SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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December is one of the quietest months with only 157 species recorded during the month. It can be a good month for wildfowl with the chance of Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander and Ruddy Duck if inland waters freeze or some fly by Bewick’s Swans. A good selection of seabirds have occurred in December gales including Black-throated and Great Northern Divers, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk, Grey Phalarope and Pomarine Skua. Other rarities have included Glaucous Gull, Waxwing (2010) and in the winters of 1940 & 1941, Cirl Bunting.


December 2012


December 31st
A wet,windy and dismal end to the year. A Guillemot was seen drifting up river on the rising tide and was later retrieved in an exhausted condition from the shaft beach and taken into overnight care. A Purple Sandpiper, at least 100 Turnstones, 8 Ringed Plover and 30 Curlews were also seen at Severn Beach. An afternoon visit to New Passage produced the usual 12 Canada Geese, 38 Shelduck, 180 Teal, 40 Wigeon, 200+ Curlew, 250 Dunlin, 50 Oystercatchers, 25 Redshank, 120 Lapwing and 10 Turnstones.

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                                                                                  Guillemot, Severn Beach 31.12.12 © Andy Jordan

December 30th
Another wet and windy day. An adult Mediterranean Gull, 60 Kittiwakes and a flock of 9 Grey Herons flying west were seen at Severn Beach this morning. Two Jack Snipe were flushed at Aust Warth.

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                                                                     Mediterranean Gull, Severn Beach 30.12.12 © Andy Jordan

December 29th
A very wet day. An adult Mediterranean Gull seen again at New Passage where 12 Canada Geese, 5 Shoveler, 260 Teal, 90 Wigeon, 120+ Common Gulls, a Peregrine, 120 Curlew and 30 Redshank were also reported. Five Kittiwakes were seen from Severn Beach this morning.

December 28th
An adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Knot and the usual 12 Canada Geese, 38 Shelduck, 80 Teal and 120 Wigeon were reported from New Passage.

December 27th
A brief late afternoon visit to New Passage produced 40 Oystercatchers, 30 Turnstones, 90 Lapwing, 110 Dunlin, 12 Canada Geese, 40 Shelduck, 60 Teal and 90 Wigeon.

December 26th
The only reports received were of a Short-eared Owl, 12 Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe and a Stonechat at Aust Warth.

December 25th
A brief visit to New Passage produced 12 Canada Geese, 130 Teal, 30 Wigeon, 40 Shelduck, 80 Lapwing, 200+ Curlew, 10 Redshank and 70 Dunlin. Another 5 Shelduck, 30 Turnstones and 16 Common Gulls were seen at Severn Beach. A Great Crested Grebe was reported on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 24th
The rain continued to fall today. The only reports received were of a Short-eared Owl, 9 Jack Snipe, a Snipe and 2 Rock Pipits at Aust Warth and 12 Canada Geese and 80 Lapwing at Northwick Warth. There were 64 Turnstones, 6 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin roosting on the shaft beach at Severn Beach.

December 23rd
After another very wet night, reports from Northwick Warth involved 9 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans, 140 Teal, 46 Shelduck, 110 Wigeon, 63 Oystercatchers, 200+ Curlew, 60 Lapwing, 12 Redshank, just 30 Dunlin, 400+ Black-headed Gulls, 40+ Common Gulls, a Water Pipit and 70 Meadow Pipits. Sightings from Severn Beach included a flock of 30 Kittiwakes, a Sanderling, 13 Ringed Plovers, 60 Turnstones and 10 Dunlin.

December 22nd
A very wet day but at least the wetland pools at Northwick Warth continued to grow. Sightings from here included the usual 9 Canada Geese, 29 Shelduck, 80 Teal, 120 Wigeon, 70 Dunlin, 10 Redshank, 80 Lapwing, 240 Curlew, an impressive 500 Black-headed Gulls with 40+ Common Gulls.

December 21st
Combined reports from Northwick Warth involved 9 Canada Geese, 250+ Wigeon, 50+ Teal, 29 Shelduck, 117 Lapwing, 201 Curlew, 70 Dunlin, 18 Redshank, 400 Black-headed Gulls, 31 Common Gulls, 50+ Meadow Pipits, a male Sparrowhawk and a flyover Siskin. A Water Rail, 2 Gadwall  and 5 Tufted Duck were reported at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach.

