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Despite the onset of winter and the decrease in hours of daylight, October is a month with the highest number of recorded species, with a grand total of 202. Rarities have included the only records of Black-necked Grebe (1996), Montagu’s Harrier (1991), Long-billed Dowitcher (1977), Lesser Yellowlegs (1984), White-rumped Sandpiper (1985), Red-necked Phalarope (2001), American Golden Plover (2013), Black Guillemot (1998), Bearded Tits (2012) and Yellow-browed Warbler (2001, 2013). Other national and local rarities recorded include Glossy Ibis (2009), Ring-billed Gull, Spoonbills,Whooper Swans, Roseate Tern, Hooded Crow, Dartford Warbler, Hen Harrier, Ring Ouzel, Mealy Redpoll, Firecrest, Hawfinch and Common Crossbill.

October 2014

31st October
The warmest Halloween on record (21°C) produced a female Merlin, 150 Black-tailed Godwits, 35 Knot, 55 Lapwing, 50 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, a Snipe, 2 Little Egrets, 45 Canada Geese, 8 Shoveler, 200+ Wigeon, 80 Teal, 7 Common Gulls, a Raven and 30 Redwings were seen in the Northwick Warth area. At least 18 Ringed Plover, 15 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, a Gadwall and 5 Rock Pipits were seen at Severn Beach. A Stonechat remained at Aust Warth.

30th October
Sightings from Northwick Warth/New Passage included 65 Canada Geese, 12 Shoveler, the Wigeon and Teal flock, 2 Little Egrets, a female Merlin, a Grey Plover, 29 Knot, a Turnstone, 80 Lapwing, 150 Dunlin, 40 Black-tailed Godwits and a large flock of Starlings going to roost in the reed bed. Another female Merlin (present at same time as Northwick bird was being watched) and a Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                              Merlin, Aust Warth 30.10.14

29th October
The only reports today were of 20 Canada Geese and a Stonechat at Aust Warth, 60 Canada Geese and a female Merlin at Northwick Warth.

28th October
A sunny day produced 3 Little Egrets, a Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Knot, 8 Grey Plover, 90 Redshank, 30 Lapwing, 350 Dunlin, 63 Canada Geese, 4 Tufted Duck, 8 Shoveler, the Wigeon and Teal flock, single Merlin, Peregrine, Kingfisher and Stonechat.

27th October
Two female Merlin were seen hunting on Northwick Warth this afternoon where other reports involved 36 Lapwing, 200 Dunlin, 3 Grey Plover, 10 Turnstones, 70 Redshank, 60 Oystercatchers, a Ringed Plover, 2 Little Egrets, 40 Canada Geese and the usual Wigeon/Teal.

26th October
At least 700 Dunlin, 30 Knot, 9 Grey Plover, 130 Redshank, 30 Turnstones, 90 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, the usual Wigeon and Teal flock, 4 Little Grebes, 7 Rock Pipits, single Stonechat and Kingfisher were seen the New Passage/Northwick Warth area. A Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe and another 2 Stonechats were reported at Aust Warth.

25th October
Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 3 Little Egrets, 200 Redshank, 500 Dunlin, 30 Knot, 4 Grey Plover, 3 Snipe, 37 Lapwing, 110 Curlew, 90+ Oystercatchers, 25 Turnstones, single Ringed Plover and Black-tailed Godwit, 42 Canada Geese, the large flock of Wigeon and Teal, 27 Shoveler, 4 Shelduck, 5 Tufted Duck, a Water Rail, 9 Moorhens, a male Stonechat and Kingfisher and 2 Peregrines giving a spectacular performance attacking the wader flocks. Two Ravens flew over Aust Warth and 13 Ringed Plover were reported at Severn Beach.

24th October
A Little Egret, 42 Canada Geese, 350 Wigeon, 300 Teal, 25 Lapwing, a Kingfisher and Peregrine were seen from New Passage this afternoon.

23rd October
Another brief afternoon visit to New Passage produced 2 Little Egrets, 20 Knot, 5 Grey Plover, 150 Dunlin, 140 Redshank, 92 Oystercatchers, 4 Lapwing, 44 Canada Geese, 500+ Wigeon, 110 Teal and a Kingfisher.

22nd October
Another breezy day with just 13 Shelduck, 13 Ringed Plover, 35 Dunlin, 40 Curlew, 2 Snipe, 350+ Black-headed Gulls and a Wheatear were seen at Severn Beach. Thirty Canada Geese, the large flock of Wigeon, 90 Curlew and 50+ Oystercatchers and 100+ Redshank were reported from the Northwick Warth area.

