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February is generally another quiet month with only a total of 156 species recorded. Gales in this month have produced Storm and Leach’s Petrel, Pomarine Skua and all four records of Puffin. Other rarities seen include Spoonbill (2004), Bittern (2011&2012), Avocets, Ring-billed Gull (1987), Great Grey Shrike (1999,2000,2004), Shorelark (2004) and Cirl Bunting (1943).

February 2014

28th February
The Barnacle Goose, 121 Shelduck, 60+ Teal, 70 Wigeon, 18 Gadwall, 50 Redshank, 200 Dunlin, a Little Egret and a Stonechat were seen from New Passage. Twenty Canada Geese, 5 Stonechat and a Peregrine were seen at Aust Warth. Several thousand Starlings once again gave a pre roost display over Gorse Cover Road in Severn Beach this evening.

27th February
Much the same at New Passage late afternoon with a Barnacle Goose, 123 Shelduck, 30 Teal, 40 Wigeon, 30 Redshank and 60 Dunlin being seen.

26th February
The Barnacle Goose, 112 Shelduck, 20 Canada Geese, 45 Teal, 80 Wigeon, 40 Redshank, 140 Dunlin, 50 Curlew, a Little Egret and a Stonechat were seen from New Passage. A Twite and a Stonechat were reported at Aust Warth,

25th February
A late afternoon visit to New Passage produced a Barnacle Goose, 114 Shelduck, 140 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 125 Redshank and 200 Dunlin.

24th February
The only reports received were from the Northwick Warth area and involved single Barnacle Goose and dark-bellied Brent Goose, 89 Shelduck, 11 Shoveler, 15 Gadwall, 6 Tufted Duck, single Little Egret, Water Rail, and Little Grebe, 68 Lapwing, 48 Curlew and 300 Dunlin.

23rd February
A breezy day. Sightings from Severn Beach included the wintering Purple Sandpiper, 2 Mediterranean Gulls (adult & 1st winter), 11 Kittiwakes, 170 Turnstones and 50 Dunlin. A female Merlin, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, a Barnacle Goose, 19 Canada Geese, 72 Shelduck, 50+ Teal, 180 Wigeon, 3 Tufted Duck, 350 Dunlin, 40 Redshank and a Little Egret were seen from New Passage.

22nd February
The Purple Sandpiper remained with 150 roosting Turnstones at Severn Beach where 25 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 4 Canada Geese, 6 Gadwall, a Great Black-backed Gull and 2 Kittiwakes were also seen. Sightings from New Passage and Northwick Warth included the dark-bellied Brent Goose, a Barnacle Goose, 19 Canada Geese (including the Todd’s), 78 Shelduck, 200+ Wigeon, 60+ Teal, an additional 100 Turnstones, 400+ Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 80 Curlew, 60 Oystercatchers and 40 Lapwing.

21st February
Combined reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland involved the first Barnacle Goose for 3 years, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 42 Canada Geese, 69 Shelduck, 24 Gadwall, 15 Shoveler, 13 Tufted Duck, 70+ Teal, 260+ Wigeon, a Water Rail, a Little Egret, 50 Lapwing, 700+ Dunlin, 53 Oystercatchers, 70 Redshank, 60 Curlew, 3 Snipe. 2 Peregrines and a Stonechat. Nearby a Purple Sandpiper and 15 Turnstones were seen flying from New Passage. The Purple Sandpiper was seen later roosting with 130 Turnstones at Severn Beach where an adult Kittiwake was also seen. Three Stonechats were reported again at Aust Warth. Another Water Rail and 5 Tufted Duck were reported at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach.

                                                                                Barnacle Goose, Northwick Warth 21.2.14

                                                                                 Purple Sandpiper, Severn Beach 21.2.14

20th February
A Guillemot was seen again from the sea wall at Severn Beach and a large flock of Starlings gave a pre roost display over the village this evening.

19th February
A Guillemot was seen floating up river off Severn Beach this morning. A Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Stonechats, 18 Shelduck, 35 Teal, 135 Dunlin, 4 Snipe and 22 Redshank were reported at Chittening Warth and at least 3 Stonechats remained at Aust Warth.