December 20th
Another wet day and no “patch”reports received but Mike Pruett kindly sent me his Youtube video of Waxwings seen today in Chepstow just a few minutes flight time from Aust Warth. It seems all you need to attract them is a good kerbside puddle. See here.

December 19th
A wet day. A morning visit to Northwick Warth produced at least one Water Pipit, 40 Meadow Pipits, 200 Dunlin, 109 Lapwing, 164 Curlew, 5 Snipe, 20 Redshank, 4 Canada Geese, 3 Tufted Duck, 29 Shelduck, 40 Teal and 350+ Wigeon with most of the waders being seen on the Pilning Wetland. At least 19 Snipe, 2 Jack Snipe and 5 Rock Pipits were seen in the Severn Beach salt marsh.

December 18th
An adult Mediterranean Gull, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 8 Canada Geese, 370 Wigeon, 4 Tufted Duck, a Little Egret, 81 Lapwing, 187 Curlew, 27 Turnstones, 105 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, a Raven and 64 Meadow Pipits were seen in the Northwick Warth area. Another 48 Wigeon, 36 Teal, 45 Dunlin, 8 Curlew and 15 Redshank were seen at Aust Warth. A Water Rail, 2 Gadwall and 4 Tufted Duck were reported on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

December 17th
A male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was the star find at New Passage where a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 8 Canada Geese,  2 Mute Swans, 400+ Wigeon, 140 Curlew, 110 Lapwing, 90 Oystercatchers, 43 Redshank, a Golden Plover, 600+ Dunlin, a Snipe and a Peregrine were also seen.

December 16th
Much like yesterday there was a good variety and number of birds at Northwick Warth with many birds moving to and from the freshwater Wetlands. Sightings included 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 150 Lapwing, 120 Oystercatchers (high number for here), 120 Redshank, 240 Curlew, 40 Turnstones, 1600 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 8 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans, 400+ Wigeon, 180 Teal, 20 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, a Water Pipit, 50 Meadow Pipits and a male Sparrowhawk. Another 40 Turnstones, 50 Curlew, 70 Redshank, 4 Jack Snipe, a Snipe, 2 Gadwall, 26 Shelduck, a Sparrowhawk and 4 Rock Pipits were seen from Severn Beach. A Grey Plover, a Water Rail, female Peregrine and a pair of Stonechats were reported at Aust Warth.

December 15th
A day of Sunshine and showers following a 14 metre early morning high tide. A morning visit to Northwick Warth produced a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 8 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans, 18 Shelduck, 270 Wigeon, 190 Teal, 2000+ Dunlin (1800 on wetlands), 240 Curlew, 220 Lapwing, 60 Redshank, 20 Turnstones, 75 Oystercatchers, a Golden Plover, a male Sparrowhawk and 2 flyover Siskins. A female Blackcap was seen again in a Severn Beach garden.

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                                                                       Waders and Gulls video still, Pilning Wetland 15.12.12
                     Many hundreds of birds were roosting and feeding on the freshwater wetlands on Northwick Warth this morning.

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                                                     Dark-bellied Brent Goose and Canada Geese video still, New Passage 15.12.12

December 14th
The only reports received were of 2 Blackcaps visiting a Severn Beach garden and 18 Tufted Ducks on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 13th
Another -2°C start to the day. The only report received was from Chittening Warth where 3 Jack Snipe, 40 Snipe, 17 Oystercatchers, 23 Gadwall, 35 Teal, 30 Mallard, 6 Shelduck, 6 Wigeon and a Peregrine were seen.

December 12th
A bitterly cold day again. An afternoon visit to Northwick Warth produced at least 400 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 8 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans, 20 Black-tailed Godwits, 600+ Dunlin, 35 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, 20 Turnstones, 40 Redshank, 20 Lapwing, a female Merlin, a Water Pipit, 50 Meadow Pipits, a fly over Siskin and 2 Fieldfares. Another 150 Wigeon, 180 Dunlin, 2 Stonechats amd a Peregrine were seen at Aust Warth. A female Blackcap was feeding on apples in a Severn Beach garden. The cold weather produced an influx of ducks onto the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works including 10 Gadwall. 70+ Teal, 5 Pochard, a Shoveler and 33 Tufted Duck.

