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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), Whooper Swans (2005, 2018), Bittern (2011,2017), Glaucous Gull and a few rare sightings of Hen Harrier.

January 2021

31st January
A cold day with a North East breeze and some snow flurries. Sightings from New Passage/Pilning Wetland included
250+ Lapwing, 80 Curlew, 120 Oystercatchers, 60 Redshank, 8 Shoveler, 4 Tufted Duck, 350 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 8 Gadwall and 2 Stonechats.

30th January
A grey and dismal day with no reports received.

29th January
Sightings from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included a Jack Snipe, 70 Redshank, 70 Curlew, 200+ Lapwing, 170 Oystercatchers, 200 Dunlin, 30 Shelduck, 200 Canada Geese, 400 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck, 6 Shoveler and 10 Gadwall.

28th January
Another wet and sometimes foggy day. Much of the same was reported from New Passage/Pilning Wetland including, 300+ Lapwing, 50+ Curlew, 200 Oystercatchers, 350+ Wigeon, 80+ Canada Geese, 30 Shelduck and 14 Tufted Duck.

27th January
A grey damp and sometimes foggy day. Reports from the New Passage/Pilning Wetland area included 250 Dunlin, 250 Lapwing, 50 Redshank, 140 Oystercatchers, 120 Teal, 8 Shoveler and 8 Tufted Duck.

26th January
A frost free day with some light rain. At least 500 Lapwing, 50 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 150+ Teal, 180+ Wigeon, 4 Tufted Duck, 12 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler and a Stonechat were seen on Pilning Wetland. Another 200 Dunlin, 60 Wigeon, 30 Redshank and a garden male Blackcap were seen at Severn Beach.

25th January
Another -2°C morning with most of the wetland pools still frozen. Sightings from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included the dark-bellied Brent Goose, 50 Canada Geese, 190 Teal, 20 Shoveler, 4 Tufted Duck, 13 Gadwall, 300+ Lapwing, 140 Oystercatchers, 14 Snipe, a Little Egret and a flyover Siskin. A male Blackcap was seen on feeders in a Severn Beach garden.

24th January
A cold morning following some overnight snow. The Pink-footed Goose and Brent Goose remained on Northwick Warth and a Little Egret, 350 Lapwing, 80 Teal, 5 Tufted Duck, 6 Shoveler and a Stonechat remained on the partially frozen Pilning Wetland.

23rd January
Another frosty -3°C morning with bright sunshine. Some of the wetland pools were partially frozen. The Canada Goose flock on Northwick Warth finally pulled down some decent wild geese; a Pink-footed Goose (the first here for 25 years) and a dark-bellied Brent Goose. Other reports from here and Pilning Wetland included 250+ Lapwing, 60 Curlew, 200 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 30 Shelduck, 350+ Wigeon, 60 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 6 Tufted Duck, 2 Peregrines and a singing Cetti’s Warbler.

                                                                            Pink-footed Goose, Northwick Warth  23.1.21

                                                                            Pink-footed Goose, Northwick Warth  23.1.21

                                                                          Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Northwick Warth  23.1.21

22nd January
A sunny day after a frosty dawn,with less wind. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included the usual 300+ Lapwing, 90 Curlew, 50 Redshank, 80 Dunlin, 7 Snipe, a Brent Goose, 90 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 2 Grey Heron and 2 Stonechats. Two Blackcaps were seen at New Passage. An adult Mediterranean Gull, `60 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 18 Ringed Plover, 32 Curlew, 13 Wigeon and 4 Gadwall were seen at Severn Beach.

21st January
A breezy morning following a very windy night with torrential rain and hail as the Storm continued to pass over. Sightings from Severn Beach included a Fulmar, 80 Turnstones, 250 Dunlin, 21 Ringed Plover, 20 Redshank, 15 Curlew, 15 Oystercatchers, 10 Shelduck, 30 Wigeon and 2 Stonechats. At least 200 Canada Geese, 450 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 4 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 200+ Lapwing, 80 Curlew and a Stonechat were seen in the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area.