18th February
The only report was of 4 Stonechats at Aust Warth.

17th February
Combined reports from New Passage involved 28 Canada Geese, 41 Shelduck, 320 Wigeon, 45 Teal, 10 Oystercatchers, 1400 Dunlin, 120 Curlew and 21 Redshank.

16th February
A cold, dry and windless dawn followed by a sunny dry day, the first for some time. A high tide visit to the Severn Beach salt marsh produced just 4 Ringed Plover, 8 Snipe and 3 Rock Pipits. Sightings from New Passage included 43 Canada Geese, a mixed flock of at least 400 Wigeon/Teal, 55 Shelduck, 1500 Dunlin, 120 Curlew, 70 Oystercatchers and a Little Egret. A Short-eared Owl was seen late afternoon at the Cake Pill end of Northwick Warth and a Little Egret flew over Aust Warth and a Guillemot was seen drifting down river here from Aust Cliff this morning. A Cetti’sWarbler was heard at the VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

15th February
A morning seawatch at Severn Beach following over night gales and rain produced 4 Great Skuas, a Guillemot, an adult Little Gull, 6+ Kittiwakes, 120 Turnstones and 100 Dunlin. A windswept visit to New Passage produced a Kittiwake, 19 Canada Geese, 50 Shelduck, 50 Teal, 240 Wigeon, 1800 Dunlin, 100+ Oystercatchers, 110 Curlew, 45 Lapwing and 30 Redshank. Two Stonechats were reported again at Aust Warth.

14th February
Another very wet and windy day. Afternoon reports from New Passage involved 45+ Canada Geese (including the Todd’s), 53 Shelduck, 60 Teal, 200 Wigeon, 3 Tufted Duck, 100+ Lapwing and 500 Dunlin. An adult Kittiwake, 130 Turnstones and 200 Dunlin were seen from Severn Beach late afternoon where thousands of Starlings gave an impressive pre roost display over the village at dusk. A Stonechat was seen at Aust Warth.

13th February
A Knot was seen with the Dunlin flock at New Passage. Two Stonechats remained at Aust Warth and 3 Kittiwakes were seen off Severn Beach late afternoon.

12th February
A pre storm morning visit to the Pilning Wetland produced 58 Canada Geese, 53 Shelduck, 500 Wigeon, 85 Teal, 11 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, 8 Tufted Duck, 35 Lapwing, 450 Dunlin, 33 Redshank, 80 Curlew and a Snipe. Strong gales over the afternoon rising tide at Severn Beach produced 5 Great Skuas, 9 Kittiwakes, single Fulmar and Guillemot, a dark-bellied Brent Goose and 9 Ringed Plover.

                                                                                       Great Skua, Severn Beach 12.2.14

11th February
Another wet day. A brief after work visit to Severn Beach produced 5 Kittiwakes.

10th February
A much calmer day but a Razorbill was seen off Severn Beach that eventually drifted up river to New Passage where a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 62 Shelduck, 85 Teal and 200 Wigeon were still present. A Twite was seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                  Razorbill, Severn Beach 10.2.14 © Dan White

                                                                                 Razorbill, New Passage 10.2.14 © Colin Marrs                                                                                           
                                                                                   Twite, Aust Warth 10.2.14  © Allan Chard

9th February
Following a stormy night it was a day of rain and and strong wind. A Puffin, at least 8 Guillemots, a Fulmar, a Gannet, a Little Gull, at least 150 Kittiwakes, a Purple Sandpiper, 140 Turnstones amd 15 Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach. Six of the Guillemots and the Puffin were also seen later off New Passage where 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 50+ Shelduck, 20+ Canada Geese, 240 Wigeon, 3 Pintail and a Peregrine were also reported.

                                                                                             Kittiwakes, Severn Beach 9.2.14

                                                                                              Kittiwakes, Severn Beach 9.2.14

                                                                                            Little Gull, Severn Beach 9.2.14

                                                                                            Little Gull, Severn Beach 9.2.14

                                                                                            Guillemot, Severn Beach 9.2.14
                                                           one of at least 8 seen here today including some breeding plumaged birds.

