SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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February is generally another quiet month with only a total of 149 species seen in past Februarys. Gales in this month have produced Storm and Leach’s Petrel, Pomarine Skua and all four records of Puffin. Other rarities seen include Spoonbill (2004),  Ring-billed Gull (1987), Great Grey Shrike (1999,2000,2004), Shorelark (2004) and Cirl Bunting (1943).
February 2006
February 28th
The month finished with a day of hail and snow showers. The highlight involved 3 Short-eared Owls hunting over Chittening Warth late afternoon. The birds remained much the same elsewhere with at least 2000 Dunlin, 42 Oystercatchers, 150 Lapwing, 12 Redshank and 35 Shelduck from New Passage. Sightings from Severn Beach included 600 Dunlin, 20 Turnstone and 60 Shelduck from the shore, 9 Lesser Redpolls, 13 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Ducks and 2 Stock Doves at the Orchard Pools and a male Blackcap in a garden.

February 27th
A quiet day. Sightings from New Passage included 18 Grey Plover, 14 Redshank, 300 Dunlin, 180 Lapwing, 45 Oystercatchers and 12 Shelduck. At Severn Beach, there were 9 Lesser Redpolls and just 7 Gadwall on the Orchard Pools, a female Blackcap continued to feed on peanuts in a garden and a Tawny Owl was heard again late evening near the railway station.

February 26th
The wind eased a little today but still remained cold. A visit to the foreshore at Severn Beach produced at least 1200 Dunlin, 24 Grey Plover, 19 Ringed Plover, 70 Redshank, 35 Oystercatchers, 30 Turnstones, 50 Shelduck, 6 Gadwall, a Stonechat and a Rock Pipit. Nearby, a Short-eared Owl was hunting over Chittening Warth and there were still 13 Gadwall and a Tufted Duck on the Orchard Pools. A female Blackcap was seen again in a Severn Beach garden. A brief visit to New Passage produced 180 Lapwing, 12 Shelduck, 42 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Gulls and 20 Fieldfares.
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February 25th
The very strong North East wind resulted in very little coverage today. A ten minute visit to Severn Beach on the afternoon rising tide produced 600 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, 20 Redshank, 40 Shelduck and 8 Gadwall.

February 24th
Another cold day with a biting North East wind and snow flurries. Sights from the New Passage area included a female Merlin, 60 Oystercatchers, 65 Curlew, 150 Lapwing, 18 Shelduck, 7 Common Gulls and 2 Great Black-backed Gulls. At least 1000 Dunlin and 12 Gadwall remained viewable from the Severn Beach shore and another 12 Gadwall and a Tufted Duck were still at the Orchard Pools.

February 23rd
A day of rain and sleet. Sightings from Severn Beach included the usual 1000 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, 70 Oystercatchers, 60 Redshank, 20 Turnstone and 12 Gadwall. New Passage remained quiet with just 150 Lapwing, 100 Dunlin, 7 Redshank and 20 Shelduck.

February 22nd
Sightings from Severn Beach included 1200 Dunlin, 17 Ringed Plover, 40 Turnstone, 70 Oystercatchers, 60 Redshank, 12 Gadwall and 70 Shelduck from the sea wall and another 6 Gadwall on the Orchard Pools. Several cold visits to New Passage produced a Peregrine, a Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Lapwing, 200 Wigeon, 20 Shelduck, just 20 Dunlin and 6 Redshank.

February 21st
Another cold day with sunshine and hailstorms. Sightings from Severn Beach included 19 Ringed Plover, at least 1000 Dunlin, 60 Turnstone, 80 Redshank, 70 Shelduck and 13 Gadwall from the beach, another 12 Gadwall and 3 Tufted Ducks remained at the Orchard Pools. The male Merlin and 30 Shelduck were seen again from New Passage. The drake Ring-necked Duck returned to the square roadside pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 20th
A strong North East wind made finding any birds unpleasant. A skein of 17 White-fronted Geese flew inland over Severn Beach early this morning. Sightings from the foreshore here included 500 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 70 Shelduck and a Stonechat. There were 7 Lesser Redpolls, 10 Gadwall and 3 Tufted Ducks nearby at the Orchard Pools. A female Blackcap was still in a garden and a Tawny Owl was calling from near the railway station early evening. A brief visit to New Passage produced a male Merlin, clinging onto a log in the strong wind and 34 Shelduck. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at Avonmouth Sewage Works but on a pool not visible from the road.

