SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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May is the equal 3rd most productive month of the year with at least one individual of 192 species being seen. The summer migrants continue to move through including Garganey, Hobby, Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, more Terns and Skuas with the chance of Pomarine. “Small” wader numbers should rise during the month with Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Sanderling and the chance of a Curlew Sandpiper or Little Stint. Rarer records include Subalpine Warbler (2004), Bee-eater (2007), Spoonbill (1998,2015), Honey Buzzard (1991,2011), Montagu’s Harrier(2015), Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Kentish Plover (2004), Buff-breasted Sandpiper (1990), Temminck’s Stint (2004), Broad-billed Sandpiper (1988), Dotterel (2011), Franklin’s Gull (1984), Laughing Gull (2012), Long-tailed Skua, Sabine’s Gull, Roseate Tern (1990) and White-winged Black Tern (1990)

May 2016



31st May
Sightings at Pilning Wetland today included 2 Lapwing, 3 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, 4 Shoveler, 2 Teal, 7 Tufted Duck, 30 Gadwall, 4+ Little Grebes, a Common Gull and 30 Black-headed Gulls.The singing Cetti’s Warbler remained at Severn Beach.

30th May
Two Avocets were found at Severn Beach (near the shaft beach) and the Cetti’s Warbler remained near the railway station. The Garganey, 6 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 7 Tufted Duck, 25+ Gadwall, 4 Grey Herons, a Redshank and 12 Black-headed Gulls were seen on Pilning Wetland.  The 2 Avocets relocated this evening to Northwick Warth salt marsh on the Flash.

29th May
The drake Garganey remained on Pilning Wetland where other sightings included 6 Teal, a pair of Shoveler, 7 Tufted Duck, 30 Gadwall, 14 Canada Geese, 2 Little Egrets, single Redshank and Ringed Plover and 30+ Black-headed Gulls. A Little Egret and singing Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Severn Beach.

28th May
A warm day with a light East wind. A Wood Sandpiper dropped on to the Pilning Wetland Signals Pool late morning and then departed high East. Other sightings here involved a drake Garganey (4th record of the year), 6 fresh Mute Swan cygnets, a Little Egret, 2 Dunlin, 15 Black-headed Gulls and the resident Gadwall and Tufted Ducks. At least 50 Shelduck plus a brood of 10 ducklings were seen on Northwick Warth. The singing Cetti’s Warbler remained at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                   The Signals Pool, Pilning Wetland 28.5.16
             The view from the ringing hut area; home to Garganey, Ruff, Temminck’s & Little Stint and Wood Sandpiper so far this month.

27th May
Sightings from Pilning Wetland included a Little Ringed Plover, 15 Dunlin, a Redshank, a Little Egret, 10 Black-headed Gulls, 7 Tufted Duck, 30 Gadwall, 10 Stock Doves and a Yellow Wagtail. Six Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin and a singing Cetti’s Warbler were present at Severn Beach and nearby another 2 Cetti’s Warblers were reported at the Orchard Pools. A Cuckoo was seen at Aust Warth this evening.

26th May
A fine sunny and warm day. The highlight was a singing but unseen Golden Oriole, 08.35-08.40, in the tall hedge at the South East corner of Pilning Wetland at ST552864 (only the second record following one heard in June 1991). Other reports from Pilning Wetland included a drake Wigeon, 27 Gadwall, the first Coot brood of the year (3), 2 Little Egrets, 3 Grey Herons, 3 Ringed Plover and 3 Black-headed Gulls. A Merlin (latest spring date), 80+ Shelduck, a Whimbrel, 4 Curlew and 30+ Oystercatchers were seen on Northwick Warth. The Cetti’s Warbler was still at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                            Merlin, Northwick Warth  26.5.16

25th May
A cloudy day with a cool North East breeze. A few waders appeared on Pilning Wetland this morning including 4 Ringed Plover, single Avocet, Knot, Little Ringed Plover and Sanderling. Other reports from here and New Passage/Northwick Warth involved a Little Egret, 2 Curlew, 30 Oystercatchers, 7 Mute Swans, 85 Shelduck, 30+ Gadwall, 10 Tufted Duck, 8 Black-headed Gulls, a Peregrine, a fly over Siskin and a Tawny Owl (rare here). The singing Cetti’s Warbler remained at Severn Beach in scrub near the railway platform.

