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March is a slightly better month than February with a total of 171 species recorded during this month. As each day passes the expectation of an early spring migrant increases, Wheatears usually being seen by mid month along with Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins and possibly Little Ringed Plovers. Rarities have included Black Kite (2010), Avocets, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Hen Harrier and Cetti’s Warbler (2003), Bearded Tit (2004), Great Grey Shrike (2004), Mandarin (2006) and Siberian Chiffchaff (2007).

March 2014

31st March
A drake Green-winged Teal was reported floating upriver from Aust Warth this morning. Evening reports from Northwick Warth involved 2 Little Egrets, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 80 Redshank, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing, 60 Curlew, 10 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, 50 Shelduck, 8 Canada Geese, 10 Gadwall, 10 Shoveler, 4 Tufted Duck, 70+ Teal and 2 White Wagtails.

30th March
A sunny and warm day. A record sized flock of 25 Avocets were present in the Northwick Warth/Aust Warth area all day. Other combined reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland involved 9 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 70 Redshank, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 20 Snipe, a Little Egret, 3 Greylag Geese, 8 Canada Geese, 10 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 7 Tufted Duck, 30 Teal, 50 Shelduck, a Wheatear and at least 10 Sand Martins. At least 50 Turnstones were seen at Severn Beach. A male Merlin and a Stonechat were reported at Aust Warth. A Jack Snipe and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Chittening Warth.

                                                                           Avocets, Northwick Warth 30.3.14 © John Martin

                                                                                        Avocets, Northwick Warth 30.3.14

29th March
A misty dawn followed by a warm day and an east wind. Combined reports from Northwick Warth/ Pilning Wetland involved 100+ Meadow Pipits heading north, 4 Wheatears, 6+ Chiffchaffs, a singing Willow Warbler, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Water Rails, 3 Little Egrets, 60 Oystercatchers, 80+ Redshank, 60 Oystercatchers, 40 Teal, 8 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 4 Tufted Duck and a Peregrine. Another 5 Wheatears, a Willow Warbler and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Chittening Warth.A female type Sawbill (either Goosander or Red Breasted Merganser) was seen in flight off Severn Beach this morning and 3 Brent Geese were present on the evening high tide.

                                                                                 Brent Geese, Severn Beach  29.3.14

28th March
An evening visit to the Pilning Wetland produced 5 Little Ringed Plovers, a summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit, a Lapwing, 3 Little Egrets, 4 Little Grebes, 41 Teal, 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Shoveler, 14 Gadwall, 13 Canada Geese and 60 Shelduck.

27th March
A late afternoon visit to Northwick Warth produced 9 Canada Geese, 55 Shelduck, 31 Teal, 11 Tufted Duck, 5 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 4 Little Grebes, 50 Curlew and a Lapwing. A Spoonbill flew low and west over New Passage at 6.15pm and continued over the estuary (the 1st March and only the 9th site record). The first 2 Little Ringed Plovers of the year were seen today.

                                                                                           Little Ringed Plover, 27.3.14

26th March
A Little Egret, 17 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 5 Tufted Duck, 30 Teal, 3 Little Grebes, 9 Canada Geese and a Lapwing were seen on the Pilning Wetland.

25th March
A Purple Sandpiper was seen with at least 50 Turnstones at Severn Beach late morning. A Little Egret, 14 Canada Geese, 8 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 13 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe were seen on the Pilning Wetland at Northwick Warth. Another Little Grebe, 17 Oystercatchers, single Snipe and Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Stupp Pill, Chittening Warth.

                                                                Purple Sandpiper & Turmstones, Severn Beach 25.3.14 © Don Smith

24th March
The only report was of a Wheatear on Northwick Warth.

23rd March
Two Bar-tailed Godwits, single Black-tailed Godwit and Knot remained off New Passage this morning and 20+ Canada Geese, 122 Shelduck, a Raven and a Chiffchaff were reported at Northwick Warth. A Twite and a Wheatear remained at Aust Warth.

