SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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October 2003
Despite the onset of winter and the decrease in hours of daylight, October is the month with the highest number of recorded species,  with a  grand total of 187. Rarities have included the only records of Black-necked Grebe (1996), Montagu’s Harrier (1991), Long-billed Dowitcher (1977), Red-necked Phalarope (2001), Black Guillemot (1998) and Yellow-browed Warbler (2001).
Other national and local rarities recorded include Ring-billed Gull, Roseate Tern, Hooded Crow, Mealy Redpoll, Firecrest and Common Crossbill. There is the chance of a returning Bewick’s Swan, White-fronted Goose or Purple Sandpiper.
October 31st
 There were 200 Dunlin and a Grey Plover on Severn Beach  just before high tide, a Green Sandpiper was seen  nearby on the Orchard Pools. On Northwick Warth, a  Peregrine killed a Curlew, leaving three Buzzards to strip the carcass. The adult Mediterranean Gull and female Merlin were also present here with 150 Dunlin, fifty Lapwings.  A Kingfisher, Tufted Duck and two Grey Wagtails were on the Grebe pond, nearby a Blackcap was seen with many Redwings, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds in the field hedges. At least three Bramblings flew over. There were at least four Stonechats and ten Reed Buntings in the reeds at Aust Warth and two Bramblings remained in the Willows around the pond at Old Passage.

October 30th
A Merlin was seen on Northwick Warth with 100 Dunlin, thirty Common Redshanks and a Black-tailed Godwit. At Severn Beach there were just nine Ringed Plovers and fifty Dunlin. Two Bramblings were present in Willows around the farmyard pond at Old Passage. Heavy rain in the afternoon made finding anything else difficult.

October 29th
The adult Mediterranean Gull remained in the pill at New Passage and there was little change in the birds on Northwick Warth with 150 Dunlin, forty Common Redshanks, sixty Lapwings, two Common Snipe and a Knot being seen. There were two Stonechats at Aust Warth.

October 28th
On Northwick Warth, 300 Dunlin were seen with sixty five Lapwings, forty five Common Redshanks and a Knot. The adult Mediterranean Gull was still in the pill at New Passage. Elsewhere wader numbers were still low  with just three Ringed Plovers on Severn Beach and 100 Dunlin at Chittening Warth. Three Lesser Redpolls and  a Common Snipe were present at the Orchard Pools. Single Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth and Severn Beach.

October 27th
A good selection of birds were seen today, with a Firecrest at Aust Cliff being the best find. Other birds seen here were three Bramblings, a Stonechat, two Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. On Northwick Warth, a Merlin was present with 300 Dunlin, forty five Common Redshanks, sixty five Lapwings and a Black-tailed Godwit. At New Passage the adult Mediterranean Gull was still present with two Stonechats. Another Stonechat was at Severn Beach with just one Ringed Plover and a Kingfisher.
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Away from Severnside today, I managed to take this picture of of the rare combination of Mediterranean Gull and Green-winged Teal in Cornwall.

With the regular Mediterranean Gull at New Passage, it would be nice if a Green-winged Teal was found there soon. Keep looking for those vertical white stripes!
Mediterranean Gull and Green-winged Teal
Hayle Estuary, CORNWALL
October 24th
A late Wheatear and ninety Dunlin were seen on Severn Beach at first light. At New Passage there were seven Black-tailed Godwits, eighty Dunlin, forty Common Redshanks and fifty Wigeon. A Stonechat and a late Swallow were seen at Old Passage. This evening a Merlin was present at Northwick Warth with three Common Snipe and at least fifty Redwings.
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Merlin
Northwick Warth
24.10.3
October 23rd
A dry, sunny day with a north east wind. There was an obvious movement of Chaffinches early this morning, with several hundred birds seen in thirty minutes. There were six Black-tailed Godwits, thirty five Lapwings, twenty five Dunlin with the adult Mediterranean Gull at New Passage. Twelve Ringed Plovers were seen on Severn Beach. The shelter of Old Passage produced a Stonechat, two Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap.

October 22nd
A cold and wet day with few birds of note. There were two Black-tailed Godwits, two Shovelers and thirty Common Redshanks at New Passage. The sheltered trees at Old Passage held a Blackcap and two Chiffchaffs. A late afternoon visit to Severn Beach on the rising tide  produced 120 Dunlin, two Ringed Plovers, three Rock Pipits and two Stonechats.

