SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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April is the second most productive month of the year in the number of species seen. At least one individual of 198 species have been recorded in April. A month when the last of the “winter” birds depart and most “summer” birds arrive. Birds to expect are at least three Tern species, Skuas, “ sylvia” Warblers, Common Redstarts, Whinchats, Yellow Wagtails with the chance of Pied Flycatcher, Grasshopper Warbler, Wood Warbler and Hobby. Rarer sightings include; Stone Curlew (2006), Slavonian Grebe (1989, 2000), Ring-necked Duck (1988), Sabine’s Gull (1990, 1992), Red-rumped Swallow (1988), Red-throated Pipit (2012), Willow Tit (1988), Mealy Redpoll (2004) and Long-eared Owl (2006).



April 2013



April 30th
A sunny day with a light north east breeze. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 2 breeding plumage Black-tailed Godwits, a Common Sandpiper, just one Dunlin, 11 Whimbrel, 6 Lapwing, 2 Canada Geese, 2 Tufted Duck, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 9 White Wagtails, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warblers, 2 Tree Pipits, 3 Siskins and a Water Shrew. Three Short-eared Owls and 3 Yellow Wagtails were seen at Aust Warth. Reports from Severn Beach included a dark morph Arctic Skua, 16 Commic Terns, 16 Black-headed Gulls, 5 Gadwall, 20 Dunlin, single Whimbrel and Raven. A Grasshopper Warbler showed very well today. Click on the video still below to see some Youtube video.

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                                                                             Grasshopper Warbler video still, Severnside 30.4.13

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                                                                              Grasshopper Warbler, 30.4.13 © Gary Thoburn  

April 29th
A seawatch from Severn Beach produced 3 Eider (2 drakes), 5 Common Scoter (2 drakes), 4 Gadwall, a Great Crested Grebe, 3 Whimbrel and 35 Turnstones. Reports from Northwick Warth included a Little Egret, 3 Lapwing, 20 Whimbrel, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 4 White Wagtails and brood of 3 Coot chicks. A Grasshopper Warbler and a Raven were reported at Aust Warth.

April 28th
Combined sightings from the Northwick Warth area involved 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 80 Whimbrel, 30 Oystercatchers, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Dunlin, 30 Shelduck, 2 Canada Geese, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Wheatears, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Yellow Wagtails and 8 White Wagtails reported from the Northwick Warth area. Two Short-eared Owls and a Grasshopper Warbler were seen at Aust Warth this morning. A Cetti’s Warbler and another Lesser Whitethroat was reported at Severn Beach.

April 27th
A day with a persistent cold north wind. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 7 Little Egrets (flock of 6 plus 1), 24 Whimbrel, 35 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, 4 Lapwing, 6 Redshank, 3 Snipe, 20 Turnstones, 4 Canada Geese, 5 Gadwall, 35 Shelduck, 2 Little Grebes, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Garden Warbler, 4 Wheatears, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 7 White Wagtails, 100’s of flyover Goldfinches plus a few Linnets, Redpolls and Siskins. A Cetti’s Warbler, 3 Gadwall, 35 Oystercatchers, a Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, 8 Black-headed Gulls, single Sedge Warbler, Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear were reported at Severn Beach. A Grasshopper Warbler showed well at Aust Warth, where a Red Kite drifted east mobbed by a Kestrel and Raven and 7 Whimbrel and a Lesser Whitethroat were also seen.

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                                                                      Grasshopper Warbler, Aust Warth 27.4.13 © Ian White

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                                                                                         Red Kite, Aust Warth  27.4.13

April 26th
The weather remained cool and breezy with not a lot of new arrivals. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included a Little Ringed Plover (wetland lagoon), 20 Whimbrel, 2 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 3 Canada Geese, 2 Tufted Duck, 6 Gadwall, 10 Yellow Wagtails, 4 White Wagtails, 3 Wheatears, a Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Arctic Terns feeding out over the estuary. A Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Sedge Warblers, single Wheatear and Lesser Whitethroat were reported at Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth this morning.

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                                                               Dunlin, Northwick Warth flash 26.4.13

April 25th
A Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Whinchats, 2 Wheatears, a Sedge Warbler, a Reed Warbler, 3 Whitethroats and 2 Little Egrets were reported at Chittening Warth. Combined sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 27 Whimbrel, single Little Egret, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and Ringed Plover, 7 Canada Geese, 6 Tufted Duck, 3 Gadwall, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 6+ White Wagtails, 3 Lesser Whitethroats and a Tree Pipit. Another 3 Whimbrel, 45 Curlew, 9 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach.

April 24th
Combined reports from Northwick Warth included an Arctic Tern, 19 Whimbrel, 6 Ringed Plover, 12 Dunlin, a Lapwing, 6 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 5 Canada Geese, 2 Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler, 10+ Yellow Wagtails and 2 White Wagtails. Another 6 Whimbrel, 4 Dunlin, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Wheatears and the first Whinchat of the year.

April 23rd
A quiet spell with just a Little Egret, 2 Whimbrel, 22 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover, 3 Canada Geese, 6 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, single Shoveler and Little Egret reported from the Northwick Warth area. Another 40 Dunlin and 16 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach on the evening high tide.

April 22nd
Combined reports from Northwick Warth and the Pilning Wetland included 2 Little Ringed Plover, 10 Whimbrel, 15 Dunlin, 2 Lapwing, 4 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Tufted Duck. Three Lesser Whitethroats were reported this morning at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach and an evening visit to the estuary shore produced 2 Whimbrel, 36 Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover, 40 Shelduck and a drake Tufted Duck. A Short-eared Owl was seen late morning and this evening at Aust Warth.

April 21st
Combined reports from Northwick Warth involved single Little Egret, Grey Plover, Lapwing and Little Ringed Plover, 8 Whimbrel, 45+ Bar-tailed Godwits, 50+ Knot (a flock of 50 Knot and 40 Bar-tailed Godwits flew high north over New Passage this evening), 5 Arctic Terns, a Common Tern, 4 Canada Geese, 6 Tufted Duck, 12 Wheatears, 6+ Yellow Wagtails, 2 White Wagtails, a Garden Warbler, 3 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Reed Warbler. Another 8 Whitethroats and 2 Whimbrel were seen at Severn Beach and nearby a Swift, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Whitethroats, Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers were reported at the Orchard Pools. A Snipe, a Water Rail, 2 Ravens, 2 Whitethroats and a Sedge Warbler were reported at Chittening Warth. A singing Cetti’s Warbler and another 2 Whitethroats were present at the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                              Yellow Wagtail, Northwick Warth 21.4.13

April 20th
Another fine sunny day. Sightings from Severn Beach included at least 5 Whitehtroats this morning, 25 Turnstones and 5 “Commic” Terns on the evening tide. Nearby, a roosting Tawny Owl, 3 Reed warblers and 2 Water Rails were found at the Orchard Pools. Combined sightings from the New Passage/Northwick Warth a Little Egret, 6 Whimbrel, 9 Dunlin, 6 Arctic Terns, 9 Canada Geese (including the possible Todd’s), 5 Shoveler, 11 Tufted Duck, a Short-eared Owl, single Yellow Wagtail, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and Wheatear, 15+ Blackcaps, 2 White Wagtails and 3 Siskins. Another 2 Reed Warblers and 2 Whitethroats were reported at Chittening Warth Seabank Pools. An additional Short-eared Owl was hunting over Aust Warth.

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                                                                        Short-eared Owl, Northwick Warth 20.4.13 ©  Andy Jordan

April 19th
A dry and windless day. A Black Tern, 2 “Commic” Terns and an Arctic Tern were seen from Severn Beach this morning, Combined reports from the Pilning Wetland included 5 Arctic Terns given superb views, a Common Tern, a Short-eared Owl, a Little Egret, 2 Lapwing, 5 Snipe, 5 Canada Geese (including the possible Todd’s Canada Goose), 6 Tufted Duck, an early Swift, 17 White Wagtails, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Willow Warblers, single Whitethroat and Reed Warbler. A Great Crested Grebe, a Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, 33 Redshank, 12 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 2 Teal and 2 Wheatears were reported on Northwick Warth. At least 2 Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth this afternoon and evening.

