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November is still a month worth looking for birds. It has a respectable total of 182 species recorded during the month with a few surprise birds. Remarkable records include; Britain’s first Black-bellied Storm Petrel and Britain’s 5th Pacific Diver just 2 days apart in 2009. Other national and local rarities include American Golden Plover (2013), Great Northern Diver (1984), Ring-necked Duck (2000), Smew (2010), Green-winged Teal (2014), White-rumped Sandpiper (1998), Long-tailed Skua (1994), Woodlark, Shorelark, Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting, Cory’s Shearwater (2000), Whooper Swan (1983) and Richard’s Pipit (1993), Dartford Warbler (2005) and Waxwing (2005). A Merlin or two can usually be seen perched on posts anywhere between New Passage and Aust Warth. Short-eared Owls can often be seen hunting at dusk over the salt marsh at Aust Warth. Seabirds seen in South West gales include Leach’s Petrel, Pomarine Skua and Little Auk.

November 2015

30th November
Another wet and windy day produced a Great Northern Diver, at least one Guillemot, 2 Great Skuas, 2 Little Gulls (1st & 2nd winter), 60+ Kittiwakes, a Fulmar, 160 Turnstones and a flyby Snipe at Severn Beach. A brief visit to Pilning Wetland produced the usual wildfowl and at least 250 Lapwing and nearby there were 22 Shelduck on Northwick Warth. Below is a summary of the “seabirds” forced up to Severnside in the strong winds this month.


                                                                            Great Northern Diver, Severn Beach  30.11.15

                                                                             Guillemot, Severn Beach  30.11.15 © Vic Savery

                                                              1st winter Little Gull, Severn Beach  30.11.15 © Vic Savery

29th November
A foul wet and windy day produced a pale morph Pomarine Skua, 3+ Great Skua, 2 Arctic Skua, 100+ Kittiwake and a 1st winter Little Gull at Severn Beach. Reports from windswept Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included a Bar-tailed Godwit, 50+ Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Redshank, 90 Lapwing, a Snipe, 36 Canada Geese, 21 Shelduck and 2 Stonechats.

                                                                                      Pomarine Skua, Severn Beach  29.11.15
                              A record shot taken through a salt and silt sprayed bedroom window 50 metres inland from the sea wall

28th November
A wet and increasingly windy day. Sightings from the shore at New Passage included a roosting flock of at least 2800 Dunlin, 90 Curlew, 110 Oystercatchers, 70 Redshank, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 14 Shelduck and 700+ Wigeon. A Little Egret, at least 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 200+ Lapwing, 20 Redshank, 100+ Curlew, 6 Tufted Duck, 24 Gadwall, 30+ Shoveler, 90 Teal and 10 Coot were seen on Pilning Wetland.

27th November
A Black-throated Diver was found at 8.30 floating down river close to shore off Severn Beach and then watched drifting towards Portishead. Other sightings at Severn Beach involved 150 Turnstones, 50 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 10 Ringed Plover, a Snipe, 9 Shelduck, 10 Wigeon and 2 Rock Pipits. A visit to Pilning Wetland produced at least 250 Black-tailed Godwits, 230 Lapwing, 95 Curlew, 6 Snipe, a Little Egret, 2 Water Rails, a drake Pintail, 32 Gadwall, 25 Shoveler, 115 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck, single Redpoll and Water Pipit.

                                                                                  Black-tailed Godwit, Pilning Wetland  27.11.15

26th November
Reports from Pilning Wetland included at least 100 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Egrets, 120 Lapwing, 1000 Dunlin, 80 Curlew, 5 Snipe, 23 Canada Geese, 15 Shelduck, a drake Pintail, 5 Tufted Duck, 20 Gadwall, 30 Shoveler, 70 Teal, 30 Common Gulls, 4 Water Rails, single Cetti’s Warbler and Water Pipit. At least 500 Wigeon and 90 Oystercatchers were seen from New Passage.

25th November
A morning visit to Pilning Wetland produced a pair of Goosanders (flying over North West towards Chepstow), 51 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Snipe, 200+ Lapwing, 80 Redshank, 300 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 70 Curlew, 14 Shelduck, 20 Gadwall, 8 Tufted Duck, 30+ Shoveler, 80 Teal, 550 Wigeon, 26 Canada Geese, 2 Water Rails, 2 Ravens, 2 Peregrines, single Cetti’s Warbler and Water Pipit.

24th November
No reports were received today.

23rd November
Another icy morning. Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved an influx of at least 300 Black-tailed Godwits and 1800 Dunlin. The birds were chased by a pair of hunting Peregrines and the Godwits were last seen flying off very high to the South. Other reports included 2 Little Egrets, 80 Lapwing, a Golden Plover, 26 Canada Geese, 500 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 5 Tufted Duck, 2 Stonechats, single Cetti’s Warbler, Brambling, Redpoll, Siskin and Kingfisher.

                                                                                Black-tailed Godwits, Pilning Wetland  23.11.15

22nd November
The first cold dawn of the winter with some patches of ice on the Pilning Wetland this morning. Sightings from the Wetland included an immature male Merlin, 60+ Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Snipe, 100+ Lapwing, 48 Canada Geese, 8 Tufted Duck, 26 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebes, 3 Water Rails, single Cetti’s Warbler, Stonechat, Water Pipit and Redpoll. At least 500 Wigeon, 90 Oystercatchers and 800 Dunlin were seen from New Passage. A flock of 12 Common Scoters and another 2 Stonechats were seen at Severn Beach.

21st November
A change to much colder wether with a strong North West wind. A Grey Phalarope was reported flying past Severn Beach at 2pm. A windswept visit to Pilning Wetland produced a Little Egret, 35+ Black-tailed Godwits, 120 Curlew, 90 Redshank, 40 Lapwing, 6 Tufted Duck, 47 Shoveler, 20 Gadwall, 6 Shelduck, 80 Teal and a Water Pipit. At least 500 Wigeon were seen from New Passage.

20th November
Sightings from Severn Beach included 7 Kittiwake, 240 Turnstones, 130 Dunlin and 3 Stonechats. The Glossy Ibis remained on Pilning Wetland but a was a bit more flighty today and on one occasion flew at least a kilometre high South East before returning. Other sightings at the Wetland included 2 Little Egrets, 5 Tufted Duck, 20 Gadwall, 35 Shoveler, 80 Teal, 2 Little Grebes, 11 Black-tailed Godwits, 110 Curlew, 80 Lapwing, 350 Dunlin and a Water Pipit.

                                                                 Glossy Ibis, Pilning Wetland 20.11.15 ©  Martyn Hayes

19th November
A wet day. Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included the Glossy Ibis, a Little Egret, 96 Redshank, 70 Lapwing, a Snipe, a Gannet floating up river, 36 Canada Geese, 2 Stonechats and a Raven. An afternoon visit to the shore and saltmarsh at Severn Beach produced a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 14 Ringed Plover, 240 Turnstones, 6 Snipe, 250 Dunlin, 40 Redshank, 2 Water Rails, 17 Teal, 5 Grey Heron, 5 Stonechats and 5 Rock Pipits.

18th November
Following a night of up to 75 mph wind gusts it remained breezy at Severn Beach high tide where an adult Pomarine Skua (the same individual as photographed 5 days ago), 2 Great Skuas, a Red-throated Diver (flew straight over 2nd Severn Crossing at 10.28), 2+ Gannets, a dead Fulmar, a Shag, 12+ Kittiwakes, a Yellow-legged Gull, a very late Whimbrel, 120+ Turnstone, 30 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, single Peregrine, male Merlin and Stonechat were seen. The Glossy Ibis, an adult Kittiwake, 17 Gadwall, 25 Shoveler, 11 Black-tailed Godwits and at least 5 Water Pipits were reported at Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth. An adult Gannet and 1st winter Kittiwake were seen from New Passage.

                                                                       Pomarine Skua, Severn Beach  18.11.15 ©  Martyn Hayes

                                                                       Pomarine Skua, Severn Beach  18.11.15 ©  Martyn Hayes

17th November
A breezy morning visit to Severn Beach produced a Shag, 2 Gannets, 230 Turnstones, 30 Dunlin and 3 Rock Pipits.The Pilning Wetland with increased water levels was dripping in birds including the Glossy Ibis, 200+ Lapwing, 80 Curlew, single Black-tailed Godwit and Little Egret, 120 Dunlin, 140 Teal, 35 Shoveler, 10 Shelduck, 30 Canada Geese, 10 Wigeon, 20+ Gadwall and 5 Tufted Duck. Nearby a drake Goosander flew down river close to shore at New Passage (12.15) where at least 450 Wigeon were roosting.

16th November
Another breezy day produced at least one Leach’s Petrel, a Great Skua, 7 Gannets, 5 Kittiwakes and an exhausted Fulmar (taken into care). The Glossy Ibis, 9 Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Dunlin, 90 Lapwing, 500 Wigeon, 21 Gadwall, 22 Shoveler, 80 Teal, 4 Tufted Duck and a Stonechat were seen on Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth. The exhausted Leach’s Petrel rescued from brambles in Severn Beach yesterday morning was kept overnight and fed well. It was healthy enough to be released at dusk in a period of calmer weather. It was seen to fly off strongly out across the river.

                                                                      Leach’s Petrel in care, Severn Beach  15.11.15 © Mark Coller

15th November
A very windy day following a very windy night produced quality rather than quantity. At Severn Beach the highlight was a Black Guillemot (only 2nd record here), with at least 3 Leach’s Petrels (including one exhausted bird retrieved from bushes and taken into care), 2 Great Skuas together, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls, a juvenile Gannet, at least 90 Kittiwakes and 80 Turnstones. The Glossy Ibis, a Little Egret, 29 Black-tailed Godwits, 45 Lapwing and 14 Ringed Plover were seen in the Pilning Wetland area.

                                                                            Black Guillemot, Severn Beach  15.11.15 © Brian Thompson

                                                                              Black Guillemot, Severn Beach  15.11.15 © Vic Savery

                                                                          Leach’s Petrel, Severn Beach  15.11.15 © Brian Thompson

                                                                                     1st winter Kittiwake, Severn Beach  15.11.15

14th November
A less windy morning produced the Glossy Ibis, 2 Little Egrets, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, 50 Lapwing, 400 Dunlin, a Knot, 120 Curlew, 500 Wigeon, 20 Shoveler, 3 Tufted Duck, 9 Shelduck, 2 Pintail and 2 Stonechats were reported from the Northwick Warh area. Eight Kittiwakes were seen from Severn Beach. Another 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                       Glossy Ibis, Pilning Wetland  14.11.15

13th November
A very windy day with torrential rain showers. Sightings from Severn Beach included a “full spooned” pale morph Pomarine Skua (11.10-11.25), a Leach’s Petrel (11.40), an adult Kittiwake, 12 Shelduck, 40 Turnstones, single Raven and Rock Pipit. The Glossy Ibis, a Water Pipit, 2 Water Rails, 2 Ravens, 400 Dunlin, 80 Lapwing, a Little Egret were reported from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland.

                                                                                             Pomarine Skua, Severn Beach 13.11.15

                                                                                         Pomarine Skua, Severn Beach 13.11.15

12th November
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth/New Passage involved the Glossy Ibis, a Little Egret, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, 200 Redshank, 80 Curlew, 90 Oystercatchers, 200 Dunlin, 68 Turnstones, 110 Lapwing, single Knot and Ringed Plover, 10 Canada Geese, 800 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 27 Gadwall, 2 Shelduck, 2 Water Rails, 2 Stonechats, 3 Water Pipits, single Merlin, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Kingfisher. Another 12 Shelduck, 2 Water Rails, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls, 4 Stonechats, 2 Water Pipits and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported from Chittening Warth. Just 2 Stonechats were reported from Aust Warth.

11th November
A good selection of birds were reported from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth including the Glossy Ibis, 83 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Egrets, 250 Redshank, 150 Dunlin, 130 Oystercatchers, 115 Curlew, 112 Lapwing, 47 Canada Geese, 800+ Wigeon, 70 Teal, 27 Shoveler, 2 Shelduck, 35 Gadwall, 13 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, 2 Ravens, 3 Stonechats, single Kestrel, Redpoll, Water Pipit and Cetti’s Warbler. Single Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl and Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Aust Warth this afternoon. Another 2 Stonechats were seen at Severn Beach shore and nearby another Cetti’s Warbler and Water Rail were heard at the Orchard Pools.

10th November
The Glossy Ibis, 2 Little Egrets, 15 Black-tailed Godwits, a Golden Plover, 100+ Curlew, 100 Dunlin, 50 Lapwing, 65 Canada Geese, 700+ Wigeon, 180 Teal, 5 Shelduck, 24 Gadwall, 30 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Little Grebes, 4 Water Pipits, 3 Stonechat, 2 Redpolls and 30+ Fieldfares were seen in the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area. A Short-eared Owl, 2 Stonechats, 8 Shelduck and a dark-bellied Brent Goose were seen at Severn Beach.

9th November
Once again the Pilning Wetland area was the centre of attention with the Glossy Ibis, a Little Egret, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 100 Lapwing, 4 Water Pipits and 2 flyover Hawfinch reported. A Firecrest was seen again at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach.

                                                                                        Water Pipit, Pilning Wetland  9.11.15

8th November
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved the the Glossy Ibis, 2 Little Egrets, a Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Curlew, 70+ Lapwing, 30 Oystercatchers, 2 Water Rail, 30 Gadwall, 70 Teal, 20 Shoveler, 6 Tufted Duck, 2 Stonechat, 2 Brambling, 3 Water Pipits and 12 Redwing that were trapped and ringed. A Water Rail was reported at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach.

                                                                              Glossy Ibis, Pilning Wetland  8.11.15 © Lee Gardiner

7th November
The Glossy Ibis remained all day on Pilning Wetland showing to many visitors who braved the heavy rain showers. Other sightings from here and Northwick Warth included a Short-eared Owl, 5 Water Pipits, 2 Stonechat, a Black Redstart, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 40 Canada Geese, 6 Shelduck, 20+ Gadwall, 600+ Wigeon, 130 Teal, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Egrets, a Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Redshank, 100+ Lapwing and 50 Curlew. Another 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese and 110 Kittiwakes were seen at Severn Beach and nearby 2 Firecrests remained at the Orchard Pools. A Barn Owl was seen hunting over Aust Warth at 5pm.

6th November
Another dismal grey and wet day brightened by the discovery of a Glossy Ibis on the Pilning Wetland this afternoon. Only the 3rd Severnside record, it favoured the recently flooded, most South East pool, although it was also seen on other pools and in a deep ditch in the sheep field. Other sightings from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 42 Canada Geese, 120 Teal, 400+ Wigeon, 12 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 2 Little Egrets, 100+ Lapwing, a Black-tailed Godwit, 70 Redshank and 130 Dunlin. Two Firecrests continued to show very well at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach. Clich HERE for some Youtube video of the Ibis.

                                                                                       Glossy Ibis, Pilning Wetland  6.11.15

                                                                                        Glossy Ibis, Pilning Wetland  6.11.15

                                                                   Glossy Ibis, Pilning Wetland  6.11.15

5th November
The only reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved 3 Little Egrets, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, a Snipe, 90 Lapwing, 150 Dunlin, 70 Redshank, 13 Tufted Duck, 110 Teal, 12 Gadwall, 20 Shoveler, 4 Pintail, 400 Wigeon and 2 Little Grebes. Two Firecrests, single Cetti’s Warbler, Water Rail and Redpoll were reported from the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

                                                                             Firecrest, Severn Beach 5.11.15  © Lee Gardiner

4th November
A Short-eared Owl, a Purple Sandpiper, a Jack Snipe, 200 Turnstones, 28 Ringed Plover, 60 Oystercatchers, 2 Water Rails, 4 Shelduck and 6 Stonechats were reported from the shore at Severn Beach and nearby 3 Hawfinches (only 6th Severnside record), 2 Firecrests, 2 Redpoll, single Cetti’s Warbler, Little Egret and Little Grebe were reported at the Orchard Pools. Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth/New Passage involved 31 Black-tailed Godwits, 80+ Lapwing, 200 Dunlin, 90 Redshank, 2 Little Egrets, 35 Canada Geese, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 600+ Wigeon, 26 Shoveler, 24 Gadwall, 130 Teal, 4 Pintail, 2 Tufted Duck, a Water Pipit, a Wheatear and 150+ Blackbirds. Another Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth this afternoon.

3rd November
A dismal grey day with rain in the afternoon. A Purple Sandpiper remained on “the pipes” at Severn Beach with 165 Turnstones where other sightings involved 11 Shelduck, 8 Snipe, 3 Ringed Plover, 60 Oystercatchers, 50 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 2 Rock Pipits, 5 Stonechats and a late Wheatear. Combined reports from New Passage/Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 30 Black-tailed Godwits, 500+ Dunlin, 110 Lapwing, 80 Redshank, a Golden Plover, 60 Curlew, 7 Snipe, 3 Turnstones, 2 Little Egrets, 43 Canada Geese, 500+Wigeon, 110 Teal, 15 Gadwall, 4 Pintail, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Water Rail, 3 Redpoll, 6 Siskin, 3 Brambling, 2 Rock Pipits, 2 Coal Tit and a Chiffchaff.

                                                                       Purple Sandpiper and Turnstones, Severn Beach 3.11.15

2nd November
The first Purple Sandpiper of the year was seen at Severn Beach with 90 Turnstones where a Wheatear, 2 Stonechats, 3 Redpoll and 3 Shelduck were also seen. An unconfirmed report of a Little Stint at 09.30 from New Passage was received. Other reports from New Passage/Northwick Wath/Pilning Wetland involved 8 dark-bellied Brent Geese with 350 Wigeon, 39 Canada Geese, 110 Teal, 24 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, 3 Pintail, 4 Tufted Duck, 2 Shelduck, a male Merlin, 2 Little Egrets, 20 Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Ringed Plover, 500 Dunlin, 120 Lapwing, 4 Turnstones, single Little Grebe, Water Rail and fly over Brambling. Another Water Rail was reported at Chittening Warth.

                                                                                          Short-eared Owl, Severn Beach 1.11.15

1st November
A day of fog. A Dartford Warbler was heard at Severn Beach in the same area that was seen last month. Other reports from the Severn Beach shore included a Short-eared Owl (hunting from 3.15pm), a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 5 Shelduck, a Water Rail, 8 Snipe, 7 Stonechats, 2 Rock Pipits, 2 Redwing, 3 Redpoll, single Blackcap and Brambling. Reports in the fog from Pilning Wetland involved 3 Little Egrets, 10 Gadwall, 3 Pintail and 2 Snipe. A number of birds were trapped and ringed here including 6 Goldcrests, 2 Blackcaps and 2 Redwings. A Barn Owl was seen again at dusk over Aust Warth.