8th February
A return to increasingly windy and wet weather. A Guillemot, an Auk sp (thought possibly a Razorbill), a Fulmar, 100+ Kittiwakes, a Purple Sandpiper, 150 Turnstones, 7 Ringed Plover and 14 Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach. Combined reports from Northwick Warth involved 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 50 Lapwing, 80 Curlew, 45 Oystercatchers, a Water Rail, 28 Canada Geese, 55 Shelduck, 200+ Wigeon, 80 Teal, 11 Gadwall, 20 Shoveler,11 Tufted Duck, a Little Grebe and 2 Peregrines. A Twite was seen again at Aust Warth.

                                                                        Purple Sandpiper and Turnstones, Severn Beach 8.2.14

7th February
A sunny dry day for a change. A morning visit to the Pilning Wetland on Northwick Warth produced a Brent Goose, 24 Canada Geese, 63 Shelduck, 250+ Wigeon, 52 Teal, 16 Tufted Duck, 25 Shovler, 16 Gadwall, 2 Water Rails, a Little Grebe, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 200 Curlew, 160 Lapwing, 45 Oystercatchers, 79 Redshank, 300+ Dunlin and a Water Pipit. A Purple Sandpiper, 120+ Turnstones, 30 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover and 20 Oystercatchers were seen at Severn Beach. A Twite was reported again at Aust Warth at Old Passage.

                                                                                       Brent Goose, Northwick Warth 7.2.14

6th February
The Todd’s like Canada Goose was with 16 Canada Geese at New Passage where 55 Shelduck, 80 Lapwing, 70+ Curlew, 300+ Dunlin, 2 Turnstones and 60+ Redshank were also seen. A Black Redstart was seen in Severn Beach.

5th February
An increasingly wet and windy day. A brief afternoon visit to Severn Beach at almost low tide produced at least 20 Kittiwakes.

4th February
Sightings from New Passage included 130 Lapwing, 100+ Oystercatchers, 70 Curlew, 300 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, 40 Canada Geese, 55 Shelduck, 220 Wigeon, 50 Teal and 2 Ravens. A Woodcock was flushed from scrub below the cliff at Aust Warth.

3rd February
Another big tide day with 3 Short-eared Owls, a Merlin, a Little Egret, 300 Wigeon, 20 Canada Geese, 60 Oystercatchers and 2 Stonechats being seen at Aust Warth. Nearby, a Glaucous Gull was seen flying down river from Beachly Point just a few miles west of Aust Warth so could still be in the area. Slightly further away but within striking distance a superb Red-flanked Bluetail was found late afternoon in the Shire Valley on the Marshfield “patch” by John Barnett. Click HERE for a short video I managed to shoot in the fading light.

                                                                  Red-flanked Bluetail,  Marshfield  3.2.14  © Martyn Hayes

2nd February
Another huge spring tide (14.5m) provided some excitement and a good selection this morning. Five Short-eared Owls were washed out of the Aust Warth salt marsh where 2 Twite, 2 Stonechats, 2 Rock Pipits, a Grey Plover, a Knot, a Peregrine and a feeding frenzy of Crows and Gulls snacking on washed out Voles were also seen. Two Bar-tailed Godwits, 120+ Turnstones and 5 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach.

                                                                             Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 2.2.14  © Allan Chard

                                                                                  Black-headed Gull, Aust Warth 2.2.14  © Vic Savery
                                            one of the many Voles being taken as they are washed out of the salt marsh

                                                                                     Severn Beach 2.2.14  © Lorie Barber
              The lower footpath covered by the 14.5+ metre tide. Thankfully still a couple of metres lower than the top of the sea defences.
1st February

                                                                                        Aust Warth spring tide, 1.2.14

A massive 14.4 metre spring tide washed out 5 Short-eared Owls, 2 Twite, a Water Pipit and a Stonechat out of the salt marsh at Aust Warth.

                                                                                      Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 1.2.14

Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 47 Canada Geese (including the Todd’s), 8 Shoveler, 80 Teal, 300 Wigeon, 48 Shelduck, 14 Gadwall, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 79 Oystercatchers, 67 Redshank, 600+ Dunlin, 50 Lapwing and a Water Rail. Another Water Pipit, 25 Turnstones and 5 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach.