SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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Despite the onset of winter and the decrease in hours of daylight, October is a month with the highest number of recorded species, with a grand total of 200. Rarities have included the only records of Black-necked Grebe (1996), Montagu’s Harrier (1991), Long-billed Dowitcher (1977), Lesser Yellowlegs (1984), Red-necked Phalarope (2001), Black Guillemot (1998) and Yellow-browed Warbler (2001). Other national and local rarities recorded include Glossy Ibis (2009), Ring-billed Gull, Spoonbills,Whooper Swans, Roseate Tern, Hooded Crow, Dartford Warbler, Hen Harrier, Ring Ouzel, Mealy Redpoll, Firecrest and Common Crossbill.

October 2012


October 31st
A quiet end to the month with only reports today of 1000 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 60 Oystercatchers, 200 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 14 Lapwing and 18 Curlew in the Northwick Warth area. Two Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck and a Pochard were seen at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach.

October 30th
Combined reports from Northwick Warth included 350 Black-tailed Godwits, 160 Redshank, 4 Knot, 1200 Dunlin, 60 Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 200 Wigeon, 23 Canada Geese, a Greylag and a flyover Brambling. A Red Kite drifted high south west from New Passage at 1pm (a record 8th sighting this year). A Kingfisher, 2 Snipe and a Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                           Kestrel, Aust Warth 30.10.12 © Pete Blanchard

October 29th
Another day with good wader numbers. At least 380 Black-tailed Godwits were seen along Northwick Warth where a Bar-tailed Godwit, 600+ Dunlin, 70 Lapwing, 235 Redshank, 4 Knot, 90 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlew, 300 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 18 Canada Geese, a Greylag, 2 Little Grebes, a Coot and a Brambling were also Seen. A Short-eared Owl showed very well at Aust Warth this afternoon and huge flock of Starlings gave a pre roost display over the Pilning Wetland (viewed from New Passage) before going to roost along New Passage Road. Click on the Starling flock below to see a couple of minutes on You Tube.

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                                                                                 Starlings video still,  New Passage 29.10.12

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                                                                           Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 29.10.12 © Pete Blanchard

October 28th
Combined reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth area produced some impressive numbers. At least 350 Black-tailed Godwits, 600 Dunlin, 150 Turnstones, 80 Redshank, 70 Curlew, 40 Oystercatchers, 450 Wigeon and 90 Teal were seen on the late afternoon tide (helped by disturbance by a fishing match on Aust Warth). Additional reports from here this morning included a Ruff, a Knot, 18 Canada Geese, a Greylag, 2+ Brambling, 2+ Siskin and a few Redwings. Three Gadwall and 2 Tufted Duck were seen on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

October 27th
A cold day following a frosty night. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area in a strong north wind included 230+ Black-tailed Godwits, 70 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, 42 Lapwing, 50 Redshank, 2 Little Grebes, 18 Canada Geese, 140 Wigeon and 60 Teal. A Jack Snipe, 5 Snipe, 45 Redshank, 14 Ringed Plover, a Great Black-backed Gull, 6 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Rock  Pipits and a very late Garden Warbler were reported at Severn Beach this morning and 8 dark-bellied Brent Geese and a 1st winter drake Red-breasted Merganser were seen there late afternoon. Nearby, 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Gadwall were present on the Orchard Pools and a Merlin was seen at Stupp Pill, Chittening Warth. Another Jack Snipe, a Peregrine and a Barn Owl (hunting in the sheep fields at 6pm) were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                     Dark-bellied Brent Geese video still, Severn Beach 27.10.12

October 26th
A cool day with as strong north east wind. Far fewer migrants were seen with just a few small flocks of Chaffinch heading north. A visit to Northwick Warth produced a drake Pintail, 20 Teal, 15 Mallard, 16 Canada Geese, a Greylag, a Little Grebe, 55 Lapwing and 40 Curlew on the Pilning Wetland and 200 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 200 Black-tailed Godwits, 90 Turnstones, 60 Redshank and 50 Oystercatcher on the shore. Another 150 Wigeon, a Merlin, a Raven and 5 Redwing were seen at Aust Warth.

October 25th
Another damp, grey and windier day. Massive numbers of over head migrants were noted throughout the area this morning with the following counted between 08.00-12.00 at New Passage. Most birds were heading north east; 16,000 Chaffinches, 10,000 Starlings, 290+ Siskins, 15 Goldfinch, 9 Brambling, 8 Greenfinch, 3 Bullfinch, 1 Redpoll, 1 Linnet, 11 Fieldfare, 16 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 16 Pied Wagtails, 3 Skylark, 18 Meadow Pipits, 3 Reed Buntings, 2 Jays and the 5th site record of Hawfinch. A Merlin, 70 Oystercatchers, 230 Black-tailed Godwits, 150 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 40 Curlew, 40 Turnstones, 5 Snipe, a Golden Plover, 16 Lapwing, 80 Teal, 200 Wigeon, 18 Canada Geese, a Greylag, a drake Pochard and a pair of Tufted Duck (on the Grebe Pond) with 2 Little Grebes, 3 Ravens and a Kingfisher were also seen in the Northwick Warth area.

October 24th
The north east wind and murky conditions continued and once again produced many overhead migrants flying north east. A one and a half hour sample count at New Passage produced 1800 Chaffinches, 2200 Starlings, 12 Greenfinches, 30 Goldfinches, 74 Siskins, 5 Brambling, 4 Reed Buntings, 2 Grey Wagtails, 20 Meadow Pipits and 2 Swallows. The actual number of birds was far higher with flocks of birds going over all day. Other reports from Northwick Warth included a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull (on the 1st sentry box Pool), 220 Black-tailed Godwits, a Grey Plover, 35 Curlew, 70 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 170 Dunlin, 40 Lapwing, 3 Snipe, 8 Shelduck, 280 Wigeon, 90 Teal, a Kingfisher, a Merlin, 90 Turnstones and a Barn Owl. At least 27 Snipe were flushed from the salt marsh at Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl showed again on Aust Warth late afternoon.

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                                                                                Short-eared Owl video still, Aust Warth 24.10.12

October 23rd
Another cloudy and damp day with a light north east wind. A constant flow of visible migrants was noted throughout the day with most birds heading north or north east. A 2 hour (08.00-10.00) sample count at New Passage produced a Crossbill, 2520 Chaffinches, 1850 Starlings, 36 Bramblings, 28 Siskin, 2 Bullfinch, 6 Linnet, 28 Greenfinch, 3 Redpoll, 5 Reed Bunting, 23 Meadow Pipits, 13 Pied Wagtails, 3 Grey Wagtails, 2 Skylark, 7 Redwing and 4 Fieldfares. Other sightings from the Northwick Warth area included a Greylag Goose, 19 Canada Geese, 210+ Black-tailed Godwits, 70 Redshank, 150 Dunlin, 90 Turnstones, 30 Lapwing, 70 Curlew, 280+ Wigeon, 110 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 2 Ravens, single Kingfisher, Coal Tit and Rock Pipit. A Short-eared Owl, 80 Wigeon, a Snipe, a Raven, a Stonechat and 3 Rock Pipits were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                         Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 23.10.12 © Steve Hale

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                                                                          Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 23.10.12 © Stephen Portlock

October 22nd
A very overcast and damp day. An influx of at least 230 Black-tailed Godwits was seen at Northwick Warth where 60 Curlew, 40 Redshank, 50 Turnstones, 60 Dunlin, 26 Lapwing, a Snipe, 19 Canada Geese, 200+ Wigeon, 90 Teal, 2 Little Grebes and 40 Meadow Pipits were also present. A walk along the sea wall at Severn Beach produced 120 Turnstones, 70 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 5 Redshank, a single Dunlin, 40 Mallard, 5 Shelduck and a male Blackcap. A Short-eared Owl was seen on Aust Warth this afternoon.

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                                                                     Black-tailed Godwits video still, Northwick Warth  22.10.12

October 21st
A foggy morning. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included 70 Black-tailed Godwits, 140 Dunlin, 70 Redshank and a Short-eared Owl with 400+ Chaffinches, 2 Brambling, 8 Siskins and 2 Redpolls flying over. A Snow Bunting flew north east over Chittening Warth where 2 Stonechats were also seen. Sightings from Severn Beach involved an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Raven and a female Blackcap from the sea wall and 4 Stonechats at the Tesco Pool. Two Short-eared Owls, a Barn Owl, a Stonechat, a Redpoll and 8 Swallows were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                  Stonechat, Aust Warth 21.10.12 © Vic Savery

October 20th
Combined reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a Water Rail, 150 Dunlin, 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 60+ Redshank, 200 Teal, 70 Wigeon, 35 Fieldfares, 15 Jays, 4+ Brambling, 2 Siskins, single Rock Pipit and Kingfisher. A Short-eared Owl was seen heading south west past Severn Beach this morning and 2 Short-eared Owls showed well over Aust Warth this afternoon.

October 19th
Two Short-eared Owls showed well again at Aust Warth this morning and evening. A female Merlin, 110 Dunlin, 60+ Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 50 Wigeon and at least 200 Teal were reported from New Passage. A Wheatear and 36 Turnstones were seen at Severn Beach. Our Scilly trip continued today with a visit to St.Agnes where amongst others we had great views of Yellow-browed Warblers, Firecrest, Snow Bunting and Richard’s Pipit. The weather forecast back on Severnside is prolonged easterlies so some good birds may well turn up there soon.

