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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 207. Rarities have included records of Black-necked Grebe (1996,2015), 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), Yellow-browed Warbler (2001,2013, 2015) and Red-throated Pipit (2015). 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 2016

31st October
A foggy morning followed eventually by some sunshine. Reports from the Northwick Warth/New Passage/Pilning Wetland area involved the 2 Avocets, a Ruff, 2 Golden Plover, 70 Knot, 400+ Black-tailed Godwits, 50+ Grey Plover, 180 Lapwing, 90 Oystercatchers, 10 Ringed Plover, 350 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 5 Jack Snipe, 15 Snipe, 4 Little Egrets, 2 Water Rails, a female Common Scoter, 800+ Wigeon, 200+ Teal, 25+ Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 10 Tufted Duck, 8 Shelduck, 41 Canada Geese, 3 Cormorants, 10 Siskins, 2 Redpolls, single Raven, Grey Wagtail, Rock Pipit and Yellowhammer. A Short-eared Owl was reported at Aust Warth.

30th October
Combined sightings from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included a Ruff, 2 Avocets, 416 Black-tailed Godwits, 900 Dunlin, 190 Lapwing, 3 Jack Snipe, 12 Snipe, 2 Water Rails, 2 Little Egrets, 6 Little Grebes, 24 Tufted Duck, a Pintail, 4 Cormorants, 2 Ravens, 2 Siskin, 70 Redwing and a Chiffchaff.

29th October
A very overcast and murky day. The 2 Avocets and usual large flock of Black-tailed Godwits remained viewable from New Passage where things brightened up when a Ring-necked Parakeet was found (only the 7th Severnside record but the 4th consecutive year one has appeared). A Ruff was still present on Pilning Wetland. Two Stonechats, a Blackcap and a Peregrine were seen at Severn Beach.

                                                                           Ring-necked Parakeet, New Passage 29.10.16  

28th October
The 2 Avocets remained on view from New Passage where 335 Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Grey Plover, 40 Knot, 250 Dunlin, 150 Redshank, 4 Shelduck, 500+ Wigeon, 120 Teal, 2 Ravens, single Redpoll, Coal Tit and Rock Pipit were also seen. A Ruff, 2 Little Egrets and 90+ Lapwing were seen on Pilning wetland.

                                                                                           Avocets, New Passage 28.10.16

27th October
Sightings from New Passage involved 2 Avocets, a record flock of 425 Black-tailed Godwits, 50 Grey Plover, 90 Lapwing, 50 Redshank, 45 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, 600+ Wigeon/Teal and 2 Ravens. A Jack Snipe, 20 Shelduck, a Chiffchaff and 2 Rock Pipits were reported from Severn Beach.

26th October
At least 600 Wigeon, 325 Black-tailed Godwits and a Peregrine were reported from New Passage. Four Stonechats were reported at Aust Warth.

25th October
Another gloomy day but plenty of migrants including a Swift species that zipped low over New Passage before heading East (Pallid Swifts seen today on Lundy and Isles of Scilly!). The first Black Redstart of the year was found on the Wardens building at Pilning Wetland early afternoon. Other sightings from Pilning Wetland/Northwick included a Ruff, 300 Black-tailed Godwits, 7 Jack Snipe, 14 Snipe, 80 Turnstones, 10 Ringed Plover, 90 Lapwing, 80 Redshank, 200 Dunlin, 15 Knot, 20 Grey Plover, 2 Little Egrets, a Water Rail, 17 Canada Geese, 4 Tufted Duck, 3 Pintail, 2 Ravens plus overhead visible migration of birds heading North East into the wind involving 2000+ Chaffinch, 3000+ Starlings, 180+ Siskins, 3 Brambling, 5 Bullfinch and 7 Redwing. Another 2 Jack Snipe, 7 Snipe, a Whimbrel, 2 Water Rails, 2 Peregrines, 3 Cetti’s Warblers, 30 Siskins, single Wheatear and Stonechat were reported from Chittening Warth.

                                                                                      Black Redstart, Pilning Wetland 25.10.16

24th October
A grey day with light rain and a North East wind. An Avocet was seen again on the Northwick Warth Flash. A Ruff, 290 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Jack Snipe, 11 Snipe, 30 Lapwing, 50 Redshank, 2 Little Egrets, a Water Rail, 6 Little Grebes, 4 Tufted Duck, 8 Gadwall, 2 Peregrines and a Raven were reported from Pilning Wetland. Visible overhead migrants at New Passage this morning included a Brambling and 30 Siskins.

