May is the third most productive month of the year with at least one individual of
176 species being seen. The summer migrants continue to move through including Garganey,
Hobby, Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, Terns and Skuas with the chance of Pomarine. “Small”
wader numbers should rise during the month with Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Sanderling
and the chance of a Curlew Sandpiper or Little Stint. Rarer records include Spoonbill
(1998), Honey Buzzard (1991), Kentish Plover, Broad-billed Sandpiper (1988), Buff-breasted
Sandpiper (1990), Franklin’s Gull (1984), Roseate Tern (1990) and White-winged Black
A very settled and warm start to the day. A dawn high tide visit to Severn Beach
produced just 5 Ringed Plovers, 2 Turnstones and a Dunlin. A brood of 9 Gadwall were
seen on the Orchard Pools. There were 6 Lapwings on Northwick Warth, the first seen
here for a while. Rainfall this evening did not improve the situation with just 2
Ringed Plovers and 2 Dunlin on Severn Beach at high tide. A Grasshopper Warbler was
heard reeling late this morning.
There was little improvement today with 3 Ringed Plovers and 7 Dunlin at Severn Beach,
a Raven and 11 Curlews at Chittening Warth.
A thorough search of the area produced just a Cuckoo at Severn Beach and 8 Curlews
at Chittening Warth.
A very quiet day with just 6 Dunlin at Chittening Warth and 10 Curlews at Severn
Beach the only sign of migration. Whitethroats were seen feeding young.
The 2 Fulmars were seen again off Severn Beach but no “small” waders were seen at
high tide. There were at least 6 Spotted Flycatchers in dead Elms below Aust Cliff
and another was seen at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach. There were 3 Bar-tailed
Godwits at Chittening Warth.
The number of migrating waders continue to fall with just 14 Ringed Plovers and 10
Dunlin at Severn Beach. There were 2 Fulmars seen here which are unusual in a North
East wind. The Shelduck flock on Northwick Warth had increased to at least 170 birds.
The dry settled weather continues, producing few migrants. A summer plumaged Knot
was seen offNorthwick Warth and a pair of Lesser Whitethroats were seen feeding
young in a hedge here. There were 20 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plovers and 6 Sanderling on
Severn Beach and a Cuckoo was calling from Hawthorns here.
A very warm sunny day with very few birds to report. The only waders seen at Severn
Beach this morning were 4 Sanderling, yesterdays Grey Plover remained at Northwick
Warth. The only other birds of note were 4 Lesser Whitethroats.
Yet another warm dry day. There were at least 100 waders at Severn Beach early morning;
70+ Dunlin, 32 Ringed Plovers and 4 Sanderling, but by high tide most had moved on.
A Grey Seal was seen offshore. A Grey Plover was the only notable bird on Northwick
Warth, a Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Bar-tailedGodwits and a pair of Shoveler
were the best birds seen at Chittening Warth.
The wader flock at Severn Beach was very mobile but contained at least 100 Dunlin,
25 Ringed Plovers, 11 Sanderling with 2 Whimbrel. A flock of 23 Common Terns flew
north east past here. The evening roost was larger with at least 250 birds; mainly
Dunlin and Ringed Plovers with at least 2 Sanderling.
At the Severn Beach morning high tide there were 200 Dunlin, 65 Ringed Plovers and
5 Sanderling. A Bar-tailed Godwit and a Peregrine were seen at Chittening Warth.
A Hobby was present at Northwick Warth early this morning and a high count of 134
Shelducks was made here. The evening roost at Severn Beach appeared to contain the
same birds plus a summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit.
The high tide roost at Severn Beach contained a “flighty” mixed flock of 300 Dunlin
and Ringed Plovers with 11 Sanderling also present. Nearby a Spotted Flycatcher was
seen at the Orchard Pools. A Little Egret was present on Northwick Warth.
This morning there were 2 Whimbrel anda Peregrine on Northwick Warth. This evening
there were 12 Sanderling, 300+ Dunlin, 60+ Ringed Plovers, 5 Turnstones and a Knot
on Severn Beach.
