March is a slightly better month than February, with a total of 155 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 within 15 days along with Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins, possibly Little Ringed Plovers, Sandwich Tern and Garganey. Rarities have included Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Hen Harrier and Cetti’s Warbler.
There were some visible migrants at Severn Beach this morning with Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches and 50 Sand Martins flying past. The first Coal Tit of the year and 2 Lesser Redpolls were seen here at the Orchard Pools. A female Merlin was seen again on Northwick Warth. Another Coal Tit was present in the Pines at New Passage this evening.
A single Wheatear was seen at Chittening Warth, a Ruddy Shelduck was present off Severn Beach, a Merlin and Black-tailed Godwit were the only noteworthy birds on Northwick Warth.
A little more migration today with 2 Wheatears, 5 Swallows, 5 Sand Martins, single Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits at Northwick Warth, another 2 Wheatears, 3 Sand Martins and a female Merlin at Chittening Warth.
A Great Crested Grebe joined a flock of 50 Wigeon off Severn Beach, a Peregrine and a Stonechat were also seen here. A single Wheatear was seen at Chittening Warth.
A few birds of interest today including a gem of a Firecrest at New Passage. Nearby there were 2 female Merlins, a Peregrine, a Black-tailed Godwit and a “fly over” Yellowhammer with the many Meadow Pipits on Northwick Warth. The Black Redstart was singing again this morning at Severn Beach, there were 6 Common Buzzards soaring together over the Orchard Pools. At Chittening Warth there was just one Wheatear but a flock 36 dark bellied Brent Geese was a good number for here.
A very quiet day with a female Merlin on Northwick Warth, 2 Wheatears at Chittening Warth, another Wheatear and the Black Redstart at Severn Beach being the only birds worth a mention.
Less wind today but still very little migration. The Water Pipit and 3 Wheatears were seen at Chittening Warth. The Black Redstart was singing on the sea wall at Severn Beach. A Raven was present at Northwick Warth and the first Sand Martin of the year flew past Aust Warth.
The cold North winds continue with few new migrants. A Wheatear and the female Merlin were present on Northwick Warth. Another Wheatear was seen at Chittening Warth. Two Ringed Plovers and the Black Redstart were the only birds of note at Severn Beach. A change of wind direction and warmer weather are forecast in a few days time.
Little to report in a cold North West wind; the Black Redstart, a Stonechat and 2 Wheatears at Severn Beach, another 3 Wheatears and a Water Pipit at Chittening Warth.
At Severn Beach, the Fulmar flew off south after its release this morning, the overnight rest and tin of Tuna having worked. A Guillemot floated upriver on the morning tide, 2 Wheatears were seen here and the Black Redstart was still on the sea wall. Another 2 Wheatears were seen at Chittening Warth. An early Swallow was found hawking insects over the pines at New Passage this afternoon.
After a night of gales a selection of sea birds were seen from Severn Beach including single Guillemot, Arctic Skua, Fulmar, Great Crested Grebe and 200 Kittiwakes. The Black Redstart was sheltering under the washed up tree stump on the sea wall where a summer plumaged Water Pipit was also seen. An Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Little Gull, 5 Knot, 5 Wheatears, single Water Pipit, Merlin and Peregrine were all seen at Chittening Warth. Single Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits were seen on Northwick Warth. An exhausted Fulmar was found on the Severn Beach sea wall at dusk and taken into care.
A morning with blustery showers produced the Black Redstart on the sea wall at Severn Beach along with 2 Rock Pipits. There were 20 Kittiwakes and a Wheatear at Chittening Warth this morning. The westerly wind reached gale force in the afternoon, producing an adult Gannet, at least 200 Kittiwakes and 4 Common Scoters off Severn Beach, an adult Little Gull off Chittening Warth. A Sandwich Tern was seen flying across the road between New Passage and Severn Beach.
A blustery day with heavy rainfall in the morning. There were 3 adult Gannets off Severn Beach this morning and at least 200 Kittiwakes on the evening tide. The Black Redstart and a Wheatear were also seen here on the sea wall. Another 2 Wheatears were seen at Chittening Warth and 2 Black-tailed Godwits were on Northwick Warth.
Another day of Wheatears; 10 at Chittening Warth, 3 at Northwick Warth and another 5 at New Passage.
The female Merlin, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Grey Plover were also present at Northwick Warth. There were 2 Stonechats and a Green Sandpiper at Chittening Warth.
Spring has sprung with an influx of Wheatears; at least 6 males and 2 females were present at Chittening Warth along with 6 Stonechats and a Raven. A Little Egret, a Lesser Redpoll and 2 Chiffchaffs were seen here at the Sea Bank Pools. At Severn Beach there were another 4 Stonechats (2 on the salt marsh and 2 at the Orchard Pools), 2 Chiffchaffs, the Black Redstart was in full song on the sea wall this morning. A female Merlin and another Wheatear were seen on Northwick Warth.
In sunny weather, the Black Redstart continued to show well and sing on the sea wall at Severn Beach. At least 250 Kittiwakes were seen to fly up river here, then pass the Second Severn crossing at great height in a north east direction. There were 100 Shelducks, 100 Common Redshanks, female Merlin and a Peregrine at Northwick Warth. A Great Crested Grebe, Green Sandpiper, 3 Lesser Redpolls and a Stonechat were seen at Chittening Warth.
Black Redstart in song
Over night snowfall thawed by late morning. The only notable birds seen at Severn Beach were a Water Rail in the salt marsh and the Black Redstart on the sea wall. The female Merlin was on Northwick Warth this morning then at Aust Warth in the afternoon.
A raw easterly wind with the threat of snow made finding birds difficult. A female Merlin, 50 Common Redshanks and 100 Dunlin were seen at Northwick Warth, 110 Turnstones were present at New Passage. The Black Redstart continued its stay along the sea wall at Severn Beach. There were at least 200 Dunlin off Chittening Warth.
A day with a cold northerly wind produced male and female Merlins, 100 Dunlin and 50 Common Redshanks at Northwick Warth, the Black Redstart and 2 Grey Plovers at Severn Beach.
Another quiet day with 5 Grey Plovers and 250 Dunlin at Northwick Warth. A pair of Stonechats were present at Chittening Warth, the Black Redstart remained on the sea wall at Severn Beach and 2 Lesser Redpolls were seen nearby at the Orchard Pools.
A summer plumaged Mediterranean Gull, a male Merlin and 2 Stonechats were seen on Northwick Warth. The first winter male Black Redstart reappeared on the sea wall behind the burger hut at Severn Beach. Another pair of Stonechats and 2 Ravens were present at Chittening Warth.
A pair of Ruddy Shelducks flew south West over the Sea Bank Power station, Chittening Warth early this morning. Other birds seen here included a Little Egret, at least 6 Lesser Redpolls and 2 Grey Wagtails. A peregrine and a Water Rail were seen at Severn Beach.
Just four miles south of “Severnside”, at Portbury Wharf, a Dusky Warbler was a welcome distraction and a first record for the County of Avon.
Sea Bank pools
The second patch record of a pair of Bearded Tits at Chittening Warth this morning continued the run of good birds. They were watched at close range in a small reed bed before they disappeared. The female Merlin was seen at Aust Warth. Single Short-eared Owl, Water Rail, Green Sandpiper, Water Pipit, 2 Ravens, 8 Lesser Redpolls and 2 Chiffchaffs were also seen today at Chittening Warth.
The Great Grey Shrike was seen briefly near Chittening Warth late afternoon. There were 2 Short-eared Owls hunting over Chittening Warth. Other birds seen near here at Sea Bank pools included single Little Egret, Green Sandpiper, 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Lesser Redpolls and 2 Peregrines. A male and female Merlin, 3 Grey Plovers and a Bar-tailed Godwit were present on Northwick Warth. The Black Redstart and male Blackcap remained in Beach Road, Severn Beach. A male Merlin was seen at Aust Warth.
After a foggy start, the highlight of the day was the reappearance of the Great Grey Shrike at the Sea Bank pools, Chittening Warth. This is the third consecutive month that it has made a brief visit. Other birds seen here this afternoon included 2 Peregrines, single Chiffchaff and Blackcap. The Black Redstart was still present in Beach Road at Severn Beach. A female Merlin was seen on Northwick Warth along with single Golden Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit and 250 Lapwings. A Lesser Redpoll was seen below Aust Cliff.
There were 8 Grey Plovers, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 drake Shoveler at Northwick Warth. The Black Redstart remained in the front gardens of houses at the north end of Beach Road, Severn Beach. A male Blackcap was also seen here.
Another cold frosty start. At Severn Beach, the Black Redstart was still along the north end of Beach Road, 2 Rock Pipits were present on the foreshore and of interest, a Common Treecreeper was seen in the Hawthorn scrub. A group of 6 Gadwall were seen here on the estuary. A female Merlin and a Bar-tailed Godwit were present again on Northwick Warth. There were just 250 Dunlin on Chittening Warth and 2 Chiffchaffs nearby at the Sea Bank Pools.
A quiet start to the month. A cold bright day produced the Black Redstart again in the north end of Beach Road at Severn Beach. The only other birds of note in Severn Beach were 4 Tufted Ducks and 200 Dunlin on the estuary and nearby a Blackcap was at the Orchard Pools. There were 200 Wigeon and 100 Lapwings on Northwick Warth.