SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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March is a slightly better month than February, with a total of 160 species recorded during this month. Freezing conditions on inland lakes can produce some unusual wildfowl. As each day passes the expectation of an early spring migrant increases, Wheatears usually  being seen by mid month along with  Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins, possibly Little Ringed Plovers, Sandwich Tern or an early Garganey. Rarities have included Avocets, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Hen Harrier and  Cetti’s Warbler (2003), Bearded Tit (2004), Great Grey Shrike (2004) and Red Kite (2005).
March 2006
March 31st
Two Short-eared Owls were seen hunting over Aust Warth again this morning  and a Wheatear was also seen here. Sightings from New Passage included 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Redshank, 40 Turnstone, 130 Curlew, 30 Wigeon, 20 Teal and a Rock Pipit. The Cetti’s Warbler was heard and seen again in Severn Beach and an evening sea watch from here produced a Gannet and 30 Kittiwakes. There were 5 Lesser Redpolls, 5 Stonechats, 2 Wheatears and 13 Gadwall at Chittening Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 30th
The return of strong South West winds and a very high tide produced surprisingly few seabirds this morning, with just 60 Kittiwakes and the first March record of Common Tern at Severn Beach along with a second summer Mediterranean Gull and a male Wheatear. Two Short-eared Owls, 2 Wheatears, a Raven and a Swallow were seen at Aust  Warth. Another Swallow, a male Merlin and a first summer Mediterranean Gull were seen from New Passage. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard singing again at Severn Beach. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.
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Strong wind and 14.3 metre tide at Severn Beach 30.3.6
March 29th
A drier and more settled day with a few signs of spring migration. A party of 32 dark-bellied Brent Geese were seen floating up river at Severn Beach on the morning high tide, a White Wagtail and 30 Kittiwakes were seen there this evening. A group of 5 Little Egrets on Northwick Warth equalled the site record. Other sightings here included 7 Grey Plover, 30 Redshank, 26 Oystercatchers, 30 Shelduck, 4 Shoveler, 2 Wheatears and at least 12 Chiffchaffs. A Coal Tit at New Passage was surprisingly the first of the year. Reports from Chittening Warth included another 3 Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, 9 Stonechats and a Water Rail. A Raven was seen at Aust Warth.
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White Wagtail, Severn Beach 29.3.6 © John Martin
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Coal Tit, New Passage  29.3.6
March 28th
The strong winds continued today producing at least 500 Kittiwakes, 5 Gannets, single Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Guillemot, a first summer drake Eider, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls plus the first 2 Wheatears, 2 Swallows, White Wagtail and Willow Warbler of the year. A Sand Martin and Peregrine were seen at Chittening Warth. Another 100 Kittiwakes, 2 Little Gulls, 70 Wigeon and another Wheatear were seen at Aust Warth.

March 27th
A wet and windy day with the best birds being seen this evening from Severn Beach. These included 8 Common Scoter (7 drakes), at least 550 Kittiwakes, a Guillemot flying down river close to the shore, 14 Pintail, 30 Shelduck, 50 Turnstones. Sightings from here this morning included just 2 Kittiwakes, 30 Dunlin, 2 Gadwall and a singing Chiffchaff. There were 71 Curlew on Northwick Warth and a male Merlin was seen at Aust Warth.

March 26th
Another wet day with little to report. A high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 80 Kittiwakes, a Grey Plover, 6 Ringed Plovers, 40 Turnstones, 40 Oystercatchers and 50 Shelduck. Another 40 Shelduck and 2 Shoveler were seen at New Passage where at least 10,000 Starlings performed spectacular aerobatics above the Motorway Pool at dusk.

March 25th
An early male Ring Ouzel was found at Cake Pill Sluice, Aust Warth this morning and was later seen nearby in sheep fields with 10 Fieldfares. Other birds seen here included a Little Owl and an escaped Cockatiel. Sightings from Severn Beach included 68 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 80 Kittiwakes, 12 Ringed Plover, 2 Grey Plover, 40 Redshank, 35 Turnstone, 20 Dunlin, a Snipe, 12 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Ducks. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.
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Ring Ouzel, Aust Warth 25.3.6
March 24th
There is still no sign of the usual spring migrants but they should arrive in the next few days with winds forecast from the South. A Little Owl, 2 Grey Plover, 13 Redshank, 52 Shelduck and 2 Great Black-backed Gulls were seen on Northwick Warth. Sightings from Severn Beach included a Cetti’s Warbler, 10 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe, 40 Turnstones, 18 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Ducks.

March 23rd
The first 3 Bar-tailed Godwits of the year were seen at Chittening Warth with 2 Black-tailed Godwits and 20 Redshank. Sightings from Severn Beach included 14 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin, 40 Oystercatchers, at least 50 Shelduck and 10 Gadwall from the foreshore and another 6 Gadwall with 2 Tufted Ducks at the Orchard Pools. A female Blackcap was seen feeding in a garden here. The usual 200 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 40 Shelduck, 4 Shoveler and 12 Redshank were seen from New Passage.

March 22nd
Sightings at Severn Beach included the singing Cetti’s Warbler,  a total of 16 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Ducks, 3 Pochard, 56 Shelduck, 19 Ringed Plover and just 30 Dunlin. There were 5 Shoveler on the Grebe Pond, Northwick Warth. A Grey Plover, 165 Wigeon, 2 Stonechats and a Peregrine were seen at Aust Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained  at Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 21st
The first 3 Pochard of the year were seen this on the Grebe Pond at Northwick Warth along with 8 Shoveler. Other birds seen on Northwick Warth included 10 Redshank, 6 Common Gulls,  320 Wigeon, 95 Teal,  40 Shelduck and 70 Curlew. A visit to Severn Beach produced 17 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, 52 Shelduck, 9 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Ducks. There was a Jack Snipe and 2 Stonechats at Aust Warth.

March 20th
Still no signs of spring migration. Birds seen at Severn Beach included 19 Ringed Plover, 180 Dunlin, 95 Turnstone, 52 Shelduck, 7 Gadwall, a Tufted Duck, 70 Redwings, a Stock Dove and a singing Cetti’s Warbler. Sightings from New Passage included 20 Redshank, just 30 Dunlin, 34 Shelduck and a Rock Pipit. There were still 2 Stonechats on Aust Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 19th
The wind eased a little and there was  some sunshine this afternoon. Sightings from Severn Beach included a Cetti’s Warbler, 14 Ringed Plover, just 30 Dunlin, 80 Turnstones, 20 Redshank, 60 Curlew and 70 Shelduck. Birds seen from New Passage included 4 Snipe, 25 Redshank, 100 Dunlin, 22 Shelduck, 70 Teal, 90 Wigeon and 4 Shoveler. Two Short-eared Owls, 11 Redpolls, 5 Siskins and a Stonechat were seen at Chittening Warth and another 2 Stonechats remained on Aust Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained  at Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.
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Short-eared Owl, Chittening Warth 19.3.6
March 18th
The cold wind kept the birds and the birdwatchers away today with little to report. The usual 80 Teal, 120 Wigeon and 6 Shoveler were seen from New Passage. At least 10 Redpolls and a Jack Snipe were found at Chittening Warth.

March 17th
The cold North East wind strengthened today, delaying any arrival of spring migrants. Reports from Northwick Warth included 100 Dunlin, 43 Redshank, 13 Oystercatchers, 78 Curlew, a Snipe, 42 Shelduck, 75 Teal, 170 Wigeon and 6 Shovelers. Another 11 Snipe, a Water Rail, 3 Stonechats and 2 Peregrine were seen at Aust Warth.  A Black-tailed Godwit, 200 Dunlin, 120 Turnstones, 15 Ringed Plover and 50 Shelduck were seen from the Severn Beach shore and 3 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck and a Snipe were present at the Orchard Pools. Another Water Rail was seen at Sea Bank pools, Chittening Warth this morning.

March 16th
A day with a cold North East wind. A Peregrine, 6 Shoveler, the usual Wigeon, Teal and  Shelduck were seen from New Passage. Sightings from Severn Beach included just 50 Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover, 6 Turnstone and 4 Gadwall  from the foreshore, the 4 Gadwall and 3 Tufted Ducks were still on the Orchard Pools. There were still 3 Stonechats on Aust Warth. Two Short-eared Owls and a Woodcock were seen at Chittening Warth late this afternoon. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained  at Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.
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Sparrowhawk, Severn Beach 16.3.6
March 15th
A visit to Severn Beach produced just 100 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover and 4 Gadwall on the foreshore, 3 Green Woodpeckers, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Gadwall and 3 Tufted Ducks were seen at the Orchard Pools. There were 30 Redshank, 150 Dunlin, 36 Common Gulls and 14 Shoveler at New Passage. Four Stonechats remained on Aust Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained  at Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 14th
Sightings from New Passage today included a Ruff, 50 Redshank, at least 100 Dunlin and 12 Shoveler. A visit to Severn Beach produced 4 Stonechats in the salt marsh and 4 Gadwall with 3 Tufted Ducks on the Orchard Pools. One lucky observer found 4 Short-eared Owls, a male Merlin and another 3 Stonechats at Chittening Warth this afternoon. A party of 8 Lesser Redpolls were seen at Seabank Power Station.

March 13th
A quiet day again today. Sightings from New Passage involved just 30 Dunlin, 35 Oystercatchers, 40 Shelduck and 2 Buzzards. A Water Rail, 4 Gadwall and a Stock Dove were seen at the Orchard Pools. At least 4 Stonechats remained on Aust Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained  anchored at Hoar Gout near Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 12th
A cold morning with some snow became interesting when I found the first Severnside record of Mandarin at Severn Beach. The pair were wary but remained settled at the Orchard Pools. Presumably they are from the South Gloucestershire population near Tortworth. Other birds seen at Severn Beach included 40 Redshank, 60 Shelduck, an elusive Water Pipit and a male Blackcap. The male Merlin, another 40 Redshank, just 50 Dunlin, 90 Teal, 200 Wigeon and 7 Shoveler were seen from New Passage. There were 6 Stonechats on Aust Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained near Avonmouth Sewage Works, at Hoar Gout, grid reference ST530801
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Mandarin, Severn Beach 12.3.6
March 11th
A day with both high tides in darkness and very few birds reported. There were 2 Peregrines, a male Merlin, 60 Redshank, 150 Wigeon, 80 Teal and 6 Shoveler from New Passage. Just 40 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plover were seen from Severn Beach late afternoon and a female Blackcap was seen again in a garden here.

March 10th
At least 200 Kittiwakes remained off Severn Beach in breezy conditions. The only other birds worth a mention from here included 100 Dunlin, a Peregrine and 6 Gadwall. There were another 12 Gadwall and 5 Tufted Ducks again on the Orchard Pools. Hundreds of Wigeon, 40 Shelduck and 30 Oystercatchers were reported from New Passage. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained near Avonmouth Sewage Works, at Hoar Gout, grid reference ST530801

March 9th
A wet day with a moderate strength West wind. A visit to New Passage produced just 50 Dunlin, 90 Curlew, 35 Redshank, 40 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler and 2 Great Black-backed Gulls. At Severn Beach 3 Lesser Redpolls were seen feeding at the Orchard Pools and at least 200 Kittiwakes, 300 Dunlin, 60 Turnstones and 2 Peregrines were seen from the sea wall late afternoon. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained near Avonmouth Sewage Works, at Hoar Gout, grid reference ST530801
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Kittiwakes, Severn Beach 9.3.6
March 8th
Another wet and quiet day, roll on spring! The female Merlin, just 300 Dunlin, 100 Lapwing, 10 Redshank, 42 Shelduck and hundreds of Wigeon were seen from New Passage. Another 500 Dunlin, a Grey Plover and 50 Turnstone were seen from the sea wall at Severn Beach.

March 7th
A change to wet weather but little change in the birds. Sightings from New Passage involved a female Merlin, 500 Dunlin, 100 Lapwing, 42 Shelduck and hundreds of Wigeon. A visit to Severn Beach produced another 1000 Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover, 50 Shelduck and 4 Gadwall on the foreshore, another 6 Gadwall and 3 Tufted Ducks still at the Orchard Pools. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained near Avonmouth Sewage Works, at Hoar Gout, grid reference ST530801

March 6th
Another settled but very quiet day. Sightings from New Passage today included a female Merlin, 2000 Dunlin, 200 Lapwings, 16 Redshank and at least 300 Wigeon. Another 500 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover, 180 Turnstones, 60 Shelduck, 7 Lesser  Redpolls, a Siskin and a pair of Blackcaps were reported from Severn Beach.

March 5th
Another bright day. Sightings from New Passage included 4000 Dunlin, 150 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 80 Curlew, 400 Wigeon, 70 Teal and a drake Pintail. A pair of Blackcaps were seen in a Severn Beach garden and 5 Lesser Redpolls were feeding in trees at the Orchard Pools. A Merlin flew past Chittening Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck was relocated near Avonmouth Sewage Works, at Hoar Gout, grid reference ST530801

March 4th
Another -3°C night followed by a bright and sunny day. Few birds were reported today. At least 3 Short-eared Owls and 3 Stonechats  were seen at Chittening Warth. There were 80 Turnstone, 8 Ringed Plover and 50 Shelduck at Severn Beach. A male Blackcap was still in a garden here. A flock of 3000 Dunlin, 150 Lapwing, 400 Wigeon and  90 Teal were seen from New Passage.
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Turnstones, Severn Beach 4.3.6 © Jack Bowerman
March 3rd
Another cold night (-3°C) and spring tide forced  many birds close to the sea wall and an excellent variety of birds were seen during the day. A Short-eared Owl was hunting again at Chittening Warth along with 50 Redshank, 1200 Dunlin, 3 Stonechats, 10 Rock Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails. A Scandinavian Rock Pipit, a Water Pipit, 4 Rock Pipits, a Stonechat, 180 Turnstones, 11 Ringed Plover, 5 Gadwall and 50 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach. A male Blackcap was seen again in a garden here. There were still 16 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Ducks, 3 Lesser Redpolls and a Chiffchaff at the Orchard Pools. An adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Little Egrets, a male Merlin, 4200 Dunlin, 21 Grey Plover, 100 Redshank, 180 Curlew, 72 Oystercatchers, 5 Common Snipe, a Black-tailed Godwit, 430 Wigeon, 110 Teal, 5 Shoveler and 400 Black-headed Gulls were seen in the Northwick Warth area. Another 5 Common Snipe, 2 Jack Snipe, a Water Rail and 3 Stonechats were found on Aust Warth.
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Mediterranean Gull, New Passage  3.3.6
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Short-eared Owl, Chittening Warth  3.3.6
March 2nd
A frosty morning and an almost 14.5 metre high tide produced a good number of birds. Three Short-eared Owls, many Gulls and a Fox were seen hunting Short-tailed Voles at Chittening Warth that were forced out of the salt marsh. Other sightings from here included 1200 Dunlin, 200 Redshank, 150 Turnstone, 6 Stonechats, single Kingfisher, Pintail and Peregrine. There were another 4000 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 21 Grey Plover, 60 Oystercatchers, 12 Common Snipe, 150 Lapwing, 450 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 60 Shelduck and 2 Grey Wagtails at Northwick Warth. Two Rock Pipits were seen on the Severn Beach sea wall and 16 Gadwall, a Tufted Duck, 6 Lesser Redpolls and a Siskin were present at the Orchard Pools.
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Oystercatchers, Northwick Warth  2.3.6
March 1st
The cold weather continues. Sightings from Aust Warth this morning included 27 Common Snipe, 2 Jack Snipe and a Peregrine. A female Merlin, 1950 Dunlin, 120 Curlew, 12 Grey Plovers, 74 Oystercatchers, 430 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 30 Shelduck and 3 Grey Wagtails were seen from New Passage. At Severn Beach, there were 500 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, 54 Shelduck and a Stonechat from the foreshore, 16 Gadwall and 5 Tufted Ducks on the Orchard Pools and a male Blackcap was seen again in a garden.
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