February 19th
A high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 1000 Dunlin, 150 Turnstones, 180 Redshank, 19 Ringed Plover, 60 Oysterctachers, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 50 Shelduck, 5 Gadwall and 3 Shoveler on the foreshore. There were still 18 Gadwall and 3 Tufted Ducks nearby at the Orchard Pools and a male Blackcap was seen in a garden. A Yellowhammer and 200 Wigeon were present at Aust Warth. Just 12 Redshank, 36 Shelduck and 4 Great Black-backed Gulls (3 adult & a first winter) were reported from New Passage in an eye watering North East wind. The first Green Sandpiper of the year was seen at the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth.

February 18th
A cold  and frosty morning followed by drifting fog over the estuary. A drake Goosander was reported flying past Severn Beach where other sightings included 13 Ringed Plover, 500 Dunlin and a female Blackcap. Another 1000 Dunlin, 16 Grey Plover and 20 Redshank were seen from New Passage. A pair of Ravens and 6 Siskins were seen at the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth. A Peregrine was seen at Aust Warth where a flock of at least 6000 Starlings performed impressive aerobatics at dusk before going to roost.
Short-eared Owl, Chittening Warth 26.2.6
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Starlings, Aust Warth 18.2.6
February 17th
A quiet day. There were 200 Dunlin, 16 Grey Plover and 20 Redshank from New Passage. Just 30 Turnstones, 80 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover were seen from the sea wall at Severn Beach. There were 9 Lesser Redpolls and a Siskin at the Orchard Pools.

February 16th
A day of sunshine and heavy showers. Sightings from New Passage included 1000 Dunlin, 32 Redshank, 13 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, many Lapwing and Wigeon. There were 120 Turnstones, another 500 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover, a Peregrine and a Stonechat at Severn Beach. The first Treecreeper for 2 years was seen at the Orchard Pools along with the usual 14 Gadwall. No Redpolls could be found today.

February 15th
The male Merlin was seen again from New Passage along with 1000 Dunlin, 75 Oystercatchers and 19 Grey Plover. Sightings from Severn Beach included 2 Ravens, 9 Ringed Plover, 100 Dunlin, 40 Turnstone, 53 Shelduck and a Stonechat near the foreshore and 17 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 10 Lesser Redpoll and 2 Stock Doves at the Orchard Pools. A party of 3 possible Mealy Redpolls were seen and photographed feeding in Alders at the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth.
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Redpoll, Sea Bank Pools 15.2.6 © John Martin
February 14th
Reports from New Passage included a male Merlin, 1240 Dunlin, 1000 Lapwing, 58 Oystercatchers, 38 Redshank, 61 Curlew, 21 Grey Plover, a Knot, 420 Wigeon and 56 Shelduck. There were 4 Ringed Plover, 150 Dunlin and 48 Shelduck on the foreshore at Severn Beach and 18 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Ducks, 10 Lesser Redpolls and a Chiffchaff at the Orchard Pools.

February 13th
The number and variety of birds remain much the same. Some unsettled weather forecast for the next few days could produce some new birds. Sightings from New Passage included 1000 Dunlin, 800 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 33 Common Gulls and at least 500 Wigeon. A Water Rail showed very well here and was watched swimming across the pill. At Severn Beach there were 6 Ringed Plover, 60 Turnstone, 300 Dunlin, 9 Gadwall and 66 Shelduck on the foreshore, the usual 14 Gadwall were on the Orchard Pools and a pair of Blackcaps remained in a Severn Beach garden.
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Goldfinch, New Passage © John C. Luke
February 12th
A damp and warmer day. Birds seen from New Passage included 500 Dunlin, at least 600 Lapwing, 500 Wigeon, 44 Redshank and a Knot. At Severn Beach there were still 19 Gadwall and 9 Lesser Redpoll at the Orchard Pools and a female Blackcap in a garden.

February 11th
Another sunny day following a frosty night. A visit to the Grebe Pond at Northwick Warth produced 2 Jack Snipe and 3 Common Snipe. Birds seen from New Passage included 600 Dunlin, 600 Lapwing and a Grey Plover. There were 21 Gadwall and 6 Lesser Redpolls at the Orchard Pools and a pair of Blackcaps remained in a Severn Beach garden. A Great Crested Grebe and 2 Ravens were seen at Chittening Warth late this afternoon. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at the square roadside pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 10th
A sunny and cool day after a night temperature of -3°C. Sightings from New Passage included 800 Lapwing,
500 Dunlin, a Golden Plover, 600 Wigeon, 200 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 30 Shelduck, an escaped female Cape Shelduck and a Water Rail. There were 6 Grey Plover, 4 Snipe, 3 Yellowhammers, 2 Stonechats and a male Merlin at Aust Warth. A pair of Blackcaps were feeding again in a Severn Beach garden.
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Cape Shelduck, New Passage 10.2.6
February 9th
A Water Rail showed well near the sluice at New Passage. Other birds seen from here included 900 Lapwing, 300 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, 4 Shoveler, 13 Common Gulls and 2 Great Black-backed Gulls. There were still 17 Gadwall and 10 Lesser Redpolls at the Orchard Pools and a female Blackcap was feeding in a Severn Beach Garden. A late evening visit to Aust Warth produced 2 calling Barn Owls and one showing  well on a post.

