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April is the second most productive month of the year in the number of species seen. At least one individual of 208 species have been recorded in April. A month when the last of the “winter” birds depart and most “summer” birds arrive. Birds to expect are at least three Tern species, Skuas, “ sylvia” Warblers, Common Redstarts, Whinchats, Yellow Wagtails with the chance of Pied Flycatcher, Grasshopper Warbler, Wood Warbler and Hobby. Rarer sightings include; Great White Egrets (2018), Stone Curlew (2006,2018), White Stork (2015), Spoonbill (2017), Slavonian Grebe (1989, 2000), Ring-necked Duck (1988), Green-winged Teal (2015), Sabine’s Gull (1990, 1992), Red-rumped Swallow (1988), Red-throated Pipit (2012), Ashy-headed Wagtail (2018), Willow Tit (1988), Serin (2017), Mealy Redpoll (2004), Ospreys, Long-eared Owl (2006) and an incredible 2 Citrine Wagtails (2019).

April 2020

30th April
Another wet morning becoming windy during the afternoon. Lockdown birding from home in Severn Beach produced an adult Kittiwake and a pale morph Arctic Skua (up river at 17.50). Two Avocets were reported on Pilning Wetland.

29th April
A wet morning with a gusty South West wind by early afternoon. The usual waders, a Little Egret, 3 Wheatears and a Swift were reported from New Passage/Pilning Wetland. Two Fulmars, 2 Ravens and a Little Ringed Plover were seen from home in Severn Beach.

28th April
The first wet day for some time. No reports were received.

27th April
A sunny day. Reports from the morning high tide at Severn Beach included a Sanderling, 70 Dunlin, single Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel, 2 Little Egrets, 5 Black-headed Gulls and 3 Wheatears. A brief walking visit to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland produced at least 60 Shelduck, 2 pairs of Canada Geese, a Greenshank, 3+ Little Ringed Plovers, 6+ Lapwing, a Ringed Plover, 10 Black-headed Gulls, a Whinchat, 4 Wheatears, 3 Sedge Warblers, 3 White Wagtails and a Kestrel.

                                                                                      Sanderling, Severn Beach 27.4.20

                                                                                    Greenshank, Pilning Wetland 27.4.20

26th April
No reports were received a warm and sunny lockdown Sunday. Too many visiting people out on the seawall for me to take safe exercise. Rain forecast in a few days may improve things in more ways than one.

25th April
A sunny, dry and warm day. Two Actic Skuas ( pale and dark morph), 10 “Commic” Terns, a Little Egret and a singing Cetti’s Warbler were reported from Severn Beach. Two Grey Plover were seen on Pilning Wetland.

24th April
The usual 70+ Black-tailed Godwits and 3 Wheatears were seen on Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland. Early morning reports from Severn Beach included 6 Wheatears, a singing Cetti’s Warbler, 8 Whimbrel and 4 Ringed Plover.

23rd April
A dark morph Arctic Skua flew inland over Severn Beach at 10.30 where other reports involved a Swift, singing Cetti’s Warbler and Lesser Whitethroats. Reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland involved 80 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Sedge Warblers. A Whinchat, 2 Wheatears, a Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and a Peregrine were reported at Aust Warth.

                                                                                   Whinchat, Aust Warth 23.4.20 © Rob Emery
22nd April
A repeat day weatherwise. The only reports received were from the New Passage/Pilning Wetland area involving 5 Avocets, 6 Little Ringed Plover, 75 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, single Wheatear and White Wagtail. At least 20 Whimbrel were present on the evening high tide at Severn Beach. A good selection of waders were recorded flying over Severn Beach after dark including this Whimbrel at about 10.30 pm. Click on the spectrogram to hear the recording.
                                                                                                  Whimbrel spectrogram 22.4.20

                                                                               White Wagtail, New Passage 22.4.20 © Lisa Presland

21st April
The weather remained sunny with a cold North East wind. A bike ride to New Passage/Pilning Wetland produced 5 Avocets, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 6 Knot, 12 Whimbrel, 90 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Lapwing, a Little Egret, 2 Brent Geese, a drake Wigeon, single Yellow Wagtail and Sparrowhawk. Singing Cetti’s Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat remained near Severn Beach railway station.

20th April
A sunny day with a cold North East wind. Three Arctic Terns and 5 Whimbrel were seen heading up river into the wind at Severn Beach this morning where other reports included a Tree Pipit, a singing Cetti’s Warbler and at least 3 Lesser Whitethroats.