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                                                                                          Avocet, Pilning Wetland 25.5.16

24th May
A warm and sunny day with a North East breeze. The Short-eared Owl remained at Aust Warth where a Little Egret was also seen. A Little Ringed Plover, 3 Lapwing, 2 Curlew, a Whimbrel, 8 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 35 Oystercatchers, 3 Little Egrets and 21 Black-headed Gulls were were reported from Pilning Wetland/ Northwick Warth. Reports from Severn Beach involved a Spotted Flycatcher, a Tree Pipit, 2 Siskins, 5 Black-headed Gulls and a singing Cetti’s Warbler.

23rd  May
A Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 10 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, a Whimbrel, 36 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, 3 Grey Herons, 80 Shelduck, 4 Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, 4 Little Grebes plus 3 young and a Black-headed Gull were reported from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. Another Little Egret, 2 Grey Herons, 15 Shelduck and a singing Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl was seen morning and evening at Aust Warth.

22nd May
A day of sunshine and heavy rain showers. A Short-eared Owl was still present at Aust Warth this morning. Sightings from Pilning Wetland involved 3 Avocets (including a colour ringed individual), 2 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin, 2 Little Egrets, 3 Canada Geese, a drake Shoveler, 7 Tufted Duck, 20+ Gadwall, 2 new Mallard broods, 2 Black-headed Gulls and 4 Stock Doves. A Cuckoo, a Whimbrel and 36 Oystercatchers were reported from New Passage. A singing Cetti’s Warbler remained at Severn Beach. Update: The Avocet was ringed as a chick 25.6.13 at Fahretofter Westerkoog, Germany and seen again 2.6.15 at Rickelsbuller Koog and this is only the 2nd sighting.

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                                                                                      Avocets, Pilning Wetland 22.5.16

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                                                                                   Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 22.5.16

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                                                                      Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 22.5.16 © Rod Holbrook

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                                                                                  The Butts Pool, Pilning Wetland 22.5.16

21st May
A breezy wet day. The first 2 Black Terns of the year and a Skua, probably Arctic Skua were seen off Severn Beach early morning. A brief afternoon visit to Pilning Wetland produced the drake Garganey, a female Pintail, 7 Tufted Duck, 20+ Gadwall, 2 Little Ringed Plover and a hunting Hobby. A Short-eared Owl was reported at Aust Warth this evening.

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                                                                                         Garganey, Pilning Wetland 21.5.16

20th May
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included the drake Garganey, 9 Tufted Duck, an impressive 24 Gadwall, a drake Shoveler, a female Pintail, 6 Canada Geese, 30+ Coot, a Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, a Little Ringed Plover, 7 Black-tailed Godwits, a Hobby, 50+ House Martins and 15 Pied Wagtails. A mixed flock of 400 Dunlin/Ringed Plover, 3 Sanderling, 30 Oystercatchers and a singing Cetti’s Warbler were reported from Severn Beach.

19th May
The drake Garganey, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Little Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, 19 Gadwall, a drake Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, 6 Canada Geese, single Black-headed Gull and Grey Wagtail were seen on Pilning Wetland this afternoon. A mixed flock of 380 Dunlin/Ringed Plover and the singing Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Severn Beach.

18th May
Reports from Pilning Wetland included the drake Garganey, 6 Little Ringed Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover, 7 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 7 Canada Geese and 14 Gadwall. At least 250 Dunlin and 6 Ringed Plover were reported at New Passage.

17th May
The drake Garganey was found on Pilning Wetland this morning where 2 Little Ringed Plovers, single Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing and Little Egret, 17 Gadwall and 9 Tufted Duck were also present. At least 300+ Dunlin and 10 Ringed Plover were seen at New Passage this morning. Reports from Severn Beach included 700+ Dunlin, 180 Ringed Plover and 3 Sanderling on the evening high tide and the singing Cetti’s Warbler was still present.

