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Despite the onset of winter and the decrease in hours of daylight, October is the month with the highest number of recorded species, with a  grand total of 189. Rarities have included the only records of Black-necked Grebe (1996), Montagu’s Harrier (1991), Long-billed Dowitcher (1977), Red-necked Phalarope (2001), Black Guillemot (1998) and Yellow-browed Warbler (2001). Other national and local rarities recorded include Ring-billed Gull, Roseate Tern, Hooded Crow, Ring Ouzel, Mealy Redpoll, Firecrest and Common Crossbill. There is the chance of a returning Bewick’s Swan, White-fronted Goose or Purple Sandpiper.

October 2004

October 31st
There were plenty of visible migrants, including thousands of Chaffinch, flying over New Passage into a North East wind. A one hour sample count produced 1200 Chaffinch, 60 Greenfinch, 30 Goldfinch, 6 Bullfinch, 2 Redpoll, 5 Siskin, 5 Brambling, 2 Reed Bunting, 8 Skylark, 30 Redwing and a very late Swallow. Birds seen on Northwick Warth included 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 13 Grey Plover, a Golden Plover, 100 Lapwing, 300 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 4 Common Snipe, a dark-bellied Brent Goose and a Peregrine. An interesting record involved 2 Nuthatch reported in trees below Aust Cliff this morning.

October 30th
A brief visit to New Passage this morning produced at least 2 Merlin, a Little Egret, 13 Grey Plover, a Golden Plover, 2 flyover Brambling and a Short-eared Owl flew west. The usual 200 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 60 Lapwing, 140 Wigeon, 120 Teal and a female Pintail remained at Northwick Warth.

October 29th
A Swift sp. flying south at Severn Beach this morning was an exceptional late record. Other birds at Severn Beach included a Peregrine, 3 Stonechats, 3 Rock Pipits, a noticeable influx of Blackbirds, Robins and Redwings, single Blackcap and Chiffchaff. A dark-bellied Brent Goose was present at Northwick Warth, along with 220 Lapwing, at least 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 260 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 200 Wigeon, 150 Teal, 4 Gadwall and a male Merlin. There were 4 Stonechats and an adult Yellow-legged Gull at Chittening Warth, another 2 Stonechats  were seen at Aust Warth.

October 28th
A brief visit to New Passage this morning produced an excellent variety of birds in a South East wind. Unusual sightings included a Ruddy Duck, the first for  two years, with 3 Great Crested Grebes. Waders seen from here included 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Grey Plover, 90 Redshank, 200 Dunlin, 80 Curlew, 40 Oystercatcher, 80 Lapwing,  single Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot and Golden Plover. Other ducks here included 200 Wigeon, 130 Teal and a Pintail. Some flyover migrants included a single flock of 50 Skylarks, a late Swallow and 5 Fieldfares. A large unidentified brown Falcon flushed everything  and attacked a Wigeon. A pair of Stonechats, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Peregrine were seen at Aust Warth. A Tawny Owl was heard calling near Severn Beach Railway station at 11.00 pm.

October 27th
Much of the same today. There were 4 Black-tailed Godwits, a Grey Plover, 200 Dunlin, 40 Lapwing, at least 80 Redshank, 200 Wigeon, 140 Teal, 3 Pintail and a Merlin at Northwick Warth . Small numbers of Redwing, Meadow Pipits, Skylark, Chaffinch and Reed Bunting were observed migrating over New Passage early morning. Chittening Warth produced 6 Stonechats, an adult Yellow-legged Gull  and a Green Sandpiper. A Peregrine was present at Aust Warth.

October 26th
A less windy day with periods of sunshine. A Merlin, 4 Grey Plover, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 170 Dunlin, 110 Redshank and 36 Lapwing were seen on Northwick Warth. There were still 2 Stonechats at Aust Warth and a Peregrine and 2 Chiffchaffs  were seen below Aust Cliff. Other Stonechats included 4 at Chittening Warth, 2 at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach where 2 Blackcaps were also present here.

October 25th
Another blustery day following gales during the night. Once again sea birds were in short supply with only an adult Little Gull off Severn Beach and 20 Kittiwakes seen from Chittening Warth. Other birds seen today included an adult Yellow-legged Gull, 80 Turnstones, 60 Dunlin and 2 Knot at Chittening Warth, a male Merlin, 85 Redshank and 3 Grey Plover from New Passage and 2 Stonechats at Severn Beach.

October 24th
This morning there were small parties of Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Redwing moving south over New Passage. Other fly over migrants here included a Redpoll and 2 Yellowhammers, a Kingfisher was seen in the Pill. A late afternoon visit to New Passage produced the usual 80 Redshank, 80 Wigeon, 70 Teal plus a Grey Plover. There were 4 Stonechats at Aust Warth and another 2 at Severn Beach.

October 23rd
A dismal wet day with a gusty Southerly wind. Little to report other than 105 Redshank, a Pintail and 2 Shoveler at New Passage, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Grey Plover, 8 Rock Pipits and a Stonechat at Severn Beach. The rain became torrential by late afternoon causing the few birders present to head for home.