22nd March
A morning visit to Northwick Warth produced 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 breeding plumaged Black-tailed Godwits, a Knot, 130 Redshank, 10 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 60 Oystercatchers, 70 Curlew, single Lapwing and Snipe, 33 Canada Geese, at least 160 Shelduck, 30 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 7 Tufted Duck, 12 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebes and 2 Ravens. A flock of 17 Brent Geese lingered over the mid morning high tide at Severn Beach where 30 Shelduck, 130 Turnstones, 9 Snipe and 3 Wheatears were also seen. Another Wheatear was seen at Aust Warth and another Raven was reported at Chittening Warth.

                                                                                     Brent Geese, Severn Beach  22.3.14

                                                                                     Brent Geese, Severn Beach  22.3.14

                                                                                        Wheatear, Severn Beach  22.3.14

21st March
No reports were received today.

20th March
The first 5 House Martins of the year were seen at New Passage.

19th March
The Twite was reported at Aust Warth again today.

18th March
A brief morning visit to New Passage produced 41 Canada Geese, 31 Teal, 50 Shelduck, 140+ Redshank, 10 Dunlin and 35 Turnstones.

17th March
The Twite and usual flock of Reed Buntings remained at Aust Warth. At least 2 Little Egrets, 38 Canada Geese, 4 Tufted Duck, 40 Teal, 8 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebes, 40 Curlew and a Lapwing were reported from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland. A Siberian Chiffchaff was heard singing at Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

                                                                                Reed Bunting, Aust Warth  17.3.14 © Lee Gardiner

16th March
A morning visit to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland produced 3 Little Egrets, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 120 Redshank, 2 Lapwing, 60 Oystercatchers, a Snipe, 23 Canada Geese, 80 Shelduck, 14 Gadwall, 3 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails and a flyover Siskin. Another 80 Shelduck, 10 Canada Geese, a Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe and 40 Turnstones were seen at Severn Beach. The Twite showed well at Aust Warth. Three singing Chiffchaffs were reported at Sea Bank pools at Chittening Warth.

                                                                                   Twite, Aust Warth  16.3.14 © Rod Holbrook

15th March
A Twite showed well at the Old Passage end of Aust Warth. The first Avocet of the year was found off Northwick Warth this morning where 6 Little Egrets, at least 150 Redshank, 27 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Dunlin, 80 Curlew, single Lapwing, Snipe and Water Rail, 50 Oystercatchers, 70 Shelduck, 80 Teal, 60 Wigeon, 13 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, 3 Tufted Duck, 13 Canada Geese and at least 3 Chiffchaffs were also seen. An early start and quick dash to Pembrokeshire this morning produced a fine Great Spotted Cuckoo..

                                                               Great Spotted Cuckoo, Tenby Golf Course, Pembrokeshire  15.3.14

14th March
A morning of dense fog followed by a cold and breezy afternoon. Reports from Chittening Warth included 2 Little Grebes, a Snipe and 2 Cetti’s Warblers. At least 20 Black-tailed Godwits, 90 Redshank, 40 Teal, 20 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, a Lapwing, a Little Egret, 28 Canada Geese, 60 Shelduck, 5 Tufted Duck, 7 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and 2 Little Grebes were seen on the Pilning Wetland. At least 60 Wigeon, 4 Pintail, 2 Gadwall and 21 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach. A Peregrine was reported at Aust Warth,

13th March
The Twite was singing at Aust Warth this morning where single Short-eared Owl and Peregrine, 30 Pied Wagtails and 7 Chiffchaffs were also present. Two Little Egrets, 28 Canada Geese, 60 Shelduck, 80 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlew, a Lapwing, 2 Tufted Duck, 6 Shoveler, 30 Teal and a Chiffchaff were seen at Northwick Warth late afternoon. A redhead Goosander was seen off Severn Beach this evening with 21 Shelduck and 2 Gadwall.

                                                                               Goosander at sunset, Severn Beach  13.3.14

12th March
A Little Egret, 90 Redshank, 50 Shelduck were seen from New Passage and a Twite remained in the Old Passage area of Aust Warth.

11th March
Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 33 Canada Geese (including the Todd’s), 8 Shoveler, 14 Gadwall, 12 Tufted Duck, 21 Teal, 5 Wigeon, 40 Shelduck, 4 Little Grebes, 2 Little Egrets, single Water Rail, Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwit, 44 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 40 Redshank, 5 Stock Doves, 3 Ravens and a Chiffchaff. A Twite remained at Aust Warth and a Cetti’s Warbler was heard again near Stupp Pill at Chittening Warth.