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                                                                                      Garganey, Pilning Wetland 17.5.16

16th May
Another sunny day with a moderate strength South West breeze. A drake Garganey (found on the shore), a Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Knot, 4 Sanderling, 20 Ringed Plover, 300 Dunlin, a Whimbrel and 80 Shelduck were seen from New Passage. A Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, 6 Tufted Duck, 14 Gadwall and a Spotted Flycatcher were seen on Pilning Wetland. Another 10 Shelduck, 2 Gdwall, 55 Ringed Plover, 14 Oystercatchers and the singing Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                     Curlew Sandpiper, New Passage 16.5.16

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                                                                                           Garganey, New Passage 16.5.16

15th May
Combined reports from New Passage/Pilning Wetland included 4 Little Stints, a Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Knot, 4 Sanderling, 300 Dunlin, 80 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plover, single Little Egret, drake Shoveler and female Pintail. The singing Cetti’s Warbler remained in scrub near Severn Beach railway platform.

14th May
A fine sunny day. Sightings from New Passage/Northwick Warth included a Curlew Sandpiper, a Little Stint, 9+ Knot, 650 Dunlin, 60+ Ringed Plover, 22 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Grey Plover, 4 Whimbrel and 7 Sanderling. Nearby 2 Little Ringed Plover, a Redshank, 6 Little Egrets, an Egyptian Goose, 6 Tufted Duck and 14 Gadwall were seen on Pilning Wetland. A mixed flock of 60 Dunlin/Ringed Plover and a singing Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                             Curlew Sandpiper, New Passage 14.5.16

13th May
A sunny day with moderate strength North East wind. The Turtle Dove remained in the gardens of houses at New Passage and other reports from nearby Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included a fly over dark morph Arctic Skua, a Little Stint, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 9 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, 5 Curlew, 750 Dunlin, 40 Ringed Plover, 30 Oystercatchers, 3 Redshank, 7 Black-headed Gulls, an Egyptian Goose, 111 Shelduck, 14 Gadwall, 7 Tufted Duck, 4 Little Grebes, a Siskin, 2 Yellow Wagtails and unusually for here, a singing Coal Tit. Four hours of river watching at Severn Beach produced just an adult Yellow-legged Gull, a Little Tern, 90 Dunlin, 50 Ringed Plover, 16 Sanderling, 3 Grey Plover, single Redshank and Turnstone, 2 Black-headed Gulls, 2 hunting Peregrines, a male Sparrowhawk, single fly by Yellow Wagtail and Canada Goose. Yet another Red Kite was seen today flying over the A403 coast road behind Northwick Warth.The singing Cetti’s Warbler remained in scrub near the railway platform at Severn Beach. Another Cetti’s Warbler was reported nearby at the Orchard Pools.

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                                                                                           Turtle Dove, New Passage 13.5.16

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                                                                                             Arctic Skua, Pilning Wetland 13.5.16

12th May
A cloudy morning turning sunny and warm day with a North East breeze. Sightings from Pilning Wetland/New Passage/Northwick Warth included the 2nd drake Garganey of the spring (Wetland) , a Little Stint, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 7 Sanderling, 8 Whimbrel, 2 Grey Plover, 14 Redshank, 600 Dunlin, 100 Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, 8 Tufted Duck, 16 Gadwall, the 10th Red Kite of the year (flew East over Wetland), 5 Yellow Wagtails, 10 Siskins, a Redpoll and the Turtle Dove remained at New Passage feeding on a bird table! Another 300 Dunlin, 80 Ringed Plover, 3 Sanderling, 15 Oystercatchers, single Whimbrel and Turnstone, 2 Curlew, 3 Yellow Wagtails, a Kestrel migrating up mid river and the singing Cettis Warbler were reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                      Little Stint, Pilning Wetland 12.5.16

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                                                                     Sanderling, Dunlin & Ringed Plover, Severn Beach 12.5.16

11th May
Another very wet, murky and humid day. The water levels have risen on the Pilning Wetland scrapes leaving little room for the smaller waders but should drop quickly over the next few days. Combined reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included single Little Stint, Ruff, Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper, 10 Sanderling, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 180 Dunlin, 120 Ringed Plover, 11 Turnstones, 24 Redshank, 17 Gadwall, 6 Tufted Duck, 4 Canada Geese, 60 Shelduck, a Yellow Wagtail and a Peregrine. A Turtle Dove was a surprise find at New Passage drinking from a rain puddle by the Dog waste bin and then intermittently in The Glen. Reports from Severn Beach involved 2 Little Terns, 2 Arctic Terns, 6 Black-headed Gulls, 9 Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Whimbrel, a Knot, 13 Sanderling, 70 Dunlin, 30 Ringed Plover and the singing Cetti’s Warbler. Two Caspian Terns were found today just a few miles South of Chittening Warth, on the other side of the River Avon. Hopefully they will head North soon to be a welcome addition to our list.

