SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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November is still a month worth looking for birds. It has a respectable total of 172 species recorded during the month with a few surprise birds. Remarkable records include; Britain’s first Black-bellied Storm Petrel and Britain’s 5th Pacific Diver just 2 days apart in 2009. Other national and local rarities include Great Northern Diver (1984), Ring-necked Duck (2000), Smew (2010), White-rumped Sandpiper (1998), Long-tailed Skua (1994), Woodlark, Shorelark, Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting, Cory’s Shearwater (2000), Whooper Swan (1983) and Richard’s Pipit (1993), Dartford Warbler (2005) and Waxwing (2005). A Merlin or two can usually be seen perched on posts anywhere between New Passage and Aust Warth. Short-eared Owls can often be seen hunting at dusk over the salt marsh at Aust Warth. Seabirds seen in South West gales include Leach’s Petrel, Pomarine Skua and Little Auk.

November 2012



November 30th
A frosty and dry end to the month. A brief early morning visit to New Passage produced 400+ Dunlin, 250+ Wigeon, 60 Teal, 40 Oystercatchers and 60 Lapwing. At least 20 Waxwings were present at Avonmouth today.

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                                                                                     Waxwing, Avonmouth 30.11.12 © Chris Jones

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                                                                                         Waxwings, Avonmouth 30.11.12 © Mike Pruett

November 29th
A cold day following a frosty dawn. Combined sightings from the New Passage area included 8 Canada Geese, 270 Wigeon, 65 Teal, 400 Dunlin, 93 Curlew, 52 Redshank, 68 Lapwing, 34 Oystercatchers and 3 Snipe. A Water Rail and 6 Tufted Duck were seen on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. Two Peregrines and a Short-eared Owl (at 4.40pm) were seen at Aust Warth. Another 42 Teal, 3 Shoveler, a Gadwall and 10 Tufted Ducks were reported on the Square Pool at Avonmouth sewage works and once again 11 Waxwings remained just outside the recording area in Avonmouth Way, Avonmouth.

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                                                                                                  New Passage 29.11.12 © Steve Hale

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                                                                                             Waxwing, Avonmouth 29.11.12 © Steve Hale

November 28th
Nothing was reported today.

November 27th
The usual 8 Canada Geese, 170 Wigeon, 60 Oystercatchers, 40 Turnstones, 80 Curlew and 90 Lapwing were reported from a cold windswept Northwick Warth. Thirty Snipe were flushed from the salt marsh at Severn Beach. Reports from the Square pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works included 10 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler and 17 Tufted Duck. Another national influx of Waxwings is occurring and once again a small flock have been found just a few miles outside the Severnside recording area in Avonmouth at Avonmouth Way.

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                                                                                 Waxwings, Avonmouth 27.11.12 © Steve Hale

November 26th
Reports from the Northwick Warth area included 8 Canada Geese, 180 Wigeon, 65 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 700 Dunlin, 24 Oystercatchers, 56 Curlew, 73 Redshank and 25 Turnstones. Two Water Pipits and 5 Snipe were seen in the Severn Beach salt marsh and nearby 2 Water Rails, 9 Coot and a Tufted Duck were reported at the Orchard Pools. A female Goldeneye was found on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

November 25th
A day of rain showers following a very wet and windy night. An afternoon visit to the Pilning Wetland produced 140 Curlew, 120 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 20 Dunlin, an Oystercatcher, a mixed flock of 100 Black-headed, Common and Herring Gulls and 2 Little Grebes. Another 65 Oystercatchers, 200 Dunlin and a Water Pipit were seen nearby on the Northwick Warth shore. A raft of at least 100 Common Scoter were present off Severn Beach that repeatedly floated up to the Severn Crossing and flew back down river on the afternoon rising tide. Two Peregrines, 3 Ravens, 2 Kestrels and 20 Wigeon were seen at Aust Warth this morning.

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                                                                                                Pilning Wetlands, 25.11.12
                              The view looking north east from the warden’s balcony. The puddles at the back held plenty of waders and gulls.

November 24th
Another wet day. Sightings from the Pilning Wetland at Northwick Warth included a Water Pipit with 10 Meadow Pipits, a Little Egret, 8 Canada Geese, 3 Tufted Duck, 60+ Teal, 30 Mallard, 2 Mute Swans, 2 Little Grebes, a Coot, 180 Lapwing, 90 Curlew, 15 Snipe, 2 Dunlin and an Oystercatcher and another 300 Dunlin, 100 Redshank, 160 Wigeon and 7 Shelduck were seen on salt marsh and shore. A Kingfisher, 2 Redpoll and 5 Fieldfare were seen at New Passage. Four dark-bellied Brent Geese, 10 Shelduck, 30 Mallard, 53 Snipe and 80 Dunlin were seen from the shore at Severn Beach late afternoon.

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                                                                              Brent Geese video still, Severn Beach 24.11.12

November 23rd
Sightings from Northwick Warth included 115 Lapwing, 130 Curlew, a Dunlin, 32 Teal, 4 Shelduck, 18 Mallard, 2 Little Grebes and a Sparrowhawk on the Wetlands, 300+ Wigeon, 10 Redshank and 300 Dunlin on the salt marsh and a Kingfisher at New Passage.

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                                                                                Pilning Wetlands, 23.11.12 © John Luke
                                                                Quite a few wet areas are forming now following the recent heavy rain.

November 22nd
A wet and increasingly windy day. At least 20 Kittiwakes, 5 Common Gulls. 23 Ringed Plover, 200 Turnstones and 5 Dunlin were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and nearby a drake Shoveler and 4 Tufted Duck were found on the Orchard Pools. Another 150 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, 80 Curlew, 8 Canada Geese, 200 Wigeon, 60 Teal and 3 Shelduck were seen from New Passage.

November 21st
A very wet day with some large puddles appearing in coastal fields. Combined sightings from Northwick Warth included 8 Canada Geese, 300 Wigeon, 12 Tufted Duck, 10 Teal, 4 Mute Swans, 3 Little Grebes, 150 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, 140 Curlew and 60 Lapwing.

November 20th
A wet and breezy day. At least 25 Common Scoter were seen in flight from Severn Beach.

November 19th
Sightings from New Passage included a Little Egret, 300+ Dunlin, 100+ Curlew, 100+ Redshank, 20 Lapwing, 30 Oystercatchers, 10 Turnstones, a Peregrine, 3 Shelduck and the usual Wigeon, Teal and Canada Geese.

November 18th
A frosty dawn followed by a sunny windless day. A Little Egret, 1000 Dunlin, 170 Curlew, 40 Oystercatchers, 90 Redshank, 50 Lapwing, a Peregrine, 6 Canada Geese, a drake Tufted Duck, 2 Shelduck, 300+ Wigeon, 20 Teal and a Water Pipit were seen in the Northwick Warth area and a Jack Snipe, 15 Snipe, 100 Turnstones and 15 Ringed Plover were reported from Severn Beach.

November 17th
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 1000 Dunlin, 140+ Redshank, 130 Lapwing, 200+ Curlew, 60 Oystercatchers, 20 Turnstones, 2 Little Grebes, 250 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 2 Shelduck and 6 Canada Geese.

November 16th
A Jack Snipe, 12 Snipe, 15 Ringed Plover and a Purple Sandpiper were seen from the shore at Severn Beach this morning and nearby there were 6 Coot, a Little Grebe and 2 Tufted Ducks at the Orchard Pools and 25 Mallard and 2 Stonechats at the Tesco Pool. Combined reports from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area included 2 Little Egrets, a Great Crested Grebe, 39 Teal, 29 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard, 14 Shoveler, 26 Gadwall, 13 Mallard, 23 Coot and a Cetti’s Warbler.

November 15th
A foggy, cold and quiet day. Just 120 Redshank, 60 Dunlin, 20 Lapwing, 30 Oystercatchers and 2 Shelduck were seen from New Passage.

November 14th
Three Little Egrets were seen flying over the VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage works at 7.30 this morning and 5 Snow Buntings remained on the shingle at Severn Beach. Sightings from New Passage included 120 Redshank, 60 Dunlin, 10 Lapwing, 8 Canada Geese, 100 Wigeon and 20 Teal.

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                                                                            Snow Bunting, Severn Beach 14.11.12 © Rod Holbrook

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                                                                        5 Snow Buntings, Severn Beach 14.11.12 © Chris Jones

November 13th
There were 5 Snow Buntings again at Severn Beach. A Red Kite drifted off high south west from Avonmouth Sewage Works early afternoon.

November 12th
Four Snow Buntings remained on the shingle at Severn Beach. A Merlin and 8 Canada Geese were seen at New Passage.

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Five Snow Buntings continued to attract a steady stream of visitors all day at Severn Beach where a Purple Sandpiper, 150+ Turnstones, 12 Dunlin, 30+ Snipe, 20 Shelduck, 4 Rock Pipits and 3 flyover Redpolls were also seen from the shore. Nearby a Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck and 7 Coot were were seen at the Orchard Pools. Reports from Northwick Warth included 5 Canada Geese, 140 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 50 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 190 Curlew, 30 Lapwing and 2 Little Grebes. A Short-eared Owl was seen on Aust Warth at dusk.