23rd October
An Avocet, 3 Little Egrets, 280+ Black-tailed Godwits, 16 Knot and 20 Grey Plover were seen from New Passage where overhead visible migrants seen between 07.30 and 10.50 included 2 Brambling, 47 Siskins, 3 Redpoll, 11 Bullfinch, 1785 Chaffinch, 3200 Starling, 47 Meadow Pipits, 2 Fieldfare and 2 Redwing. A Ruff and a Raven were seen on Pilning Wetland. A Pintail and a Stonechat were reported at Aust Warth.

22nd October
A cold murky morning visit to New Passage/Pilning Wetland produced a fly over Short-eared Owl, 2 Little Stints, a Ruff, 80+ Lapwing, 280+ Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Redshank, 140 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, 2 Ravens, 2 Chiffchaff, 22 fly over Siskins, single Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher. The Yellow-browed Warbler remained at Severn Beach where a Little Egret, 71 Turnstones, 30 Dunlin, a Sparrowhawk, 4 Ravens and a Stonechat were also seen. A Jack Snipe was seen at Chittening Warth. Another 4 Stonechats, 3 Chiffchaff, single Sparrowhawk and Grey Wagtail were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                          Short-eared Owl, New Passage 22.10.16

21st October
A foggy start to the day followed by bright subshine. The star find of the day was a Yellow-browed Warbler in Willows near the pipes at Severn Beach. It was heard calling and seen several times 10.50-13.00 and represents only the 2nd Severnside record following one in October 2001 at Old Passage. Other reports from Severn Beach included a Cetti’s Warbler, a Blackcap, 2 Stonechats, 2 Redpolls, a Siskin, 200 Curlew, 4 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Herons,7 Shelduck, single Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. At least 150 Black-tailed Godwits, 90 Lapwing, 180 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Egrets, a Water Rail, 2 drake Pintail, 5 Tufted Ducks, 70+ Teal, 250+ Wigeon, 7 Shoveler, single Grey Wagtail, Siskin and late Wheatear were seen in the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area.

20th October
Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included a Ruff, 50 Knot, 160 Black-tailed Godwits, 500 Dunlin, 92 Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 90 Redshank, 2 Pintail, 4 Shelduck, 2 Stonechats, single Little Egret, Water Rail, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk.

19th October
A calm day and another 14+ metre tide. A Guillemot was seen keeping the Wigeon company at New Passage. Other reports from here and Pilning/Wetland/Northwick Warth included a Little Stint, 3 Ruff, 70 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Knot, 46 Grey Plover, 2 Golden Plover, 80 Lapwing, 2 Ringed Plover, 140 Redshank, 70 Turnstones, a Snipe, 200 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, 1000+ Dunlin, 2 Little Egrets, a Water Rail, 6 Shelduck., a Pintail, 12 Gadwall, 350+ Wigeon, 80+ Teal and 20+ Shoveler. Click on the Guillemot image below for some video.

                                                                                        Guillemot, New Passage 19.10.16

18th October
An increasingly windy day. A Short-eared Owl, 70 Black-tailed Godwits, single Peregrine, Little Egret, Snipe and Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth this morning. A flock of 80 Turnstones were seen at Severn Beach. Sightings from Pilning Wetland involved 2 Ruff, 70 Black-tailed Godwits, 70 Lapwing, 60 Redshank, 15 Snipe, 5 Tufted Duck, 13 Gadwall, 27 Canada Geese and 2 Ravens.

17th October
A breezy day and a 14.3 metre tide. Reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included single Little Stint, Ruff and Spotted Redshank, 4 Golden Plover, 40+ Grey Plover, 140 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Knot, 120 Redshank, 70 Lapwing, 2000+ Dunlin, 150+ Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, 2 Snipe, 2 Little Egrets, 4 Pintail, 3 Tufted Duck, 7 Gadwall, 2 Stonechats and 60 Black-headed Gulls, one of which had a White plastic ring on left leg with LBR in black. Another 2 Stonechats and 3 Swallows were seen at Aust Warth.  Ringing update: This Black-headed Gull was ringed on 16.12.01 at Arnhem, Netherlands and seen on 12 occasions between the winters of 2006 and 2011 in Amsterdam plus another autumn sighting on 22.9.11 in Rostock, Germany. The following 4 sightings were back in Amsterdam in the winters of 2012, 2014 and 2015 before appearing recently in Timmendorfer Strand, Germany on 25.9.16 and then here on Severnside.

                                                                                   Golden Plover, Northwick Warth 17.10.16

                                                                                           Pintail, Pilning Wetland 17.10.16

16th October
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warrth/New Passage involved 4 Ruff (one reeve), 80 Lapwing, 150 Black-tailed Godwits, 2000+ Dunlin, 50+ Knot, 60 Turnstones, 180 Oystercatchers, 40+ Grey Plover, 100+ Redshank, 2 Little Egrets, 8 Shelduck, 250+ Wigeon, 2 Kestrels, single Pintail, Raven and Peregrine. Another Peregrine, drake Pintail, 2 Stonechats and a Snipe were seen at Aust Warth.

15th October
An excellent number of waders were seen roosting on Northwick Warth with most but not all crammed onto the Flash including 180 Grey Plover, 60 Knot, 135 Black-tailed Godwits, 210 Redshank, 80 Lapwing, 2000+ Dunlin and 190 Oystercatchers (click here for a short video). Other reports from here and Pilning Wetland included a Ruff, 4 Snipe, 2 Little Egrets, 350+ Wigeon, 60 Teal, 11 Canada Geese, 10 Gadwall, a Shelduck, 16 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, a Water Rail, 7 Little Grebes, 2 Kestrel, 3 Stonechats and 30 Pied Wagtails. Another Kestrel and a Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth.

14th October
A female Marsh Harrier, an Egyptian Goose, 2 Ruff, 2 Pintail and a Wheatear were reported from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth.

13th October
Another day with a cold North East breeze. Two Ruff, 8 Snipe, 140 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, a Little Egret, 20 Canada Geese and single Water Rail, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were present at Pilning Wetland.

12th October
Reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 3 Ruff, 40 Lapwing, a Jack Snipe, 2 Little Egrets, 19 Canada Geese, 2 Wheatears, 4 Stonechats, 40 Pied Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Rock Pipits, single immature Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, plus fly over Ring Ouzel, 2 Fieldfares, 10+ Redwing and a  Brambling. At least 150 Black-tailed Godwits were present off Aust Warth.

                                                                                         Jack Snipe, Northwick Warth 12.10.16

11th October
A brief late afternoonm visit to Northwick Warth produced 2 Little Egrets, 21 Canada Geese, 400+ Wigeon, 3 Tufted Duck, 3 Stonechats and a Raven. Sightings from Severn Beach included 3 fly over Brambling, and 7 Little Egrets and nearby, a Cetti’s Warbler at Chittening Warth. At least 80 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth.

10th October
Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth involved 3 Ruff, 80 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Jack Snipe, 22 Snipe, 80 Redshank, 35 Lapwing, 2 Water Rails, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Herons, 600+ Wigeon, 13 Pintail, 20+ Shoveler, 15+ Gadwall, 4 Tufted Duck, 9 Little Grebes, 4 Wheatears, 2 Stonechats, single Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. Another 6 Stonechats and 2 Kestrels were reported from Aust Warth. A Snow Bunting flew North East at Severn Beach where other sightings included 3 Knot, 23 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 2 Swallows and 2 Chiffchaff.

9th October
Another day with a cool breeze from the East. Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 2 Little Stints, 3 Ruff, 180+ Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Pintail, 3 Little Egrets, a Water Rail, 3 Wheatears, 2 Siskins, 2 Ravens, single Redwing and White Wagtail. Nearby, 70 Turnstones, a Kingfisher and 2 fly over Bramblings were seen at New Passage. A visit to the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach produced at 2 Water Rails, at least one Cetti’s Warbler, a Kingfisher, 2 Little Grebes, a Sparrowhawk and 2 Chiffchaffs. Two Little Egrets and a Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth.

8th October
No change in the weather. A Great White Egret was seen to drop onto Pilning Wetland and then relocated briefly onto the flash at Northwick Warth. Additional reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 3 Little Stints, a Ruff, 220+ Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Knot, 50 Lapwing, 80 Redshank, 30 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plover, single Jack Snipe, Common Sandpiper and Little Egret, Peregrine and Stonechat, 18 Swallows, 11 House Martins and 23 flyover Siskins. Reports from Severn Beach included 200 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover, 25 Turnstones, 60 Oystercatchers and 2 Wheatears.

                                                                  Great White Egret, Pilning Wetland 8.10.16  © John Martin

7th October
Another cool day due to a North East wind. An early morning visit to Northwick Warth produced 2 unringed adult Common Cranes feeding among 25 Canada Geese before they flew off high East at 09.00. Other reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 3 juvenile Little Stints, 2 Ruff, a Common Sandpiper, 300+ Black-tailed Godwits, 90 Knot, 35 Grey Plover, 100+ Redshank, 68 Lapwing, 120 Dunlin, a Water Rail, 2 Little Egrets, 10 Little Grebes, 49 Shoveler, 20 Gadwall, 2 Pintail, 700+ Wigeon, 7 Mute Swans, a Tufted Duck, 2 Swallows, 15 Redwing, single Long-eared Owl (first of the year), Little Owl, Hobby, Sparrowhawk and 2 Peregrines (adult & immature). Another Peregrine and 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth and 2 Yellow-browed Warblers were seen at Aust Cliff/services.

                                                                                      Common Cranes, Northwick Warth 7.10.16

                                                                                   Common Cranes, Northwick Warth 7.10.16

6th October
A day with a cold North East breeze. Once again Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth remained the centre of attention where reports included a mobile Avocet, 3 Little Stints, 3 Curlew Sandpipers, 4 Ruff, single Golden Plover, Common Sandpiper and Snipe, 50 Grey Plover, 80 Knot, 450 Dunlin, 240 Black-tailed  Godwits, 60 Redshank, 3 Little Egrets, 8 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, 35 Shoveler, 12 Shelduck, 12 Canada Geese, 350 Wigeon, 140 Teal and a Peregrine.

                                                                                       Avocet, Northwick Warth flash 6.10.16

5th October
A sunny day with an increasing strength East wind. Sightings from the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area included a Wood Sandpiper, 3 Little Stints, a Spotted Redshank, 4 Ruff, a Common Sandpiper, 10 Grey Plover, 60 Lapwing, 12 Snipe, 45 Knot, 240 Black-tailed Godwits, 70 Redshank, 3 Little Egret, 16 Shoveler, 3 Pintail, a Tufted Duck, 2 Wheatears, 2 Grey Wagtails, single Hobby, Peregrine and Kestrel. At least 100 Turnstones were seen at Severn Beach.

                                                                                  Ruff, Pilning Wetland, Signals Pool 5.10.16

                                                                                      Spotted Redshank, New Passage 5.10.16

4th October
A cool but dry day with an East breeze. Sightings from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 3 Ruff, 2 Little Stints, 70 Black-tailed Godwits, 10 Knot, 20 Lapwing, 15 Snipe, a Little Egret, 8+ Little Grebes, single Merlin, Peregrine, Raven, Wheatear and Siskin, 6 Blackcaps and the first 10 Redwing of the Autumn. A Curlew Sandpiper was seen in the Severn Beach wader roost.

                                                                                 Curlew Sandpiper, Severn Beach 4.10.16  © Vic Savery

3rd October
An adult Mediterranean Gull and a Curlew Sandpiper were seen from New Passage and nearby sightings from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 2 Little Stints, 3 Ruff, 60 Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Knot, 300+ Dunlin, 13 Lapwing, 80 Redshank, 4 Little Egrets, 35 Canada Geese, 3 Pintail, 16 Shoveler, 3 Common Gulls, 3 Wheatears, single Peregrine, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Kingfisher.

                                                                                   Ruff, Northwick Warth 3.10.16  © Matt Scott

2nd October
A glorious sunny day. Combined sightings from Severn Beach included 80 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 7 Little Egrets, single Firecrest (Shaft Rocks scrub), Wheatear and Stonechat. Three Ruff, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, single Little Stint and Bar-tailed Godwit, 97 Grey Plover, 1300+ Dunlin, 2 Stonechats, 3 Wheatears, 2+ Siskin, 21 Chiffchaffs and a Peregrine were seen at Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland. Another 4 Stonechat, 2 Wheatears and single Whinchat, Kingfisher and Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth.

1st October
A wet start to the month. The Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area remained the centre of attention where a Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Ruff, 94 Grey Plover, 9 Lapwing, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 80+ Black-tailed Godwits, 600+ Dunlin, 3 Little Egrets, 2 Common Terns, 9 Little Grebes, 2 Wheatears and a Stonechat were seen.