SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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January is a slightly better month than December, the daylight hours slowly lengthen resulting in a monthly total of 164 species. Like any of the mid winter months it can be good for wildfowl sightings if inland waters freeze, with the chance of Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander or some fly by Bewick’s Swans. Seabirds seen in gales have included Cory’s Shearwater (2004), Storm Petrel, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk, Red-throated Diver and Grey Phalarope. Other January birds include; Slavonian Grebe (2010), American Golden Plover (2002), Great Grey Shrike (2004) and Shorelark (2004), Waxwing, two Common Cranes that flew over Severn Beach (2000), two Whooper Swans (2005), Bittern (2011), Glaucous Gull and a few rare sightings of Hen Harrier.


January 2013


January 31st
A breezy day after a very windy night. Two Red-throated Divers flew down river past Severn Beach at 10.15 where a Fulmar, 20 Kittiwakes, 20 Ringed Plover, 40 Turnstones and 50 Dunlin were also seen. Reports from New Passage included 60 Redshank, 150 Curlew, 400 Dunlin and the usual Wigeon and Teal. Late news:

January 30th
A windy day produced a Fulmar, at least 200 Kittiwakes, 110 Turnstones, 10 Ringed Plover and a Raven at Severn Beach. At least 2400 Dunlin, 120 Curlew, 40 Lapwing, 70 Redshank, 8 Turnstones, 40 Oystercatchers, 45 Shelduck, 700 Wigeon and 140 Teal were seen from New Passage.

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                                                                                      Kittiwake video still, Severn Beach 30.1.13

January 29th
The only reports received involved 10 Canada Geese, 38 Shelduck, 500 Wigeon and 110 Teal off New Passage and 13 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin and 35 Turnstones from the shore at Severn Beach and a Stonechat at the Tesco Pool.

January 28th
Another wet and windy day but no reports were received.

January 27th
A wet and windy day. At least 200 Kittiwakes, at least one Water Pipit, 5 Rock Pipits, a Snipe, a Raven and 30 Wigeon were seen from the shore at Severn Beach and a Stonechat and a Little Egret were seen at the Tesco Pool. Sightings from New Passage included 20 Kittiwakes heading down river, 12 Canada Geese, 14 Shoveler, 60 Shelduck, a Tufted Duck, 700 Wigeon, 200 Teal, 180 Curlew, 600 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, 70 Redshank and a Kingfisher.

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                                                                                         Stonechat, Severn Beach 27.1.13 © Vic Savery

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                                                                                           Kittiwakes video still, Severn Beach 27.1.13
                 Part of a large flock dropping onto the river. Filmed from an upstairs window, the grass bank is about 70 metres from my house.

January 26th
A thaw today with rain and and a south west wind. A Woodcock was seen near Cake Pill sluice at Aust Warth this morning where other reports included a Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 336 Dunlin, 35 Oystercatchers, 7 Turnstones, 83 Curlew, 60 Lapwing, 37 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, a Gadwall, a Stonechat, 2 Peregrines, a female Merlin and 2 late showing Short-eared Owls (5 pm). A Barn Owl showed well on Northwick this afternoon, hunting along the footpath that runs inland from the second sentry box. Other sightings from here included the 12 Canada Geese, 900+ Wigeon, 170 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Shoveler, 90 Lapwing, 70 Curlew, 250 Dunlin (on the wetlands) and a Peregrine. A male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was seen with a Tit flock in Severn Beach.

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                                                                                         Stonechat, Aust Warth 26.1.13 © Clive Mowforth

January 25th
A Purple Sandpiper was reported at New Passage this morning where at least 350 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 55 Oystercatchers, 70 Curlew, 12 Turnstones, 12 Canada Geese and 44 Shelduck were also seen. Two Peregrine were seen hunting at Aust Warth this morning.

January 24th
An adult Ring-billed Gull was found on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works late morning and a Purple Sandpiper was seen in again in the Turnstone flock at New Passage. Once again the snow field of Aust Warth was popular today with the Barn Owl, 3 Twite and a Jack Snipe being seen and 3 Short-eared Owls flushed by a walker this afternoon one of which was seen perched on a log at 4.30pm.