The early evening high tide roost at Severn Beach contained 260 Dunlin, 90 Ringed
Plovers, 14 Sanderling and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits. A Great Crested Grebe was present
on the river and a Whinchat was seen inHawthorn scrub along the railway line.
Another settled warm day produced some interesting birds. This morning, there were
single Pied Flycatcher and SpottedFlycatcher at New Passage, White Wagtail and Redstart
at Old passage. The evening Severn Beach high tide roost produced 19 Sanderling,
80 Ringed Plovers,150 Dunlin and 2 Ruddy Shelducks flew upriver here. There were
2 Common Sandpipers in the pill at New Passage.
Sandpiper, New Passage 17.5.4
The morning high tide wader roost at Severn Beach held 150 Dunlin, 50 Ringed Plovers,
14 Turnstones and this evening, 17 Sanderling with a summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper.
Also this evening at least 25 Bar-tailed Godwits were seen at Chittening Warth,
at least 75 “Commic Terns” and 2 Little Terns flew past Severn Beach. A Short-eared
Owl was seen at Chittening Warth early this morning. There were Cuckoos at Severn
Beach and Old Passage today.
Waders seen at Severn Beach today included 130 Dunlin and 50 Ringed Plovers, 2 Sanderling
and a Bar-tailedGodwit. At New Passage, a Great CrestedGrebe flew down river and
2 Tree Pipits flew west. A visit to the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth produced
3 Ravens and a Cuckoo.
A warm day without any rarities. The wader roost at Severn Beach contained 220 Dunlin,
35 Ringed Plovers, a Knot and 3 Whimbrel. There was another Whimbrel at Northwick
Warth with at least 80 Shelducks.The local Skylarks were busy feeding young.
The afternoon high tide produced the first patch record of Temminck’s Stint. It was
was found at 3.30 and remained on view for about 10 minutes with a mixed flock of
140 Dunlin and 30 Ringed Plovers. I managed to take a few record pictures before
it flew off like yesterdays Plover. A Little Egret and a Whimbrel were also seen
here on the rising tide. A Short-eared Owl wasmobbed by Crows at Chittening Warth
at 7.30 this morning, a Whinchat and a Cuckoo were present here later in the day.
Stint,Severn Beach 13.5.4
The May magic continues at Severn Beachwith only the third ever “patch” record of
Kentish Plover. It was a female with a small group of Ringed Plovers, watched on
a shingle island for more than 45 minutes before it flew north towards the main wader
roost. Despite an extensive search it was not relocated. There were 2 Whimbrel at
Severn Beach late afternoon. At Northwick Warth, single Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel,
Common Sandpiper and Yellow Wagtail were seen. There was a heavy passage of Swifts,
Swallows and House Martins, with birds heading north east all day.
A fine warm day followed a misty start. A drake Garganey and a Great Crested Grebe
were present at NewPassage this morning. The only other birds of note here were
single Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit and Wheatear. The Severn Beach wader roost was
smaller today, with 70 Dunlin and 20 Ringed Plovers. Another Whimbrel and a Cuckoo
were seen at Chittening Warth.
The Great Skua was on the river off Northwick Warth this morning where 8 Whimbrel
and 2 Wheatears were also still present. The wader roost at Severn Beach held 200
Dunlin, 30 Ringed Plovers, 5 Sanderling and 2 Grey Plovers. There was a Cuckoo and
a noticeable passage of Swallows at New Passage this afternoon.
Sanderling,Severn Beach 10.5.4
A Great Skua gave excellent views and was present all day at Northwick Warth, feeding
on a lamb carcass. Other birds here included 18 Whimbrel, single Bar-tailed Godwit,
Common Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail and 3 Wheatears. Another 2 Whimbrel were present
at Severn Beach this afternoon and several flocks, totalling 200 birds, of Dunlin
and Ringed Plover were moving up river without stopping.
Skua,Northwick Warth 9.5.4
A cold West - North West wind produced very little. There were 14 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed
Godwit and 3 Wheatears on Northwick Warth. A distant flock of 20 “Commic Terns” were
seen from Severn Beach.
A Great Skua lingered off Severn Beach for an hour over the morning high tide. There
were 9 Whimbrel and3 Wheatears on Northwick Warth. A Cuckoo was seen and heard at
Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth.
A morning high tide visit to Chittening Warth produced a flock of 13 Arctic Skuas
moving up the estuary, they eventually gained greatheightand then flew back down
river. More of a surprise was an exhausted Manx Shearwater that floated upriver close
in shore. A Hobby was seen at New Passage and at least 9 Whimbrel and 4 Wheatears
were present on Northwick Warth. A Common Sandpiper was on the Orchard Pools, Severn
Another morning with a moderate wind produced a Great Skua, 4 Arctic Skuas and 2
Kittiwakes at SevernBeach. There were 7 Whimbrel, 90 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plovers and
a Wheatear at New Passage. The evening tide at Severn Beach produced 3 more Great
Skuas, 2 unidentified Skuas and a flock of 11 Eider (5 drakes).
Wheatear,New Passage 5.5.4
A day of blustery showers and strong west wind was bound to produce some interesting
birds. A staggeringtotal of 36 Pomarine Skuas were seen today, 8 together that passed
high over the Second Crossing thismorning and a flock of 28 for almost 3 hours this
evening. Another astonishing record was an adult Sabine’s Gull this evening with
300 Kittiwakes that lingered for two hours. The evening sea watch also produced at
least 7 Arctic Skuas, 40 Arctic Terns and 2 Fulmars. A Little Tern, 4 Common Terns
and a Grey Plover were also seen here today. The first Hobby of the year was seen
flying over Chittening Warth.
Pomarine Skuas,Severn Beach 4.5.4
A quieter day today. There were 5 Sanderling on the high tide roost at Severn Beach.
A flock of 17 Whimbrel were feeding on Northwick Warth where a late female Merlin
was also seen. A Short-eared Owl was hunting over Chittening Warth this morning and
a Wood Warbler was seen here at the Sea Bank Pools. A sea watch over the early evening
tide produced a Pomarine Skua, 2 Arctic Skuas and at least 60 Kittiwakes.
Early morning fog made finding birds first thing very difficult. There was a Sanderling
amongst 350 Dunlin and Ringed Plovers on Severn Beach. Despite the fog, 20 Bar-tailed
Godwits and at least 20 Arctic Terns were seen flying past here. Further up the estuary
at New Passage there were another 2 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper and 12 Whimbrel.
As the fog cleared, 4 Whinchats, a Garden Warbler and several Wheatears were found.
The morning became incredible at 9.20, as the first patch and Avon County record
of Subalpine Warbler was found in a Hawthorn Bush at Severn Beach. It was a female
watched at close range before being chased out of the bush by one of the many Whitethroats
present and lost to view in dense scrub. Any other birding was an anti-climax despite
the presence of a singing Wood Warbler, a Tree Pipit, Whinchat, at least another
4 Garden Warblers, 3 Lesser Whitethroats and a Spotted Flycatcher in the same area.
Another Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Whinchats and a Grasshopper Warbler (11th Warbler species
for the day!) were seen at Chittening Warth. There were 2 more Spotted Flycatchers
at the Orchard Pools mid afternoon and an evening sea watch from Severn Beach produced
3 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 75 Kittiwakes and an Arctic Skua.
At Severn Beach, morning and evening visits produced a Little Stint with a mixed
flock of 275 Dunlin and 35 Ringed Plover, 80+ Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Knot and 10 Whimbrel.
Sea watches produced 350 +terns,most of which seemed to be Arctic Terns with at
least 1 Common Tern on the morning tide, another 400+ “Commic Terns” and a Black
Tern were seen over the evening tide. A dark morph Arctic Skua also flew north east
past here early morning. A Greenshank and 2 Whinchats were seen at Chittening Warth.
At least 30 Yellow Wagtails were seen this morning including a flock of 14 with a
male Blue-headed Wagtail (only the 4thSevernside record) and a White Wagtail on
Northwick Warth. Other migrants here and at New Passage included a Common Sandpiper,
4 fly over Tree Pipits, 25 Redpolls, 10 Wheatears, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Whinchats,
17 Whimbrel and a steady movement all day of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins.