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March is a slightly better month than February with a total of 175 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 Bearded Tit (2004), Great Grey Shrike (2004), Mandarin (2006) and Siberian Chiffchaff (2007).

March 2017

31st March
Reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 16 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Lapwing, 150 Redshank, 100 Turnstones, a Little Egret, 16 Tufted Duck, 30 Shoveler, 15+ Gadwall, 3 Pintail. 60+ Shelduck, 70 Teal, 45 Wigeon, single Swallow and House Martin, 10 Sand Martins, 2 Water Pipits, 2 White Wagtails, a Wheatear, 4 Willow Warblers, 6+ Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. Reports from Severn Beach included a Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Little Grebes and a Blackcap at the Orchard Pools and another Cettis Warbler singing in the village near the railway platform. A Merlin, 2 Kestrels, a Raven, Sparrowhawk and 3 Swallows were seen at Aust Warth.

30th March
A 14.2 metre high tide and a moderate South wind produced a few more early migrants. Combined reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 4 Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover, 3 Lapwing, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 150+ Redshank, 100+ Turnstones, 80 Oystercatchers, 24 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 2 Little Grebes, 7 Canada Geese, 2 Pintail, 55 Wigeon, 61 Shelduck, 5 Wheatears, 2 Blackcaps, 10+ Chiffchaffs, 18 Pied Wagtails, single Water Pipit, White Wagtail, Whitethroat (earliest record), Redwing and Willow Warbler, 50 Sand Martins, 2 House Martins, 2 Swallows, a Hobby (earliest record) and a Peregrine.

29th March
A breezy and cloudy day. A brief visit to New Passage produced 7 Canada Geese, 61 Shelduck, 50 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 2 Pintail, 2 Little Egrets, 140 Redshank, 100 Turnstones, 80 Dunlin, 45 Oystercatchers, a Lapwing and 16 Sand Martins.

28th March
A morning of dense fog followed by a change in wind direction from the South and some early “April showers”. Despite the fog 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Little Egrets, single Merlin, Short-eared Owl, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, 2 Lapwing, 3 Little Grebe, 9 Canada Geese, a Greylag, 30+ Shoveler, 12 Tufted Duck, 20+ Gadwall, 40+ Wigeon, 50 Teal, 30+ Sand Martins, 2 Swallows, 20 Pied Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, Willow Warbler and Blackcap were reported from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland. Another Willow Warbler was present at Aust Warth.

27th March
A grey morning followed by a sunny afternoon with a cold North East wind all day. Combined reports from Northwick Warth included single Merlin, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk, 4 Little Egrets, 9 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing, 150 Redshank, 50 Turnstones, 2 Canada Geese, 4 Mute Swans, 30 Shoveler, 15 Tufted Duck, 22 Gadwall, 45 Shelduck, 60 Teal, 35 Wigeon, single Raven, Wheatear and Water Pipit, 140+ Sand Martins, 3 Swallows, 3 Siskins and 300+ Meadow Pipits. There was an impressive visible migration of Meadow Pipits heading North East over Aust Warth for several hours with several counts of 200 birds every 10 minutes so involved several thousand birds. Several hundred Wood Pigeons were also seen heading into the wind. A Short-eared Owl was seen at Aust Warth this evening.

                                                                                         Merlin, Northwick Warth 27.3.17

26th March
A Little Ringed Plover, 34 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Knot, 50 Dunlin, 60 Oystercatchers, 3 Lapwing and  a Little Egret were reported in the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. A Short-eared Owl. 40 Shelduck, 60 Oystercatchers, 20 Curlew, 40 Shelduck and a Sparrowhawk were seen at Aust Warth.

25th March
Another breezy and sunny day. The second ever Cattle Egret for Severnside was found on Pilning Wetland this morning and 2 apparently unringed Cranes flew over North. Other sightings from here included 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 24 Black-tailed Godwits, single Ruff, Little Egret and Water Pipit, 2 Swallows and 5 Sand Martins. A Short-eared Owl, 3 Swallows and more Sand Martins were seen at Aust Warth. A late afternoon high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 54 Shelduck.

