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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 205. Rarities have included the only records of Black-necked Grebe (1996), Red-footed Falcon (2014), 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, Montagu’s Harrier (1991), Hen Harrier, Ring Ouzel, Mealy Redpoll, Firecrest, Hawfinch and Common Crossbill.

October 2015

31st October
Once again the Pilning Wetland produced the most interest with a Black Redstart, the Spoonbill (until mid morning) and Ring Ouzel. Other reports from here and New Passage/Northwick Warth included 5 Ruff, 17 Black-tailed Godwits, a Knot, 125 Lapwing, 115 Oystercatchers, 600 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Egrets, 4 Pintail, 7 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 25 Shoveler, 500 Wigeon/Teal, 2 Little Grebes, 4 Redpolls (at a feeding station), 10 Fieldfare, 8 Redwing, single Wheatear, Raven, Brambling and Blackcap. Reports from the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach included 2 calling Water Rails, single Kingfisher and Cetti’s Warbler. A Short-eared Owl was reported at Aust Warth at dusk.

                                                                                           Black Redstart, Pilning Wetland  31.10.15

30th October
Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved the Spoonbill, 2 Little Egrets, 700 Dunlin, 100 Lapwing, 160 Redshank, 170 Oystercatchers, 20 Turnstones, 17 Ringed Plover, a Snipe, 80 Curlew, 2 Water Rails, a Pintail, 7 Gadwall, a Shelduck, 25 Shoveler, 500 Wigeon and 60 Teal.

29th October
A massive high tide and plenty of birds today. The Spoonbill and male Ring Ouzel remained on the Pilning Wetland and other reports from the here and the Northwick Warth area included 30+ Black-tailed Godwits, 800 Dunlin, 17 Ringed Plover, 100 Lapwing, 180+ Oystercatchers, 140 Redshank, 70 Curlew, 3 Turnstones, a Golden Plover, 2 Little Egrets, 500 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 7 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, 2 Pintail, 24 Shoveler, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, a Little Owl, at least 3 Water Pipits, 40 Pied Wagtails, 2 Stonechats, single flyover Yellowhammer and Redpoll. A Firecrest and a Water Rail were present at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach this afternoon. A Barn Owl was seen again at Aust Warth at dusk.

                                                                                                 Firecrest, Severn Beach 29.10.15

                                                                                           Ring Ouzel, Pilning Wetland  29.10.15

28th October
The Spoonbill remained on the Pilning Wetland where a male Ring Ouzel showed briefly feeding in Hawthorns near the 1st sentry box pool. Other reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland/New Passage included the first Treecreeper for 4 years, 39 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Golden Plover, 110 Redshank, 450 Dunlin, 17 Ringed Plover, 120 Oystercatchers, 90 Curlew, 2+ Little Egrets, 80 Canada Geese, 5 Mute Swans, 300 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 7 Shelduck, 3 Tufted Duck, 5 Gadwall, 2 Water Pipits, a Rock Pipit, 35 Pied Wagtails, 8 Siskins, 5 Redpoll and a Brambling. A male Firecrest was seen and 2 Water Rails heard at the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach and a Barn Owl was seen again at dusk at Aust Warth. Click on the  Ring Ouzel image below for a short Youtube video.

                                                                                 Spoonbill, Pilning Wetland © Mark Coller 28.10.15

                                                                                            Ring Ouzel, Pilning Wetland  28.10.15

27th October
The excellent run of scarce birds continued when the second Spoonbill of the year was found on the Pilning Wetland this morning. An impressive 260 Redshank, 28 Black-tailed Godwits, 200+ Dunlin, 100+ Lapwing, 25 Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, 110 Canada Geese, 320 Wigeon, 4 Pintail, 6 Shoveler, 20+ Pied Wagtails, a Raven, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and a Wheatear were seen in the New Passage/Nortwick Warth area. A Peregrine was seen at Severn Beach. Ten Tufted Ducks were reported on the VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works. Click on the Spoonbill image below for some video on Youtube.

                                                                                             Spoonbill, Pilning Wetland  27.10.15

26th October
A Greenshank, 70 Lapwing, 2 Water Rails, 5 Mute Swans, 4 Gadwall, 15 Shoveler and 3 Little Egrets were reported on the Pilning Wetland and nearby 30 Canada Geese, 450 Wigeon, 100 Oystercatchers, 250 Dunlin, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, 206 Redshank, 180 Curlew, 2 Fieldfare, a Redwing, 2 Stonechats, 3 Brambling, 2 Redpoll and 3 Kestrel were reported in the Northwick Warth area. Two Stonechats and a Barn Owl were seen again at Aust Warth.

25th October
Combined reports from  New Passage/Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved 9 Black-tailed Godwits, 120 Curlew, 40 Redshank, 185 Oystercatchers, 40 Dunlin, 45 Lapwing, 2 Little Egrets, 4 Pintail, 2 Coal Tits, 2 Stonechats, 7 Bullfinches (one trapped and ringed), 9 Redwing, 3 Blackcaps (all trapped and ringed), single Chiffchaff, Rock Pipit, Brambling and Peregrine. Single Water Rail, Jack Snipe, Raven and Cetti’s Warbler and 3 Snipe were reported from Chittening Warth. Sightings from Aust Warth involved 2 Jack Snipe, 2 Stonechats and a Barn Owl.

24th October
Two Jack Snipe, 8 Snipe and 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth. Combined reports from New Passage/Pilning Wetland involved 3 Little Egrets, 3 Pintail, 5 Gadwall, 20 Shoveler, 2 Water Rails, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 200 Dunlin, 2 Ravens, a late Wheatear and 2 Stonechats.

23rd October
A late morning visit to New Passage produced a Greenshank, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 140 Redshank, 200 Dunlin, 40 Lapwing, a Little Egret, 400 Wigeon, 80 Teal and a Rock Pipit. Two Little Egrets, 2 Water Rails and a Snipe were present on the Pilning Wetland and a late Swallow was seen over Severn Beach.

                                                                                              Greenshank, New Passage 23.10.15

22nd October
The only report received was of 5 Stonechats at Severn Beach.

21st October
A Black-tailed Godwit, 27 Lapwing, 5 Snipe, 60 Curlew, 2 Little Egrets, 600 Wigeon, 95 Teal, 30 Shoveler, 7 Gadwall, a Pintail and 5 Little Grebes were seen on the Pilning Wetland. A high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 17 Ringed Plover, 190 Turnstones, 40 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 7 Shelduck and 6 Stonechats.

20th October
The 4th Severnside record and the first for 9 years Dartford Warbler was found at Severn Beach with an influx of 10 Stonechats. Other sightings at Severn Beach included 5 Little Egrets, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, 80+ Turnstones and 40 Oystercatchers. A Black-tailed Godwit, 100 Redshank, 40 Lapwing, 30 Curlew, 200 Dunlin, 50 Turnstones, 2 Snipe, 6 Little Egrets, 92 Canada Geese, 400 Wigeon, 10 Shoveler, 4 Pintail, 2 Raven, 2 Stonechats and a Kingfisher were seen in the New Passage/Pilning Wetland area. An evening visit to Aust Warth produced another 2 Stonechats, 5 Snipe and a Little Egret.

19th October
There was a steady passage of visible migrants over New Passage this morning with all birds heading North/North East. A representative one hour count 08.30-09.30 produced 1950 Chaffinches, 200 Starlings, 3 Brambling, 26 Siskins, 7 Redpoll, 13 Goldfinch, 1 Greenfinch, 4 Reed Buntings, 4 Pied Wagtails, 4 Meadow Pipits and surprisingly just 1 Redwing. Other reports from New Passage/Pilning Wetland included 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Lapwing, 20 Ringed Plover, 250 Dunlin, 180 Redshank, 50 Turnstones, 2 Little Egrets, 35 Canada Geese, 6 Mute Swans, 300 Wigeon, 4 Tufted Duck, 6 Pintail, 30 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 60 Teal, 8 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, 2 Ravens, single Cetti’s Warbler and Grey Wagtail. Two Stonechats were seen at Severn Beach and another 2 at Aust Warth.

18th October
The first 2 Goosanders of the year were seen from Northwick Warth mid afternoon. Visible overhead migrants at New Passage in 3 hours this morning included 5 Crossbills, 1350 Chaffinches, 3 Brambling, 6 Siskin, 7 Goldfinch, a Greenfinch, 10 Meadow Pipits, 35 Pied Wagtails, 8 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare and 305 Starlings. Other reports from New Passage/Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 3+ Little Egrets, 27 Shoveler, 5 Pintail, a Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, 7 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rail, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe, 300 Dunlin, 160 Redshank, 50 Turnstones, 48 Lapwing, single Ring-necked Parakeet (1st October record), Coal Tit, Chiffchaff and Blackcap. A Short-eared Owl and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Chittening Warth. Reports from Severn Beach involved 2 Stonechats, single Rock Pipit and Coal Tit. Another 6 Crossbills (4 male), 2 Stonechats and a Barn Owl were seen at Aust Warth.

17th October
Good birds keep appearing on the Pilning Wetland and today’s star bird was a Black-necked Grebe on the 1st sentry box pool. This is only the second Severnside record, almost 19 years to the day since the first record. Other reports from here and New Passage involved a Jack Snipe, 20 Ringed Plover, 50 Turnstones, 350+ Dunlin, 140 Redshank, 4 Lapwing, 3 Little Egrets, 5 Little Grebes, 35 Canada Geese, 8 Pintail, 40+ Shoveler, 4 Tufted Duck, 2 Shelduck, 400 Wigeon/Teal, a Water Rail, a Peregrine, a Cetti’s Warbler, a Water Pipit, 2 Stonechat, 2 Ravens, 2 Grey Wagtails and visible migrants included 6 Swallows, 49 Fieldfares, 27 Redwing, 6 Siskins, single Brambling and Redpoll. A Chiffchaff was present in a Severn Beach garden. A Short-eared Owl was reported again at Aust Warth this evening and a Yellow-browed Warbler was heard calling at Aust Cliff/services. Click on the picture below for some Youtube video of the Black-necked Grebe.

                                                                         Black-necked Grebe, Pilning Wetland © Mark Coller 17.10.15

                                                                                   Black-necked Grebe, Pilning Wetland  17.10.15

16th October
A Firecrest was reported at New Passage (in trees opposite Caroline Cottage) early afternoon. Other sightings from New Passage/Pilning Wetland included 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 21 Ringed Plover, 150 Redshank, 50 Curlew, 70 Oystercatchers, 30 Turnstones, 240 Dunlin, 90 Canada Geese, 300 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 3 Pintail, 5 Gadawall, 5 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, a Little Egret and 2 Ravens. Three Stonechats, 5 Rock Pipits, 6 Shelduck, a Snipe and 3 Redpolls were seen at Severn Beach.

15th October
A cold breezy day with just a Little Egret, 100 Redshank, 35 Turnstones, 250 Dunlin, 40 Curlew and 250 Wigeon reported from New Passage. A high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 25 Ringed Plover.

14th October
Two Barn Owls were seen hunting at Aust Warth this evening where 5 Snipe, 2 Stonechats, 2 Ravens and a Kingfisher were also present. An immature male Merlin, a Little Owl, 2 Water Rails, 2 Little Egrets, 3 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 4 Tufted Duck, a Shelduck, 4 Little Grebes, 2 Ringed Plover, 20 Turnstones, 10 Snipe, 4 Lapwing, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Golden Plover, 70 Oystercatchers, a Stonechat, 4 Siskins, 2 Redpoll and 100+ Meadow Pipits were seen on Northwick Warth. Sightings from New Passage included 2 swimming Avocets, 117 Redshank, 40 Curlew, 250 Dunlin, 190 Canada Geese, 50 Shoveler, 300 Wigeon, 80 Teal and 2 Wheatears. Three Siskins were seen at Severn Beach. Overhead visible migrants included Chaffinches, Redwings, 120 Jackdaws and 2 Mistle Thrushes.

                                                                                               Avocets, New Passage 14.10.15

13th October
Another cool day with a moderate strength North East wind produced some visible overhead migration at New Passage including a Crossbill (female/imm NW at 08.40), Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Bullfinches, Redpolls, Reed Buntings, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. Other reports from New Passage/ Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved a Little Stint, 2 Golden Plover, 2 Knot, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Curlew, 2 Ringed Plover, 80 Redshank, 350+ Dunlin, 5 Snipe, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Water Rails, 30 Canada Geese, 40+ Shoveler, 350 Wigeon, 150 Teal, 3 Stonechats, a Cetti’s Warbler and 2 Coal Tits. At least 140 Canada Geese were seen over Aust Warth this evening.

                                                                             Little Stint and Golden Plover, Pilning Wetland  13.10.15

12th October
Combined reports from New Passage/Pilning Wetland involved 450 Wigeon/Teal, 5 Pintail, 9 Gadwall, 35+ Shoveler, 13 Little Grebes, 350+ Dunlin, 19 Lapwing, 80+ Oystercatchers, 2 Water Rails, 3 Little Egrets, single fly over Brambling, male Peregrine, Wheatear and Grey Wagtail. A Merlin, 2 Stonechats and 98 flyover Canada Geese were seen at Aust Warth and another 4 Stonechats, 2 Shelduck, a Little Egret and 100+ Turnstones were reported at Severn Beach.

11th October
A cloudy day with a cool North East breeze produced some new birds and a light overhead passage of visible migrants heading into the wind involving mainly Chaffinches, with several Brambling, Redpolls, Siskins and Skylarks. Other reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth/New Passage included 2 Little Stints, 8 Black-tailed Godwits (7 on wetland scrape), a flyover Golden Plover, 12 Snipe, a Knot, 500+ Dunlin, 40 Lapwing, 20 Curlew, 80 Redshank, 4 Ringed Plover, 40 Oystercatchers, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Water Rails, 5 Little Grebes, 6 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 24 Canada Geese, 3 Shelduck, hundreds of Wigeon and Teal, 9 Gadwall, 5 Pintail, 40+ Shoveler, 2 Stonechats, single Kingfisher and Swallow. A Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth this afternoon.

                                                                                        Little Stints, Pilning Wetland  11.10.15

10th October
Single Little Stint, Jack Snipe and Knot, 270 Dunlin, 6 Lapwing, 10 Snipe, 9 Gadwall, 7 Pintail, 47 Shoveler, 5 Little Grebes, a Water Rail, 2 Stonechats, 2 Swallows, 9 Chiffchaffs, 2 Coal Tits, a Blackcap and 6+ Siskins were reported from the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth/New Passage area. A Short-eared Owl and Barn Owl were seen again at Aust Warth this evening.

9th October
The juvenile Little Stint remained on the Pilning Wetland scrape. Other reports from here and the New Passage/Northwick Warth area involved a Jack Snipe, 10+ Snipe, 100 Redshank, 300+ Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 3 Lapwing, 2 Water Rails, a Little Egret, 9 Little Grebes, 650 Wigeon/Teal, 15 Shoveler, 6 Tufted Duck, 7 Gadwall, a Pintail, 2 Ravens, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 20+ Swallows, 2 Grey Wagtails, 3 Stonechats, single Kingfisher, Rock Pipit, Wheatear, Siskin and Redpoll. A Short-eared Owl, a Barn Owl and 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth again this evening.

                                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth © Vic Savery 9.10.15

8th October
Sightings from Pilning Wetland/New Passage/NorthwickWarth included a juvenile Little Stint (on wetland scrape), a Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Turnstones, 17 Lapwing, 12 Snipe, 300 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, a Little Egret, a flock of 9 Cormorants heading south, hundreds of Wigeon and Teal, 13 Tufted Duck, 6 Pintail, 4 Gadwall, 26 Shoveler, 4 Mute Swans, 7 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, 3 Stonechats, 2 Wheatears, 3 Swallows, single Chiffchaff, Coal Tit and Peregrine. A Chiffchaff and a Coal Tit were seen in the coastal scrub at Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl, a Barn Owl, 4 Snipe and 3 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth this evening.

                                                                                                 Stonechat, Pilning Wetland 8.10.15

                                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth © Dan White 8.10.15

                                                                                   Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth © Paul Milsom 8.10.15

7th October
An early afternoon visit to New Passage/Pilning Wetland produced 2 Grey Plover, a Knot, 300 Dunlin, 20 Turnstones, 20 Lapwing, 8 Snipe, a Little Egret, 6 Little Grebes, 4 Mute Swans, 5 Canada Geese, 300+ Teal, 500 Wigeon, 6 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall, a Pintail, 10 Shoveler, a Wheatear and a Peregrine. A Short-eared Owl and a Barn Owl were seen at Aust Warth this evening.

6th October
A Spotted Redshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 15+ Snipe, 100 Redshank, 26 Lapwing, 300 Dunlin, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Water Rails, 400 Wigeon, 230 Teal, 50 Shoveler, a Pintail, 2 Swallows and 3 Wheatears were reported from New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland. A Short-eared Owl was seen being mobbed by Crows over Aust Warth at 6.20pm.

5th October
At least 1 juvenile Little Stint, 70 Knot, 50 Redshank, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 300 Dunlin, 25 Lapwing, 10 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, a Whimbrel, 20 Curlew, a Little Egret, a Water Rail, 3 Little Grebes, 10 Shoveler, 4 Tufted Duck, 4 Pintail, the usual Wigeon/Teal flock, a Kingfisher and 3 Wheatears were reported from the New Passage/Pilning Wetland area. A visit to Severn Beach produced 21 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin and a Rock Pipit.

                                                                     Pilning Wetland and Northwick Warth © John Sparks
    A fantastic aerial view of the freshwater wetlands and the salt water flash. No wonder a good variety and number of birds are dropping out of the sky

4th October
Another better than average day on Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland with 2 Great White Egrets that landed briefly on the saltwater Flash early afternoon (later being seen up river at Slimbridge WWT), the Red-throated Pipit present all day (but skulking at times), a Curlew Sandpiper, 500+ Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 10+ Snipe, 50 Redshank, 20 Turnstones, 5 Oystercatchers, 200 Wigeon, 200+ Teal, 20 Shoveler, a Tufted Duck, 44 Canada Geese and 5 Swallows. A Stonechat was seen at Aust Warth and another 2 Stonechats were present at Chittening Warth.

                                                                    Red-throated Pipit, Pilning Wetland  © Mark Coller 4.10.15

3rd October
The 2nd Severnside record of Red-throated Pipit was found today on Pilning Wetland where other sightings from here and New Passage included 6 Curlew Sandpipers, 2 Jack Snipe, a Little Stint, 2 Grey Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, single Greenshank, Green Sandpiper and Knot, 300 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 15 Redshank, 2 Little Egrets, 3 Redwings and the first Little Owl of the year. Our last day on Shetland produced  an Olive-backed Pipit in Lerwick and some second helpings of the Quendale Bluethroat.

                                                                                    Bluethroat, Quendale, Shetland  3.10.15

                                                                     Red-throated Pipit, Pilning Wetland  © Lisa Presland  3.10.15

2nd October
Another Grey Phalarope was reported at midday off New Passage and 2 Curlew Sandpipers, a Golden Plover, 35 Ringed Plover, 18 Lapwing, 40 Knot, 60 Turnstones, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebes, single Peregrine, Wheatear and Redpoll were also reported from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area. Another Wheatear and a Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth. An Arctic Warbler was our best bird on Shetland today along with Yellow-browed Warblers, 2 Snow Buntings, a Merlin, 5 Whooper Swans, a drake Scaup, a flock of 18 Red-breasted Mergansers, skeins of Greylag and Pink-footed Geese, flocks of Golden Plover, a Red-throated Diver, a Little Gull and 2 Purple Sandpipers, all of which would be even nicer to see on Severnside as they move south.

                                                                    Arctic Warbler, Cott, Shetland  © Mike Morse  2.10.15

1st October
The only reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth were of 2 Knot, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 45 Redshank, 55 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 140+ Oystercatchers. 2 Little Egrets, 4 Pintail, 43 Shoveler, 25 Pied Wagtails and at least 100 Meadow Pipits. The first 2 Redwings of the autumn, 7 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat and 3 Swallows were seen at Severn Beach. A Barn Owl was seen again after dusk at Aust Warth. On Shetland today I managed to photograph and video a very obliging Red-breasted Flycatcher. Click on the image to see some Youtube video.

                                                                            Red-breasted Flycatcher, Wester Quarff, Shetland  1.10.15