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                                                                         Snow Bunting, Severn Beach 11.11.12 © Mark Coller

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                                                                       Snow Buntings, Severn Beach 11.11.12 © Stephen Portlock

November 10th
The Severn Beach Snow Bunting flock increased to 6 birds. Other reports at Severn Beach included a Water Rail in scrub near the pipes, 30 Snipe, 24 Shelduck, 3 Rock Pipits and 15 Linnets in the salt marsh and a Purple Sandpiper with just 4 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover and 200 Turnstones at the shaft beach. A Little Egret, at least 240 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 140 Curlew, 90 Lapwing, 120 Dunlin, 100 Redshank and a Little Grebe were seen in the Northwick Warth area. Yet more Snow Bunting video here.

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                                                                                      Snow Bunting, Severn Beach 10.11.12 © Vic Savery

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                                                                                       Snow Bunting, Severn Beach 10.11.12 © Andy Jordan

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                                                                                              Snipe, Severn Beach 10.11.12 © Andy Jordan

November 9th
There were 5 Snow Buntings at Severn Beach and showed well most of the day on the main shingle beach where other sightings included a Brambling, 20 Linnets, 35+ Snipe, 180 Turnstones, 15 Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin and 23 Shelduck and a Tawny Owl was heard again at 3am. A Purple Sandpiper, another 45 Turnstones, 50 Redshank, 130 Wigeon, 15 Teal and 5 Canada Geese were seen at New Passage and nearby there were 80 Lapwings, 70 Curlew and 2 Little Grebes on Northwick Warth. Click on the picture video still below to see some You Tube video of the Purple Sandpiper.

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                                                                              Purple Sandpiper video still, New Passage 9.11.12

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                                                                            Snow Bunting, Severn Beach 9.11.12 © Allan Chard

November 8th
A Little Egret, 150 Redshank, 80 Lapwing, 100 Curlew, 40 Dunlin, 30 Turnstones, 2 Coot, 2 Little Grebes, 120 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 4 Shelduck and a Kingfisher were seen in the Northwick Warth area this morning. Two Snow Buntings showed well on the edge of the salt marsh at at Severn Beach where a Water Pipit, 3 Rock Pipits, 5 Skylark, 20 Linnets, a flock of 50 Snipe and 16 Shelduck, A Short-eared Owl was seen being mobbed by a Kestrel at Aust Warth at 1pm. A Tawny Owl was heard in Severn Beach at 3am. Click on the picture video still below to see some You Tube video of the Snow Buntings.

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                                                                                  Snow Buntings video still, Severn Beach 8.11.12

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                                                                             Snow Bunting, Severn Beach 8.11.12 © Rod Holbrook

November 7th
Just the usual Wigeon and Redshank flocks were reported today at New Passage.

November 6th
A Short-eared Owl was seen on Aust Warth at 5pm.

November 5th
A Purple Sandpiper (only the 2nd record this year) was found with 200 Turnstones at Severn Beach where 18 Ringed Plover and 22 Dunlin were also present. Fewer birds were seen at Northwick Warth with just 300 Dunlin, 18 Curlew, 60 Redshank, 65 Wigeon and 5 Teal reported at high tide. A very late and not surprisingly first November record of Willow Warbler was photographed in a Severn Beach garden. A Short-eared Owl was hunting again at dusk Aust Warth.

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                                                                         Purple Sandpiper, Severn Beach 5.11.12 © Tony Scott
                                  A roosting bird found on the Shaft beach, 150 metres down river from the 2nd Severn crossing.

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                                                    Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 5.11.12 © Alan Hooper/Julia Eckley

November 4th
Much of the same today with 1700 Dunlin, 140 Curlew, 80 Lapwing, 100 Redshank, 30 Turnstones, 60 Oystercatchers, 200 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 3 Shelduck, 18 Canada Geese, a Greylag, 7 Mute Swans, a Coot, 3 Little Grebes (one on Grebe pond and 2 on 1st sentry box pool), 2 Ravens, single Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel at Northwick Warth.

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                                                                        Curlew, Pilning Wetland on Northwick Warth 4.11.12

November 3rd
A Little Egret, a Knot, at least 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 2000+ Dunlin, 140 Curlew, 90 Lapwing, 120 Redshank, 60 Oystercatchers, 40 Turnstones, 220 Wigeon and 40 Teal were seen at Northwick Warth. Another 100 Turnstones and 12 Ringed Plover were reported at Severn Beach and a Jack Snipe and 2 Snipe were found at Chittening Warth.

November 2nd
Combined reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included a Short-eared Owl heading north, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 140 Curlew, 1000 Dunlin, 150 Redshank, 80 Lapwing, 50 Oystercatchers, 14 Turnstones, 250 Wigeon, 20 Canada Geese, 5 Teal, 2 Mute Swans, a Little Grebe and a late Swallow. Two Brent Geese and 14 Ringed Plover were seen from the shore at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                  Brent Geese, Severn Beach 2.11.12 © Steve Hale

November 1st
The 1000 Dunlin and 200+ Wigeon were still off New Passage this morning.
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