December is one of the quietest months with only 146 species recorded during the month. It can be a good month for wildfowl with the chance of Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander and Ruddy Duck if inland waters freeze or some fly by Bewick’s Swans. A good selection of seabirds have occurred in December gales including Black-throated and Great Northern Divers, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk, Grey Phalarope and Pomarine Skua. Other rarities have included Glaucous Gull and in the winters of 1940 & 1941, Cirl Bunting.
A few good birds rounded off the year nicely; at Severn Beach there was a Black Redstart (at the Riverside Park end of the sea wall), single Woodcock, Peregrine, 17 Ringed Plovers, 400 Dunlin, 100 Redshank and 50 Turnstones. A pair of Goosanders were seen from New Passage. Nearby, hundreds of Wigeon and Teal were still present off Northwick Warth. There were still 2 Stonechats at Aust Warth.
A Black Redstart was present around the jetty at New Passage. There were 9 Shovelers and a female type Goldeneye off Northwick Warth amongst the usual Wigeon and Teal. A flock of 400 Lapwings and a Little Owl were seen nearby on the rifle range fields. There was little to report from elsewhere other than 2 Rock Pipits and 3 Ringed Plovers at Severn Beach, 200 Dunlin and 85 Redshank at Chittening Warth and finally, 2 Stonechats at Aust Warth.
A Water Pipit was seen at Chittening Warth. Waders at Severn included 43 Black-tailed Godwits, 26 Ringed Plovers and 20 Turnstones. There were 150 Redshank, 500 Dunlin and 100 Oystercatchers off Chittening Warth.
A biting cold north west wind made finding birds difficult. The Severn Beach Black Redstart was seen today but the New Passage bird could not be found. There were 2 Stonechats at Aust Warth, a Peregrine on Northwick Warth but fewer waders; just 100 Dunlin, 100 Lapwings and 30 Redshank.
A Black Redstart was seen on the sea wall at Severn Beach early this morning. The New Passage Black Redstart was found again mid afternoon. Other birds seen at New Passage included single Jack Snipe, adult Mediterranean Gull, Stonechat, Merlin, 100 Turnstones, 200 Lapwings and 300 Dunlin. There was another Jack Snipe at Aust Warth and at least 300 Wigeon.
The Black Redstart was showing very well again at New Passage, between the wooden swing gate and the sluice. Other birds seen over the morning high tide included 600 Dunlin, 40 Redshank, 250 Lapwings, 8 Common Snipe and 50 Oystercatchers. An adult Mediterranean Gull and 17 Gadwall were seen at Chittening Warth.
A visit to New Passage just after the early morning high tide produced 400 Dunlin, 90 Redshank, 80 Turnstones, 90 Oystercatchers, 300 Lapwings, a male Stonechat, single Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Merlin. The Black Redstart remained near the sluice over the pill here.
A Little Egret was seen this morning at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach. The Black Redstart remained at New Passage, favouring the area where the sluice gates cross the pill. Other birds seen near here on Northwick Warth included 70 Redshank and a Peregrine. At Chittening Warth, a Green Sandpiper was seen on the Sea Bank power station pools and 12 Ringed Plover were present on the foreshore.
There were 2 Black Redstarts seen today; one on the seawall opposite the shops at Severn Beach and the New Passage bird. Other birds at New Passage included single Little Egret, Merlin and Black-tailed Godwit, 250 Lapwings, 200 Dunlin, 60 Redshank and at least 250 Wigeon. A Jack Snipe and 10 Common Snipe were flushed from the salt marsh at Chittening Warth. A Peregrine was seen roosting in the pylon below Aust Cliff. There were 8 Gadwall and 3 Lesser Redpolls at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach.
Black Redstart, New Passage 23.12.3
The Black Redstart was still showing well early morning at New Passage with a male Stonechat also present. The adult Mediterranean Gull was seen here early afternoon. The Little Egret flew from Northwick Warth towards Aust Warth. Another 2 Stonechats were present at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach. A walk along the seawall south of Severn Beach produced finch flocks of 80 Linnets, 40 Goldfinches and 20 Chaffinches.
The Black Redstart showed well at New Passage this morning where a Little Egret was present in the pill. At Chittening Warth the best birds seen were a Short-eared Owl, a Kingfisher and 800 Dunlin. The Black-tailed Godwit remained on Northwick Warth and a Peregrine was roosting again in the Pylon at Aust Cliff. The same or another Little Egret was seen on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach where 2 Lesser Redpolls were also present.
A visit at low tide to New Passage in wet, blustery conditions produced single Black Redstart, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Merlin, Black-tailed Godwit plus the usual 500 Wigeon, 100 Dunlin and 200 Lapwings. The afternoon produced an adult Mediterranean Gull and 2 Ruddy Shelducks off Severn Beach and 12 Kittiwakes were seen at Chittening Warth.
When the morning fog lifted, 300 Dunlin, a Black-tailed Godwit and 53 Common Gulls were seen from New Passage. A female Merlin, 2 Peregrines and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were seen from Severn Beach. There were at least 100 Oystercatchers, 90 Redshank and 50 Dunlin at Chittening Warth.
The Black Redstart was relocated at New Passage late morning, on the sea wall between the jetty at New Passage and the Second Crossing. There were also 40 Turnstones seen here. Birds at Northwick Warth included the usual Wigeon and Teal flocks, 100 Dunlin, 30 Redshank and 50 Common Gulls. A large flock of at 100 Oystercatchers were seen at Severn Beach with 2 Stonechats here. A Peregrine was roosting in the pylon below Aust Cliff with another 2 Stonechats nearby on Aust Warth. Waders seen at Chittening Warth included 200 Dunlin and 75 Redshank.
An adult Mediterranean Gull and 2 Stonechats were seen at New Passage. Another 2 Stonechats were seen at Severn Beach along with 13 Ringed Plovers. The usual birds were still present on Northwick Warth; 600 Wigeon, 150 Teal, 150 Lapwings, 25 Redshank, 200 Dunlin and a Black-tailed Godwit. There were 75 Redshank and 100 Dunlin at Chittening Warth. Away from Severnside today, a day trip to Cornwall was very productive with five American species seen; AMERICAN ROBIN, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and RING-BILLED GULL.
Ring-billed Gull, Helston, Cornwall 17.12.3 American Wigeon, Hayle Estuary, Cornwall,17.12.3 © Chris Trott
A brief search this afternoon produced a Black-tailed Godwit, 50 Dunlin, 60 Lapwings, 600 Wigeon, 100 Teal and 6 Gadwall at Northwick Warth. Nearby there were 40 Turnstones and a Rock Pipit at New Passage. Another 45 Turnstones were seen at Severn Beach.
Very few new birds were seen today. A Black-tailed Godwit joined the Brent Goose, 500 Lapwings, 500 Wigeon, 300 Dunlin on Northwick Warth. There were still 2 Stonechats at Severn Beach and another at Aust Warth.
The usual selection of 500 Wigeon, 300 Lapwings, 30 Redshank and 40 Turnstones were joined by a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 6 Common Snipe and 18 Grey Plovers at Northwick Warth. A male Stonechat was present at New Passage this morning and this afternoon a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was in the pill here. A single Ringed Plover roosted with 20 Turnstones at Severn Beach. Another 2 Stonechats were seen at Severn Beach, a Stonechat and a Chiffchaff were seen at Chittening Warth.
A moderate south west wind and heavy rain produced a Guillemot off Chittening Warth and an adult Little Gull at Severn Beach this morning. There were 12 Ringed Plover at Chittening Warth, 40 Redshank, 40 Turnstones and at least 500 Lapwings at New Passage. At least 500 Wigeon remained at Aust Warth.
The Black Redstart was still present at New Passage today. There were still 500 Lapwings, 500 Wigeon and 300 Dunlin at Northwick Warth. Another 200 Dunlin and 3 Ringed Plover were on Severn Beach, while a Green Sandpiper, 2 Chiffchaffs, 6 Gadwall and a Little Grebe were nearby on the Orchard Pools. At Aust Cliff, 2 Ravens, a Peregrine and at least 1 Brambling were seen this afternoon.
A Black Redstart was seen on the sea wall at New Passage. There were still 600 Wigeon on Northwick Warth along with 500 Lapwings, 500 Dunlin, 40 Redshank and a Black-tailed Godwit. The 2 Stonechats were seen again at Aust Warth and 2 Chiffchaffs were present at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach.
A day of dense fog resulted in impossible conditions to find birds. Wigeon, Redshank and Oystercatchers were heard at New Passage, while it was just possible to see 5 Gadwall, a Little Grebe and 2 Tufted Ducks on the Orchard Pools at Severn Beach!
A slightly warmer day today. The adult Mediterranean Gull was seen again at New Passage. There were 500 Dunlin, 350 Lapwings, 30 Redshanks and the large flock of Wigeon and Teal at Northwick Warth. Another 230 Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach along with 105 Oystercatchers and 12 Ringed Plover. Nearby at the Orchard Pools there were 2 Stonechats and a Chiffchaff. The usual 2 Stonechats remained at Aust Warth, there were 2 Bramblings beneath Aust Cliff with the mixed Chaffinch and Linnet flock.
A bitterly cold day with easterly wind produced very little. The usual birds were seen at New Passage including 80 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 20 Turnstones and 50 Oystercatchers.
A clear bright day after a frosty night produced 2500 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 8 Snipe, single Green Sandpiper, Chiffchaff and Water Rail at Chittening Warth. An adult Mediterranean Gull was in the pill at New Passage with 40 Redshank, 150 Lapwings and 2 Jack Snipe nearby on Northwick Warth. At Aust Warth, a Brambling remained with the Chaffinch flock with at least 300 Wigeon, single Raven, Stonechat and Peregrine also present. Another 3 Stonechats were seen at Severn Beach. An adult Mediterranean Gull was seen on the square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.
Mediterranean Gull, New Passage 7.12.3
At least one Merlin was seen on Northwick Warth, other birds seen here included 10 Grey Plovers, a Jack Snipe, 250 Lapwings, 30 Redshank, 200 Dunlin and the usual 600 Wigeon and 200 Teal. A Brambling was present in the Chaffinch flock below Aust Cliff. A Peregrine was roosting again here on the pylon and 2 Stonechats remained on Aust Warth. Another Stonechat was seen at Severn beach and 2 more at New Passage.
The large flock of Wigeon and Teal remained at Northwick Warth where there were also 120 Dunlin, 250 Lapwings, a Golden Plover and a dark bellied Brent Goose. At Severn Beach there were 6 Ringed Plover, a Stonechat and a raft of 24 Shovelers off shore. Nearby at the Orchard Pools there were 5 Gadwall, single Little Grebe, Chiffchaff and 2 Stonechats, a Short-eared Owl was hunting here this morning. There were 3 Stonechats, single Water Rail and Peregrine at Aust Warth.
A grey day with a strong north east wind made finding birds difficult again. There were 50 Redshank and 300 Dunlin at Chittening Warth. At Severn Beach there were 12 Ringed Plover and a Stonechat. Nearby, 5 Gadwall, a Little Grebe, 2 Chiffchaffs and 6 Lesser Redpolls were seen at the Orchard Pools. The usual 2 Stonechats were still present at Aust Warth.
Flocks of 50 Knot, 20 Black-tailed Godwits and 9 Pintail joined the 30 Redshank, 200 Lapwings, 600 Wigeon and 300 Teal at Northwick Warth. At Severn Beach there were 10 Ringed Plover, 78 Oystercatchers and a strange sight of a Snipe floating up river on a raft of weed. The 5 Gadwall and a Little Grebe remained nearby on the Orchard Pools. The 2 Stonechat were still present at Aust Warth and a Peregrine was roosting on the large pylon here.
A better selection of birds today. The 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth. The female Merlin was seen again on Northwick Warth with a Black-tailed Godwit, 54 Dunlin, 24 Redshank, 200 Lapwings, 600 Wigeon, 300 Teal, 30 Common Gulls and 5 Great Black-backed Gulls also present. At Severn Beach there were 5 Ringed Plover on the beach, 5 Gadwall, a Little Grebe and 2 Chiffchaffs at the Orchard Pools.
Things can only get better, an awful day to be out and about with driving rain in a northerly wind, producing very little. At Severn Beach there were 15 Ringed Plover and 24 Turnstones. There were 200 Dunlin on Chittening Warth and 200 Lapwings at Northwick Warth.