19th April
A cloudy morning turning warm and sunny later. A dawn walk along the footpath at Severn Beach produced 120 Bar-tailed Godwits, 25 Whimbrel, 4 Curlew, 7 Grey Plover, 80 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpipers, 20 Black-headed Gulls, 20 Shelduck, 2 Canada Geese, 2 Gadwall, 2 reeling Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Cetti’s Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 10+ Whitethroats, 7 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Tree Pipits, a Swift, hundreds of Swallows, Goldfinches and Meadow Pipits. Combined reports from the New Passage/Pilning Wetland area included a Spotted Redshank, 80+ Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Avocets, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 10 Whimbrel, 6 Lapwing, a dark morph Arctic Skua (upriver 08.15), a Little Egret, 2 Brent Geese, 50+ Shelduck, 6 Mute Swans, 12 Shoveler, 16 Teal, 15 Gadwall, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Tree Pipits, 2 Wheatears, 2 Sedge Warblers and a flyover Red Kite.

                                                                                  Grasshopper Warbler, Severn Beach 19.4.20
                                                                                    Bar-tailed Godwits, Severn Beach 19.4.20

18th April
A murky day with rain until early afternoon. A Greenshank, 5 Avocets and another Red Kite were reported from New Passage/Pilning Wetland. Combined reports from Severn Beach included 5 Grey Plover, 13 Whimbrel, 40+ Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plovers, single singing Cetti’s Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, 2 White Wagtails, a steady passage of Swallows, 9 House Martins and a Sand Martin.

17th April
An increasingly wet and murky day with a North East breeze. An exercise walk to New Passage/Pilning Wetland produced
4 Avocets, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank, 140 Black-tailed Godwits, 6+ Lapwing, 2 Grey Herons, 40 Shelduck, 8 Tufted Duck, 8 Teal, 24+ Gadwall, 12+ Shoveler, 4 Canada Geese, a flock of 50 Swallows, 8 Sand Martins, 2 House Martins, 11+ Wheatears and 5 White Wagtails. Another 7 Wheatears, 3 Swallows and a singing Lesser Whitethroat were reported from Severn Beach.

16th April
Reports from Severn Beach included a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, 2 singing Cetti’s Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 5+ Whitethroats, a singing Sedge Warbler, 24 Shelduck, a Grey Plover, 6+ Swallows and a House Martin.

15th April
Another sunny day with a cool North East breeze. Reports from the New Passage/Pilning Wetland area included 2 Avocets, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, the usual Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Lapwing, the 3 Greylag Geese, 50 Shelduck and at least one Reed Warbler. A singing Cetti’s Warbler, the first Lesser Whitethroat of the year and at least 5 Swallows were reported from Severn Beach where 3 more groups of Common Scoter and a Common Sandpiper were recorded migrating over at night.

14th April
The sunniest day of the year so far with cool North East breeze. An early morning cycle ride to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland produced 3 Greylag Geese, 90+ Black-tailed Godwits, 3+ Little Ringed Plovers, 20 Knot, 17 Redshank, a Common Sandpiper, 6 Lapwings, 18 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 12 Teal, 8 Black-headed Gulls, 3+ Singing Reed Warblers, 2+ Whitethroats, single Sedge Warbler, Yellow Wagtail and Swallow. Another Red Kite drifted over Redwick/New Passage. A singing Cetti’s Warbler was still present near Severn Beach railway station and a Whitethroat was also reported.

13th April
A cooler day with a strong  North East breeze. A Red Kite flew over Pilning Wetland where 4 Avocets were also reported.

12th April
A quick scan of Pilning Wetland early morning produced 4 Avocets, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 5+ Lapwing, 2 Ringed Plover, the first singing Reed Warbler of the year and a Raven.

11th April
A warm, sunny garden lockdown day. A singing Cetti’s Warbler and a Swallow were present in Severn Beach. Three Wheatears were reported from Pilning Wetland. Two groups of Common Scoter were recorded calling over Severn Beach after 10pm. Click on the recording below to listen to calling birds getting louder as they approach and then fade as they head over in the darkness. The gooselike call at about 11 seconds is thought to be a female bird calling.