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                                                                                Barn Owl, Aust Warth 24.1.13 © Richard Bowerman

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                                                                                  Barn Owl, Aust Warth 24.1.13 © Allan Chard

January 23rd
The wintry weather continued. The Barn Owl showed very well again this morning at Aust Warth in the snow, 2 Twite were seen again here and a drake Goosander flew over. A Water Pipit, 3 Snipe, 10 Ringed Plover, 30 Redshank, 2 Gadwall and 30 Wigeon were seen at Severn Beach. Reports from the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works involved 10 Gadwall, 45 Teal, 16 Shoveler, 33 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe.

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                                                                                    Barn Owl, Aust Warth 23.1.13 © Dave Perrett

January 22nd
Another cold day with some early morning snow. Two Twite and a very showy Barn Owl were seen at Aust Warth early morning. A male Yellowhammer, a Rock Pipit, 30 Ringed Plover, 60 Oystercatchers, 30 Shelduck and 2 Ravens were found along the sea wall at Severn Beach and nearby 2 Stonechats remained at the Tesco Pool. Sightings from New Passage in a biting wind included 12 Canada Geese and 41 Turnstones, 50+ Oystercatchers, 12 Redshank and 300+ Dunlin.

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                                                                                  Barn Owl, Aust Warth 22.1.13 © Helen Horrocks

January 21st
A partial thaw today. Aust Warth was popular today with the 3 Twite, 2 Short-eared Owls, a Merlin and 2 Peregrines reported this morning and a Barn Owl showing well this afternoon.

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                                                                                Barn Owl, Aust Warth 21.1.13 © @TockingtonBirds

January 20th
It remained cold today with the snow covering still present. The star find was 3 Twite in Cake Pill at Aust Warth, the first Severnside record since November 1994. Other reports from Aust Warth involved a flushed Short-eared Owl, 3 Jack Snipe, 15+ Snipe, single Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover, 140 Dunlin, 15 Redshank, 35 Curlew, 4 Pintail, 5 Rock Pipits, 80 Linnet, 2 Stonechat, 2 Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk. Another 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Purple Sandpiper, adult Mediterranean Gull, 40 Turnstones, a Knot, 2 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 11 Tufted Duck, 12 Canada Geese and a Peregrine were seen in the New Passage/Northwick Warth area. A Visit to Severn Beach produced 300 Dunlin, 90 Redshank, 96 Oystercatchers, 6 Ringed Plover, 130 Curlew, 57 Shelduck, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and 3 Rock Pipits. At least 7 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, 52 Teal, 4 Pochard and 41 Tufted Duck were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Seage Works and another 10 Gadwall were reported at Chittening Warth.

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                                                                                            Twite, Aust Warth 20.1.13 © Gary Thoburn

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                                                                               Short-eared Owl video still, Aust Warth 20.1.13

January 19th
An icy day with yesterday’s snow still present. Combined reports from New Passage and Northwick Warth included a Purple Sandpiper, 50 Turnstones, 60 Curlew, 550 Lapwing, 45 Golden Plover flying south west, 80 Dunlin, 4 Snipe, 12 Canada Geese, 10 Tufted Duck, 2 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 350 Fieldfare, 45 Redwing and 64 Skylarks. Another 45 Turnstones, 200 Dunlin, 120 Lapwing, 13 Ringed Plover, 38 Redshank, 32 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall and a Rock Pipit were seen at Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl, 230 Dunlin, 2 Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe, a Raven and a Stonechat were reported at Aust Warth. At least 10 Gadwall, 39 Teal, 17 Shoveler, 4 Pochard and 28 Tufted Duck were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works. Click on the picture below for a few minutes of today’s Purple Sandpiper on Youtube.

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                                                                             Purple Sandpiper video still, New Passage 19.1.13

January 18th
A cold day with heavy snow (12 cm) sometimes blizzard conditions. Significant cold weather movement of Lapwing, Golden Plover, Fieldfare, Redwing and Skylark was noted all day with most birds heading off south or south west and of interest the thrushes and larks were seen to come in flocks in off the river presumably leaving Wales. Two hours at New Passage this afternoon produced 2 Ruff, 1700 Lapwing, 91 Golden Plover, 1100 Fieldfare, 350 Redwing, 47+ Skylark, 8 Snipe, 2 Gadwall, 12 Canada Geese and 4 Tufted Duck. Three hours at Severn Beach produced 1400 flyover Lapwing plus 200 on the mudflats, 95 flyover Golden Plover plus 20 on the ground, 12 Snipe, 70 Redshank, 900 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 120 Curlew, 33 Shelduck, a Gadwall, 2000+ Fieldfare, 300 Redwing and 80+ Skylark.

