipe. Two Short-eared Owls were reported on Aust Warth at 6.30 pm.
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