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January is a slightly better month than December, the daylight hours slowly lengthen resulting in a monthly total of 167 species. Like any of the mid winter months it can be good for wildfowl sightings if inland waters freeze, with the chance of Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander or some fly by Bewick’s Swans. Seabirds seen in gales have included Cory’s Shearwater (2004), Storm Petrel, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk, Red-throated Diver and Grey Phalarope. Other January birds include; Slavonian Grebe (2010,2016), Green-winged Teal (2015), American Golden Plover (2002), Great Grey Shrike (2004), Shorelark (2004), Waxwing, two Common Cranes that flew over Severn Beach (2000), two Whooper Swans (2005), Bittern (2011), Glaucous Gull and a few rare sightings of Hen Harrier.

January 2017

31st January
No reports were received today.

30th January
A least 400 Black-tailed Godwits, 450 Lapwing, 500 Wigeon, 33 Shelduck and 7 Tufted Duck were seen in the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area this morning.

29th January
No reports were received today.

28th January
The only reports received were of at least 300 Black-tailed Godwits, the usual Knot and Dunlin flocks, 11 Tufted Duck, 8 Gadwall, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and a Rock Pipit.

27th January
A Woodcock flew across the A403 coast road into the Orchard Pools copse this morning at Severn Beach. Other sightings at Severn Beach included 300 Dunlin on the shore and a garden Chiffchaff. A Little Egret, at least 350 Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Knot, 140 Lapwing, 30 Snipe, 2000 Dunlin, 3 Cormorants, 10 Gadwall, 8 Tufted Duck, 500 Wigeon and 60 Teal were seen in the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area.

26th January
No reports were received today.

25th January
A visit to the frozen Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth produced a Little Egret, 150+ Black-tailed Godwits, 300+ Lapwing, 1500 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 14 Snipe, 600+ Wigeon, 90 Teal, 20 Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, 10 Gadwall and a Sparrowhawk. A male Stonechat was seen at Severn Beach. A Jack Snipe, a Snipe, 70 Wigeon and 23 Teal were reported at Aust Warth.

24th January
A Little Egret, 200+ Lapwing, 400 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Knot, 450+ Wigeon and 120 Teal were seen on Pilning Wetland.

23rd January
A brief visit to Pilning Wetland produced 350+ Lapwing, 8 Tufted Duck, 10 Shoveler, 350+ Wigeon and 120 Teal. At least 300 Black-tailed Godwits, 500 Dunlin and 50 Redshank remained off Northwick Warth. A Water Rail and 2 Gadwall were present at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach.

22nd January
A cold day but no ice. At least 300 Black-tailed Godwits remained off Northwick Warth. A late afternoon visit to Aust Warth produced 2 Peregrines, 50 Lapwing and 2 Stonechats.

21st January
Another icy day with a dawn temperature of -4°C. A Bittern was seen this morning at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach. Other sightings from the Severn Beach shore included 20 Shelduck, 20 Wigeon, 100 Oystercatchers, 5 Ringed Plover, 35 Curlew, a male Stonechat and a Grey Seal. A female Pochard was seen at New Passage. Single Short-eared Owl, Jack Snipe, Egyptian Goose and Stonechat were reported at Northwick Warth. Another 10 Shelduck, 63 Oystercatchers, 13 Snipe, 45 Curlew, single Kingfisher and Stonechat were seen at Chittening Warth.

20th January
A cold and frosty morning. A Marsh Harrier was seen hunting over Pilning Wetland reed bed at 08.40 before eventually drifting North. Other reports from here included an Egyptian Goose, 26 Canada Geese, 7 Mute Swans, 24 Shelduck, 300 Wigeon, 110 Teal, 19 Tufted Duck, 13 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, 350+ Black-tailed Godwits, 300 Dunlin, 4 Knot, 8 Snipe, a Golden Plover, 400+ Lapwing, 80 Curlew, 90 Turnstones, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Water Rails, 2 Ravens, single Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail and a Stock Dove were reported in the Pilning Wetland/New Passage area. Another 2 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, 20 Dunlin, 28 Redshank, 38 Wigeon and 60 Teal were seen at Aust Warth. At least 50 Oystercatchers, 30 Redshank, 3 Snipe, 10 Wigeon and 12 Shelduck were reported at Severn Beach.