21st October
An unsettled day with a strong west-north west wind. Just 70 Curlew, 6 Shelduck, a Wheatear and 2 Ravens were reported from Severn Beach. The large flock of 600+ Wigeon, 120 Dunlin, 120 Redshank and 20 Canada Geese were seen from New Passage.

20th October
A brief after work visit to New Passage produced a Little Egret, 27 Lapwing, 100 Dunlin, 60 Oystercatchers, 600+ Wigeon, 70 Teal, 6 Shelduck and 8 Shoveler. Just 20 Turnstones, 2 Ringed Plover and 10 Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach.

19th October
Much of the same today with 30+ Knot, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 140 Redshank, 10 Dunlin, 30 Lapwing, a Jack Snipe, 2 Little Egrets, 25 Canada Geese, 5 Tufted Duck, 400+ Wigeon, 6 Shoveler, a singing Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Redwing, 2 Wheatears and a Stonechat reported from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area. A late Whimbrel, 9 Jack Snipe, 5 Grey Plover, 5 Redshank, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth. Another Cetti’s Warbler was heard at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach and 2 Ravens and a Wheatear were seen on the river shore.

18th October
Reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 8 Grey Plover, 50 Knot, 3 Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe, 4 Redwings, 2 Stonechat, 2 Rock Pipits, a Wheatear, 2 Chiffchaff and 3 Blackcap. Another 3 Jack Snipe were present at Aust Warth.
Meanwhile, our last day on the Isles of Scilly produced little more than a Yellow-browed Warbler, Rose-coloured Starling and 2 first winter Mediterranean Gulls.

                                                       1st winter Mediterranean Gulls, St. Marys, Isles of Scilly 18.10.14

17th October
It remains quiet with just 3 Little Egrets, 115 Redshank, 4 Tufted Duck, a Kingfisher, a Swallow, 53 Redwing, a Stonechat, 12 Siskin and the first Brambling of the year reported from the Northwick Warth area.

16th October
The only reports were of a Grey Plover, 35 Knot, 2 Jack Snipe, 8 Snipe, 40 Curlew, 9 Redwing, a Wheatear and a Siskin in the New Passage/Northwick Warth area.

15th October
The first Severnside record of Red-footed Falcon; a female, was seen by 2 lucky observers on Northwick Warth this morning before it quickly departed towards the Pilning Wetland.. Twelve Brent Geese were reported flying down river from Aust Warth. Sixteen Swallows, a Fieldfare and a Redwing were reported from Severn Beach. A steady trickle of birds on Scilly today including Barred Warbler, Wryneck, Red-breasted Flycatchers, Yellow-browed Warbler and this stunning male Black Redstart digiscoped by South Glos rarities committee photographic consultant.

                                                             Black Redstart, St. Marys, Isles of Scilly 15.10.14 © Mark Coller

14th October
Just 27 Lapwing, 47 Knot, a Little Egret and 2 Stonechats were reported from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area today. Meanwhile, still glorious sunshine and a few birds on our Isles of Scilly trip.

                                                                             Snow Bunting, St. Marys, Isles of Scilly 14.10.14

13th October
No reports were received today.

12th October
The only reports received were of 11 Grey Plover, a Jack Snipe, 5 Snipe and a Wheatear at Northwick Warth. Another Jack Snipe and 4 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth. Away on the Isles of Scilly today we managed to see a Short-toed Lark, an obliging Richard’s Pipit and Snow Buntings. Click here for one of the Buntings on Youtube.

                                                                          Short-toed Lark, St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly 12.10.14

                                                                         Richard’s Pipit, St. Marys, Isles of Scilly 12.10.14

11th October
Reports from the Northwick Warth area included  2 Little Stints, a Curlew Sandpiper, 45 Knot, 500 Dunlin, a Ruff, 19 Snipe, 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 90 Turnstones, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Greylag Geese, a Swallow and 2 Wheatears. Two Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth.

10th October
The only reports were of 2 Curlew Sandpipers, a Little Stint, 35 Knot and a Wheatear from New Passage. A flock of 50 Swallows was reported at Aust Warth.

9th October
A windy, wet day with 14+ metre tide producing a wader influx. A Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, at least 500 Dunlin, 200 Redshank, 50 Turnstones, a Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover, 7 Grey Plover, 39 Knot, 70 Oystercatchers, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Brent Geese, 10 Canada Geese, 350 Wigeon, 130 Teal, a Kingfisher, a Wheatear and 3 Swallows were seen from New Passage. A Kittiwake, 2 Common Scoter, 2 drake Pintail and a mixed flock of 80 Turnstones, Ringed Plover and Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach where a Seal was present close to the Second Severn Crossing at high tide.

