SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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March is a slightly better month than February with a total of 173 species recorded during this month. As each day passes the expectation of an early spring migrant increases, Wheatears usually being seen by mid month along with Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins and possibly Little Ringed Plovers. Rarities have included Black Kite (2010), Green-winged Teal (2014), Avocets, Crane (2015), Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Hen Harrier and Cetti’s Warbler (2003), Bearded Tit (2004), Great Grey Shrike (2004), Mandarin (2006) and Siberian Chiffchaff (2007).


March 2016


31st March
A frosty dawn followed by a bright sunny day. The earliest record of Hobby, a Little Ringed Plover, 105 Redshank, 10 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, single Snipe and Little Egret, 8 Mute Swans, 12 Canada Geese, 12 Tufted Duck, 3+ Little Grebes, a summer plumage Water Pipit, 5 flyover Siskins, a Redpoll, a Brambling, 2+ singing Willow Warblers, 20+ Chiffchaff, 2 Swallows and 3 Sand Martins were reported in the New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. A Kingfisher, 3 Cetti’s Warblers and another 3 Chiffchaffs were reported at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach. A Wheatear and 40 Curlew were seen at Aust Warth.

30th March
Another day of sunshine and showers. Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved a Little Ringed Plover, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Snipe, 9 Ringed Plover, 9 Dunlin, a Turnstone, 90 Redshank, 12 Curlew, 70 Oystercatchers, 2 Little Egrets, an adult Kittiwake lingering offshore, 8 Mute Swans, a Canada Goose, 68 Shelduck, 80 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler, 14 Tufted Duck, 10 Gadwall, 55 Teal, 20+ Coot, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Ravens, 2 summer plumage Water Pipits, a House Martin, 10+ Swallow, 50+ Sand Martins and 4 singing Chiffchaffs.

29th March
A breezy day with sunshine and heavy rain showers. Sightings from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 4 Little Ringed Plover, 10 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin, 90 Redshank, 63 Shelduck, 5 Mute Swans, a Canada Goose, 8 Gadwall, 6 Tufted Duck, 10 Shoveler, 66 Teal, 4 Wigeon, 6 Swallows and 5 Sand Martins. A Great Crested Grebe, 2 Kittiwakes and a Lapwing were seen off Severn Beach this morning.

28th March
A very windy and wet night as a result of Storm Katie added a few inches to the water levels on Pilning Wetland. Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved 2 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 70 Redshank, 2 Little Egrets, 4 Mute Swans, a Canada Goose, 4 Shoveler, 6 Tufted Duck, 30 Shelduck, 12 Coot, a Raven, 4 Water Pipits, a White Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtails, 70 Sand Martins and a Swallow. Eight Common Scoter, 2 Gannets and 15 Kittiwakes were reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                               Water Pipit, Northwick Warth 28.3.16 © Vic Savery

27th March
At least 31 Wigeon, 9 Shoveler, 105 Shelduck, 4 Little Egrets, 110 Redshank, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 summer plumage Water Pipits, 11 Sand Martins, a Swallow and 4 Wheatears were reported from Northwick Warth. Below is a picture of the Severnside patch and beyond. Hopefully the waders will not mistake the large blue area to the right of Severn Beach as water because this is a recent addition of a Solar Farm.

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                                                                       Severnside from a Ryanair flight 27.3.16  © George Bowerman

26th March
Sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 114 Shelduck, 5 Little Egrets, 82 Redshank, 50+ Oystercatchers, 2 Water Pipits, 3 Swallows, 25 Sand Martins, 4 Chiffchaff and 3 Wheatears.

25th March
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth/New Passage included 3 Little Ringed Plovers, a Snipe, a Merlin, 2 Water Pipits, 7 Sand Martins, a Swallow, 5 Chiffchaffs and a Wheatear. Eighteen Wigeon were seen at Severn Beach.

24th March
An increasingly wet day with a few new arrivals and departure of some ducks. Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included a Little Ringed Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 75 Redshank, 70 Curlew, 60+ Oystercatchers, 90 Turnstones, 4 Little Egrets, 11 Canada Geese, 8 Mute Swans, 90 Teal, 80 Wigeon, 65 Shelduck, 12 Tufted Duck, 6 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 4 Cormorants, a Peregrine, a Raven, 5 Stock Dove, 25 Fieldfare, 9 Redwing, 4 Siskin, 2 Wheatears, 2 Chiffchaffs, 10 Sand Martins, a Swallow and at least one Water Pipit. Another Swallow, a Wheatear and 2 Stonechats were seen at the Tesco Pool in Severn Beach.

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                                                                                      Little Egret, Pilning Wetland 24.3.16

23rd March
Sightings from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth/New Passage involved a Merlin, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Herons, 2 Little Grebes, a Water Rail, 8 Gadwall, 20+ Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, 130 Teal, the hybrid Pintail/Teal, 110 Wigeon, 47 Curlew, 40+ Oystercatchers, 60 Redshank, 20 Dunlin, a Water Pipit, 13 Sand Martin, a male Wheatear, 3 Siskins and 5 flyover Crossbills. There was an influx of 200 Wigeon late afternoon at Severn Beach and nearby 2 Little Grebes, 2 Cetti’s Warblers, single Tufted Duck, Water Rail and Chiffchaff were reported at the Orchard Pools.

22nd March
Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 3 flyby Brent Geese (up river early morning), a Little Ringed Plover, 4 Little Egrets, 2 Water Rails, 2 Little Grebes, 60+ Shelduck, 150 Teal, 60+ Shelduck, 120 Wigeon, 6 Gadwall, 5 Water Pipits, a Sand Martin, 3 Swallows, 2 Siskins, 5 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk. Another 55+ Brent Geese (on river late afternoon), 25 Shelduck, 80 Turnstones and the first Wheatear of the year were seen at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                         Water Pipit, Northwick Warth 22.3.16

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                                                                                 Little Ringed Plover, Pilning Wetland 22.3.16

21st March
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth/New Passage involved 15 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Snipe, 2 Lapwing, 60 Oystercatchers, 30 Curlew, 60 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 6 Little Egrets, 3 Grey Herons, 8 Canada Geese, 8 Mute Swans, 6 Gadwall, 11 Tufted Duck, 28 Shoveler, 130 Teal, 2 Little Grebes, a Merlin, at least 5 Coal Tits, 14 Fieldfares, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Siskins and a Pheasant.  

20th March
An Avocet, 5 Black-tailed Godwits and 80 Redshank were seen at New Passage this morning. A Ruff, 4 Pintail, 6 Tufted Duck, 5 Gadwall, 130+ Wigeon, 120+ Teal, 3 Little Grebes, 3 Little Egrets and a Water Pipit were seen in the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area.

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                                                                                               Avocet, New Passage 20.3.16

19th March
Another very cloudy and cool day. Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth/New Passage involved a Merlin, 4 Greylags, 13 Tufted Duck, 4 Pintail, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 45 Dunlin, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Grey Wagtail, single Sparrowhawk, Raven, Water Rail, Kingfisher and Coal Tit. Another Chiffchaff was seen at Severn Beach.

18th March
An unpleasant cold, grey day. The 4 Greylags, 21 Canada Geese, 10 Mute Swans, 55 Wigeon, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Snipe, 3 Little Grebes and 4 Little Egrets were seen on Pilning Wetland. A Water Pipit remained on Northwick Warth. Another 75 Wigeon, 4 Pintail, 70 Redshank, 8 Siskins, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Coal Tits and a Chiffchaff were seen at New Passage.

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                                                                                 Pintail, New Passage 18.3.16  © Lisa  Presland

17th March
A frosty dawn followed by another sunny but cool day. Two Cranes flew over Pilning Wetland at 3pm, almost landed and then continued off East. Other sightings from here included 3 Ruff, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, a flyover Golden Plover, a Snipe, 4 Greylag Geese, 10 Mute Swans, 25 Canada Geese, 8 Gadwall, 215 Teal, 40 Wigeon, 8 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebes, 3 Little Egrets, 2 Ravens and a male Sparrowhawk. Another 80 Wigeon, 80+ Turnstones, 40 Redshank and a Water Rail were seen at New Passage. An early afternoon visit to the Severn Beach shore produced a Merlin, 4 Grey Plover, 13 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank, 22 Shelduck, 20 Wigeon and 2 Siskins. Nearby, a Little Egret, 2 Gadwall and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported at the Orchard Pools. A Kestrel, 100 Dunlin, 8 Redshank and 4 Snipe were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                         Ruff, Pilning Wetland 17.3.16

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                                                                                         Water Rail, New Passage 17.3.16

