SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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May is the fourth most productive month of the year with at least one individual of 184 species being seen. The summer migrants continue to move through including Garganey, Hobby, Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, more Terns and Skuas with the chance of Pomarine. “Small” wader numbers should rise during the month with Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Sanderling and the chance of a Curlew Sandpiper or Little Stint. Rarer records include Subalpine Warbler (2004), Bee-eater (2007), Spoonbill (1998), Honey Buzzard (1991,2011), Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Kentish Plover (2004), Buff-breasted Sandpiper (1990), Temminck’s Stint (2004), Broad-billed Sandpiper (1988), Dotterel (2011), Franklin’s Gull (1984), Long-tailed Skua, Sabine’s Gull, Roseate Tern (1990) and White-winged Black Tern (1990).


May 2012

May 31st
A cooler and breezy end to the month. Three Common Scoters (drake and 2 females) were seen floating down river off Severn Beach on the the falling tide this evening. Sightings from Northwick Warth included 17 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin and 57 Shelduck.

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                                                                                Common Scoters, Severn Beach 31.5.12

May 30th
An evening visit to New Passage produced just 4 Curlew, 8 Oystercatchers, a Lapwing and 50 Shelduck.

May 29th
No reports were received.

May 28th
Combined reports from the New Passage area included a Common Sandpiper, 8 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 10 Curlew, 8 Oystercatchers, 70 Shelduck and 24 Mallard. Another 12 Ringed Plover and 5 Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach. Nine Canada Geese were seen early morning over Aust Warth.

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                                                                                  Buzzard, Aust Warth 28.5.12  © Vic Savery

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                                                                       Northwick Warth from the Wardens lodge balcony 28.5.12

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                                                           The view towards the Grebe pond from the Wardens lodge balcony 28.5.12

May 27th
The heat wave continued. Reports from the New Passage area included a Little Egret, 3 Tufted Duck, 3 Gadwall, 2 Canada Geese, 3 Dunlin, 3 Curlew, single Raven, Spotted Flycatcher, Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear and Sand Martin. At least 16 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin and a singing Garden Warbler were seen at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                       Ringed Plovers, Severn Beach 27.5.12

May 26th
Another hot and sunny day. Combined reports from the New Passage/ Northwick  Warth area included 3 Little Egrets, 60 Shelduck, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 6 Curlew, 15 Oystercatchers, 8 Ringed Plover, 8 Black-headed Gulls and a Hobby. Sightings from Severn Beach involved 16 Sanderling, 2 Knot, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 6 Turnstones, a Grey Plover, 47 Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin, a Common Tern, 10 Black-headed Gulls and a Garden Warbler.

May 25th
An even hotter day (28°C) with a north east breeze. A Little Egret was seen again on Northwick Warth and a Grey Plover was at Severn Beach.

May 24th
A warm (26°C) day. A Little Egret flew over Aust Warth early morning and just 10 Black-headed Gulls, 8 Ringed Plover and 6 Turnstones were seen on the evening high tide at Severn Beach.

May 23rd
A warm and sunny day with just a Little Egret reported among the cattle on Northwick Warth.

May 22nd
The only report received was of 60 Shelduck,10 Oystercatchers and 4 Curlew from New Passage.

May 21st
Just 40 Shelduck, 4 Mute Swans and 6 Curlew were reported from Northwick Warth. An evening visit to Severn Beach produced a Grey Plover and a mobile flock of 80 Dunlin.

May 20th
A cool, grey morning with sunshine in the afternoon. Another grounded Hobby was found sitting on the bank of Chestle Pill at New Passage this morning. Other reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a single Common Sandpiper and Little Egret, 80 Shelduck and a reasonable late passage of Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins. Combined reports from Severn Beach involved 2 Common Sandpipers, a Sanderling, a Grey Plover, a mixed flock of 100 Dunlin and Ringed Plover (mainly Dunlin) and a Garden Warbler.

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                                                                                           Hobby, New Passage  20.5.12

May 19th
An early morning visit to New Passage produced just 3 Canada Geese, 34 Shelduck, a Common Sandpiper, 24 Oystercatchers and a movement of Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins heading into the light north east wind. A Ruddy Shelduck flew south with a Shelduck past Severn Beach just before 9am. This evening 3 Sanderling, 215 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover and a Whimbrel were seen from Severn Beach.

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                                                                Sanderling, Severn Beach 19.5.12

May 18th
A Great Crested Grebe, 10 Ringed Plover and 24 Dunlin were seen from Severn Beach on the evening tide.

May 17th
A Whimbrel, 34 Dunlin, 22 Ringed Plover and 4 Black-headed Gulls were seen at Severn Beach this evening. Two Canada Geese and 50 Shelduck were reported from New Passage.

May 16th
A Curlew Sandpiper, at least 5 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew and a mixed flock of 100 Dunlin and Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach on the early evening high tide. An evening visit to Northwick Warth produced just 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, a Whimbrel and 60 Shelduck.

