SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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May is the fourth most productive month of the year with at least one individual of 186 species being seen. The summer migrants continue to move through including Garganey, Hobby, Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, more Terns and Skuas with the chance of Pomarine. “Small” wader numbers should rise during the month with Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Sanderling and the chance of a Curlew Sandpiper or Little Stint. Rarer records include Subalpine Warbler (2004), Bee-eater (2007), Spoonbill (1998), Honey Buzzard (1991,2011), Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Kentish Plover (2004), Buff-breasted Sandpiper (1990), Temminck’s Stint (2004), Broad-billed Sandpiper (1988), Dotterel (2011), Franklin’s Gull (1984), Laughing Gull (2012), Long-tailed Skua, Sabine’s Gull, Roseate Tern (1990) and White-winged Black Tern (1990).

May 2013



May 31st
The only reports received were of a Knot and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits at New Passage and a Little Egret and 2 Gadwall on Northwick Warth.

May 30th
An evening visit to Northwick Warth produced just 70 Shelduck, 40 Mallard, 3 Canada Geese, 6 Mute Swans,  2 Gadwall and 2 Stock Doves.

May 29th
An evening visit to Northwick Warth in the rain produced the first Spotted Flycatcher of the year and 2 Little Egrets.

May 28th
An increasingly wet day. An evening visit to Northwick Warth produced 5 Redshank and 3 Ringed Plover on the flash, 30 Shelduck, 9 Mute Swans, 3 Canada Geese and 2 Whinchats on the Pilning Wetland.

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                                                                                       Whinchat video still, Pilning Wetland 28.5.13

May 27th
A Little Egret, 17 Ringed Plover, 19 Dunlin, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Whimbrel were reported from Northwick Warth. A male Greenland type Wheatear was seen at Severn Beach.

May 26th
A sunny day with just a mixed flock of 20 Dunlin and Ringed Plover and 24 Shelduck reported from Northwick Warth. Two Sanderling were seen at from Severn Beach on the evening high tide.

May 25th
Combined reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin, single Little Egret, Grey Plover, Whimbrel, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail and Siskin. Reports from the Severn Beach area involved 2 Little Egrets, a Greenshank, 24 Oystercatchers, 3 Curlew and a Cetti’s Warbler.

May 24th
Just 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 12 Oystercatchers were reported from New Passage.

May 23rd
An evening visit to Northwick Warth produced a summer plumaged Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Ringed Plover, 5 Oystercatchers and a drake Tufted Duck.

May 22nd
A Greenshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 11 Oystercatchers, single Curlew and Ringed Plover were seen from Severn Beach.

May 21st
Sightings from Severn Beach on the late afternoon high tide involved 3 Whimbrel, 17 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin, 2 Turnstones and 10 Oystercatchers. Two Little Egrets were seen over the Pilning Wetland this evening.

May 20th
An evening visit to the Pilning Wetland on Northwick Warth produced 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a Lapwing, 4 Canada Geese, a second Coot brood (4 fresh chicks) and 2 Stock Doves. A Short-eared Owl was showing well again over Aust Warth this evening.

May 19th
Just single Dunlin and Ringed Plover were reported at Severn Beach.

May 18th
Another quiet day with just a Little Egret, 2 Whimbrel and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits reported from Northwick Warth. The only reports from Severn Beach were of 4 Ringed Plover and a single Dunlin. Seven freshly hatched Mute Swan cygnets were present on the Orchard Pools.

May 17th
An evening visit to the Pilning Wetland on Northwick Warth produced a late Little Ringed Plover, 2 Yellow Wagtails and a Little Egret.

May 16th
Six Cranes were seen at 10am circling south very high over Severn Beach where a Whimbrel, 34 Dunlin, 18 Ringed Plover and 15 Turnstones were also present. The only reports from New Passage and Northwick Warth involved a Little Egret, one Dunlin, 3 Whimbrel, 22 Oystercatchers, 50 Shelduck, 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Wheatear and several hundred Swallows with 30 House Martins. The Short-eared Owl was reported again at Aust Warth.

May 15th
A more settled day with a wader influx. Morning high tide reports from Severn Beach included 11 Whimbrel, 4 Sanderling, 160 Dunlin and 3 Ringed Plover. A breeding plumage Curlew Sandpiper, 20 Knot, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, single Lapwing, Whimbrel and Little Ringed Plover, 150 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 2 Shoveler and a Hobby were reported from the New Passage area this evening. A Short-eared Owl was hunting over Aust Warth this evening.

May 14th
A cold and wet day. The only reports from Severn Beach were of a very distant Skua (Arctic or Pomarine) heading up river at 10.00 and single Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel. An visit to New Passage produced little more than a Wheatear and 30+ Swifts.

May 13th
Sightings from Severn Beach included an adult Gannet, 3 Commic Terns, single Whimbrel and Sanderling, 30 Turnatones and 40+ Dunlin on the morning tide and a flock of at least 90 Kittiwakes on the evening tide. A visit Northwick warth produced a Little Egret, 28 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, a Lapwing, 3 male Wheatears and a male Yellow Wagtail. Click on the picture below for a brief Gannet flight video on Youtube.

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                                                                                  Gannet video still, Severn Beach 13.5.13
                                the Gannet rested on the sea defences over the morning high tide before flying back out on to the river

May 12th
A Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel and 15 Dunlin and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Severn Beach this morning and a Storm Petrel was reported here at 12.25 and single Manx Shearwater, Fulmar and Gannet were seen on the evening tide. A visit to Northwick Warth produced 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, single Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper and Curlew, 3 Lapwing, 16 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 30 Oystercatchers, 32 Shelduck and 2 Wheatears. A Short-eared Owl was reported again at Aust Warth. Click on the Manx Shearwater below for some flight action on Youtube.

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                                                                            Manx Shearwater video still, Severn Beach 12.5.13

May 11th
Sea watching was once again the main attraction at Severn Beach over the morning and evening high tides with at least 8 (2 singles, 2+4) Pomarine Skuas, 7 Arctic Skuas, 3 (2+1) Great Skuas, a Razorbill, a Manx Shearwater, 11 (8+3) adult Gannets, a Fulmar, 4 Commic Terns, 80+ Kittiwakes, 9 Whimbrel, 5 Curlew, 4 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin and 3 Ringed Plovers. A Little Egret was seen at Northwick Warth. Click on the Kittiwake picture below for some film on Youtube.

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                                                                                             Kittiwakes, Severn Beach 11.5.13

May 10th
A windy day with sea watches from Severn Beach producing 8 pale morph Pomarine Skuas (5 at 06.45, 1 at 08.50, 1 at 9.40 another at 10.10), 5 Great Skuas, 9 Arctic Skuas (4 pale & 5 dark), a 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull, 24 Kittiwakes, 2 Little Terns, 3 Commic Terns, 2 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, just 6 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, a Turnstone and 4 Swifts. A different flock of 6 Pomarine Skuas (4 dark & 2 pale) flew over the Severn Bridge from Aust Warth at 10.15. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included a Little Egret, 90 Dunlin, a Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel, 32 Oystercatchers, 4 Tufted Duck, 3 Gadwall, a Swift and 2 Wheatears. Click on the Skua picture below to see on Youtube how close they have been seen recently.

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                                                                        Great Skua video still, Shaft beach Severn Beach 9.5.13

May 9th
An increasingly wet and windy day with the wind direction veering to the south west from the south. The usual Little Egret, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Whimbrel, 28 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 21 Oystercatchers, 32 Shelduck, 4 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 4 Mute Swans and a Canada Goose were seen at Northwick Warth. An afternoon/evening sea watch from Severn Beach produced at least 3 Great Skuas, 2+ Arctic Skuas, 2 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Gannets, 2 Fulmar, 30 Commic Terns. 28 Kittiwakes, 23 Whimbrel, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Curlew, 2 Grey Plover, a summer plumage Knot, 6 Dunlin and 3 Turnstones.

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                                                                                                Great Skua, Severn Beach 9.5.13

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                                                                                             Great Skua, Severn Beach 9.5.13

May 8th
A breezy day with rain showers. A female Marsh Harrier flew up river past Severn Beach at 08.25. Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included just a Little Egret, 3 Canada Geese, 4 Mute Swans, 4 Gadwall and 2 Wheatears. A female Whinchat was seen at Aust Warth.

May 7th
A hot and sunny day. A visit to Northwick Warth produced a Little Egret, 3 Lapwing, 2 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Canada Geese, 3 Gadwall, a drake Teal, single Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear. At least 400 Commic Terns, 2 dark morph Arctic Skuas, 12 Black-headed Gulls, a pair of Tufted Duck, 20 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Dunlin, 5 Sanderling, 4 Ringed Plover, 3 Swifts, single Whinchat and Wheatear were seen at Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl, a Grasshopper Warbler and another 6 Whimbrel were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                       Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 7.5.13

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                                                                                       silhouette Terns, Severn Beach 7.5.13
         At least 400 Commic Terns were seen off the beach this evening, Both Common and Arctic Terns were identified but generally the flock
         remained distant peck feeding in the heat haze mid river and frequently forming a large raft on the water.

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                                                                                Whimbrel, Aust Warth 7.5.13 © Allan Chard

May 6th
Another fine sunny and warm day. Combined reports from Northwick Warth included a Little Egret, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Lapwing, 15 Dunlin, 9 Ringed Plover, 3 Gadwall, 2 Canada Geese, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Wheatears, 2 Swifts and 3 Lesser Whitethroats. Late Short-eared Owl and Merlin, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Whinchats, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Swift were seen at Aust Warth. A Cetti’s Warbler, at least 19 Whitethroats, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Sedge Warblers were reported at Severn Beach this morning and 4 Black Terns, 60 Commic Terns, 5 Black-headed Gulls, 40+ Whimbrel, 10 Bar-tailed Godwits, 27 Dunlin and 16 Ringed Plover were seen there this evening. A Raven was seen over Chitening Warth.

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                                                                                 Yellow Wagtail, Northwick Warth 6.5.13 ©  Vic Savery

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                                                                                    Bar-tailed Godwits, Severn Beach 6.5.13

May 5th
A warm and sunny day. Sightings from Northwick Warth included a Little Egret, 5 Tufted Duck, 3 Gadwall, 4 Mute Swans, 2 Canada Geese, 12 Whimbrel, a Curlew, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Lapwing, 46 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 34 Oystercatchers, a Raven, 4 Wheatears, 3 White Wagtails, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 5 Swifts. Two Common Terns, 11 Commic Terns, 12 Kittiwakes, at least 95 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, 7 Whimbrel and a Wheatear were seen at Severn Beach. A Redstart was reported at Aust Warth.

May 4th
Another windy day with some rain showers. At least 4 Pomarine Skuas (1 pale plus 2 pale with 1 dark), a Common Scoter, 4 Arctic Terns, 5 Whimbrel, 16 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, 18 Turnstones, a Cetti’s Warbler, 8 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Yellow Wagtail and a Swift were reported from Severn Beach. Sightings from Northwick Warth included 45 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 33 Oystercatchers, 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Reed Warblers and a Kingfisher (unusual here in May). A Grasshoper Warbler was seen again this morning. Click on the picture below for 15 seconds of the Skua in flight on Youtube.

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                                                                                    Pomarine Skua video still, Severn Beach 4.5.13

May 3rd
A change of wind direction to the south west failed to produce any new grounded migrants but produced a pale morph Pomarine Skua, a dark morph Arctic Skua and 3 Whimbrel off Severn Beach mid afternoon. A visit to Northwick Warth produced just 4 Whimbrel, 4 Dunlin, 3 Lapwing, a Tree Pipit, 3 Lesser Whitethroats and 2 Swifts. The Grasshopper Warbler was reported again.

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                                                                                        Pomarine Skua, Severn Beach 3.5.13
                                      A record shot taken at at least a mile range and another heavily cropped image below.

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May 2nd
Another warm and hazy day. A male Hen Harrier was seen briefly as it flew inland over Northwick/Aust Warth at 9am. Other sightings from Aust Warth included single Grasshopper Warbler, Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl, Little Egret and Whinchat. A single flock of 40 Commic Terns were seen  heading upriver off Severn Beach at 10.40 where other sightings included 6 Black-headed Gulls, 9 Gadwall, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Lesser Whitethroats and a Peregrine carrying prey. Two Little Egrets, 9 Whimbrel. 4 Lapwing, 2 Canada Geese, 4 Coot chicks, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and a Yellow Wagtail were reported at Northwick Warth.

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                                                                                      Hen Harrier, Aust Warth 2.5.13 © Michael Maddock
                                                     a couple of record shots as it quickly disappeared inland over the trees behind Cake Pill

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                                                                                  Hen Harrier, Aust Warth 2.5.13 © Michael Maddock

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                                                                                Whitethroat, Aust Warth 2.5.13 ©  Vic Savery

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                                                                                     Whinchat, Aust Warth 2.5.13 © Don Smith

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                                                                         Grasshopper Warbler video still, Severnside 1.5.13

May 1st
A warm and sunny day. Combined reports from the coastal strip at Severn Beach involved a Sandwich Tern, 2 Whimbrel, 4 Dunlin, a Cetti’s Warbler, a female Pied Flycatcher, 12+ Whitethroats, 7 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Sedge Warblers, single Raven and Peregrine. A Little Egret, 11 Whimbrel, 4 Lapwing, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Canada Geese, 2 Little Grebes, a Sedge Warbler, a Wheatear and 5 Yellow Wagtails were seen at Northwick Warth. A Short-eared Owl was hunting over Aust Warth this morning. A Grasshopper Warbler showed very well again. Please do not use sound recordings to see this bird. Click on the Grasshopper Warbler above for some new Youtube video.









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