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                                                                                 Redwing, Severn Beach 18.1.13 © Rod Holbrook

January 17th
The 12 Canada Geese remained at New Passage where 13 Shoveler, a drake Pochard, 10 Tufted Duck, 45 Shelduck, 150 Redshank, 80 Curlew, 15 Turnstones, 300 Dunlin, 2 Ravens, a Peregrine, a Chiffchaff and 3 Redpolls were reported from New Passage. A Barn Owl was seen early morning and again this afternoon at Aust Warth where 200+ Lapwing, 2 Kestrels and a Raven were also seen. A pair of Stonechats were reported at the Tesco Pool in Severn Beach and nearby there were single Snipe and Water Rail at the Orchard Pools. An impressive 23 Tufted Duck, 44 Teal, 9 Gadwall, 5 Shoveler and 3 Pochard were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                    Barn Owl, Aust Warth 17.1.13 © David Knowles

January 16th
An icy -3°C dawn with the day time temperature struggling to get just above freezing. The usual 12 Canada Geese, Wigeon and Teal flocks, 400 Dunlin, 80 Curlews, 70 Lapwing, 50 Oystercatchers, 30 Redshank and 8 Turnstones were reported from New Passage. The Barn Owl was seen again this afternoon (14.55-16.00) at Aust Warth.

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                                                                 Barn Owl, Aust Warth 16.1.13 © David Knowles

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                                                              Dunlin, Severn Beach 16.1.13 © Rod Holbrook

January 15th
No reports have been received today.

January 14th
A wet day. A morning high tide visit to Northwick Warth produced 1100 Dunlin, 160 Curlew, 110 Redshank, 80 Lapwing, 10 Turnstones, 104 Oystercatchers, 12 Canada Geese, 180 Wigeon, 200 Teal, 39 Shelduck, 7 Tufted Duck, 22 Shoveler and a Little Grebe. Another 6 Shoveler, 70 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 20 Redshank, 30 Curlew, 34 Lapwing, 4 Snipe and 2 Ravens were seen at Aust Warth. At least 110 Turnstones, 92 Redshank, 40 Dunlin, a Snipe, 52 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall and at least 9 Rock Pipits were present at Severn Beach.

January 13th
An icy dawn followed by a cold dry day. The high (14 metre) tide produced at least 2000 Dunlin, 280 Curlew, 90 Oystercatchers, 120 Lapwing, 50 Redshank, 220 Teal, 110 Wigeon, 35 Shelduck, 22 Shoveler, 3 Tufted Duck, 12 Canada Geese and 2 Ravens were seen in the Northwick Warth area. A Barn Owl (early morning and late afternoon), 2 Peregrines, 100 Teal, 36 Wigeon, 30+ Lapwing and 4 Snipe were seen at Aust Warth. A drake Goldeneye was seen off Severn Beach. Click here for some Barn Owl video on Youtube.

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                                                                                       Barn Owl video still, Aust Warth 13.1.13

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                                                                                       Barn Owl video still, Aust Warth 13.1.13

January 12th
A windswept visit to New Passage produced 21 Shoveler, 12 Canada Geese, 120 Teal, 140 Wigeon, 90 Curlew, 35 Oystercatchers, 50 Redshank, 230 Dunlin. A Peregrine, 3 Jack Snipe, 10 Snipe and a Barn Owl (from 4.15pm) were seen at Aust Warth.

January 11th
Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 10 Shoveler, 10 Canada Geese, 2 Tufted Duck, 300 Dunlin, 10 Turnstones, 40 Redshank, 40 Lapwing, 65 Curlew and a Peregrine. Two Water Rails, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Snipe and 3 Redpoll were reported from the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach and nearby a pair of Stonechats were seen at the Tesco Pool.

January 10th
Five Tufted Duck and a Water Rail were reported from the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. A Jack Snipe, 33 Snipe, 15 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, 70 Teal, 3 Gadwall, a Shoveler and a Chiffchaff were reported from the Avonmouth Sewage Works area.

January 9th
The usual 12 Canada Geese, Wigeon, Teal, 80 Oystercatchers and 80 Dunlin were seen from New Passage. Another 73 Oystercatchers at Chittening Warth. Six Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall and a Water Rail were reported at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach and a Barn Owl was present this evening near the railway station.

January 8th
Much of the same on a mild grey day. The now resident 12 Canada Geese, 40+ Shelduck, 95 Wigeon, 140 Teal, 39 Oystercatchers, 74 Dunlin, 60 Curlew and 30 Redshank were reported from New Passage. Nine Tufted Duck were seen at the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. Two Ravens were reported at Aust Warth. A visit to Avonmouth Sewage Works produced 27 Teal, 2 Pochard and 7 Tufted Duck. Some colder wintry weather is expected in a few days so hopefully will provide an improvement in the variety and number of birds.

January 7th
Sightings from New Passage involved 12 Canada Geese, 38 Shelduck, 140 Wigeon, 350+ Teal, 2 Knot, 110 Curlew, 100 Turnstones, 40 Redshank and 40 Dunlin. A Visit to Severn Beach produced 12 Ringed Plover and 80 Teal from the shore and 7 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, a Raven and a Water Rail at the Orchard Pools. A pair of Stonechats remained on Aust Warth.

January 6th
A visit to New Passage produced the usual 12 Canada Geese, 35 Shelduck, 260 Teal, 60 Wigeon, 2 drake Tufted Duck, 160 Curlew, 80 Turnstones, 40 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 50 Lapwing and a spectacular hunting display by a pair of Peregrines. Two Water Rails and 5 Snipe were reported at Chittening Warth and 4 Jack Snipe were flushed from the Severn Beach salt marsh. A Barn Owl was seen hunting over Aust Warth from 4.35pm.

January 5th
A dry and settled day. Just one White-fronted Goose remained at Northwick Warth early morning before it also departed. Other reports from here included a Little Egret, a Knot, 70 Dunlin, 12 Canada Geese, 35 Shelduck, 2 Tufted Duck and a female Sparrowhawk. Reports from Severn Beach involved a Water Rail, a Jack Snipe, 72 Snipe, 30 Shelduck and 4+ Rock Pipits from the shore and 2 Little Egrets and 2 Stonechats at the Tesco Pool. A Short-eared Owl was reported this morning at Aust Warth where 2 Jack Snipe, another 2 Stonechats, 2 Ravens and a Peregrine were also seen.

January 4th
A grey day. A party of White-fronted Geese were seen flying south past Aust Warth before the flock of 32 finally located to Northwick Warth and spent the afternoon grazing with the 12 Canada Geese. Other sightings at Northwick Warth included 3 Little Egrets, 18 Shelduck, 40 Wigeon, 75 Teal, single Tufted Duck and Little Grebe, 84 Dunlin and 96 Redshank. A Stonechat was seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                    White-fronted Geese, Northwick Warth 4.1.13 © Steve Hale                            

January 3rd
At least 200 Dunlin, 10 Turnstones, the usual 12 Canada Geese, 26 Shelduck, Wigeon and Teal flocks were seen from New Passage. Ten Tufted Duck were reported on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

January 2nd
A damp and cloudy day. The only reports received were of 80 Lapwing, 200 Curlew, 40 Oystercatchers, 12 Canada Geese, 30 Shelduck, 200 Teal and 60 Wigeon from New Passage and just 8 Ringed Plover and 23 Turnstones at Severn Beach.

January 1st
A happy new year and many thanks again to all the kind people who provided the sightings during the year and for the generous supply of photographs. A dry day with a west breeze. Combined efforts from New Passage/ Northwick Warth produced an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Little Egret, a Water Pipit, 40 Meadow Pipits, a Knot, 200+ Curlew, 400 Dunlin, 20 Turnstones, 90 Lapwing, 100 Redshank, a Peregrine, 200 Teal, 70 Wigeon, 30 Shelduck, 12 Canada Geese and a Little Grebe. Two Jack Snipe, 10 Snipe, 2 Stonechats, a Rock Pipit, 70 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 120 Teal, 30 Wigeon and 2 Peregrines were seen at Aust Warth. Reports from the Severn Beach shore involved a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, a Water Pipit, 5 Rock Pipit, a Raven, 14 Ringed Plover, 5 Snipe and 50 Turnstones and nearby 2 Water Rails, 2 Tufted Duck, 14 Teal and 2 Wigeon were reported at the Orchard Pools. Another Jack Snipe, 43 Snipe, 22 Redshank, 11 Gadwall, 21 Teal and 19 Shelduck were seen at Chittening Warth. A visit to the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works produced 9 Gadwall, 19 Teal, 9 Tufted Duck and a Shoveler.
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