February 8th
A quiet but slightly warmer day (9°C). Birds seen from New Passage included 1500 Lapwing, 80 Dunlin and 68 Oystercatchers. There were 12 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Ducks and 8 Lesser Redpolls at the Orchard Pools. A male Blackcap was seen again in a Severn Beach garden.A visit to Chittening Warth produced 600 Dunlin, 52 Oystercatchers, 48 Curlew, 700 Black-headed Gulls, a Great Black-backed Gull and 5 Stonechats. The first Barn Owl for 4 years was an excellent find on roadside fence posts at Aust Warth tonight.

February 7th
There were 400 Dunlin, 90 Oystercatchers, 55 Turnstone, 170 Redshank, 17 Ringed Plover, 76 Shelduck and a Peregrine at Severn Beach, 39 Gadwall were counted between here and the Southern end of Chittening Warth. Another 19 Gadwall, 4 Stock Doves and 12 Lesser Redpoll were seen nearby at the Orchard Pools. A male Merlin, 1000 Lapwing and 100 Dunlin were seen from New Passage. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at the square roadside pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 6th
Sightings from New Passage included at least 1620 Lapwings, 200 Dunlin, 500 Wigeon, a Peregrine and a Kingfisher. There were 15 Ringed Plover, 300 Dunlin, 100 Turnstone, 90 Oystercatchers, 80 Redshank, 50 Shelduck, 12 Gadwall, single Pintail, Rock Pipit and Stonechat. A Peregrine  and 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth.

February 5th
A visit to Severn Beach produced 500 Dunlin, 22 Ringed Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit, at least 100 Turnstones and 9 Gadwall on the foreshore and another 19 Gadwall at the Orchard Pools. A male Merlin, 600 Lapwing, 200 Dunlin and at least 500 Wigeon were seen from New Passage. There were 5 Snipe, 20 Reed Buntings and a Rock Pipit at Aust Warth. A Water Rail was seen at Chittening Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at the square roadside pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

February 4th
An adult Mediterranean Gull, 17 Ringed Plover, 150 Turnstone, 500 Dunlin, at least 70 Redshank, 60 Shelduck and 8 Gadwall were seen on the Severn Beach shore, 19 Gadwall and 4 Tufted Ducks were seen on the Orchard Pools and a pair of Blackcaps were feeding in a garden. Sightings from New Passage included 500 Lapwing, a Golden Plover, 200 Dunlin, 300 Wigeon, 10 Shoveler, 45 Fieldfares and 75 Redwing. A Little Owl was present on Northwick Warth behind the Grebe Pond. A Water Pipit and a Kingfisher were seen at Stupp Pill, Chittening Warth and a Peregrine was seen mobbing a Buzzard at Aust Warth.

February 3rd
Another gloomy day with the temperature only just above 0°C. The Severn Beach foreshore produced 100 Turnstones, 21 Ringed Plover, 80 Redshank, 500 Dunlin, 3 Snipe and 3 Rock Pipits. A male Blackcap was seen again in a garden here and was joined by 3 Bullfinches that spent most of the afternoon eating buds on my Plum tree! The 19 Gadwall remained at the Orchard Pools. Sightings from the New Passage area included 14 Snipe, 2 Shoveler, 3 Knot, 230 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, and at least 300 Wigeon. A Stonechat and 3 Yellowhammers were seen at Aust Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at the square roadside pool near Avonmouth Sewage Works.
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Bullfinch, Severn Beach 3.2.6
February 2nd
The cold and cloudy weather continued. Sightings from New Passage included 8 Snipe, 40 Redshank, 200 Dunlin, 600 Lapwing and the large Wigeon flock. There were 1400 Dunlin, 2 Stonechats, a Grey Wagtail and 3 Buzzards at Chittening Warth. At Severn Beach, the usual 300 Dunlin, 14 Ringed Plover, 60 Redshank, 20 Turnstone and a Knot remained on the foreshore, a male Blackcap was seen in a garden and the flock of 19 Gadwall remained anchored to the Orchard Pools. Of interest, at least 6 Hawfinches were present in the Brimsham Park area of Yate today, just 20 minutes drive from Severnside.

February 1st
A cloudy and cold start to the month. A visit to Severn Beach produced the first 2 Great Crested Grebes of the year, 300 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, 40 Redshank, 50 Shelduck, single Grey Plover and Knot. There were at least 600 Lapwing, 500 Dunlin and 8 Snipe at Northwick Warth. A Jack Snipe was seen at Chittening Warth.