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                                                                                Short-eared Owl Aust Warth 19.10.12 © Rod Holbrook

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                                                                         Short-eared Owl at sunset, Aust Warth 19.10.12 © Vic Savery

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                                                                                    Kestrel, Aust Warth 19.10.12 © Pete Blanchard

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                                                                           Richard’s Pipit, St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly 19.10.12 © Mark Coller

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                                                                              Snow Bunting video still, St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly 19.10.12

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                                                                                 Firecrest video still, St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly 19.10.12

October 18th
The only Severnside reports today involved a Little Owl at Severn Beach and a Short-eared Owl at Aust Warth. Meanwhile a few good birds were still seen by us away on the Isles of Scilly.....

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                                                                        Short-eared Owl Aust Warth 18.10.12 © Rod Holbrook

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                                                               Red-breasted Flycatcher, St. Marys, Isles of Scilly 18.10.12 ©  Mark Coller

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                                                              Ring-necked Duck, St. Marys, Isles of Scilly 18.10.12 ©  Mark Coller

October 17th
Short-eared Owls and a Barn Owl were identified on Aust Warth this evening despite earlier reports of a Long-eared Owl. Meanwhile Team South Glos.have just had Solitary Sandpiper and 3 Ring-necked Ducks on the Isles of Scilly today.

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                                                               Ring-necked Ducks video still, St Marys, Isles of Scilly 17.10.12

October 16th
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 70 Black-tailed Godwits, 15 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, a Peregrine, 400 Teal and 40 Wigeon. Two Short-eared Owls, a Barn Owl and a Peregrine were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                               Short-eared Owl Aust Warth 16.10.12 © Vic Savery

October 15th
A Ruff, 80 Black-tailed Godwits, 130 Redshank, 8 Oystercatchers, 16 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 28 Turnstones and 10 Canada Geese were reported from Northwick Warth. A Raven was seen over Severn Beach this morning and 2 Little Grebes were reported on the pond at Stupp Pill, Chittening Warth. A Barn Owl and 2 Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth this evening. Click here  for some Snipe action on you tube.

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                                                                            Snipe video still, St Marys, Isles of Scilly 15.10.12
                                                        A more obliging bird than the usual Severnside sightings

October 14th
Two Stonechats was seen at Chittening Warth. Three Short-eared Owls were out over Aust Warth this afternoon.

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                                                                     Short-eared Owl Aust Warth 14.10.12 © Rod Holbrook

October 13th
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved at least 1 Bearded Tit, a Little Egret, 77 Black-tailed Godwits, 7 Grey Plover, 5 Knot, 5 Tufted Ducks, a Kingfisher, a Peregrine, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps and 3 Siskins, Two Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth this evening.

October 12th
Reports from the Northwick Warth area included an adult Mediterranean Gull, 24 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Knot, 21 Lapwing, 2 Dunlin, 3 Shoveler, a Greylag, 300+ Teal, 100+ Wigeon, 80 Curlew, 50 Redshank, 2 Swallows, 2 Rock Pipits and a Redpoll. Eighteen Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach on the afternoon high tide. A Barn Owl and a Short-eared Owl were reported at Aust Warth this evening. Our South West excursion continued today and despite the monsoon conditions saw Long-tailed Skua, Solitary Sandpiper and a Hooded Crow. Click here or on the picture below for a couple of minutes of You Tube video of the Solitary Sandpiper.

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                                                                               Barn Owl, Aust Warth 12.10.12 © David Knowles

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                                                                               Barn Owl, Aust Warth 12.10.12 © David Knowles

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                                                                       Solitary Sandpiper video still, Bryher, Isles of Scilly 12.10.12

October 11th
A late report was received for at least 4 Bearded Tits in the Grebe Pond reed bed seen at 07.55 yesterday. Today’s Northwick Warth sightings included 2 Brent Geese, single Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing and Stonechat. At least 40 House Martins and Swallows were seen at Severn Beach. Meanwhile myself and a couple of other South Glos birders in Cornwall today managed to see in ascending size order Firecrest, Yellow-browed Warbler, Paddyfield Warbler and Great White Egret, anyone of which would be good for the Severnside year list.

October 10th
Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included a Little Egret, 3 Grey Plover, just 3 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 21 Lapwing, 50 Oystercatchers, 80 Redshank, 6 Snipe, 2 Wheatears, single female Merlin and Brambling. At least 30 House Martins, 10 Swallows, 3 Chiffchaffs, single Stonechat and Redpoll were seen at Aust Warth this morning and 2 Short-eared Owls were present again early evening. At least 40 Turnstones, 2 Ringed Plover and a drake Tufted Duck were seen from the Severn Beach shore.

October 9th
Another cloudy day with drizzle. A Red Kite was seen heading north over Northwick Warth this morning (this is the record 7th sighting of the year, the first October record, becoming the 200th October species for Severnside). The 2 Bearded Tits remained in the reed bed here and nearby there were 80 Redshank at New Passage. A Raven and at least 45 House Martins were seen at Severn Beach An adult Mediterranean Gull was seen at Severn Beach. Two Short-eared Owls were seen over Aust Warth at 5.30pm.

October 8th
A wet grey day brightened by the reappearance of the 2 Bearded Tits in the Grebe Pond reed bed at Northwick Warth. Other sightings in the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included single Wheatear and Rock Pipit, 15 Snipe, 5 Lapwing and 24 Canada Geese. Additional Bearded Tit pictures can be seen here. The reed bed is easily viewable from the sea wall but wellingtons are essential due to current condition of the path. Please do not enter the wetland area and one of the fences is electrified!

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                                                                        Bearded Tit, Northwick Warth 8.10.12 © Rod Holbrook

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                                                                      Bearded Tit, Northwick Warth 8.10.12 © Rod Holbrook

October 7th
An early morning visit to Northwick Warth produced the pair of Bearded Tits before they flew off north at 09.30, an adult winter Mediterranean Gull, a Curlew Sandpiper, the first Little Stint of the year, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Lapwing, 5 Dunlin, 3 Golden Plover, 70 Redshank, 40 Curlew, 50 Oystercatchers, a Coot, a Merlin, 2 Kestrel, a Kingfisher and visible flyover migrants included 14 Cormorants, 800+ Redwing, 27 Swallows, 25 Jays, 5 Redpolls, 2 Brambling and a Siskin. A male Stonechat was seen at New Passage. At least 40 Turnstones and a Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach. Another Kingfisher and Stonechat were reported at Chittening Warth. A Short-eared Owl was out hunting again over Aust Warth early evening where other sightings included 4 House Martins, single Chiffchaff, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.
A record shot Youtube video of the male Bearded Tit calling can be seen here.

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                                                                       Bearded Tit, Northwick Warth 7.10.12 © Mark Coller

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                                                                          Bearded Tit, Northwick Warth 7.10.12 © Mark Coller

October 6th
A fine day with some good sightings. At least 2 Bearded Tits (including a male) were found this afternoon in the Grebe Pond reed bed at Northwick Warth. This is the first Severnside record since March 2004 and the first to be found in the South Glos part of the Severnside recording area. Other reports from Northwick Warth included an adult winter plumaged Mediterranean Gull, a female Merlin, 2 Knot, 85 Redshank, 55 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 6 Dunlin, 250+ Teal, 100 Wigeon, 250 Black-headed Gulls, a Little Grebe, 5 Wheatears, 80+ Meadow Pipits, a Kingfisher, 5 Buzzard, 2 Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk, 5 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Siskin. Combined sightings from Severn Beach involved a female Merlin, a Knot, 17 Turnstones, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Snipe, 4 Grey Herons, 2 Wheatears and another Kingfisher. A Short-eared Owl was hunting over Aust Warth from 5pm and a Barn Owl appeared at 6.40pm.

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                                                                                 Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 6.10.12

October 5th
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included 200 Golden Plover moving south west, 100 Oystercatchers, 60 Curlew, 45 Redshank, 3 Dunlin, 9 Snipe, a Lapwing, 300+ Teal and a Coot.

October 4th
A  juvenile Marsh Harrier was seen early morning near the pipes at Severn Beach before it flew off east. Reports from New Passage included 2 Little Egrets, 8 Dunlin, 40 Redshank, 250+ Teal, 4 Wigeon and the first Redwing of the autumn. A Short-eared Owl was seen over Aust Warth late morning.

October 3rd
Another breezy day with sunshine and showers. The only report from Severn Beach involved 56 Dunlin and 2 flyover Siskins. Three Wheatears, 40+ Pied Wagtails and 70+ Meadow Pipits were reported from Northwick Warth
and this evening a Short-eared Owl and a Barn Owl started hunting over Aust Warth at 19.05.

October 2nd
A wet and breezy day but still not a great deal to report. At least 380 Teal, 12 Wigeon, 110 Redshank, 30 Turnstones, 60 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlew, a single Dunlin, a hunting male Peregrine, 3 Wheatears, a late Sand Martin and a Rock Pipit were reported from New Passage. A Little Egret, 3 Shelduck, 4 Redshank, a Snipe, 50 Curlew, 2 Rock Pipits and 2 Wheatears were seen at the Severn Beach shore. Two Barn Owls were hunting over Aust Warth at dusk.

October 1st   
A quiet start to the month with just 100 Redshank, 5 Dunlin, 60 Curlew, 40 Oystercatchers, 2 Pintail, 360 Teal, 25 Wigeon and a Wheatear reported from New Passage.
                            
                                                
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