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                                                                       Arctic Tern, Pilning Wetland 19.4.13 © Gary Thoburn

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                                         Canada Geese and possible Todd’s Canada Goose, Pilning Wetland 19.4.13 © Gary Thoburn
                                  The Todd’s is a little smaller than the other Canadas and has a dusky, less gleaming breast

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                                                                            Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 18.4.13 © Allan Chard

April 18th
Plenty of sightings on a windy day including 2 pale morph Pomarine Skuas, 3 Arctic Skuas, 4 Great Skuas (together),a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull, 2 Little Gulls, 7+ Kittiwakes, 2 Gannets, a Fulmar, 100+ Arctic Terns , 10 Common Terns and 9 “Commic”Terns were seen from Severn Beach. At least 11 Arctic Terns, a Little Tern, 40 Redshank, 7 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 40 Turnstones and 7 Teal were seen at New Passage and nearby 2 Little Egrets, 15 Arctic Terns, 7 Canada Geese, 2 Tufted Duck, a Lapwing, 4 male Yellow Wagtails, 5 White Wagtails and a female Redstart were seen on the Pilning Wetland at Northwick Warth. Click  HERE to see some Youtube video of the Arctic Terns and HERE for another brief slow motion video.

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                                                                   Arctic Tern, Pilning Wetland/NorthwickWarth 18.4.13 © Vic Savery

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                                                                              Little Tern, New Passage 18.4.13 © Gary Thoburn

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                                                                           Little Tern, New Passage 18.4.13 © Gary Thoburn

April 17th
Reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 3 Little Egrets, 2 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin, 5 Canada Geese, 6 Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler, single Reed Warbler and Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 9 White Wagtail, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 80 mixed hirundines feeding over the pools. A Great Crested Grebe, 2 Arctic Terns, 9 Common Terns and 6 Commic Terns were seen from Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth early afternoon.

April 16th
A dry morning with a moderate south west breeze followed by a warm and sunny afternoon. Combined reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included 2 Grey Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, single Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover, 17 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 16 Snipe, 6 Canada Geese (including the smaller dusky individual), 20 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 7 Teal, 6 Tufted Duck, 30+ Wheatears, 2 Redstarts, single Whitethroat, Tree Pipit and Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, 12 Willow Warblers, 3 White Wagtail, a Redpoll, 50 Swallows, 15 Sand Martin and 7 House Martin. Sightings from Severn Beach included 4 Arctic Terns, a Common Tern, 33 distant “Commic Terns”, 50+ Kittiwakes, 170 Turnstones, a Ringed Plover, 2 Canada Geese and a Gadwall and nearby a male Pied Flycatcher, single Redstart, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Water Rail were seen at the Orchard Pools. A Whitethroat was seen at Aust Warth.

April 15th
Two Black Terns were seen flying upriver from Chittening Warth this morning. A Short-eared Owl was seen hunting over Aust Warth early afternoon. Reports from New Passage and the Pilning Wetland at Northwick Warth included single Little Ringed Plover and Little Egret, 10 Turnstones, 2 Dunlin, 20 Redshank, 15 Curlew, 7 Canada Geese, 20 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 9 Teal, 4 Tufted Duck, 3 Wheatears, 3 White Wagtails, 20 + Swallows, 5 House Martins and 4 Sand Martins.

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                                                                              Swallow, New Passage 15.4.13 © Vic Savery

April 14th
A breezy morning sea watch from Severn Beach produced 2 Arctic Skuas, 5 Gannets, a Sandwich Tern, at least 8 Kittiwakes, 12 Gadwall, 30 Wigeon, 20 Teal and 2 Whimbrel. Combined reports from New Passage and the Pilning Wetland included single Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, Little Egret and Ringed Plover, 23 Dunlin (most of which were in summer plumage), 20 Redshank, 7 Canada Geese, 2 Shoveler, 2 Pintail, 6 Tufted Duck, 35 Teal, 10 Coot, 9 Willow Warblers, 30 Swallows, 4 House Martins, 3 Tree Pipits and 5 White Wagtails.

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                                                                                Gannets video still, Severn Beach 14.4.13

April 13th
An Avocet flew low and north east over New Passage at 07.10 where other sightings from here and Northwick Warth included 2 Greylag Geese, 6 Canada Geese, 30 Teal, 4 Shoveler, 6 Tufted Duck, 40 Shelduck, 20 Snipe (Pilning Wetland reedbed), 140 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 200 Turnstones, 20 Curlew, 35 Oystercatchers, a Grasshopper Warbler, 3 flyover Yellow Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, a Yellowhammer, a Wheatear, 30+ Swallows, 6 Sand Martins, 4 House Martin and 2 Redpolls. A Wheatear and a White Wagtail were seen at Severn Beach, a Common Sandpiper and 2 Willow Warblers were reported at Chittening Warth and another Wheatear was seen at Aust Warth this morning, 2 Short-eared Owls showed well at 8pm and 3 male Redstarts were seen nearby in fields above Aust cliff.

