SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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January 2004
January is a slightly better month than December, the daylight hours slowly lengthen, 149 species have been recorded during the month. 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 and Ruddy Duck or some fly by Bewick’s Swans. Seabirds seen in gales have included Red-throated Diver  (1991,1993), Storm Petrel, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk and Grey Phalarope. Some of the rare sightings of Hen Harrier have been in this month along with a Waxwing (1958) and two Common Cranes that flew over Severn Beach (2000).
January 31st
A very wet and windy end to the month produced just 40 Kittiwakes off Severn Beach, at least 7 Rock Pipits were seen here in the salt marsh and the Black Redstart remained on the sea wall behind the burger hut.

January 30th
The Black Redstart remained at Severn Beach. This morning it was near the Second Severn Crossing, returning to the sea wall by the burger bar in the afternoon. A Peregrine, 9 Ringed Plovers and a Great Crested Grebe were also seen here. The female Merlin and a Peregrine were on Northwick Warth, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 40 Turnstones were present at New Passage.

January 29th
The female Merlin and 500 Lapwings were seen on Northwick Warth,  2 Ravens were on Aust Warth, 130 Common Redshanks and 500 Dunlin were present at Chittening Warth. At Severn Beach, the Black Redstart was seen again near the Second Severn Crossing, a Water Pipit, 4 Rock Pipits and a Jack Snipe were seen in the salt marsh and 2 Lesser Redpolls were at the Orchard Pools.

January 28th
At Severn Beach, the Black Redstart was still near the Second Severn Crossing, an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the river and a Siskin was present with a Lesser Redpoll at the Orchard Pools. A Peregrine and 200 Dunlin were seen at Northwick Warth and another 1000 Dunlin were present at Chittening Warth.

January 27th
The Black Redstart was relocated today at Severn Beach, near the second Severn Crossing. A male Stonechat and a Lesser Redpoll were also seen in Severn Beach at the Orchard Pools. The female Merlin remained on Northwick Warth with at least 500 Lapwings present. Waders at Chittening Warth included 1000 Dunlin and 100 Common Redshanks.

January 26th
A Jack Snipe, 1800 Dunlin, 150 Common Redshanks and 24 Gadwall were seen at Chittening Warth.
At Severn Beach there were 7 Rock Pipits on the fore shore, 3 Lesser Redpolls at the Orchard Pools but the Black Redstart was not seen today. At least 500 Lapwings and a Bar-tailed Godwit were seen at Northwick Warth.

January 25th
The Shore Lark was not seen today at Severn Beach, despite an extensive search. A good selection of other birds were present here; a Peregrine, the Black Redstart on the sea wall, a Water Rail in the salt  marsh, Green Sandpiper and Raven at the Orchard Pools. There were 1200 Dunlin, 100 Curlews, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a female Merlin at Northwick Warth. Another 1000 Dunlin, Water Rail and a Jack Snipe were present at Chittening Warth. An afternoon visit to Aust Warth produced a Short-eared Owl, 2 Stonechats, 40 Reed Buntings and a Peregrine. Just off Severnside, an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 24th
The exceptional start to the year continued. A Lapland Bunting flew south over Chittening Warth this morning. I went for stroll at midday to relocate it, while watching a Water Pipit on the Severn Beach foreshore, I found the first patch record of Shore Lark for 27 years! This fabulous bird showed well for visiting birders. It was present on the “Rabbit grazed” area of salt marsh, 100 metres south of the Astra Zeneca discharge pipes. Other birds seen at Chittening included a Green Sandpiper, 2 Stonechats and 21 Gadwall. At Severn Beach there were 140 Common Redshanks, 300 Dunlin, a Peregrine and the Black Redstart. A female Merlin remained on Northwick Warth along with 1000 Dunlin and 300 Lapwings.
Click on the Shore Lark below to go to the Shore Lark Picture page...
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Shore Lark
Severn Beach
24.1.4
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January 23rd
An adult Mediterranean Gull and a Rock Pipit were seen at New Passage today. The Black Redstart, a Stonechat and 160 Turnstones were present at Severn Beach. The usual female Merlin, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 300 Dunlin and 250 Lapwings remained on Northwick Warth.

January 22nd
A wet day day produced much the same as yesterday. The Black Redstart remained on the sea wall at Severn Beach. The female Merlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, 500 Dunlin, 500 Lapwings and 65 Common Redshanks were still present at Northwick Warth. A Green Sandpiper was seen at the Sea Bank power station pools, Chittening Warth.