                                                                                           Fulmar, Severn Beach  21.1.21

20th January
A wet and windy day as Storm Christoph crossed the country. Reports from Pilning Wetland involved 280+ Lapwing, 40 Curlew, 11 Tufted Duck, 10 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 90 Teal and 80 Wigeon.

19th January
A morning exercise walk to New Passage/Pilning Wetland produced 400 Lapwing, 110 Curlew, 500 Dunlin, 120 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plover, 200 Canada Geese, 41 Shelduck, 450 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 9 Tufted Duck, 12 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, single Little Egret and Grey Heron. Another 200 Dunlin, 60 Wigeon, 20 Shelduck and 2 Stonechats were seem at Severn Beach.

                                                                                          Lapwings, Pilning Wetland 19.1.21

18th January
An even quieter day at Pilning Wetland with just 250 Lapwing, 80 Curlew, 4 Tufted Duck, 9 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 90 Teal and 90 Wigeon seen in a brief afternoon visit.

17th January
A mild, grey and damp day. Afternoon reports from Pilning Wetland included the usual 350 Lapwing, 60 Curlew, a Little Egret, 90 Teal, 80 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 4 Tufted Duck, a Grey Heron, 3 Stonechats and at least one Kestrel.

16th January
A sunny day. Combined reports from New Passage/Pilning Wetland included 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 240 Curlew, 250 Oystercatchers, 400+ Dunlin, 250 Lapwing, 50 Redshank, 40 Turnstones, 4 Snipe, 30 Shelduck, 9 Tufted Duck, 350+ Wigeon, 90 Teal, 8 Shoveler, 20 Gadwall, a Little Egret, 3 Stonechats, 2 hunting Peregrines, single female Merlin, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove and Grey Wagtail. At least 80 Canada Geese were seen at Aust Warth.

15th January
A brief visit to Pilning Wetland/New Passage produced the usual 300 Lapwing, 400+ Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 70 Curlew, 120 Oystercatchers, 2 Snipe, 120 Teal, 350+ Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, 25 Shelduck and a Raven. A Swan thought to be a Bewick’s Swan was seen off New Passage late afternoon from the Gwent side of the river, swimming and eventually sleeping on a sand bar mid river.

14th January
The birding is almost as repetitive as the Lockdown at the moment. Reports from Pilning Wetland on a grey and damp day involved 300+ Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 4 Redshank, 140 Teal, 150 Wigeon, 12 Shoveler and 12 Gadwall. There were no reports from the shore at New Passage.

13th January
Another breezy and damp day. Reports from Pilning Wetland included 2 Little Egrets, 300 Lapwing, 200 Teal, 200 Wigeon, 2 Tufted Duck, a few Shoveler and Gadwall, 2 Grey Herons and a Stonechat.

12th January
Another frost free but grey day. Reports from the New Passage/Pilning Wetland area included a Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Snipe, 300 Dunlin, 350 Lapwing, 100 Curlew, 50 Redshank, 60 Oystercatchers, a Water Rail, 120 Canada Geese, 450 Wigeon, 200+ Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 12 Shoveler, 14 Gadwall and 2 Grey Herons.

11th January
A warmer and breezy day. Reports from New Passage/Pilning Wetland included 350+ Lapwing, 150 Redshank, 200 Dunlin, 60 Curlew, 70 Oystercatchers, 150+ Teal, 400+ Wigeon, 20 Shelduck, 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Canada Geese.

10th January
A return to overnight frost. A brief visit to the frozen Pilning Wetland produced 250+ Lapwing, a Little Egret, 50 Teal, 10 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 90 Wigeon and a Stonechat.

9th January
Another cold and dull day. A brief visit to Pilning Wetland/New Passage produced 200 Lapwings, 20 Dunlin, 15 Snipe, 65 Canada Geese, 350+ Wigeon, 50 Teal and a Stonechat. A female Blackcap was reported from a New Passage garden. At least 50 Turnstones, 200 Dunlin, 20 Shelduck and 50 Wigeon were seen from the Severn Beach sea wall. A Short-eared Owl and a Water Rail were reported from Aust Warth.