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                                                                              Grasshopper Warbler, New Passage 13.4.13

April 12th
A day of sunshine and showers. A Short-eared Owl, a Wheatear and several Swallows were seen at Aust Warth this morning, Combined reports from the New Passage/Pilning Wetland area involved a Little Ringed Plover, 54 Turnstones, 76 Dunlin, 21 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 7 Shoveler, 6 Canada Geese, 3 Wheatears, 110 Meadow Pipits, 4 White Wagtails, 8 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler. A Wheatear was seen at Severn Beach and 2 Willow Warblers were present nearby at the Orchard Pools. A flyover Tree Pipit, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 20 Redshank, 8 Gadwall and 18 Shelduck were seen at Chittening Warth, A male Redstart was reported at Avonmouth Sewage Works. BATS: Following a pilot study of Bat Migration at Dungeness in Kent (click HERE ) we have been asked to get involved on Severnside. This could be very interesting and I will keep you informed of any results.

April 11th
A grey and misty morning followed by some torrential rain and hail showers with some thunder and lightning in the afternoon. Most reports were from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland and included a Short-eared Owl, 2 Avocets, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Little Ringed Plover, 9 Snipe, 2 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 35 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 140 Dunlin, 70 Turnstones, 3 Little Egrets, 2 Canada Geese, 31 Shelduck, 5 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 10 Shoveler, a Tufted Duck, a Little Grebe, 4 White Wagtails, 15 Swallows, 10 Sand Martin, 2 House Martins, 4 Siskins, a Redpoll, 8 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 10 Fieldfare and 50 Redwing. Two Wheatears were seen at Aust Warth.  Late news received 1/8/13; a Long-eared Owl was seen and photographed near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                    Avocets, Northwick Warth 11.4.13

April 10th
An Avocet was seen early morning from Aust Warth where single Short-eared owl, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, Little Egret, Sand Martin, 4 Wheatears, 12 Swallows and 30 Redwing were also reported. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area involved 2 Avocets that flew north at 10am, a Greenshank, a Little Ringed Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Lapwing, 70 Dunlin, 35 Turnstones, 30 Redshank, a Little Egret, 5 Canada Geese, 3 Tufted Duck, 5 Shoveler, 50 Teal, 7 Wigeon, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 White Wagtail, 12 Pied Wagtail, 100’s of Meadow Pipits, single Tree Pipit and Wheatear, 10+ Sand Martin. 20+ Swallow, 2 House Martin, 9+ Chiffchaff  and a Willow Warbler. Reports from the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works included a Great Crested Grebe and 4 Canada Geese.

April 9th
A day with an easterly breeze and spells of drizzle. A Shag was seen late morning from Aust Cliff flying up river beneath the Severn Bridge before returning back down river. The only reports from New Passage involved 9 Canada Geese, 14 Shoveler, 4 Tufted Duck, a Little Grebe, 60+ Dunlin, 5+ Chiffchaff and 2 Swallows.

April 8th
The good run of raptors continued with a Marsh Harrier seen flying north east past Chittening Warth at 7.50am.
A brief visit to New Passage this evening produced the usual 8 Canada Geese, 5 Tufted Duck, 10 Shoveler, 30 Redshank, 40 Dunlin, a Sand Martin and a Willow Warbler. A Water Rail and 2 Little Grebes remained on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

April 7th
Another frosty morning followed by a dry and mainly sunny day. An Osprey was found perched on Northwick Warth before it flew off north just before 9am. Other sightings in the Northwick Warth area included single Little Ringed Plover,  Black-tailed Godwit, Snipe, Little Egret, and Greylag Goose, 8 Canada Geese, 10 Shoveler, 5 Tufted Duck, 10 Chiffchaff, 2 White Wagtails and a Sand Martin. Sightings from the shore at Severn Beach included a Red Kite drifting north early afternoon, 12 Ringed Plover, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 70+ Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 35 Curlew, 40 Redshank, 22 Gadwall,  50+ Shelduck and a distant Skua Sp. on the evening tide and nearby a Water Rail, 2 Little Grebe and 2 Siskins were reported at the Orchard Pools. The first Swallow of the year was seen between New Passage and the coast road traffic lights.The 2 Twite were still at Aust Warth.

