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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 211. 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 (2001,2013,2015,2016) and Red-throated Pipit (2015). Other national and local rarities recorded include Glossy Ibis (2009), Ring-billed Gull, Spoonbills,Great White Egrets (2016), Cranes (2016), Whooper Swans, Mandarin (2017), Roseate Tern, Hooded Crow, Dartford Warbler, Montagu’s Harrier (1991), Hen Harrier, Ring Ouzel, Shorelark, Mealy Redpoll, Common Rosefinch (2017), Firecrest, Hawfinch and Common Crossbill.

October 2018

31st October
A frosty dawn. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area involved a Greylag Goose, 49 Canada Geese, 250 Wigeon, 130 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 47 Gadwall, single Pochard and Pintail, 2 Little Egrets, 3 Water Rails, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Snipe, 150 Dunlin, a Redpoll, 2 Ravens, a Water Pipit and a male Merlin. Two Kestrels, single Peregrine, Jack Snipe and Snipe were seen at Aust Warth. Six Gadwall were seen off Severn Beach.

30th October
Another cool day with a North West breeze. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included a Greylag Goose, 38 Canada Geese, a Pochard, 3 Tufted Duck, 30+ Gadwall, 2 Pintail, 22 Shoveler, 160 Teal. 200+ Wigeon, 90+ Black-tailed Godwits, 30+ Knot, 800+ Dunlin, 6 Lapwing, 80 Curlew, 80 Oystercatchers, a Snipe, a Water Rail, 7 Brambling, 10 Siskins, 400 Chaffinches and a pair of Merlins. A high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 26 Shelduck, 8 Teal and 8 Wigeon.

29th October
A crisp, cold morning with a North East breeze. The first dark-bellied Brent Goose of the year joined the Canada Geese on Northwick Warth where 2 Whooper Swans flew East at 10.45 and a cream crown Marsh Harrier did the same at 11.50 where additional sightings included 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Knot, 150 Dunlin, 135 Curlew, 80 Oystercatchers, 4 Lapwing, 200+ Redshank, single Little Egret, Pintail and Pochard, 4 Tufted Duck, 8 Shoveler, 25 Gadwall, 200+ Wigeon, 80 Teal, 10 Stock Doves, 90+ Chaffinches, 10 Brambling, 9 Siskins, 20+ Greenfinch, single female Merlin, Peregrine and Raven. At least 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Dunlin, 15 Redshank, 3 Stonechats and a Kestrel were reported at Aust Warth.

                                                              Whooper Swans, Northwick Warth 29.10.18 © Aravind Ramesh

                                                                                   Brent Goose, Northwick Warth 29.10.18

                                                                                  Marsh Harrier, Northwick Warth 29.10.18

28th October
Another cold day with a strong North/North East wind. A female/immature Merlin was seen at Severn Beach early morning where at least 20 Shelduck were also present. Highlights from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area this morning involved a Greylag joining the Canada Goose flock, single male Merlin, Peregrine, Little Egret and Snipe, 7 Lapwing, 2 Sparrowhawks and 350 flyover Fieldfares and 1300+ Redwings.

27th October
Another cold day with a North wind and rain showers. A Grey Plover, 260+ Black-tailed Godwits, 115+ Knot, 700 Dunlin, 70 Turnstones, 85 Oystercatchers, 2 Sparrowhawks and a flyover Siskin were reported from the Northwick Warth area. A Red Kite (18th record for the year) was seen flying over Sea Bank Power station, Chittening Warth towards Severn Beach. The first Short-eared Owl of the autumn was flushed by a dog walker on Aust Warth.

26th October
A cool day with a North West wind. A brief visit to New Passage produced a Little Egret, 210 Redshank, 500+ Dunlin, 45 Lapwing, 140 Teal and 30 Wigeon. Of interest, 6 Swans were seen from New Passage at almost 4 Kilometre range across the estuary on the shore at Mathern Pill, Gwent. They were later identified by Gwent birders as Whooper Swans. A Stonechat was seen at Severn Beach.