24th March
Another day with a North East wind but prolonged sunshine in the afternoon. A Red Kite flew in and continued East over Pilning Wetland at 3.10pm. Other sightings from here and the Northwick Warth area included 6 Little Ringed Plovers (on salt marsh by 1st sentry box), single Little Egret, Lapwing, male Merlin, Little Owl and White Wagtail, 4 Canada Geese, 4 Pintail (2 pairs), 41 Shelduck, 80 Teal, 60 Wigeon, 14 Tufted Duck, 24 Gadwall and 20+ Shoveler. A Swallow and at least one Short-eared Owl (4.10pm) were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                        Red Kite, Pilning Wetland 24.3.17

23rd March
A cool day with a strong eye watering North East wind. Three Little Ringed Plovers remained on Northwick Warth where 2 Little Egrets, 65+ Shelduck, 14 Tufted Duck, the usual Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Gadwall flocks, 30+ Turnstones, 28 Oystercatchers, 16 Curlew and a fly over Siskin were also seen. Seven Knot were seen at Severn Beach. A Raven and Kestrel were seen on Aust Warth.

22nd March
Reports from Northwick Warth/New Passage/Pilning Wetland included 4 Little Ringed Plovers with a Ringed Plover (on the salt marsh by the 1st sentry box), 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 155 Redshank, 60 Turnstones, 3 Snipe, a Little Egret, a Water Rail, 4 Little Grebes, 4 Canada Geese, 67 Shelduck, 3 Pintail, 12 Tufted Duck, 25+ Gadwall, 15 Shoveler, 65 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 9+ male Wheatears, 15+ Chiffchaffs and 40 Pied Wagtails. Up to 4 Short-eared Owls were hunting at Aust Warth from mid afternoon. A Sand Martin was seen at Severn Beach.

                                                                            Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 22.3.17 © Vic Savery

                                                                         Little Ringed Plovers, Northwick Warth 22.3.17

21st March
Two Kestrels and 3 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth and a Merlin was seen sheltering from the strong wind on Northwick Warth.

20th March
A wet and breezy start to the day followed by sunshine late afternoon. Combined reports from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth produced the first 5 Sand Martins of the year, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Ringed Plover, 10 Redshank, 60 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 6 Canada Geese, 3 Pintail, 14 Tufted Duck, 15 Gadwall and 62 Shelduck. Three Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth early afternoon where other sightings included a Raven, a Kestrel, a fly by Little Egret and 2 Stock Doves.

19th March
A windy and increasingly wet day. Combined reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland involved a Little Egret, a Knot, 3 Canada Geese, 14 Tufted Duck, 25 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 60 Teal, 50 Pied Wagtails, 5 Chiffchaff and a Siskin. An adult summer plumaged Mediterranean Gull and 30 Kittiwakes were seen off Severn Beach.

18th March
Reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 14 Grey Plover, 4 Lapwing, 80 Redshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Tufted Duck, 3 Pintail and a Peregrine.

17th March
A dull and breezy day. A morning visit to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland produced a Little Ringed Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Lapwing, 120 Redshank, 170 Dunlin, 80 Turnstones, 2 Little Egrets, 120 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 2 Pintail, 12 Tufted Duck, 8 Gadwall, 18 Shoveler, 68 Shelduck, 7 Canada Geese and 2 Mute Swans. Three Kestrels were seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                 Little Ringed Plover, Pilning Wetland 17.3.17

16th March
Reports from Northwick Warth/Pining Wetland involved 3 Pintail, 16 Canada Geese, 2 Little Grebes, a Little Egret, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Chiffchaffs and a Kingfisher. Single Water Rail, Little Grebe and Cetti’s Warbler were reported from the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach. Two Short-eared Owls and a Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth late afternoon.

                                                                                        Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 16.3.17

15th March
Two White-fronted Geese flew North East over New Passage at 11.30. A Red Kite flew South West over the old Northwick Warth landfill site at 12.40. Other reports from the New Passage/ Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included 3 Pintail, 15 Tufted Duck, 20 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 80 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 55 Shelduck, 4 Canada Geese, 5 Mute Swans, 2 Little Egrets, a Grey Plover, 4 Ringed Plover, 350 Dunlin, 120 Turnstones, 54 Oystercatchers, 2 Little Owls, a cock Pheasant, 27 Pied Wagtails, a Coal Tit, a male Wheatear and at least 3 Chiffchaffs.  Four Short-eared Owls, a Merlin, a Swallow and another Wheatear were seen at Aust Warth/ north end of Northwick Warth.

14th March
The usual Dunlin, Turnstones and Redshank remained off New Passage.