January 21st
The usual assortment of birds were seen today. A female Merlin,  Bar-tailed Godwit, 500 Dunlin, 500 Lapwings and 50 Common Redshanks were present on Northwick Warth. A peregrine and 2 Ravens were seen at Aust Warth. The Black Redstart and a Stonechat were still present in Severn Beach.
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Black Redstart
Severn Beach
21.1.4
This wonderful portrait of the Severn Beach Black Redstart was kindly provided by Gary Thoburn
January 20th
A male Merlin was present on Northwick Warth. Other birds seen here included a Bar-tailed Godwit, 250 Dunlin, 300 Lapwings, 40 Common Redshanks, 400 Wigeon and 200 Teal. At Severn Beach, the Black Redstart was still on the sea wall, nearby a Stonechat and 4 Lesser Redpolls were seen at the Orchard Pools.

January 19th
A Bar-tailed Godwit remained on Northwick Warth with 250 Dunlin, 500 Lapwings, 60 Turnstones and 30 Common Redshanks. The Black Redstart was faithful to it’s spot on the sea wall at Severn Beach. Another 400 Dunlin and a pair of Stonechats were seen at Chittening Warth.

January 18th
A male Merlin was seen on Northwick Warth, where a Common Treecreeper was seen in Willows. Birds seen at Severn Beach included; the Black Redstart on the sea wall, a male Stonechat and a Water Pipit  in the salt marsh, 8 Ringed Plovers  on the beach and 2 Lesser Redpolls at the Orchard Pools.

January 17th
A cold, bright morning produced the Black Redstart on  the sea wall behind the burger hut. There were also 2 Chiffchaffs in trees here. A Stonechat  and a Kingfisher were seen at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach and a Green Sandpiper flew from the Sea Bank Pools at Chittening Warth. A Bar-tailed Godwit and female Merlin were present on Northwick Warth. A Peregrine was in the pylon below Aust Cliff.

January 16th
Despite another night of gales the only  “storm” driven bird was a first winter Little Gull off Severn Beach. The Bar-tailed Godwit was still present with Curlews and Common Redshanks at Northwick Warth. A Peregrine and 2 Ravens were seen at Aust Cliff.

January 15th
The Black Redstart was still on the sea wall at Severn Beach and 2 Ravens were seen here flying towards the Terra  Works. The best birds on Northwick Warth included a female Merlin, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 100 Turnstones, 200 Dunlin, 275 Lapwings. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was seen roosting in the field north of Northwick tip.

January 14th
A moderate breeze produced 35 Kittiwakes off Severn Beach this morning. Other birds here included the Black Redstart on the sea wall, an adult  Mediterranean Gull and a Bar-tailed Godwit. There were 200 Dunlin and 40 Common Redshanks with the usual Wigeon and Teal at Northwick Warth. A Brambling was seen with the Chaffinch flock on Aust Warth.

January 13th
Following a night of westerly gales, a few seabirds were hoped for this morning. The appearance of a Cory’s Shearwater was awesome. It was watched for almost an hour off Severn Beach, spending most of the time being chased by large gulls and was last seen settled on the water just after 11 o’clock. It was seen by at least five lucky observers, two of which saw it from Chittening Warth. This is only the second “Avon” record following the first off Severn Beach in November 2000. Other seabirds were disappointing with just 14 Kittiwakes and an adult Mediterranean Gull past Severn Beach. The Black Redstart remained here on the sea wall. Birds seen at Northwick Warth included 200 Dunlin, 250 Lapwings, 40 Common Redshanks, 100 Turnstones and the usual Wigeon and Teal flock.

January 12th
The Great Grey Shrike could not be found today. It has been very mobile for the previous two days , so it might still be in the area. The Black Redstart was still on the sea wall at Severn Beach. A Bar-tailed Godwit was present at Northwick Warth with 300 Wigeon, 160 Teal, 200 Lapwings and 30 Common Redshanks.

January 11th
The Great Grey Shrike was still present at Chittening Warth. It was seen in scrub along the railway and around the Sea Bank power station cycle way. A Chiffchaff and a Kingfisher were also seen here, a female Merlin flew south along Chittening Warth. The Black Redstart remained faithful to the sea wall behind “Tubbies” burger hut at Severn Beach. There were 300 Lapwings, 50 Common Redshanks, 25 Oystercatchers, 80 Turnstones and 2 Rock Pipits at New Passage. The male Merlin was seen again on Northwick Warth.

January 10th
A Great Grey Shrike was an excellent find at Chittening Warth this morning. This was only the third patch record. It favoured the Hawthorn  scrub along the National cycle way, accessed from the front of the Sea Bank Power Station. It was very mobile, also being seen along the Severn Way footpath. A Green Sandpiper was also present on the pools here and a Water Rail was in the salt marsh. At Severn Beach, the Black Redstart was showing very well on the sea wall behind “Tubbies” burger hut. It favoured the area around the washed up  tree trunks. A female Merlin was present at New Passage and 2 Peregrines were on Northwick Warth.
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Great Grey Shrike
Chittening Warth
10.1.4
© Gary Thoburn
January 9th
A Black Redstart remained on the sea wall at Severn Beach, along with a Rock Pipit and 130 Turnstones.
A male Merlin was seen with  the wintering female on Northwick Warth. Birds seen from New Passage included 300 Lapwings and 40 Common Redshanks. A male Stonechat and a Lesser Redpoll were seen at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach.
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male Merlin
Northwick Warth
9.1.4
January 8th
Torrential rain and a strong wind made finding birds difficult. A Guillemot was seen from Severn Beach  this morning. A Bar-tailed Godwit was present at Northwick Warth with 65 Common Redshanks.

January 7th
An adult Yellow-legged Gull was the best bird at New Passage, with the usual flocks of 400 Lapwings, 400 Wigeon, 50 Common Redshanks, 90 Turnstones and just 50 Dunlin. A Water Pipit was present at Chittening Warth with 3 Rock Pipits. A Little Owl was  heard calling at Aust Warth late afternoon.

January 6th
The quietest day day of the year so far; at least one female Merlin was seen in the Aust and Northwick  Warth area. Other birds at Northwick Warth included 500 Lapwings, 40 Common Redshanks, 500 Wigeon and 5 Common Snipe. There were 50 Turnstones and a Stonechat at New Passage.

January 5th
A  group of 32 Golden Plovers joined the large flock of 500 Lapwings, 200 Dunlin, 10 Common Snipe and a Black-tailed Godwit at Northwick Warth. The Short-eared Owl was seen hunting late afternoon on Aust Warth where a Merlin was seen this morning.

January 4th
A low tide visit to Northwick Warth this morning produced the first Bewick’s Swans for almost two years,
10 birds (7 adults), flying north east. The large Wigeon flock, a female Merlin and a Peregrine  were also present here. A Black-tailed Godwit and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were seen from New Passage. A Stonechat was at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach and another was seen at Chittening Warth. Single Ravens were seen at Chittening and Aust Warths. A Great Crested Grebe was seen this afternoon off Severn Beach and a Black Redstart remained here beneath the sea wall. A Short-eared Owl was present at Aust Warth late afternoon.

January 3rd
An adult Caspian Gull was present briefly in the field north of Northwick Warth tip late afternoon. A Black Redstart remained on the sea wall at Severn Beach and the male Stonechat was near the salt marsh. A visit to Northwick Warth in a Snow shower, produced an adult Mediterranean Gull, Little Owl, a pair of Shovelers, 12 Common Snipe, a Black-tailed Godwit and at least 600 Wigeon. An elusive Water Pipit, 3 Rock Pipits and a Kingfisher were seen at Chittening Warth. A Peregrine, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Jack Snipe and 2 Stonechats were present at Aust Warth.

January 2nd
The Woodcock and 2 Black Redstarts  were seen in Severn Beach along with  at least 6 Rock Pipits, a Blackcap, male Stonechat and a Merlin. A Water Rail, Kingfisher and at least 3 Ravens were seen at Chittening Warth. There were at least 400 Lapwings and 200 Dunlin at Northwick Warth and a Little Owl in Willows here.
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Fieldfares
Northwick Warth
1.1.4
January 1st
A bright breezy start to the year. At Severn Beach, yesterdays Woodcock was flushed again from the same field, the Black Redstart remained on the sea wall behind “Tubbies” burger hut. The usual flock of 300 Lapwings, 60 Turnstones, 50 Common Redshanks and 200 Dunlin remained at New Passage. A Chiffchaff was also seen here, near the sewage works outfall. The fields on Northwick Warth contained a mixed flock of Fieldfares and Redwings. A Jack Snipe and a Water Pipit were seen at the north end of Chittening Warth.
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