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

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16th January
A cold and windy day. A visit to the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area produced 47 Shelduck, 150 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 6 Tufted Duck, 300+ Lapwing, 60 Curlew, 300 Dunlin, 70 Turnstones, 2 Peregrines, a Water Pipit, 16 Pied Wagtails and a Stonechat.

15th January
Single Short-eared Owl and Water Rail were reported from Aust Warth.

14th January
The first Black-tailed Godwit of the year, 400 Lapwing, 79 Redshank, 70 Curlew, a Water Rail and 17 Shoveler were reported from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland. At least 2 Short-eared Owls, 7 Jack Snipe and 2 Snipe were seen at Aust Warth. Apologies for late reporting over the last couple of days having made the most of a 48 hour visit to the warmth of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. I was fortunate to see 12 new species; Dwarf Bittern, 3+ Houbara Bustards, 40+ Black-bellied Sandgrouse, 2 Barbary Partridge, many Berthelot’s Pipits, 6+ Fuerteventura Chats, 40+ Lesser Short-toed Larks, 100+ wild Ruddy Shelduck, 4 Laughing Dove, a Plain Swift, 3 African Blue Tits and 2 Canary Islands Chiffchaff along with numerous Trumpeter Finches, Spanish Sparrows, Southern Grey Shrikes, Hoopoes, Black-winged Stilts and Egyptian Vultures etc.

                                                                                 Dwarf Bittern, Fuerteventura 12.1.18

                                                                              Houbara Bustard, Fuerteventura 13.1.18

                                                                                 Southern Grey Shrike, Fuerteventura 13.1.18

                                                                                  Trumpeter Finch, Fuerteventura 13.1.18

13th January
Reports from the Northwick Warth area included a Little Egret, 350 Lapwing, 2 Coal Tits, single Raven, Peregrine Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Water Pipit. Nine Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe, a Short-eared Owl and Kestrel were reported at Aust Warth.

12th January
The only reports from the New Passage area involved 4 Pochard and a Water Rail. Four Short-eared Owls and a Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth.

11th January
Another sunny day. At least 36 Shelduck and 200 Wigeon were seen on Northwick Warth and nearby a drake Pochard, 200+ Teal and 250+ Lapwing were present on Pilning Wetland. Twelve Pintail (7 drakes) were seen from Severn Beach on the afternoon high tide. At least 4 Short-eared Owls, single Kestrel, Raven and Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth late afternoon.

                                                                                    Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 11.1.18

                                                                           Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 11.1.18  © Dan White

10th January
A foggy start followed by blue sky and sunshine. A brief visit to New Passage produced the usual 300+ Wigeon, 200 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, a Pintail and 40 Shelduck on the estuary. A Stonechat was seen at Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl, 2 Stonechats and a Kestrel were reported at Aust Warth.

9th January
Another gloomy, raw day. A brief visit to New Passage produced just 41 Shelduck, 250+ Wigeon, 30+ Teal and 300 Dunlin on the shoreline. A male Blackcap was still present on feeders in Severn Beach.

8th January
A cold and grey day. A Little Egret, 50 Dunlin, 200+ Lapwing, 50+ Curlew, 380 Wigeon, 250 Teal, 35 Shelduck, 8 Shoveler, 20 Gadwall, 6 Tufted Duck and a Kestrel were reported in the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. A high tide visit to Severn Beach produced a female Common Scoter, 3 Shelduck, 18 Wigeon, 18 Redshank and 7 Curlew.

                                                                                Common Scoter, Severn Beach 8.1.18

7th January
A cold and sunny day with a moderate strength North East wind. Two Whooper Swans were found on Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warth where 2 White-fronted Geese were also seen flying North at 12.40 and the same or another 2 at 15.15. Other reports from here involved 300+ Wigeon, 240+ Teal, 45 Shelduck, 20 Gadwall, 12 Tufted Duck, a Little Egret, 250+ Lapwing, 400 Dunlin and a Peregrine. Reports from Severn Beach-Chittening Warth included 14 Ringed Plover, 78 Dunlin, 100 Turnstones, a Water Rail, a Cetti’s Warbler, 3 Stonechats amd a Water Pipit. Click on the Whooper Swan images below for a short Youtube video.

                                                                                 Whooper Swans, Northwick Warth 7.1.18

                                                                                 Whooper Swans, Pilning Wetland 7.1.18

6th January
A Merlin, 23 Gadwall, 10 Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, 400+ Dunlin, 3 Snipe, a Grey Plover, a Peregrine and 2 Ravens were reported from the Northwick Warth area. A Short-eared Owl showed at Aust Warth and a male Blackcap remained in Severn Beach.

5th January
Combined reports from New Passage/Northwick Warth involved 800 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 25 Turnstones, 50 Lapwing, 80 Curlew, 21 Shelduck, 250+ Wigeon, 5 Pintail (4 drakes) and the remains of a predated Snow Bunting. A Jack Snipe was flushed from the seawall/footpath at Severn Beach having pushed out of the salt marsh by the very high tide.

4th January
Another breezy day. An adult Mediterranean Gull and at least 40 Kittiwakes were seen from Severn Beach and a male Blackcap was seen on garden feeders. A Water Pipit, 2 drake Pintail and 300 Wigeon were seen from New Passage and a Short-eared Owl and a Jack Snipe were reported again at Aust Warth.

3rd January
Storm Eleanor moved across the region producing some quality rather than variety. A 1st winter Glaucous Gull flew slowly South West close to the sea wall at Severn Beach (08.00), to be followed by Leach’s Petrel a few minutes later about 100 meters from shore also heading South West. Other sightings here included an adult Mediterranean Gull, at least 38 Kittiwakes and 20 Ringed Plover. Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area included 2 Peregrine, a Kestrel, 50 Lapwing, 60 Redshank, 300+ Dunlin and 80 Curlew. Two Short-eared Owls were seen at Aust Warth.

2nd January
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included 2 Merlin, single Peregrine and Kestrel, 29 Canada Geese, an Egyptian Goose, 220+ Teal, 33 Shelduck, 21 Gadwall, 10 Tufted Duck, 40 Lapwing, 110 Curlew, a Snipe, 40+ Stock Doves, single Stonechat, Water Pipit and Kingfisher. A Short-eared Owl, 100 Lapwing, 150 Dunlin and a Rock Pipit were seen at Aust Warth this morning. A male Blackcap remained in a Severn Beach garden.

1st January
A breezy start to the year. An adult Mediteranean Gull, 10 Tufted Duck, 8 Gadwall, a Little Egret, 3 Grey Plover, a Rock Pipit and 45 Stock Doves were reported from the Northwick Warth area. Three Short-eared Owls, 2 Jack Snipe and a Stonechat were seen at Aust Warth. A male Blackcap was seen in Severn Beach.