October 21st
A good selection of waders were seen today. At New Passage there were sixty Dunlin, thirty Common Redshanks, eleven Black-tailed Godwits, three Common Snipe, single Sanderling, Grey Plover and Knot. The adult Mediterranean Gull and a Peregrine were also seen here. Another 120 Dunlin and forty Common Redshanks  were seen at Chittening Warth with an adult Yellow-legged Gull. At Severn Beach there were seventeen Ringed Plovers, four Grey Plovers, a Knot and a Stonechat.

October 20th
A quieter day today with a moderate north west wind. Three Black-tailed Godwits and a Kingfisher remained at New Passage with thirty Common Redshank and twenty five Lapwings. At least  one hundred Fieldfares and sixty Redwings flew over. A Stonechat remained at Aust Warth and one hundred Dunlin were at Severn Beach this afternoon.

October 19th
The heavy passage of Chaffinches continued at New Passage. Over 2000 headed into the cold north east wind in two hours this morning. Other migrants seen here included six Bramblings, twenty five Siskins,
150 Fieldfares, a Yellowhammer and a Merlin. Three Black-tailed Godwits were present with twenty five Common Redshank and the Kingfisher was in the pill. At Severn Beach, the salt marsh contained a flock of thirty Linnets, three Rock Pipits and a Wheatear. There were at least four Stonechats at Chittening Warth and another at Old Passage.

October 18th
An interesting morning with good numbers of birds. The best find was one, possibly two Firecrests at Old Passage. The birds remained in the sheltered trees adjacent to the old Aust Ferry jetty. A Chiffchaff, two Stonechats, eighty Fieldfares and nine Swallows were also seen here. At New Passage there was much visible migration, with most birds moving north or north east. One thousand eight hundred Chaffinches  and 150 Fieldfares passed over in just two hours. Other notable migrants seen during this time were fourteen Bramblings, forty six Siskins, two Redpolls, thirteen Swallows and a Yellowhammer.  A Golden Plover and Black-tailed Godwit were seen from here. Four Little Egrets (record count) were seen flying north east from Northwick Warth. A Common Treecreeper was seen in a hedge at Northwick Warth.

October 17th
A cold north east wind made it difficult to find any grounded birds but there was still a steady movement of birds flying over into the wind. At Northwick Warth, the usual Fieldfares, Redwings and Chaffinches were joined by small numbers of Brambling and Siskins. More unusual records were single Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow and a female Merlin. The Mediterranean Gull and Kingfisher were still in the pill at New Passage with two Black-tailed Godwits, twenty Common Redshank and 120 Turnstones. The wader flock at Severn Beach was just twenty five Dunlin and three Knot. A male Stonechat was present in reeds at Aust Warth.

October 16th
The first Short-eared Owl of the autumn was seen early this morning at Severn Beach . Waders seen here on the falling tide were 100 Dunlin, six Ringed Plovers and four Knot. Four Blackcaps and two Swallows  were also present at Severn Beach. The adult Mediterranean Gull showed well at New Passage late afternoon, where waders included fifteen Redshank, sixty Turnstones, four Common Snipe, forty Lapwings and a Black-tailed Godwit. There was steady movement of finches and thrushes over here all day, forty Siskins and ten Bramblings being the best birds. A Kingfisher and Stonechat were seen at New Passage, another Stonechat and Peregrine were still at Aust Cliff. Two Clouded Yellow butterflies were seen at New Passage and another was at Old Passage.
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Mediterranean Gull
New Passage
16.10.3
October 15th
Another sunny day with a moderate north east wind. Migrant birds today at New Passage included sixty Fieldfares, two Bramblings, three Redpolls and a Siskin,  seen and heard flying over into the wind. The adult Mediterranean Gull reappeared here today. At Severn Beach the wader roost increased to 180 Dunlin and twelve Ringed Plovers,  a Wheatear remained on the sea wall. A Stonechat, Coal Tit and Peregrine were seen below Aust Cliff.

October 14th
The weather remained the same producing more visible migrants.  A two hour count of “flyover birds” at New Passage this morning, produced at least 500 Chaffinches, eighty Greenfinches, four Brambling, two Redpoll,  twenty Siskins, a male Yellowhammer, 100 Redwings, and 100 Fieldfares. Other birds seen included six Swallows, twenty five Lapwings, a Kingfisher, two Common Snipe and a Stonechat. At Severn Beach, three Goosanders (first of the year) were seen flying towards Portishead.  Other notable birds involved eighty Swallows (all heading east), thirty Wigeon, single Wheatear and Redpoll, eighty Dunlin, ten Ringed Plovers and two Grey Plovers. A pair of Stonechats remained in the reed bed below Aust Cliff.

October 13th
Another day of north east winds resulted in reasonable visible migration. At New Passage at least 200 Redwings, seventy Fieldfares, fifty Song Thrushes, thirty Blackbirds moved through with a steady movement of  finches including Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, eight Siskins and one Brambling. At least thirty Pied Wagtails, six Grey Wagtails and seven Reed Buntings flew over. Migrants at Severn Beach included nine Swallows, three Blackcaps, single Wheatear, Chiffchaff and Brambling. The hawthorn scrub here was full of Redwings, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds. On Northwick Warth notable birds were twenty Wigeon, 120 Teal, single Stonechat, twenty Lapwings, thirteen Common Redshanks, single Common Snipe and Bar-tailed Godwit. The Kingfisher was still in the Pill at New Passage. There were additional pairs of Stonechat at  New Passage and Aust Warth.
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Pied Wagtail
New Passage
13.10.3
Goldfinch
New Passage
13.10.3
October 12th
There was reasonable movement of birds over New Passage early this morning. Most of the birds seen flew north east, a few landed  briefly. The totals over the first two hours of daylight were 300 plus Redwings, thirty Song Thrushes, four Mistle Thrushes, five Fieldfares and thirty Blackbirds. Chaffinch and Greenfinch  flocks were  moving over  with a few Siskins, Redpolls and three Bramblings. At least twenty Pied Wagtails and five Grey Wagtails were seen. Other notable sightings involved four Swallows, a Coal Tit and two Canada Geese flew west. Two Stonechats  were present at Aust Warth. A good selection of birds were reported from Chittening Warth late morning; another 110 Redwings, nine Fieldfares, six Stonechats, four Grey Plovers, four Knot, single Sanderling, Black-tailed Godwit and Green Sandpiper.
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Grey Wagtail
New Passage
12.10.3
October 11th
A warm sunny day produced plenty of visible migration. At New Passage a late Common Redstart was seen,  a Guillemot floated up and then down river and was later seen off Severn Beach. Other migrants at New Passage  included at least two Swallows, a Jay, twenty  Redwings, many Song Thrushes, Blackbirds, Meadow Pipits, and Skylarks. Several fly over Siskins and Redpolls were seen amongst a movement of Chaffinch and Greenfinch. The adult Mediterranean Gull flew inland over Northwick Warth where twelve Common Redshank, ten Lapwing, one Grey Plover and two Common Snipe were seen. At least fifteen Stonechats were counted between Aust Warth and and Chittening Warth. A Peregrine was seen below Aust Cliff. At least two Clouded Yellow and one Painted Lady butterflies were seen at New Passage.

October 10th
A Common Tern flew past Severn Beach this morning in windy conditions. Little else was seen except for an adult Mediterranean Gull at New Passage with a Kingfisher, three Redshank and three Lapwing also seen there. A group of five Stonechats were found on a hedge at Northwick Warth late afternoon.
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Stonechat
Northwick Warth
10.10.3
October 9th
The morning high tide produced one Curlew Sandpiper amongst 350 Dunlin at Severn Beach. A Rock Pipit was at New Passage and nearby there was a single Black-tailed Godwit, three Common Snipe and two Stonechats on Northwick Warth. Another Stonechat was seen at Aust Warth.

October 8th
A cold blustery day. Two hundred Dunlin were present on the high tide at Severn Beach this morning. Further up the estuary there were eight Black-tailed Godwits and three Knot off Northwick Warth, a Kingfisher and two Clouded Yellow butterflies at New Passage.

October 7th
The first Redwings of the autumn were seen today, a flock of fifty over Old Passage and another two at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach. Other birds seen this afternoon at Severn Beach included two Grey Plovers, two Peregrine and two hundred Dunlin, one hundred and fifty Turnstones and fifty Oystercatchers. A Stonechat was seen at Chittening Warth. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the square incinerator pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

October 6th
On the early evening tide, a pair of Common Scoter were  the only “seabirds” seen in a gusty west wind. Three Pintail also flew past here, while waders included 150 Dunlin, one Curlew Sandpiper, seven Ringed Plovers and two Grey Plovers. The other notable birds seen today were a Bar-tailed Godwit, Peregrine and Kingfisher at Northwick Warth, a Green Sandpiper and three Common Snipe at Chittening Warth.

October 5th
Another cold morning with less wind. The first Brambling of the year  was seen and heard flying south over Northwick Warth. Other birds seen here included two Stonechats three Golden Plovers, one Knot and five Common Snipe. Nearby at New Passage migrants included Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests, Song Thrushes, Grey Wagtails and Reed Buntings. An adult Mediterranean Gull was preening on the tide line at the mouth of the pill and the Kingfisher  was also seen here. At Severn Beach there were 200 Dunlin, seven Sanderling and two Grey Plovers.

October 4th
A  visit to Northwick Warth  in a cold north west wind produced  five Common Snipe, one Golden Plover , at least one Bar-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher. At least ten Chiffchaffs were seen and there was some visible migration with flyover Reed Buntings, Grey Wagtails, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails.  Further down the estuary at Severn Beach , the wader flock contained 150 Dunlin, two Grey Plovers, single Curlew Sandpiper, Knot and Golden Plover. A Peregrine  was seen hunting  here, a  first winter Little Gull  flew past in the gusty wind and a Common Gull  was present amongst the Black-headed Gulls. A Severnside rarity was found at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach ; a Common Treecreeper that loosely associated with a flock of Long-tailed Tits. A Kingfisher, Stonechat and an escaped White-cheeked Pintail were also seen here.
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Common Gull
Severn Beach
4.10.3
October 3rd
The wader flock at Severn Beach contained 250 Dunlin, twenty Ringed Plovers, four Grey Plovers and a Curlew Sandpiper. A Stonechat was seen here and another two were on Northwick Warth. Other birds  seen at  Northwick Warth included three Common Snipe,  five Golden Plover and a Curlew Sandpiper. The adult Mediterranean Gull and a Kingfisher were in the pill at New Passage and a Hobby flew south  past here. Migrants included fly over Redpoll, Grey Wagtails, at least ten Wheatears were seen in the area and a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were still moving through..

October 2nd
There was a good selection of waders at Severn Beach at high tide with a Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Knot, six Grey Plovers, twenty Ringed Plovers with 200 Dunlin. Two Wheatears  were also seen here. The adult Mediterranean Gull continued it’s long stay at New Passage. There was another Grey Plover at Northwick Warth along with  five Wheatears, three Pintail and twenty Wigeon.

October 1st
The Buff-breasted Sandpiper could not be found on Northwick Warth today despite extensive searching. Some other birds were seen here including five Common Snipe, single Wheatear, Stonechat and Merlin. The adult Mediterranean Gull remained in the pill at New Passage with a Greenshank and Kingfisher. The wader roost at Severn Beach  contained 250 Dunlin, four Ringed Plovers, four Grey Plovers, single Little Stint and Knot. A juvenile Hobby was seen at Old Passage this evening.
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October 26th
Some visible migration continued at New Passage with more than 200 Chafffinches and five Bramblings flying over. Other birds seen here and at Northwick Warth included 200 Dunlin, forty two Common Redshanks, sixty five Lapwings  and a pair of Blackcaps. The only bird of note at Severn Beach was a Stonechat.

October 25th
An early start at Severn Beach was very productive, with a fine male Ring Ouzel. Other birds seen here today included a female Goldeneye, several flyover Brambling and Redpoll, single Merlin, Knot and Stonechat.  At Chittening Warth, a flock of 250 Dunlin were seen over the high tide and a Little Egret flew towards Severn Beach. Further up the estuary at New Passage the adult Mediterranean Gull, four Golden Plovers, single Black-tailed Godwit, Blackcap and Kingfisher were present. A fresh dead Water Rail was found on the roadside here. There were more flyover Bramblings, Siskins and a Yellowhammer here. Another 150 Dunlin were roosted on Northwick Warth and two Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth.
Water Rail
New Passage
25.10.3© Chris Trott
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