                                                                                      Marsh Harrier, Pilning Wetland 20.1.17

                                                                                       Egyptian Goose, Pilning Wetland 20.1.17

19th January
The only reports from New Passage/Pilning Wetland included 35 Canada Geese, 25 Shelduck, 400+ Wigeon, 12 Gadwall, 10 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Egrets, 200+ Black-tailed Godwits, 300+ Lapwing, 250+ Dunlin and 40+ Curlew.  A male Stonechat was seen at Severn Beach.

18th January
Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included 60+ Knot, “many” Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwits and a Water Pipit (near 2nd sentry box). A Cetti’s Warbler and 5 Gadwall were reported from the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach. I had an away day in Cornwall and managed to catch up with the long staying Hudsonian Whimbrel, a male Eastern Black Redstart, a drake Green-winged Teal, a Spoonbill, 2 Great Northern Divers, a Black-throated Diver, 14+ Purple Sandpipers etc. any of which would have brightened up Severnside.

                                                                       Eastern Black Redstart, Mousehole, Cornwall  18.1.17

                                                                       Hudsonian Whimbrel, Perranuthnoe, Cornwall  18.1.17

17th January
A damp, grey and dismal day. A brief visit to Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth produced the usual Little Egret, 27 Canada Geese, 500+ Wigeon, 10 Gadwall, 9 Tufted Duck, 40 Shelduck, 12 Shoveler, 90 Curlew and 350+ Lapwing. Three Chiffchaffs were seen at the Sewage works outflow at New Passage.

16th January
A low tide visit to New Passage produced 300+ Black-tailed Godwits, 120+ Knot, 1400 Dunlin, 350+ Lapwing, 60 Curlew, 2 Little Egrets, 44 Shelduck, 680 Wigeon and just 15 Teal.

15th January
Combined reports from New Passage/Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included an adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Little Egrets, 280 Black-tailed Godwits, 111+ Knot, 80 Redshank, 350 Lapwing, 120 Curlew, 190 Oystercatchers, 800 Dunlin, 8 Grey Plover, a Golden Plover, 40 Turnstones, a Water Rail, 24 Canada Geese, 8 Mute Swans, 18 Tufted Duck, 600 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 54 Shelduck, 8 Gadwall, 13 Shoveler, single Little Grebe, Peregrine, Rock Pipit and Water Pipit. At least 30 Gadwall, 40 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 40 Redshank, 2 Snipe and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported from Chittening Warth and another Little Egret and Gadwall were seen at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach. At least 4 Jack Snipe and a Water Rail were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                        Mediterranean Gull, New Passage 15.1.17
                                                       the 1st of the year, an adult drifting distantly down river

14th January
No reports were received today.

13th January
A visit to a cold and windswept New Passage/Pilning Wetland produced 80 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Knot, 800+ Dunlin, 70 Curlew, 300 Lapwing, a Little Egret, 20 Canada Geese, 50 Shelduck, 400+ Wigeon and 90 Teal. At least 6 Jack Snipe, 16 Snipe, 80 Lapwing, 100 Wigeon and a Peregrine were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                       Wigeon, New Passage 13.1.17

                                                                                  Black-tailed Godwits, New Passage 13.1.17

12th January
A wet day with a cold North West wind. A Little Egret, just 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Knot, 3 Redshank, 3 Snipe, 350 Lapwing, 11 Tufted Duck, 11 Shoveler, 60 Teal and 25 Canada Geese were seen in a brief visit to Pilning Wetland.

11th January
A cool and windy day. Reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland involved just 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 100 Knot, 200+Lapwing, 600 Dunlin, 90 Teal, 300+ Wigeon, 11 Tufted Duck, 40 Canada Geese and a Water Pipit (by 2nd sentry box).

10th January
Reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included a Little Egret, 200+ Black-tailed Godwits, 100 Knot, 400 Lapwing, 90 Curlew, 55 Turnstones, 1000+ Dunlin, 80 Oystercatchers, 7 Snipe, 2 Water Rails, 40 Canada Geese, 6 Mute Swans, 11 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 9 Shelduck, 400+ Wigeon and 50 Teal.