25th October
A foggy dawn with some frost. At least 300 Black-tailed Godwits roosted on Pilning Wetland early morning. Other reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included 5 Knot, 800+ Dunlin, 200 Redshank, 3 Snipe, a Little Egret, 4 Water Rails, 11 Shelduck, 35 Gadwall, 28 Canada Geese, 160 Wigeon, a Kingfisher and flyover Brambling, Siskin, Redpoll and Fieldfare.

24th October
Two Green Sandpipers, 8 Snipe, 450+ Dunlin, 200+ Redshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, single Water Rail, Kingfisher and Rock Pipit were reported from the Northwick Warth area. A large flock of Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Jack Snipe and a Stonechat were reported from Aust Warth. At least 14 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach.

23rd October
Reports from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area included 180 Black-tailed Godwits, 75 Knot, 73 Lapwing, 200 Redshank, 350+ Dunlin, a Little Egret, 4 Tufted Duck, a Kingfisher, 200+ Linnets, a Brambling and 2 Coal Tits.

22nd October
A late Common Sandpiper, 120+ Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Snipe, 140 Wigeon, 3 Water Rails, 2 Stonechats and 100+ Linnets were reported from the Northwick Warth area.

21st October
A male Hen Harrier was reported flying East over Northwick Warth late morning (only the 20th record since 1985). Visible overhead migrants seen earlier at New Passage involved at least 1040 Jackdaws, 140 Woodpigeons, 395 Starlings, 12 Fieldfares, 83 Redwings, 2 Redpolls, 2 Siskins and a Brambling.

20th October
A foggy morning. Three Little Egrets, 5 Fieldfares, 36 Stock Doves, 5 Rock Pipits, single Jack Snipe, Kingfisher and Chiffchaff were reported from Northwick Warth/New Passage. A Stonechat and 2 Water Pipits were seen at Severn Beach.

19th October
Some early morning migration over New Passage/Northwick Warth included 70 Jackdaws, 2 Brambling, 35 Redwing and 50 Chaffinches. Other sightings in the area included 48 Lapwing, 120 Dunlin, single Black-tailed Godwit and Little Egret. 47 Gadwall, a Pochard and 3 Rock Pipits.

18th October
No reports were received.

17th October
Another quiet day with just 80 Canada Geese, 37 Turnstones, 100+ Dunlin, 4 Snipe and 2 Chiffchaffs being reported from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area.

16th October
The only reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland involved 4 juvenile Whooper Swans, 400 Black-tailed Godwits, 50 Knot, 3 Wheatears, single Peregrine and Sparrowhawk. The appearance yesterday of just the second British record of Grey Catbird near Land’s End in Cornwall was fortunate as I had a planned visit to the area on my journey to the Isles of Scilly.

                                                                                  Grey Catbird, Treeve Moor, Cornwall  16.10.18

15th October
Another wet day with a cool North wind. A late morning high tide visit to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland produced 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Knot, 350+ Dunlin 80 Curlew, 10 Lapwing. 115 Redshank, 3 Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, 13 Canada Geese, 29 Gadwall, 13 Shoveler, 10 Shelduck, 190 Teal, 180 Wigeon, 36 Coot, a Water Rail, 2 Ravens and 2 Wheatears. Another Little Egret, 25 Dunlin and a Wheatear were seen at Severn Beach. A Pintail and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported from Chittening Warth.

                                                                                       Wheatear, Northwick Warth 15.10.18

14th October
Rain for most of the day but less windy. The only reports from Northwick Warth involved 300 Dunlin, 11 Snipe, single Water Rail and Sparrowhawk.

13th October
The windy weather continued. Another quiet day with 13 Ringed Plover, 350 Dunlin, the large flock of Black-tailed Godwits and Knot, 87 Oystercatchers, 90 Curlew, a Little Egret, 3 Common Gulls, 20 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 8 Shelduck, a Tufted Duck, 200+ Teal, 120 Wigeon and 3 Ravens were seen in a late morning high tide visit to Northwick Warth.