8th January
A frost free but still cold, grey day. Report from the New Passage/Pilning Wetland area included 60 Turnstones, 40 Curlew, 40 Dunlin, 300+ Lapwing, a Little Egret, a Water Rail, 2 Little Grebes, 50 Canada Geese, 400 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 15 Tufted Duck, 12 Gadwall, 15 Shoveler, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and a Grey Wagtail.

7th January
A foggy -2°C morning, remaining cold and dull grey all day. The pools and scrape at Pilning Wetland were frozen again with just 300+ Lapwing, 40 Curlew, 100 Teal and a handful of Shoveler, Gadwall and Wigeon being reported. Reports from Severn Beach involved 12 Shelduck, 40 Turnstones, 120 Dunlin, 30 Redshank and 50 Wigeon present from the shore, 6 Gadwall and a Stonechat in the Orchard Pools area and an evening roost of 5000 Starlings near the railway station.

6th January
Another grey day with a cold North East breeze. Late afternoon reports from  Pilning Wetland included some returning ducks now the pools have thawed including 180 Teal, 4 Tufted Duck, 12+ Shoveler and 10+ Gadwall. Other sightings from here included 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 350+ Lapwing and 70 Snipe (flushed from just a small area of the reedbed). At least 500 Dunlin, 40 Redshank, 10 Shelduck, 50 Wigeon and a Stonechat remained on the shore at Severn Beach.

5th January
A brief exercise walk produced 90 Canada Geese, 300+ Wigeon, 140+ Teal, 10+ Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 2 Grey Herons, single Raven and Stonechat at New Passage/Pilning Wetland. A quick look at the shore at Severn Beach from home produced 600+ Dunlin, 10+ Ringed Plover, 40+ Turnstones, 60 Redshank and 50 Wigeon.

4th January
Another dull grey day with less ice covering the wetland where just 300+ Wigeon, 30 Shelduck, 50 Canada Geese, 100 Curlew, 250+ Lapwing and a Stonechat were seen. A female Blackcap was feeding in a Severn Beach garden. The 3rd National Lockdown in England started at midnight.

3rd January
A partial thaw today but still dull and cold. A brief visit to Pilning Wetland produced 250+ Lapwing, 80 Curlew, 35 Canada Geese, 25 Shelduck, 320 Wigeon and 2 Ravens. A Chiffchaff was seen near the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach.

2nd January
Reports from the still frozen Pilning Wetland and Northwick Warth area involved  just 250 Wigeon, 60 Canada Geese, 11 Shoveler, 200+ Lapwing, 40 Curlew, 600+ Dunlin, a Blackcap and a Stonechat. A cold morning visit to Severn Beach produced 50 Redshank, 5 Snipe, Ringed Plover and Dunlin, 4 Grey Herons, a Water Rail, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls, 15 Shelduck, 45 Wigeon, a Pheasant, 15 Reed Buntings, 6 Stonechats, 5 Rock Pipits, single Blackcap and Chiffchaff. The Snow Bunting, 2 Short-eared Owls, a Jack Snipe, 2 Knot and a Raven were reported from Aust Warth.

                                                                                  Snow Bunting, Aust Warth 1.1.21

                                                                                Jack Snipe, Aust Warth 1.1.21 © Aravind Ramesh

1st January
A -3°C start to the year, remaining cold and dull all day with most freshwater pools frozen. A Snow Bunting, 3 Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, 2 Stonechats, 2 Rock Pipits and a Short-eared Owl were seen at Aust Warth. A brief visit to Norhwick Warth/Pilning Wetland produced 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 200+ Lapwing, 35 Snipe, 300 Wigeon, 120 Teal, a Little Egret and a Sparrowhawk. Reports from Severn Beach included 13 Ringed Plover, 850 Dunlin, 50+ Turnstones, 50 Redshank, 3 Grey Herons, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and a pair of Blackcaps.