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                                                                           Osprey, Northwick Warth 7.4.13 © John Martin

April 6th
A warmer less windy day and some good new birds. Combined reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area involved a female Pintail, 15 Shoveler, 10 Tufted Duck, 85 Teal, 115 Wigeon, 5 Canada Geese, 8 Coot, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Snipe, 95 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, 2 Little Egrets, at least 4 Buzzard, a Kestrel, 5 Wheatears, 3 Redpolls, 2 Siskin, 25 Redwing, 30 Fieldfare, 140 Meadow Pipits and a Tree Pipit. An afternoon visit to Severn Beach produced 4 Arctic Skuas, 10 Sandwich Terns, (4,2,3 & 1), 135+ Kittiwakes, 2 1st summer Mediterranean Gulls, 350+ Black-headed Gulls, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 25 Shelduck, 14 Gadwall. 2 Knot, 2 Grey Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, 70 Dunlin, 10 Redshank, 25 Oystercatchers, a Woodcock (flushed from railway scrub) and 2 Wheatears. A Short-eared Owl was flushed at Aust Warth mid afternoon. Two Jack Snipe and 2 Ravens were seen at Chittening Warth.

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                                                                            Tree Pipit, New Passage 6.4.13 © John Martin

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                                                                    Brent Geese, Severn Beach  6.4.13

April 5th
A visit to the wind swept Pilning Wetland on Northwick Warth produced just 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 7 Dunlin, 4 Snipe, 7 Canada Geese, 6 Shoveler, a Tufted Duck, 80 Teal, 50 Wigeon and a Wheatear. A Short-eared Owl, 150 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 25 Dunlin, 3 Redshank and a Wheatear were seen at Aust Warth this afternoon. A Great Crested Grebe, 10 Gadwall, 6 Teal and 4 Shoveler were seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                                 Wheatear, Aust Warth  5.4.13 © Vic Savery

April 4th
Once again most reports were from cold and windy New Passage/Pilning Wetland area where 26 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 100+ Dunlin (feeding on the wetland), a Common Sandpiper, 3 Pintail, 6 Shoveler, 10 Tufted Duck, 80 Teal, 140 Wigeon, 60 Shelduck, 7 Canada Geese, 8 Coot and 3 Wheatears were seen. A Black Redstart was seen at Severn Beach in a private site near the Second Severn Crossing.

April 3rd
Combined reports from the New Passage and Pilning Wetland area included a Common Sandpiper, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 100 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, 10 Turnstones, 33 Oystercatchers, 15 Curlew, a Little Egret, 13 Canada Geese, 9 Tufted Duck, 8 Shoveler, a Pintail, 50 Teal, 200 Wigeon, 70 Shelduck, a Kingfisher, 5 Wheatears, 9 Chiffchaff, 14 Siskin and 2 Kestrels. Another 40 Shelduck, 3 Wheatears and an adult Kittiwake were seen at Severn Beach.

April 2nd
Sightings from Aust Warth this morning included 2 Twite and 2 Short-eared Owls and another Red Kite was seen to fly into Severnside airspace from Aust cliff at 11 am. An evening visit to the Pilning Wetland at Northwick Warth produced 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 70 Teal, 8 Shoveler, 4 Tufted Duck, 12 Canada Geese, a Wheatear and 15 Pied Wagtails and nearby 28 Turnstones, 100+ Shelduck, 50 Dunlin, 2 Knot and 300 Wigeon were seen from New Passage. Another Wheatear was seen at Severn Beach. An adult summer plumage Mediterranean Gull, 8 Gadwall, 22 Teal, 2 Shoveler and 9 Tufted Duck were seen on the Square Pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

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                                                                             Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  2.4.13 © Mark Dowie

April 1st
A new month but the same wintry weather. Sightings from the Pilning Wetland and Northwick Warth included 4 Little Ringed Plover, single Grey Plover, Black-tailed Godwit and Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Canada Geese, 160 Wigeon, 90 Shelduck, 30 Teal, 8 Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, 4 Wheatears, 5 Chiffchaff, 21 Fieldfare, 31 Redwing, 16 flyover Siskins and a Yellowhammer heading north east. The 2 Twite were seen again at Aust Warth, The only reports from Severn Beach involved 40 Shelduck, 40 Turnstones and a Wheatear.
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