13th March
Combined reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 2 Great Crested Grebes (down river at 09.20), a Little Egret, 9 Canada Geese, a Pintail, 50 Shelduck, 20 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 190 Wigeon, 16 Tufted Duck, 95 Teal, 20 Mallard, 4 Little Grebes, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Knot, 400 Dunlin, 140 Redshank, 120 Turnstones, 70 Oystercatchers, 110 Curlew, a male Wheatear and 3 singing Chiffchaff. Another 50 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach.

                                                                                          Wheatear, New Passage 13.3.17

12th March
The only reports were of a few Chiffchaff and a Water Rail at New Passage and another 5 Chiffchaff and single Cetti’s Warbler at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach.

11th March
Two Little Egrets, 3 Black-tailed Godwits and an influx of at least 20 Chiffchaffs were reported from Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth/New Passage. Another 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Stonechats, 3 Cetti’s Warblers, 3 Chiffchaff, single Grey Wagtail, Pheasant and Peregrine were reported from Chittening Warth.

10th March
Reports from the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth area included 4 Little Egrets, 1000 Dunlin, a Black-tailed Godwit, 42 Snipe, a Lapwing, 2 Little Grebes, 5 Canada Geese, 24 Tufted Duck, 14 Shoveler, 6 Stock Dove, 2 Peregrine, single Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff and Grey Wagtail. A Marsh Harrier, a Greenshank and the mixed flock of Dunlin, Grey Plover and Knot were seen at Aust Warth. Reports from Severn Beach included 2 Peregrines over the shore and 2 Canada Geese, a Little Grebe and 2 Cetti’s Warblers at the Orchard Pools.

9th March
Sightings from New Passage included 140 Redshank, 80 Knot, 50 Shelduck, 150 Wigeon, a pair of hunting Peregrines, a Coal Tit and Siskin. Nearby a Little Egret, a Water Rail and Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Pilning Wetland, at least 60 Pied Wagtails plus Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were present on Northwick Warth salt marsh and nearby 5 Snipe and 2 Kestrels were seen on the old landfill site.

8th March
The usual Little Egret, 5 Canada Geese, 13 Tufted Duck, 50 Shelduck, 350 Wigeon, 110 Teal, 16 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 60 Curlew and 2 Lapwing were seen at Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth. A mixed flock of 400 Dunlin, 180 Knot and 20 Grey Plover were seen at Cake Pill, Aust Warth and a Greylag Goose flew high South West from here.

7th March
A visit to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland produced 2 Little Egrets, 2 Lapwing, 400 Dunlin, 13 Turnstones, 6 Canada Geese, 44 Shelduck, 350 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 12 Gadwall, 14 Shoveler, 13 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Water Rails, a Sparrowhawk and 55 Pied Wagtails. Three Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth.

6th March
A Little Egret, 12 Tufted Duck, 14 Gadwall, 12 Shoveler and just one Lapwing were seen on Pilning Wetland. At least 500 Wigeon and 95 Shelduck were seen from New Passage. Reports from Chittening Warth included 3 Jack Snipe, 2 Snipe, 33 Curlew, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and a Cetti’s Warbler.

5th March
Another windy and wet day produced 17 Kittiwakes, 55 Turnstones and 9 Ringed Plover at Severn Beach.

                                                                              Kittiwakes, Severn Beach 5.3.17 © Dan White

4th March
Reports from Pilning Wetland/New Passage included 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 75 Redshank, 21 Tufted Duck, 165 Teal, 2 Kingfishers, singing Cetti’s Warbler and Chiffchaff. At least 3 Rock Pipits were reported at Severn Beach. Two Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth,

3rd March
Sightings from Pilning Wetland/New Passage included 17 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans, 100 Shelduck, 12 Tufted Duck, 14 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, a Little Egret, 9 Lapwing, 100 Redshank, 230 Dunlin and 120 Turnstones. The large flock of Knot, Grey Plover and Dunlin remained at Cake Pill. Aust Warth.

2nd March
A windy morning following a stormy night failed to produce any sea birds. A visit to New Passage produced just 111 Shelduck, 220 Wigeon and 100 Redshank. The Knot, Grey Plover and Dunlin flock remained off Aust Warth.

1st March
A high spring tide and a large number of waders. At least 50 Grey Plover, 350 Knot and 2000 Dunlin remained at Aust Warth where a Merlin, a Water Rail and 7 Stonechats were also seen. At least 160 Turnstones, 100 Redshank, 90 Curlew, 100 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plover, 106 Sheduck, 300 Wigeon and a Raven were seen from New Passage.