12th October
Storm Callum produced strong South/South East wind, gusting to gale force and lots of rain. Reports from Northwick Warth included 450 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover, 45 Lapwing, 90 Curlew, a Little Egret, 230 Wigeon, 200 Teal, 8 Shelduck, a Pintail, 2 Common Gulls and single Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and Kingfisher. Another 11 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach.

11th October
An increasingly breezy day with a South East wind and rain showers. An Avocet, a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 350+ Black-tailed Godwits, 150+ Knot, 400+ Dunlin, 35 Turnstones, 120 Curlew, 80 Oystercatchers, 200+ Redshank, 3 Snipe, a Little Egret, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 3 Shelduck, 180 Teal, 60 Wigeon, 2 Pintail, 2 flyover Fieldfares, single Water Rail, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and Brambling. Three Harbour Porpoises were seen at low tide off New Passage.

10th October
A mild, sunny day, a nice North East breeze for a change and 14 metre high tide. A Scaup was found off Northwick Warth this morning and later seen sleeping at New Passage. Other sightings from the Northwick Warth area included 200+ Black-tailed Godwits, 80+ Knot, 400+ Dunlin, 180+ Redshank, 70 Oystercatchers, 5 Turnstones, 2 Snipe, 14 Shoveler, single Little Egret, Water Rail, Raven and Sparrowhawk, 2 Wheatears, flyover migrants including Siskins, Chaffinches, Reed Buntings, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. Another 6 Little Egrets were seen at Severn Beach. At least 50 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 60 Redshank, single Little Egret, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were reported at Aust Warth. A Clouded Yellow butterfly was present at New Passage.

                                                                                            Scaup, New Passage 10.10.18

9th October
Much of the same today with a Knot, 250+ Dunlin, 200 Redshank, single Ringed Plover, Peregrine and Wheatear being seen from New Passage.

8th October
The second Marsh Harrier of the year was seen flying low over Old Passage at 08.45 and a few minutes later heading South East over Pilning Wetland while being mobbed by the local Crows. Other sightings from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area involved 250 Dunlin, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, a Knot, 36 Lapwing, 90 Curlew, 5 Snipe, 200+ Redshank, 2 Little Egrets, a Wheatear and at least 40 fly over Redwings. A Peregrine was seen at Aust Warth.

                                                                                    Marsh Harrier, Pilning Wetland 8.10.18

7th October
Reports from the Northwick Warth area included the second Woodlark of the year, 90 Canada Geese, 250 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 7 Black-tailed Godwits, 250 Dunlin, 210 Redshank, 5 Snipe, single Jack Snipe, Knot, Little Egret and Water Rail, 38 Redwing, 4 Chiffchaffs, a Wheatear and a Stonechat. At least 16 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach.

                                                                           Jack Snipe, Pilning Wetland 7.10.18 © Martyn Hayes
6th October
A wet morning and a cold day with a North wind. A Wheatear was seen on Northwick Warth.

5th October
A brief visit to New Passage produced just 135 Canada Geese, 5 Shelduck, a Little Egret and a Wheatear. Another Little Egret, 100+ Curlew, 30 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin, a Turnstone and 22 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach.

4th October
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 100 Canada Geese, 26 Gadwall, 12 Shoveler, 5 Shelduck, 120+ Teal, 80+ Wigeon, 7 Tufted Duck, 45 Knot, 220 Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Dunlin, 100 Redshank, a Kestrel and 2 Kingfishers. Five Stonechats were reported on Aust Warth and a Wheatear was seen at Severn Beach.

3rd October
Still quiet. At least 130 Canada Geese, 5 Shelduck, 50 Turnstones, 30 Dunlin and 100 Redshank were seen from New Passage. Six Little Egrets were seen from Severn Beach.

2nd October
Another quiet day. A brief visit to New Passage produced just 88 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 7 Shoveler, 45 Wigeon, 80 Teal and a Little Egret.

1st October
A quiet start to the month. The highlights from a brief visit to the Northwick Warth area were 3 Little Egrets, 170 Dunlin, 70 Ringed Plover, 30 Lapwing, 10 Knot, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Redshank, 2 Snipe and a Stonechat. A Wheatear was reported at Severn Beach.