October 22nd
Another unsettled day with gusty South West wind and only one sea bird; a Leach’s Petrel seen off Severn Beach early afternoon. Little else was seen except 120 Dunlin and 85 Redshank from New Passage and 2 Stonechats at Chittening Warth.

October 21st
After a night of South West gales, a Gannet was the only sea bird reported at Severn Beach today. The gusty wind continued all day, making it difficult to find much else. A Little Egret, 250 Dunlin, a large flock of 200 Redshank and a Black-tailed Godwit were seen from New Passage. Stonechats seen today included 2 at Aust Warth and another 2 at Chittening Warth. A Little Egret flew down river off Severn Beach early afternoon and 7 Ringed Plovers were found roosting below the sea defences here.

                                                                                                 Redshank, New Passage 21.10.4

October 20th
A damp, grey day but a few more birds of interest. Birds seen from New Passage included a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 70 Redshank, 150 Dunlin, single Black-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover. A Little Egret and 5 Stonechats were seen at Chittening Warth and a Ruddy Shelduck flew upriver here with 10 Shelduck. Another juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Grey Plover and 2 Stonechats were present at Severn Beach. Aust Warth produced another 2 Stonechats, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Peregrine.

October 19th
The birding remained much the same today with a Little Egret, a Peregrine, 5 Grey Plover, 28 Lapwing, 150 Dunlin and 55 Redshank being seen from New Passage. There were 2 Ringed Plovers on Severn Beach. An adult Yellow-legged Gull and 6 Stonechats were found at Chittening Warth and another 3 Stonechats were present below Aust Cliff.

October 18th
Birds seen from New Passage today included 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, 6 Grey Plover, 75 Redshank, 55 Turnstone and 250 Dunlin. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was seen at Chittening Warth and 2 Stonechats were present at Old Passage.

October 17th
A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper remained at Northwick Warth with 200 Dunlin, 9 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 20 Lapwing, 65 Redshank and a Little Egret. A flock of 30 Gadwall were seen from New Passage. There were 4 Stonechats at Severn Beach, another 2 Aust Warth and 2 Peregrines below Aust Cliff.

October 16th
A Firecrest was found this morning at  the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach and showed well on several occasions during the day. Other birds seen at Severn Beach included a Wheatear and 2 Stonechats. Another Wheatear was seen on Northwick Warth where a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 180 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 80 Redshank, 5 Grey Plover, 20 Lapwing, a Knot, 200 Wigeon, 130 Teal,  2 Shoveler and a Little Egret were also present. Birds seen nearby at New Passage included 8 Bullfinches, 3 Rock Pipits, a Kingfisher and 2 Chiffchaffs. A very late Hobby and 3 Peregrines were seen at Aust Cliff, 2 Stonechats and a Kingfisher were present nearby on Aust Warth. Another 2 Stonechats were seen this afternoon at Sea Bank power station, Chittening Warth.

                                                                                 Little Egret, Northwick Warth 16.10.4

October 15th
A damp autumn morning with a good variety of birds. At New Passage; a Little Egret was present in the Pill. Birds of prey here included a Peregrine, a Merlin and a Short-eared Owl watched flying down mid river. Other birds seen from New Passage included 220 Wigeon, 250 Teal, a large party of 40 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 120 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 20 Lapwing, 5 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 3 Chiffchaffs, single Stonechat and Rock Pipit. A visit to Chittening Warth produced a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Stonechats and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. Other Stonechats included 2 at Aust Warth and a single at Severn Beach. Other migrants seen this morning included 10 Redwings, 5 Goldcrests, 2 Siskins and a Lesser Redpoll.

                                                                                               Merlin, New Passage 15.10.4

October 14th
There were 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers at New Passage this morning, along with 270 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 20 Lapwing, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, single Black-tailed Godwit, Little Egret and the mixed flock of 300 Wigeon and Teal. There were 4 Stonechats, 3 Rock Pipits and 100 Dunlin at Chittening Warth. Wader numbers were low at Severn beach with just 7 Ringed Plovers present.

October 13th
A drier and brighter day today. An adult Yellow-legged Gull, 6 Stonechats, 3 Grey Plover and 120 Dunlin were seen at Chittening Warth. A Ruff, a Little Egret, another Yellow-legged Gull, 130 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 4 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 16 Lapwing, 180 Teal, 120 Wigeon and 2 Shoveler were seen from New Passage.

October 12th
A day of heavy drizzle in a North West wind, made finding birds difficult and unpleasant. There were 80 Dunlin, 40 Redshank, 3 Knot and 2 Grey Plover off Northwick Warth this morning. A Little Egret and a Kingfisher were seen in the Pill at New Passage. A visit to Chittening Warth produced another 70 Dunlin, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and 4 Stonechats. A Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, 120 Curlew and 80 Oystercatchers were present at Severn Beach early evening.