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                                                                        Caspian Terns, Portbury Wharf, North Somerset 11.5.16

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                                                                                        Turtle Dove, New Passage 11.5.16

10th May
It rained most of the day with a dry spell from late afternoon. Fifteen species of wader were seen. The first Little Stint and Little Tern (up river) of the year, the Temminck’s Stint, 75 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Whimbrel, 15 Sanderling, 4  Little Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper, 5 Knot, 2 Curlew, 40+ Oystercatchers, 15 Redshank, 240 Dunlin, 92 Ringed Plover, 4 Turnstones, 4 Little Egrets, 6 Tufted Duck, 10 Gadwall, 55 Shelduck, 4 Canada Geese, 2 drake Shoveler, 2 Cormorants, 11 Black-headed Gulls, a Hobby, 45+ Swift, 2 Stock Doves and 11 Yellow Wagtails were seen in the Pilning Wetland /Northwick Warth area. At least 100 Arctic Terns and 20 “Commic” Terns, 6 Sanderling, 42 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover, a drake Tufted Duck (flying up river), 4 Swifts and a singing Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint and Dunlin, Pilning Wetland 10.5.16

9th May
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved the Temminck’s Stint, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, mixed flock of 160 Dunlin/Ringed Plover, 10 Grey Plover, a Little Egret, 15 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Little Grebes, 12 Gadwall, 6 Tufted Duck and 3 Yellow Wagtails. A pale morph Arctic Skua, 3 Common Terns, 10 Black-headed Gulls, a Greenshank, 4 Redshank, 7 Sanderling, 5 Knot, a Grey Plover, 2 Turnstones, 8 Dunlin, 17 Whimbrel, 16 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Hobby, 4 Swifts, 2 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats and a singing Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                    Temminck’s Stint, Pilning Wetland 9.5.16

8th May
An overcast morning followed by a warm sunny day with moderate strength North East wind. Ideal conditions for some good birds including the Temminck’s Stint (2nd patch record), Egyptian Goose (4th patch record), 40 Arctic Terns, 24 Grey Plover, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpipers, 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, 40 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 110 Dunlin, 55+ Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstones, 5 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Canada Geese, 65 Shelduck, a Pintail, 4 Tufted Duck, 15 Gadwall, 3 Redpoll, a Wheatear and 3 Yellow Wagtails being seen in the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. Reports from Severn Beach included 3 Short-eared Owls, 9 Black-headed Gulls, 31 Whimbrel, 6 Grey Plover, 7 Knot, a Sanderling, 20 Ringed Plover, 12 Dunlin, a Turnstone, 6 Gadwall, 13 Shelduck  and a singing Cetti’s Warbler Click on the Temminck’s picture below for a short Youtube video.

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                                                                                   Temminck’s Stint, Pilning Wetland 8.5.16

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                                                                                           Egyptian Goose, Pilning Wetland 8.5.16

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                                                                                               Whimbrel, Severn Beach 8.5.16

7th May
Combined reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included a female type Marsh Harrier (3rd record this year, flew in from the river then east at midday), 2 Grey Plover, single Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper and Little Egret, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Curlew, 8 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 46 Whimbrel, 52 Oystercatchers, 40 Ringed Plover, 90 Dunlin, 4 Canada Geese, 20 Gadwall, 6 Tufted Duck, single Hobby, Grasshopper Warbler, Tree Pipit and Siskin, 2 Redpolls, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 20 Pied Wagtails. Another 4 Gadwall, 6 Whimbrel, 9 Black-headed Gulls and singing Cetti’s Warbler were present at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                     Marsh Harrier, New Passage 7.5.16