16th March
The cold wind persisted but a few new birds were found today. A morning visit to Pilning Wetland produced a Ruff, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Curlew, single Lapwing and Redshank, 8 Mute Swans, 9 Canada Geese, 140 Teal, 30 Wigeon, 25+ Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 8 Tufted Ducks, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Sand Martins, 2 Water Pipits, single Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. Another 70 Wigeon, 70 Redshank, single Peregrine and Coal Tit were seen at New Passage. Another Coal Tit and Raven were seen at Severn Beach. A Merlin was reported at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                     Ruff and Redshank, Pilning Wetland 16.3.16

15th March
The moderate strength North East wind continued producing another Red Kite heading into the wind over Pilning Wetland late morning. Other reports from here and Northwick Warth included 4 Little Gulls (flying NE), 2 Greylag Geese, 12 Canada Geese, 9 Gadwall, 17 Tufted Duck, 70 Shelduck, 30+ Shoveler, 160+ Teal, 2 Little Grebes, 6 Little Egrets, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 83 Turnstones, 8+Siskins and a Chiffchaff. Sightings from the Severn Beach shore included 20 Shelduck and 15 Shoveler. Nearby, a Cetti’s Warbler was heard at the Orchard Pools.

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                                                                                          Red Kite, Pilning Wetland 15.3.16

14th March
A sunny day with a moderate strength North East wind produced a few new birds. Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 2 Red Kites (flew low North East at 10.40), a Marsh Harrier (flew East at 13.45), 8 Little Egrets, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 60 Redshank, a Snipe, 40 Curlew, 150 Dunlin, 190 Teal, 180 Wigeon, 17 Tufted Duck, 37 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, a pair of Pintail, 87 Shelduck, 9 Mute Swans, 17 Canada Geese, 20+ Coot, 3 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, 3 Water Pipits, 20 Meadow Pipits, 25 Pied Wagtails, a Chiffchaff, 3 Siskins, 4 Buzzards, a Raven and a male Sparrowhawk. Another Red Kite flew North East at Aust Warth Sheep fields at 11.45. Another 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Grey Plover, a Green Sandpiper, 40 Dunlin, 50 Curlew, 20 Redshank, 37 Oystercatchers, 35 Shelduck, 30 Wigeon, 6 Tufted Duck, 2 Buzzards, a Kestrel and 14 flyover Siskins were seen at Severn Beach. A dead Barn Owl was found this morning on Merebank Road near Avonmouth Sewage Works/Hoar Gout.

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                                                                                         Red Kite, Pilning Wetland 14.3.16

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                                                                                          Red Kite, Pilning Wetland 14.3.16

13th March
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included an adult Little Gull, 8 Little Egrets, a Pintail, 35 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, 18 Tufted Duck, 140 Teal, 150 Wigeon, 80 Shelduck, 20 Canada Geese, 11 Mute Swans, 4 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, 70 Oystercatchers, 300 Dunlin, 50 Curlew, 3 Snipe, 2 Brambling, 35 Pied Wagtails, 2 Siskins and a Chiffchaff.

12th March
Another fine sunny day with a spring tide. Sightings from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 3 Little Egrets, 300 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 8 Curlew, 90+ Oystercatchers, 9 Mute Swans, 10 Canada Geese, 89 Shelduck, 150 Teal, 200+ Wigeon, 30+ Shoveler, 10 Tufted Duck, 3 Gadwall and 2 Siskins. Sightings from the morning high tide at Severn Beach involved 40 Wigeon, 18 Shelduck, 4 Teal, 2 Snipe, 50 Redshank, 16 Oystercatchers, a Rock Pipit, 2 Stonechats and 4 Siskins. Nearby, a Lesser Redpoll and a Chiffchaff were seen at the Orchard Pools. Another 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth.

11th March
Another high spring tide and sunny morning produced an Avocet, 18 Snipe, 150 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, a Grey Plover, 2 Little Egrets, 120 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 2 Buzzards, single Merlin, Kestrel and Barn Owl at Aust Warth. The Avocet was seen again later on Northwick Warth where other reports included 3 Knot, 120 Oystercatchers, 400 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 75 Curlew, 3 Turnstones, 84 Shelduck, 160 Wigeon, 2 flyover Siskins and 3 Water Pipits. Nearby, a Little Egret, 10 Canada Geese, 10 Mute Swans, 14 Tufted Duck, 30+ Shoveler, 110 Teal, 2 Water Rails and a Chiffchaff were reported on Pilning Wetland.