October 11th
There were 85 Dunlin, 52 Redshank, 4 Grey Plover, a Knot and 4 Common Gulls at New Passage this morning. The metal ringed Rock Pipit and 4 Stonechats remained at Chittening Warth.

October 10th
Once again there were many migrants moving into the cold North East wind all day. A sample count at New Passage between 07.30 and 09.15 produced 500 Redwings, 2 Fieldfares, 300 Chaffinches, 30 Goldfinches, 2 Siskins, single Lesser Redpoll, Reed Bunting, 2 Common Snipe, 7 Swallows and a late Sand Martin. Other birds seen here included 40 Lapwing, 45 Redshank, 40 Dunlin, 2 Knot, 90 Wigeon, 130 Teal, 6 Gadwall, 3 Chiffchaffs and a Kingfisher. There were 4 Stonechats and another Kingfisher at Chittening Warth. The first Short-eared Owl of the autumn was seen at Severn Beach this morning, flying towards Chittening Warth. Other birds at Severn Beach included 9 Grey Plover and 50 House Martins.

October 9th
The weather remained the same producing a good number of migrants. At least 2000 Redwings, 100 Song Thrushes, 70 Fieldfares, 500 Chaffinches, 30 Pied Wagtails, 60 Meadow Pipits and a Lesser Redpoll flew north over New Passage today, most being in just a few hours this morning. A drake Pintail flew north over Severn Beach railway station. A Coal Tit was a scarce sighting amongst a Tit flock below Aust Cliff. There were 7 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 30 Redshank, 50 Dunlin and 28 Gadwall off Northwick Warth. A Peregrine, Green Sandpiper, 2 Stonechats and the first Merlin of the autumn were seen at Chittening Warth.

October 8th
Another dry day with a North East wind. The best find of the day were 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls with hundreds of Herring Gulls and 3 Great Black-backed Gulls at Chittening Warth. A Little Egret and 2 Stonechats were also seen here. There were 70 Redshank, just 50 Dunlin, 6 Lapwings, a Bar-tailed Godwit, many Meadow Pipits and Linnets at Northwick Warth. Another Little Egret and Stonechat were found at Severn Beach.

October 7th
A dry, bright day and a few more birds of interest. A Guillemot was present for over 3 hours at Severn Beach. A Ruff was seen off Northwick Warth with 65 Redshank, 50 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plovers and 3 Lapwing. A Little Egret and a Kingfisher were seen in the Pill at New Passage and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits were found at Chittening Warth.

October 6th
The strong wind and rain continued in the morning but still did not produce any seabirds. The Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, 2 Stonechats, 3 Rock Pipits and a Kingfisher were seen again at Chittening Warth. There were 2 Wheatears on the sea wall at Severn Beach. Birds seen from New Passage included 80 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers single Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot and Common Gull. There were 150 Meadow Pipits with 100 Linnets and a Wheatear around the Cattle on Northwick Warth.

October 5th
A  very quiet day despite a strong west wind. A 100 Dunlin and 52 Redshank were seen from New Passage. Chittening Warth produced 80 Turnstones, 21 Dunlin, single Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, 2 Stonechats and 3 Rock Pipits, including one with a metal ring. Personally, I had an “away day” to the Isles of Scilly today and managed to get some fantastic views of the birds below!

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                  Cream-coloured Courser, St. Martins, I.o.S. 5.10.4                  Buff-breasted Sandpiper, St. Marys, I.o.S. 5.10.4

October 4th
A windy morning following South West gales during the night. A sea watch from Chittening Warth produced 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and a “Commic” Tern. Other birds present  here included 2 Stonechats, single Wheatear, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit, Little Egret and 2 Rock Pipits. A dark-bellied Brent Goose flew past Severn Beach. Birds seen from New Passage included an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Black Tern, 100 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plovers, 60 Redshank, 40 Wigeon and 70 Teal.

October 3rd
There were 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 200 Dunlin, 50 Turnstones, 60 Redshank, 5 Ringed Plovers, a Grey Plover, 30 Shelduck, 30 Wigeon and 70 Teal seen from New Passage this morning. Nothing else of note was reported in the afternoon due to a combination of a falling tide and torrential rain.

October 2nd
Another quiet day today. There were 150 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plovers at New Passage. Single Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Stonechat, Wheatear and Common Snipe were seen at Chittening Warth.

                                                                            Red-breasted Mergansers, New Passage 1.10.4

October 1st
A fine autumn morning and an excellent start to the month with 6 Red-breasted Mergansers at New Passage before they flew off north at 8 am. A Little Egret roosted here at high tide. There were many migrants this morning at Severn Beach; 4 Stonechats, 2 Lesser Redpolls, a Raven, the first Redwing of the autumn and dozens of Dunnocks, Robins and Blackbirds in the scrub here, many Meadow Pipits and Chaffinches flew south early morning. There were 250 Dunlin, 4 Common Snipe, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Knot, 9 Lapwings, 80 Teal and 25 Wigeon off Northwick Warth.