May 15th
An afternoon high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 50 Ringed Plover and 40 Dunlin. Four Little Ringed Plover remained on view from New Passage and 4 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 6 Pochard, 2 Gadwall and a Wheatear were reported on Northwick Warth.

May 14th
A Spoonbill was seen flying into Severnside airspace over Aust Warth from the Old Aust Service Station building at about 2 pm. Combined sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 4 Little Ringed Plover, 6 Ringed Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Sanderling, 50 Dunlin, 10 Oystercatchers and a Wheatear.

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                                                                         Little Ringed Plover, Northwick Warth 14.5.12  © Steve Hale

May 13th
Another fine day day. An afternoon visit to Severn Beach produced a Curlew Sandpiper, 27 Ringed Plover and 26 Dunlin. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included 4 Little Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Wheatears and 3 Yellow Wagtails.

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                                                              Curlew Sandpiper, Severn Beach 13.5.12
                         I was out experimenting this afternoon with my Sony Handycam. This is a cropped video grab (not digiscoped)
                              Filmed at 50 metre range on a piece of kit the size of a Mars Bar and only costing 250 quid. Saves carrying around
                              thousands of pounds worth of cumbersome camera equipment.

May 12th
A dry and sunny day. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 10 Knot,
3 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew, 10 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover, 30 Oystercatchers, 36 Shelduck, 2 Greylag Geese, 2 Canada Geese, 10 Wheatears and a Yellowhammer.

May 11th
A high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 17 Ringed Plover, 12 Dunlin and 3 Turnstones and nearby a Little Egret and 2 Wheatears were reported at the Tesco Pool. Six Little Ringed Plovers, 7 Ringed Plover,11 Dunlin, 5 Whimbrel, a drake Gadwall, 11 Wheatears and a Yellow Wagtail were seen on Northwick Warth.

May 10th
Another wet day with a southerly breeze. Sightings from Severn Beach included a dark morph Arctic Skua heading up river at 11.15, 3 adult Gannets, 5 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 14 Ringed Plover, single Dunlin, Wheatear and Garden Warbler. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 6 Little Ringed Plover, single Little Egret, Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper, 10 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, 30 Shelduck and 4 Wheatears.

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                                                                                 Wheatear, Severn Beach 10.5.12  © Allan Chard

May 9th
Another day of rain showers. Sightings from Northwick Warth included 4 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 10 Dunlin, 9 Ringed Plover, 21 Oystercatchers, 20 Turnstones, 36 Shelduck, a male Whinchat, 7 Wheatears and 3 Yellow Wagtails. A female Peregrine and 2 Wheatears were seen from the sea wall at Severn Beach.

May 8th
A Hobby roosted again on the sea wall rocks at Severn Beach early morning and nearby a drake Garganey was found on the Tesco Pool at the Western Approach Distribution Park. Other reports from Severn Beach included 4 Eider (2 drakes), a Little Egret, 4 Whimbrel. 14 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Tree Pipit. A Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, 10 Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover, 8 Wheatear and 10 Yellow Wagtails were seen on Northwick Warth. A Hobby was watched hunting over Aust Warth this morning where 2 Whimbrel and a Wheatear were also present..

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                                                                               Hobby, Severn Beach 8.5.12  © Richard Bowerman

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                                                                              Garganey, Tesco Pool, Severn Beach 8.5.12  © Steve Hale

May 7th
A wet day with some torrential rain showers. Combined sightings from the Northwick Warth included a Hobby heading north east this morning, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 10 Bar-tailed Godwits, 15 Oystercatchers, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Yellow Wagtails and 7 Wheatears. A Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, a Turnstone, 30 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin, 4 first summer Mediterranean Gulls, 44 Black-headed Gulls, a Yellow Wagtail and another Hobby (this evening) were seen at Severn Beach.

May 6th
A Hobby was found roosting on the rocky sea defences at Severn Beach early morning where sightings included 30 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover, 4 Whimbrel, 26 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and a Peregrine from the shore and a different adult Hobby, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler were seen at the Orchard Pools. At least 40 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, 5 Common Sandpipers, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Dunlin, at least 30 Wheatears, 3 Whinchat, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler were present on Northwick Warth. Combined reports from Chittening Warth and Seabank power station pools included a Garden Warbler, 7 Sedge Warblers, 3 Reed Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and a Wheatear. A Hobby (similar plumage to the roosting Severn Beach individual), a Short-eared Owl, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers (one drake), at least 5 Wheatears, single Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail and Lesser Whitethroat were seen at Aust Warth. Click on the Hobby images below for a couple of minutes of HD Video of the bird on Youtube.

