SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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December is one of the quietest months with only 163 species recorded during the month. It can be a good month for wildfowl with the chance of Red-breasted Merganser and Goosander if inland waters freeze or some fly by Bewick’s Swans. A good selection of seabirds have occurred in December gales including Black-throated and Great Northern Divers, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk, Grey Phalarope and Pomarine Skua. Other rarities have included a stunning male Desert Wheatear (2013), Green-winged Teal (2013), Egyptian Goose (2013), Glaucous Gull, Waxwing (2010) and in the winters of 1940 & 1941, Cirl Bunting.




December 2015


31st December
A dry morning followed by heavy rain in the afternoon. The only birds of note reported today were 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese and 3 Water Pipits on Northwick Warth.

30th December
A very wet day with a strong southerly wind. Sightings from Severn Beach involved 5 adult Kittiwakes, 150 Dunlin and 6 Shelduck. Four Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe and 50 Lapwing were seen at Aust Warth. A very wet visit to Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth produced an adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 22 Canada Geese, 31 Shelduck, 22 Gadwall, 30+ Shoveler, 10 Tufted Duck, 120 Teal, 600+ Wigeon, a Little Egret, 250 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 400 Dunlin and 120 Curlew.

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                                                                                            Kittiwake, Severn Beach 30.12.15

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                                                                                Mediterranean Gull, Pilning Wetland 30.12.15

29th December
Two dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Little Egret, 2 Stonechats and 3 Water Pipits remained on Northwick Warth. A Water Rail and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported at the the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl and a Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth this afternoon.

28th December
A Great White Egret was seen flying low South East inland from Aust Warth this morning and a Short-eared Owl and 2 Stonechats were seen there this afternoon. Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included the an adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 22 Canada Geese, a drake Pintail, 27 Shelduck, 210 Teal, 600 Wigeon, 20+ Shoveler, 15 Gadwall, a Little Egret, 240 Lapwing, 400 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 11 Stock Doves, 2 Ravens, a Coal Tit and a Water Pipit.

27th December
A grey wet day. A visit to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland produced 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 97 Canada Geese, 24 Shelduck, 700 Wigeon, 19 Gadwall, 24 Shoveler, 15 Tufted Duck, 150 Teal, 13 Coot, a Merlin, 300 Dunlin, 500 Lapwing, a Snipe, 190 Curlew, a Little Egret, 2 Water Rails, a Kingfisher and 5 Water Pipits. A Peregrine was seen at Aust Warth. Click on the Pipit below for a short Youtube video of one of the Water Pipits.

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                                                                                 Water Pipit, Northwick Warth 27.12.15

26th December
No reports were received today.

25th December
Another very wet day. The 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 50 Canada Geese, 29 Shelduck, 700+ Wigeon, 1200 Dunlin and 150 Lapwing were seen from New Passage.

24th December
A wet and windy day. Not a lot to report from a brief visit to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland producing 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 40 Canada Geese, 29 Shelduck, 10 Tufted Duck, 18 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 130 Teal, 120 Curlew, 200 Lapwing and 300 Dunlin.

23rd December
A sunny day. Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 200+ Lapwing, 400 Dunlin, 170 Curlew, 120 Oystercatchers. 10 Gadwall, 29 Shelduck, 210 Teal, 14 Tufted Duck, 22 Shoveler, a Water Rail, 2 Grey Wagtail, a Water Pipit, a Cetti’s Warbler and a hunting Merlin. A Short-eared Owl showed well this afternoon at Aust Warth where 2 Ravens, 2 Snipe, single Merlin, Peregrine, Kestrel and Stonechat were also seen.

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                                                                  Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 23.12.15 © David Knowles

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                                                                     Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 23.12.15 © David Knowles

22nd December
Sightings from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included a Little Egret, 30 Shelduck, 10 Tufted Duck, 23 Gadwall, 500 Wigeon, 240 Teal, 35 Shoveler, 200 Lapwing, 120 Curlew, 120 Oystercatchers, 700 Dunlin, 2 Peregrines and a Raven.

21st December
A quiet day again with just a Black-tailed Godwit, 140 Curlew, 120 Oystercatchers, 500+ Dunlin, 200 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 13 Gadwall, 35 Shoveler, 10 Tufted Duck, 40 Shelduck, 450+ Wigeon and 110 Teal were seen on Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth.

20th December
Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 29 Shelduck, 650 Wigeon, 110 Teal, 18+ Gadwall, 39 Shoveler, 10 Tufted Duck, a Little Egret, 2 Water Rails, 250 Lapwing, 15+ Snipe, 80 Common Gulls, 4 Stock Doves, 3 Water Pipits, 70 Pied Wagtails, single Cetti’s Warbler, Rock Pipit, Stonechat and Siskin. A Short-eared Owl, 20 Redshank, 80 Wigeon/Teal, single Peregrine, Kestrel and Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth.

19th December
A quiet day with few reports received. The 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese remained on Northwick Warth and a Little Egret, 9 Tufted Duck, 150 Teal, 14 Gadwall, 25 Shoveler, 300+ Lapwing, 90+ Curlew were seen on the Pilning Wetland.

18th December
Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 38 Shelduck, 7 Tufted Duck, 12 Gadwall, 20 Shoveler, 350 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 2 Little Egrets, 3 Snipe, 600 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, a Water Rail, 4 Ravens, 70 Pied Wagtails, a Peregrine and 2 Water Pipits. The flock of 20+ Ringed Plover were still present at Severn Beach.

17th December
The exceptional mild weather continues with a dawn temperature of 14°C. Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 40 Shelduck, 10 Tufted Duck, 14 Gadwall, 20 Shoveler, 450 Wigeon, 200+ Teal, a Little Egret, a Golden Plover, 180 Curlew, 140 Oystercatchers, 70 Redshank, 300+ Lapwing, 800 Dunlin, 7 Snipe, 2 Water Rails, 70 Common Gulls, a Peregrine, a Cetti’s Warbler, 3 Water Pipits, 2 Rock Pipits and 80 Pied Wagtails. Twenty Ringed Plover remained on the shore at Severn Beach and nearby a Water Rail was reported at the Orchard Pools. A Short-eared Owl was seen on Aust Warth at 4pm.

16th December
Much of the same today with the Red-breasted Merganser, 41 Shelduck, 500+ Wigeon, 110 Teal, 11 Tufted Duck, 15 Gadwall, 15 Shoveler, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Little Egret, 3 Grey Herons, 200+ Curlew, 300+ Lapwing, 1000 Dunlin, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Snipe, 2 Water Pipits, 80 Pied Wagtails and a Siskin being seen in the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area.

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                                                                           Red-breasted Merganser, Pilning Wetland 16.12.15

15th December
The Red-breasted Merganser, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 9 Canada Geese, 24 Shelduck, 9 Tufted Duck, 11 Gadwall, 13 Shoveler, 2 Little Egrets, 1100+ Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 80 Redshank, 2 Water Pipits, a Siskin and a Brambling were seen on Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth. Sightings from Severn Beach included 21 Ringed Plover, 80 Curlew, 500 Dunlin, 120 Oystercatchers and 2 Shelduck.

14th December
Sightings from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included the Red-breasted Merganser, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 26 Gadwall, 20+ Shoveler, 12 Tufted Duck, 31 Shelduck, 350+ Wigeon, 90 Teal, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 900 Dunlin, 90 Lapwing, 70 Curlew, 70 Redshank, 17 Snipe, 2 Stonechats and a Raven. Another 2 Stonechats were seen at Severn Beach.

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                                                                         Red-breasted Merganser, Pilning Wetland 14.12.15

13th December
A cloudy day with a light North East breeze. The Pilning Wetland was covered with birds over the morning high tide before most were flushed by loose dogs. Reports from the wetland pools included the Red-breasted Merganser, 24 Gadwall, 30+ Shoveler, 240 Teal, 12 Tufted Duck, a Canada Goose, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rail, 12 Coot, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Herons, 280+ Black-tailed Godwits, 1500 Dunlin, 400 Lapwing, 170 Curlew and a Cetti’s Warbler. Nearby, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 27 Shelduck, 600 Wigeon, 120 Oystercatchers, 70 Redshank, a Water Pipit, 70+ Pied Wagtails, 30+ Meadow Pipits and a Merlin were seen on Northwick Warth. An early morning high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 21 Ringed Plover. A Short-eared Owl was reported over the Pilning Wetland at 4.30 pm. Additional Cetti’s Warblers were heard in  the Avonmouth Sewage Works area at the Square Pool and the VOSA Pool.

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                                                                                     Merlin, Northwick Warth 13.12.15 © Dan White

12th December
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved the Red-breasted Merganser, 6 very late Whimbrel, 80 Curlew, 80 Oystercatchers, 600 Dunlin, 150 Lapwing, a Little Egret, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 8 Tufted Duck, 130 Teal, 20+ Gadwall, 20+ Shoveler and a Kingfisher.

11th December
The Red-breasted Merganser remained on the Pilning Wetland where other sightings included 6 Black-tailed Godwits, a Little Egret, 200+ Lapwing, 60 Curlew, 150 Dunlin, 5 Tufted Duck, 20+ Gadwall, 30 Shoveler, 140 Teal, 15 Wigeon, 4 Mute Swans and a Peregrine. A female Goosander, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese and the usual Wigeon flock were seen from New Passage.

10th December
A “redhead” Red-breasted Merganser was a surprise find on the Pilning Wetland today, actively fishing on the wader scrape and several other pools. Other sightings here included 3 Black-tailed Godwits, a Little Egret, 26 Gadwall, 12 Tufted Duck, 30+ Shoveler, 15 Wigeon, 100+ Teal, 90 Lapwing, 40 Curlew and 20 Dunlin. Nearby 24 Shelduck, 31 Canada Geese, 400+ Wigeon and 145 Curlew were seen from New Passage.

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                                                                             Red-breasted Merganser, Pilning Wetland 10.12.15

9th December
A quiet day with just the usual Turnstone, Curlew, Redshank and Lapwing flocks reported from New Passage and 2 Stonechats at Aust Warth.

8th December
An increasingly breezy day. Reports from Northwick Warth involved a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 23 Canada Geese, 21 Shoveler and a Water Rail. A brief late afternoon seawatch from Severn Beach produced at least 65 Kittiwakes and a dark-bellied Brent Goose heading down river.

7th December
Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included a dark-bellied Brent Goose, a drake Goosander, 14 Shelduck, 600 Wigeon, 230 Teal, 25 Shoveler, 4 Tufted Duck, 80 Redshank, 100+ Turnstones, a Golden Plover, 200+ Lapwing, 110 Curlew, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Water Rails, 2 Little Egrets and a Water Pipit.

6th December
A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, 25 Black-tailed Godwits, 150 Lapwing, 102 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 20 Canada Geese, 27 Gadwall, 18 Shelduck and a Peregrine were seen on Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth. A Short-eared Owl was reported at Aust Warth late morning and a Great Northern Diver flew over high West here at 15.50.

5th December
A breezy day only producing 29 Kittiwakes this afternoon off Severn Beach. Reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth included a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 14 Shelduck, 550 Wigeon, 81 Redshank, single Little Egret, Peregrine and Kittiwake. Seven Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe and 2 Stonechats were reported at Aust Warth.

4th December
Sightings from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 32 Black-tailed Godwits, a Little Egret, 100+ Curlew, 100+ Lapwing, 80 Dunlin, 2 Little Grebes, 22 Canada Geese, 24 Gadwall, 35 Shoveler, 10 Tufted Duck, 16 Shelduck, 250+ Teal, 500+ Wigeon and a Raven.

3rd December
Sightings from Pilning Wetland included an adult Mediterranean Gull, 90 Common Gulls, 2 Little Egrets, 31 Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Redshank, 200+ Lapwing, 60 Dunlin, 80 Curlew, 40 Canada Geese, 6 Tufted Duck, 150+ Teal, the usual Gadwall/Shoveler flocks and a Merlin. At least 200 Curlew, 500 Dunlin, 16 Shelduck and 400 Wigeon were seen from New Passage.

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                                                                                          Merlin, Pilning Wetland 3.12.15

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                                                                        Merlin, Pilning Wetland 3.12.15

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                                              Black-headed Gulls, Common Gull & Mediterranean Gull, Pilning Wetland 3.12.15

2nd December
A 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull and 130 Turnstones were seen from Severn Beach. Sightings from Aust Warth included dark-bellied Brent Goose, 25+ Canada Goose, a Jack Snipe, 16 Snipe, 2 Stonechats and a Rock Pipit. A visit to Pilning Wetland produced 11 Black-tailed Godwits, 250 Lapwing, 130 Teal, 30+ Shoveler and 27 Gadwall.

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                                                                                         Brent Goose, New Passage 1.12.15

1st December
A Pomarine Skua was reported heading down river from Severn Beach late morning where at least 180 Turnstones were also seen. Sightings from New Passage included the same or another Pomarine Skua at 1pm, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 450 Wigeon, 18 Shelduck, 300+ Curlew, 19 Ringed Plover, 78 Redshank, 1500+ Dunlin, a Little Egret and 2 Peregrines. Nearby, 250 Lapwing remained on the Pilning Wetland.
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