9th January
A brief low tide visit to New Passage in the rain produced just 46 Canada Geese, 25 Shelduck, 550 Wigeon, 600 Dunlin and 2 Great Black-backed Gulls.

8th January
Another foggy day. Sightings from Aust Warth involved 2 Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe and a Kestrel. A Water Rail was reported from the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach.

7th January
A foggy day. An amazing count of 560 Black-tailed Godwits and 255 Knot was made at Northwick Warth where other sightings included 350 Lapwing, 2 Little Egrets, 450 Dunlin, 350+ Wigeon, 5 Tufted Duck, 120 Teal, 25+ Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, a Water Pipit and a Rock Pipit. The Siberian Chiffchaff was seen again at the VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works. Reports from the Chittening Warth/Seabank pools area involved a Kingfisher, 5 Snipe, 3 Jack Snipe, 2 Water Rails, a Cetti’s Warbler and a Stonechat.

6th January
Much of the same today despite a slight thaw of the pools. The usual 300+ Black-tailed Godwits, 100 Knot, 500 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 14 Snipe, 350+ Wigeon remained in the Pilning Wetland area early afternoon. A Siberian Chiffchaff was reported at the VOSA Pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

5th January
Another bitterly cold day most of the pools frozen over. Reports from Pilning Wetland included 300+ Black-tailed Godwits, 100 Knot, 350 Lapwing, 400 Dunlin, 54 Snipe, 3 Jack Snipe, 60 Curlew, a Little Egret, 3 Water Rails, 7 Mute Swans, 46 Canada Geese, 450 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 13 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, 16 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 22 Shelduck, a Water Pipit, a Cetti’s Warbler (trapped and ringed). Another 12 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach. Another 7 Jack Snipe, 27 Redshank, 2 Stonechats, 120 Wigeon, 70 Teal and a Water Rail were reported from Aust Warth.

4th January
A slight thaw today. A female Merlin, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk were seen on Northwick Warth. Other sightings from here and Pilning Wetland involved. 400+ Black-tailed Godwits, 50 Knot, 300+ Lapwing, 80 Curlew, 1400 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 40 Canada Geese, 500+ Wigeon, 130 Teal, 9 Tufted Duck, 12 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and 2 Ravens.

3rd January
Another icy and sunny day. A visit to Pilning Wetland where only 2 pools retained small ice free areas produced 450 roosting Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Knot, 70 Redshank, 200+ Lapwing, 900 Dunlin, a Grey Plover, 5 Snipe, a Little Egret, 50 Canada Geese, 120 Teal, 350+ Wigeon, 17 Gadwall, 25 Shoveler, 10 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, 30 Shelduck, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, 2 Ravens, single Rock Pipit and Grey Wagtail.

2nd January
A bright crisp day after a frosty night. Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth included the large flock of Black-tailed Godwits and Knot, 90 Redshank, 800 Dunlin, 200+ Lapwing, 11 Grey Plover, a Little Egret, 2 Pochard, 40 Canada Geese, 10 Shelduck, 2 Ravens, a Water Pipit and a Sparrowhawk. Reports from Chittening Warth included 2 Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, a Woodcock (at dusk), 15 Redshank, 80 Curlew, 10 Dunlin, 55 Oystercatchers, a Water Rail, 3 Shelduck, 2 Rock Pipits, a Stonechat and a Peregrine. Another 2 Ravens were seen at Aust Warth. Reports from the Severn Beach shore involved 14 Ringed Plover, 40 Turnstones, 70 Dunlin, a male Stonechat and a Rock Pipit. Nearby 2 Peregrines and 4 Gadwall were seen at the Orchard Pools. Something to look out for; a drake American Wigeon was found today just a few miles up river from the Severnside recording area. There is considerable movement of the Wigeon flocks throughout the estuary so there is a good chance of appearing here as our first record. Click on the image below for a short Youtube video.

                                                                            American Wigeon, Littleton-on Severn 2.1.17

1st January
A gloomy wet start to the year. Highlights from the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth/New Passage area involved 450+ Black-tailed Godwits, 40+ Knot, 400+ Dunlin, 250+ Lapwing, a Little Egret and 3 Pochard.