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                                                                                        Water Pipit, Northwick Warth  12.12.12

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                                                                                 Black-tailed Godwits, Northwick Warth  12.12.12   

December 11th
A -3°C start to the day with day time temperature struggling to get above zero. The only report from New Passage involved 8 Canada Geese, 125 Dunlin, 4 Snipe, 35 Meadow Pipits, a Rock Pipit, 2 Mistle Thrushes and a Siskin. A Water Rail, 2 Jack Snipe and 64 Snipe were reported at Chittening Warth. Ten Gadwall, 43 Teal, 12 Shoveler and 23 Tufted Duck were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

December 10th
Another icy dawn. Reports from the Aust Warth area included 9 Jack Snipe, 15 Snipe and 2 Peregrines. The usual 8 Canada Geese, 135 Lapwing and 85 Dunlin were seen at Northwick Warth. At least 24 Tufted Duck and 20 Teal were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works. A Woodcock was seen over a garden at dusk in Severn Beach.

December 9th
Once again most reports were from the Northwick Warth area and involved the usual 8 Canada Geese, 6 Mute Swans, 15 Shelduck, 50 Teal, 35 Wigeon, 2 Grey Plover, 140 Curlew, 180 Lapwing, 50 Dunlin, 20 Redshank, 15 Turnstones, 40 Oystercatchers, 45+ Common Gulls, 2 Grey Herons and 1st winter Kittiwake. Another 5 Redshank, 9 Curlew, 120 Wigeon and a Rock Pipit were seen at Aust Warth.

December 8th
A sunny and calm day after another icy night. Combined reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area involved an adult Mediterranean Gull, 350 Black-headed Gulls, 70 Common Gulls, 8 Canada Geese, 20 Shelduck, 80 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 200 Lapwing, 150 Dunlin (on the wetland flood), 140 Curlew, 12 Turnstones, 2 Snipe, 20 Redshank, a Peregrine, a Water Pipit, 40 Meadow Pipits, a Coal Tit and a Black Redstart. An early afternoon visit to Severn Beach produced a Water Rail, a Snipe, 16 Turnstones, 35 Oystercatchers, 90 Curlew, 28 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 40 Mallard, 10 Wigeon, 8 Teal, at least 10 Rock Pipits, 16 Linnets and a Peregrine. At least 140 Wigeon were seen at Aust Warth. Two Barn Owls were seen along the A403 coast road at 17.10 near Northwick Warth.

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                                                                                 Black Redstart, New Passage  8.12.12   
                                  
December 7th
Another quiet day with just 8 Canada Geese, 20 Shelduck, 55 Teal, 40 Oystercatchers, 145 Dunlin, 97 Curlew and 82 Lapwing seen from a very wind swept New Passage.

December 6th
A cold and frosty(-3°C) dawn. The only report received from Northwick Warth included 4 Mute Swans, 9 Canada Geese, 110 Wigeon, 45 Teal, 5 Gadwall, 160 Lapwing, 90+ Curlew, 220 Dunlin, 9 Redshank and 40 Meadow Pipits. A  Peregrine was seen at Aust Warth.

December 5th
The first Lesser Spotted Woodpecker for 10 years was found in Little Green Lane in Severn Beach early afternoon. A late afternoon visit to New Passage produced 200 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, 40 Curlew, 150 Wigeon, 60 Teal and 8 Canada Geese. A Little Grebe was seen on the pool by the 1st sentry box on Northwick Warth.

December 4th
No reports were received today.

December 3rd
The usual sightings from Northwick Warth involved 8 Canada Geese, 140 Wigeon, 15 Teal, 245 Dunlin, 85 Redshank, 95 Curlew and 115 Lapwing. Six Gadwall and 10 Tufted Ducks were seen on the square pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works and another 2 Gadwall and a Tufted Duck were reported on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

December 2nd
Combined reports from Northwick Warth included 8 Canada Geese, 3 Shelduck, 200+ Wigeon, 60+ Teal, 700 Dunlin, 73 Lapwing, 80 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, a Sparrowhawk, a Water Pipit, 45 Meadow Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails and 7 Fieldfares. A pair of Stonechats and a Redpoll were seen at Aust Warth.

December 1st
Another icy dawn. An early morning high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 19 Snipe, 150 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 250 Dunlin, 17 Shelduck, 45 Mallard, 3 Rock Pipits and 7 Fieldfares. Combined visits to the Northwick Warth area produced 600 Dunlin, 3 Turnstones, 90 Curlew, 75 Redshank, 40 Lapwing, 9 Oystercatchers, 220 Wigeon, 90+ Teal, 4 Shelduck, 8 Canada Geese, 25 Meadow Pipits, 2 Rock Pipits, 4 Fieldfares and a Redpoll.
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