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                                                                  Hobby, Severn Beach 6.5.12

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                                                                            Hobby, Severn Beach 6.5.12  © Mark Coller

May 5th
An Iceland Gull was reported by 2 independent observers flying south from New Passage early this morning.  Other sightings from the Northwick Warth area early morning included 80 Wheatears, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Tree Pipits and 4 Yellow Wagtails. A combination of reports from Severn Beach on the morning and evening tides produced 20 “Commic” Terns, 73 Black-headed Gulls, 25 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Knot, 5 Whimbrel, 40 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin, 16 Wheatears, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, a Whinchat, a Raven and a steady stream of Swifts and Swallows. Two Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, single Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler were seen at Chittening Warth. Two of the Ringed Plover at Severn Beach were colour ringed; Red and Yellow rings on left leg, green and metal on right leg and the other white above red on left leg and green and metal on the right leg. I can’t find projects on Euring with these combinations so does any one know where to report them?

May 4th
Sightings from Severn Beach included 3 Curlew Sandpipers, a Greenshank, 130 Bar-tailed Godwits, 9 Whimbrel, 20 Turnstones, 35 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin, 3 Little Egrets, 2 Black Terns, an adult Kittiwake, a Shag, 28 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Gadwall, a Red-legged Partridge, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 12 Wheatears and a Redpoll. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 115 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Common Sandpipers, 10 Whimbrel, 3 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 35 Black-headed Gulls, a Tufted Duck, 3 Whinchats, a female Black Redstart, 20 Wheatears, 24 Yellow Wagtails, 9 Tree Pipits, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Reed Warblers, 20 Redpolls and a Siskin. Another Common Sandpiper and 2 Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                            Curlew Sandpiper, Severn Beach 4.5.12

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                                                            Curlew Sandpiper, Severn Beach 4.5.12

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                                                              Black Redstart, Northwick Warth 4.5.12

May 3rd
A cold, overcast and damp day. Combined sightings from Severn Beach on the morning and late afternoon visits involved at least 290 Bar-tailed Godwits, 12 Whimbrel, 38 Grey Plover, 100 Knot, at least 3 Curlew Sandpipers, 35 Dunlin, 30 Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Arctic Skuas (pale and dark morphs north east at 3.15pm), 51 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Gadwall, a Hobby, 37 Wheatears, 2 Whinchat and 2 Lesser Whtethroats. Another 4 Common Sandpipers, 90 Bar-tailed Godwits, 40 Knot, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 22 Dunlin, 6 Curlew, single Little Egret, Grey Plover and Whimbrel, 14 Wheatears, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Yellow Wagtails and a Reed Warbler were reported from Northwick Warth. Two Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth.There was a steady movement of Swifts heading low north east with at least 300 counted today.

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                                                             Curlew Sandpipers, Severn Beach 3.5.12

May 2nd
A Short-eared Owl, 2 Little Egrets, 38 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 Whinchats were seen at Aust Warth and nearby a Wood Warbler were was singing at Old Passage/Aust Cliff. Another singing Wood Warbler was found near the Sewage Works at New Passage early morning. Other reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a drake Red-breasted Merganser, a Great Crested Grebe, a Little Egret, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 70 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Sanderling, 13 Dunlin, a Whimbrel, a Turtle Dove, a Cuckoo, 48 Yellow Wagtails, 30 flyover Tree Pipits, 15 Siskin, 2 Whinchats, 4 Wheatears, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler and a steady overhead passage of Goldfinches, Swallows and Swifts. Combined reports from Severn Beach included a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull, a dark morph Arctic Skua, 2 Little Egrets, a record flock of 30 Greenshank (most of which landed on the shore before heading off east), 3 Grey Plover, 44 Knot, 7 Whimbrel, 70+ Bar-tailed Godwits, 35 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover, 11 Black-headed Gulls, a Peregrine, 11 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, single Redpoll, Raven and Redstart. Chew Valley Lake once again provided a welcome addition to the list of many Avon birders this evening when news of a Squacco Heron was received.

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                                                             Greenshank and Knot, Severn Beach 2.5.12

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                                                                 Wood Warbler, Old Passage/Aust Cliff 2.5.12  © Gary Thoburn

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                                                                    Squacco Heron, Chew Valley Lake 2.5.12  © Gary Thoburn
                                      Another great shot by Gary of a local rarity, the first County record since 1977

May 1st
A miserable wet start to the day but warm and dry by mid afternoon. Another memorable day when the first Severnside record of Laughing Gull was found, an adult bird that flew upriver past Severn Beach early afternoon. Other sightings from the shore at Severn Beach involved at least 83 Black Terns, at least 350 “Commic Terns”, 14 Black-headed Gulls, 53 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Grey Plover, 6 Whimbrel, a Knot, 75 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 2 Gadwall, a Little Egret, 8 Yellow Wagtails, 8 Wheatear, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, a Tree Pipit and a stunning passage of Swallows (at least 200 being counted per minute early afternoon, 10000+ being seen heading north east) with good numbers of Swifts and House Martins among them.

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                                                               Pied Flycatcher, Severn Beach 1.5.12

A male Pied Flycatcher was found at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach this afternoon. Combined reports from Northwick Warth involved 5 Little Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper, a late Snipe, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Gadwall, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Whinchats, 9 Wheatear, 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and a Lesser Whitethroat.
    









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