                                                                       Common Scoter spectrogram 11.4.20

10th April
Another warm and sunny day. A brief visit to Pilning Wetland produced 5 Avocets, 5 Little Ringed Plovers, just one Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Knot, 50 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 11 Dunlin, 5+ Lapwing, 3 Snipe, 3 Wheatears, 4 Swallows, single Sand Martin and Raven. Two pairs of Canada Geese and a pair of Mute Swans were occupying nests. An Osprey (North East at 11.42) and a Red Kite were seen from gardens in Severn Beach.

                                                                                              Avocets, Pilning Wetland 10.4.20

                                                                                             Avocets, Pilning Wetland 10.4.20

                                                                                  Little Ringed  Plover, Pilning Wetland 10.4.20

9th April
A fine, warm and sunny day. A morning visit to New Passage/Pilning Wetland on the high Spring tide produced 3 Egyptian Geese, 2 Avocets, single Greenshank, Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 150+ Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Knot, 5 Lapwing, 15 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover, 40 Turnstones, 70 Redshank, 54 Shelduck and a Wheatear. A flyover Tree Pipit, 3 Swallows and 6 Black-headed Gulls were seen at Severn Beach.

                                                                                          Egyptian Geese, Pilning Wetland 9.4.20

                                                                                               Greenshank, Pilning Wetland 9.4.20

8th April
A brief early morning bike ride to New Passage/Pilning wetland produced a Bar-tailed Godwit, 40 Knot, 3 Little Ringed Plover, the first Common Sandpiper of the year, 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 70+ Redshank, 20 Turnstones, 5+ Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 45 Curlew, 80 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, 15+ Shoveler, 35 Shelduck, 50 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Yellow Wagtails (first of the year), single Swallow, Redpoll and Raven.

                                                                               Common Sandpiper, Pilning Wetland 8.4.20

7th April
Two Avocets, the usual Black-tailed Godwit flock, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 15 Turnstones, 8 Canada Geese, 16 Tufted Duck and 2 Shoveler were reported from the New Passage/Pilning wetland area. Reports from a Severn Beach garden included a singing Cetti’s Warbler, flyover Peregrine and Sparrowhawk.

6th April
A sunny day with a South East breeze following rain in the night. An early morning visit to New Passage/Pilning Wetland produced a male Pied Flycatcher, a male Redstart, at least 10 Willow Warblers, a Little Ringed Plover, 250+ Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Lapwing.

                                                                              Pied Flycatcher, New Passage 6.4.20 © Lisa Presland

                                                                                             Redstart, New Passage 6.4.20

5th April
A dry day with a South wind. Reports from Severn Beach included 3 Canada Geese, 10 Shelduck, 14 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Whimbrel, 7 Turnstones, 38 Curlew, 5 Swallows, 2 flyover Siskins, a singing Cetti’s Warbler and Willow Warbler. A Little Egret and at least 250 Black-tailed Godwits remained on Pilning Wetland.

4th April
The first Willow Warblers of the year were heard singing in Severn Beach where the first 2 Swallows and a Sparrowhawk were also seen. The Spoonbill remained on Pilning Wetland where other reports included 280+ Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 70 Knot, 40 Redshank, 5 Lapwing, single Little Egret and Grey Heron, 15+ Sand Martins, a White Wagtail and another 5+ singing Willow Warblers. An Avocet was sound recorded overnight passing over Severn Beach.

                                                                                                Spoonbill, Pilning Wetland 4.4.20

                                                                               Knot & Black-tailed Godwits, Pilning Wetland 4.4.20

3rd April
A slightly warmer day. A Spoonbill was found on Pilning Wetland this afternoon where other sightings included 280 Black-tailed Godwits, 70+ Knot, a Little Ringed Plover, 3+ Lapwing, 70 Redshank and a Little Egret. Common Scoters were head flying over Severn Beach again from 21.05 .
                                                                                             Spoonbill, Pilning Wetland 3.4.20

2nd April
A brief afternoon visit to New Passage/Pilning Wetland produced a Little Ringed Plover, 200+ Black-tailed Godwits, 80+ Redshank, 3+ Lapwing, 4 Snipe, a Little Egret, 20 Wigeon and 60+ Teal. Several flocks of Common Scoter could be heard calling in flight over Severn Beach this evening.

                                                                                Water Rail, New Passage 1.4.20 © Lisa Presland

1st April
Reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included 8 Canada Geese, 60 Shelduck, 12 Gadwall, 50 Teal, 16 Wigeon, 6 Tufted Duck, single Grey Heron, Little Egret and Water Rail, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 displaying Lapwing, 200+ Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Snipe and 70 Redshank. A Peregrine was seen from Severn Beach.