                                                                                   Curlew Sandpiper, New Passage 9.10.14

                                                                                   Little Stint, New Passage 9.10.14

                                                                                     Brent Geese, New Passage 9.10.14

8th October
A wet and breezy day. Sightings fro the Northwick Warth area included the mixed flock of 400 Wigeon/Teal, 3 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, a Little Egret, 4 Little Egret, 30 Dunlin, 38 Redshank, 13 Swallows, 2 Chiffchaff and a Wheatear. Two female Common Scoters (evening tide), 10 Canada Geese, 23 Ringed Plover, 48 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, a Knot, a Swallow and 2 Redwings were seen at Severn Beach.

7th October
At least 25 Knot, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 190 Redshank, 2 Little Egrets, 9 Little Grebes, 250 Wigeon, 140 Teal, 4 Tufted Duck and a Kingfisher were reported from New Passage/Northwick Warth. Three Kittiwakes, 11 Ringed Plover, 55 Dunlin, 50 Turnstones, 6 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew and 6 Cormorants were seen at Severn Beach. A Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe, 6 Redshank and a Swallow were reported from Aust Warth.

                                                                                    Kingfisher, New Passage 7.10.14

6th October
Reports from New Passage involved a Whimbrel, 70 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Knot, 9 Dunlin, 100+ Redshank, a Little Egret, 300+ Wigeon, 120 Teal, 2 Wheatears and 2 Kingfishers.

5th October
Most reports came from the Northwick Warth area and included 90 Black-tailed Godwits, 30+ Knot, a Golden Plover, 30 Turnstones, 110 Redshank, 6 Dunlin, 5 Snipe, a Water Rail, 3 Little Egrets, a Peregrine, 350 Wigeon, a Pintail, 2 Wheatears, a Stonechat, a Kingfisher, a Cetti’s Warbler (female, trapped and ringed at Grebe pond) and 4 flyover Mistle Thrushes. Two Stonechats were reported at Aust Warth.

4th October
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included a Curlew Sandpiper, 30 Dunlin, 37 Knot, 115 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 25 Turnstones, 15 Ringed Plover, 5 Snipe, 2 Little Egrets, 3 Pintail, 2 Ravens, 2 Merlins (male and female), 2 Peregrines (adult and immature), single Water Rail, Kingfisher and Stonechat. Another Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 35 Shelduck and a Raven were seen at Severn Beach. An experienced visiting birder heard what he believed to be a Richard's Pipit call several times (a loud, rasping 'shreep' ) but a thorough search of the saltmarsh west of the Pilning Wetland 'observatory' failed to locate the bird. He felt that it would be unwise to declare this a bona fide record without any visual confirmation but it would be a good idea to alert any other Severnside birders to the possibility of the bird in the area.

3rd October
A quiet day with just 9 Dunlin, 21 Black-tailed Godwits, 132 Redshank, 76 Turnstones, 3 Little Egrets, 52 Canada Geese, a Greylag, 320 Wigeon, 190 Teal, 17 Shoveler, 3 Tufted Duck, 6 Little Grebes, a Kingfisher and 3 Ravens were reported from the Northwick Warth area. Five Fieldfares were reported flying south over Aust Warth. Just 14 Ringed Plover were seen at Severn Beach.

2nd October
Combined reports from the New Passage area involved a Curlew Sandpiper, a Little Stint, 4 Grey Plover, a Golden Plover, 32 Knot, just 35+ Dunlin, 110 Black-tailed Godwits, 25 Turnstones, 80 Redshank, a Ringed Plover, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Egrets, 37 Shoveler, 5 Tufted Duck, a Pintail, 350 Wigeon, 150 Teal, 10 Little Grebes, a Peregrine, 2 Ravens, 4 Kingfishers, 5 Swallows, 3 Wheatears and a Stonechat. Another Curlew Sandpiper, 60 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin, 20 Turnstones and Wheatear were seen on the afternoon high tide at Severn Beach, Another 4 Stonechat and a Kingfisher were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                 Curlew Sandpiper, Severn Beach 2.10.14

1st October
Single Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Grey Plover, 80 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Knot, 90 Redshank, 400+ Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 26 Lapwing, 30 Turnstones, 16 Curlew, 4 Little Egrets, 300 Wigeon, 190 Teal, a Pintail, 2 Tufted Duck, 80 Canada Geese, a Greylag, 2 Peregrines, 2 Wheatears, a Kingfisher and a Rock Pipit were seen from New Passage/Northwick Warth.