6th May
A fine day with a North East breeze. Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 5 Ruff (4 flew high East from Wetland at 08.10 another was found on The Flash at lunchtime), 2 Grey Plover, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 14 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 2 Sanderling, single Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone and Lapwing, 97 Dunlin, 20+ Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, a Water Rail, 4 Little Grebes, 10 Gadwall, 55 Shelduck, a female Pintail, 13 Black-headed Gulls, 2 “Commic” Terns, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Swifts, 2 Redpolls, a Siskin, a Garden Warbler, 10+ Sedge Warblers (8 trapped and ringed) and 10 Reed Warblers (3 new birds ringed and 7 retrapped birds that were ringed last year and have returned together!). Reports from Severn Beach involved 6 Whimbrel, 18 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 4 Gadwall and the singing Cetti’s Warbler.

5th May
Another warm and sunny day. Reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 4 Little Gulls (feeding on Wetland), 3 Great Crested Grebes (2 on wetland pools plus 1 floated down river), a Greenshank, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 64 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, a Redshank, 2 Lapwing, 2 Little Egrets, 7 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Redpolls, 4 Swifts, single Grasshopper Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear and Siskin. A singing Cetti’s Warbler remained in scrub near Severn Beach railway station. A Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, a Curlew, 2 Little Egrets, a Whinchat and a Peregrine were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                Great Crested Grebe, Pilning Wetland 5.5.16

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                                                                                    Grey Plover, Northwick Warth 5.5.16

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                                                                                            Redpoll, New Passage 5.5.16

4th May
A warm sunny day with a South East breeze. The Grasshopper Warbler, the first Cuckoo of the year, a Whinchat, 3 Wheatears, a Yellow Wagtail, 3 White Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, an influx of Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats, a fly over Siskin, a Hobby, a Peregrine, 6 Ravens, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin, a Curlew, 3 Little Egrets, 11 Tufted Duck and a female Pintail were reported from the New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. A Sanderling, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Whimbrel, 12 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, 7 Black-headed Gulls, a singing Cetti’s Warbler and 2 hunting Peregrines were reported from Severn Beach. A Little Egret, 2 Whinchats and 2 Wheatears were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                Cuckoo, New Passage 4.5.16 © David Hanks

3rd May
A Grasshopper Warbler remained near the sluice at New Passage. Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved 3 Little Ringed Plovers, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin, a Whimbrel, a Redshank, 60 Shelduck, 6 Tufted Duck, 10 Gadwall, a female Pintail, a Little Egret, 4 Black-headed Gulls, a Whinchat, 3 White Wagtails, 3 Wheatears, 2 Swifts and a Redpoll. A Sanderling, 60 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover, 3 Turnstones, a Whimbrel, 2 Gadwall, a singing Cetti’s Warbler and 5 Redpolls were reported at Severn Beach. Another 3 Whimbrel were seen at Aust Warth.

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                                                                        Grasshopper Warbler, New Passage 3.5.16 © Dan White

2nd May
Combined reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 2 Avocets, a Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Little Ringed Plovers, 15 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Ringed Plover, 140 Dunlin, 10 Tufted Duck, 10 Gadwall, 4 Canada Geese, a Grasshopper Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Wheatears, 2 Swifts and a Merlin. Another 8 Whimbrel, 15 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin and a singing Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Severn Beach and at least 4 Cetti’s Warblers, 8 Sedge Warblers another Grasshopper Warbler were present at Chittening Warth.

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                                                                            Little Ringed Plover, Pilning Wetland 2.5.16

1st May
Reports from the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area included the first Sanderling of the year, 5+ Little Ringed Plovers, 107 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plovers, 10 Whimbrel, a Curlew, 40 Oystercatchers, 10 Gadwall, 13 Tufted Duck, a female Pintail, single Water Rail, Little Egret, Raven, Peregrine, Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear, Siskin, singing Reed Warbler and male Redstart, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, a singing Reed Warbler, 5 Sedge Warblers (trapped and ringed), 3 Redpoll and 6 Swift. Another 35 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel were present at the Severn Beach shore, the singing Cetti’s Warbler remained near the railway station and 2 Gadwall, a Little Grebe and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported nearby at the Orchard Pools.
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