10th March
A dry but colder day with a north east breeze. Three Little Egrets were seen on the Pilning Wetland this afternoon.The first Wheatear of the year and a Twite were reported at Aust Warth.

9th March
Another warm spring day. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included 7 Little Egrets, 9 Shoveler, 80 Shelduck, 10 Canada Geese, 60 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 4 Lapwing, 5 Snipe, a Fieldfare and 2 Chiffchaffs. Another Chiffchaff, a Cetti’s Warbler, 39 Shelduck and 4 Gadwall were reported from Severn Beach. A Water Rail, 16 Canada Geese, a Peregrine and 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                          Stonechat, Aust Warth  9.3.14

8th March
A sunny and dry day with a southerly wind. Sightings from the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area included a Barnacle Goose. 26 Canada Geese, 90+ Shelduck, 15 Gadwall, 17 Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, 50 Teal, 40 Wigeon, 3 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, 3 Little Egrets, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 60 Redshank, 80 Curlew, 4 Lapwing, 50 Oystercatchers, 120 Dunlin, 4 Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Fieldfare. A Twite and at least 200 Wigeon were seen at Aust Warth. Reports from Chittening Warth involved 2 calling Cetti’s Warblers, 3 Ravens and a Peregrine. At least 175 Turnstones were seen roosting at Severn Beach over the high tide. An influx of at least 30 Pied Wagtails was seen between Chittening Warth and Severn Beach. The Starlings continued to give an impressive pre roost display in Severn Beach at dusk.

                                                                                  Twite, Aust Warth  8.3.14 © Vic Savery

                                                                Starlings, Gorse Cover Road, Severn Beach 8.3.14 © Lee Gardiner

7th March
A brief afternoon visit to New Passage produced the Barnacle Goose, 4 Canada Geese, 45 Teal, 90+ Shelduck, 3 Little Egrets and 75 Redshank. A Twite remained at Aust Warth and the first Sand Martin of the year flew north at Severn Beach.

6th March
The Barnacle Goose and 92 Shelduck remained on Northwick Warth. Six Canada Geese were seen at Severn Beach.

5th March
A Twite was seen again at Aust Warth and a Little Egret was reported at Severn Beach.

4th March
A Barnacle Goose and a Little Egret at New Passage and a Twite and 2 Stonechats again at Aust Warth. A Cetti’s Warbler and a Stonechat were reported at Chittening Warth. A Chiffchaff was singing at Avonmouth Sewage Works and a Jack Snipe and 78 Snipe were flushed from the wet field next to Kingsweston Lane. Thousands of Starlings gave a spectacular pre roost display over Severn Beach this evening.

3rd March
Another high spring tide produced 3 Short-eared Owls, 10 Canada Geese, 100+ Dunlin, a Peregrine, a Twite and  100+ flyover Meadow Pipits (heading north). The Barnacle Goose, 152 Shelduck and 150+ Wigeon remained at Northwick Warth. A Water Rail, 2 Little Grebes and 3 Tufted Duck were reported at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach.

2nd March
A high spring tide and an increasingly wet day. The usual 125 Shelduck, 24 Gadwall, 23 Shoveler, 56 Turnstones, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 Water Rails were reported from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. Three Short-eared Owls were pushed out of the salt marsh at Aust Warth on the rising tide this morning where 8 Canada Geese, a Barnacle Goose, 80 Wigeon, 20 Teal and 25 Oystercatchers were also seen.

                                                                         Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth  2.3.14 © Dan White

1st March
An icy start to the month followed by a dry and sunny day. A brief afternoon scan from New Passage produced 2 Little Egrets, a Barnacle Goose, 5 Canada Geese, 146 Shelduck, 180 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 250 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 70 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew and 30 Lapwing. A Twite was seen again in the Old Passage area of Aust Warth. Sightings from Chittening Warth included 16 Gadwall, 8 Shelduck, 11 Teal, 110 Dunlin, 23 Redshank and a Chiffchaff. Many thousands of Starlings gave an impressive pre roost display over the centre of Severn Beach village (Gorse Cover Road) this evening.