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                                                                                                Avocet, Aust Warth 11.3.16

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                                                                                              Avocet, Aust Warth 11.3.16

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                                                                                 Buzzard, Aust Warth 11.3.16 © Vic Savery

10th March
A frosty dawn, clear sky and a 14.2+ metre high tide. Two Short-eared Owls were pushed out of the salt marsh at Aust Warth by the flood tide where other sightings included at least one Jack Snipe, 20 Snipe, 120 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 200 Wigeon, 30 Teal, a Kestrel and a Rock Pipit. Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included a Greenshank, 50 Redshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, 70 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, 2 Little Egrets, 103 Shelduck, 130 Wigeon, 10 Mute Swans, 120 Teal, 10 Tufted Duck, 35 Shoveler, a Water Rail and a Kestrel. A flock of 70 Kittiwakes were reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                   Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 10.3.16

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                                                              Storm damage at The Glen, New Passage
     Yesterday’s gale force Northerly was too much for another 2 of the Pine trees that have been an Iconic feature here for over a Century.

9th March
A day with a strong North wind following a night of torrential rain. A very brief visit to Pilning Wetland produced just 10 Mute Swans, 16 Canada Geese, 90 Teal, 20 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 10 Tufted Duck and an increase in the water levels. At least 52 Shelduck were seen on Northwick Warth and another 31 Shelduck were reported at Severn Beach.

8th March
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved 5 Little Egrets, 14 Gadwall, 14 Tufted Duck, 8 Shoveler, 180 Teal, 65+ Shelduck, 10 Mute Swans, 16 Canada Geese, 3 Little Grebes, 100 Dunlin, a Snipe, 50 Redshank, 50 Oystercatchers, 90 Curlew, 2 Buzzards, 2 Stock Doves, single Water Pipit, Chiffchaff, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.

7th March
A brief afternoon visit to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland produced 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 60 Redshank, 90 Curlew, 60 Oystercatchers, 3 Snipe, 2 Lapwing, 3 Little Egrets, 14 Gadwall, 12 Tufted Duck, 9 Shoveler, 60+ Shelduck, 195 Teal, 200+ Wigeon, 16 Canada Geese, 7 Mute Swans, 2 Little Grebes and 2 Stonechats. A Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth at dusk.

6th March
Reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Water Rail, 2 Water Pipits, 4 Buzzards, 2 Coal Tits, single Chiffchaff and Stonechat. Another 2 Water Rails, a Little Grebe and a Tufted Duck were present at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach. At least 75 Wigeon, 85 Teal, 7 Redshank, 22 Curlew, 24 Snipe, a Kestrel and 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth.

5th March
A day with cold North wind. Combined reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included a Black-tailed Godwit, 50 Redshank, 90 Curlew, a Greylag, 95 Shelduck, 12 Shoveler, 13 Tufted Duck, 17 Gadwall, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Water Pipits, single Water Rail, Sparrowhawk, Chiffchaff, Stonechat and Grey Wagtail.

4th March
The first Red Kite of the year was reported heading North East over Northwick Warth where other sightings included the usual 3 Little Egrets, the Greylag, 9 Mute Swans, 32 Canada Geese, 86 Shelduck, 13 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 14 Tufted Duck, 300 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 2 Little Grebes, 60 Redshank, 140+ Turnstones, 50 Dunlin, 85 Curlew and a Rock Pipit. A single flock of 190 Kittiwakes lingered off Severn Beach for several hours this afternoon gaining great height on several occasions before dropping again. Other sightings at Severn Beach included 5 Turnstones, 30 Dunlin, 20 Wigeon and 11 Linnets. Another 30 Redshank, a Snipe and a Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth.

3rd March
Combined reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland involved the Greylag, 9 Mute Swans, 30 Canada Geese, 180 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 86 Shelduck, 10 Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler, 3 Little Grebes, 12 Coot, 5 Little Egrets, 55 Curlew, 45 Redshank, 9 Dunlin, 9 Pied Wagtails, single Stonechat and Grey Wagtail.

2nd March
A day with a strong West/North West wind produced 200+ Kittiwakes at Severn Beach in 2 flocks.

1st March
A late morning high tide visit to New Passage/Pilning Wetland produced 83 Shelduck, a Greylag, 9 Mute Swans, 20 Canada Geese, 340 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 8 Gadwall, 6 Tufted Duck, 50 Redshank, 200 Dunlin, 110 Curlew, 2 Little Egrets, single Water Rail and Kingfisher.
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