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December 2004
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.
December 31st
A dry and mild end to the year. There were 58 Black-tailed Godwits again at Northwick Warth with just 200 Dunlin, 200 Wigeon and 100 Teal. A Kingfisher was seen again in the Pill at New Passage. Another 52 Black-tailed Godwits were seen at Chittening Warth with 40 Redshank, a Peregrine and 2 Stonechats. There were 50 Turnstone and another 4 Stonechats at Severn Beach.

December 30th
Much of the same today with 52 Black-tailed Godwits, 700 Dunlin, 400 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 200 Teal
and just a few Wigeon off Northwick Warth. A drake Pochard was a recent arrival at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach. Interesting and frustrating news received this evening involved 31 Waxwings, just a few miles to the north east, on Morton Way, Thornbury. There are still quite a few berries around Severn Beach so hopefully some will appear here soon.

December 29th
There were 13 Ringed Plover, 55 Turnstone, 140 Redshank and 2 Stonechats at Severn Beach.  At least 56 Black-tailed Godwits, 1500 Dunlin, 500 Lapwing, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 200 Teal and 300 Wigeon remained off Northwick Warth.

December 28th
Today there were 58 Black-tailed Godwits, 2000 Dunlin, 800 Lapwing and a Knot on the foreshore at Northwick Warth and a Jack Snipe was flushed off the Grebe Pond here. A visit to Severn Beach was less productive with just 50 Redshank, 3 Stonechats and 2 Rock Pipits being the only birds worth a mention.

December 27th
Following a night with  the temperature dropping to - 3°C, the birds remained much the same. At Northwick Warth there were 48 Black-tailed Godwits, 700 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 240 Teal, 200 Wigeon, single Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Peregrine and Rock Pipit. There were 2 Ravens at Chittening Warth and a Stonechat was seen at Aust Warth.

December 26th
There were 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 320 Lapwing, 700 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 200 Wigeon, 200 Teal, single Mediterranean Gull,  Knot, Raven, Merlin and Peregrine at Northwick Warth this morning. Another 70 Redshank and 50 Oystercatchers were present at Severn Beach. The Hawthorn scrub along the railway here contained hundreds of Fieldfares, Redwings and a female Blackcap.
Black-tailed Godwits, Northwick Warth 26.12.4
December 25th
A brief visit to Northwick Warth produced at least 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 300 Lapwing, 400 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, 60 Turnstone, 40 Oystercatchers, 200 Wigeon, 100 Teal, single Shoveler, Rock Pipit and Peregrine. There were still Water Rails calling at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach. A Raven was seen late afternoon at Chittening Warth.

December 24th
A mild, wet and breezy day day produced much of the same at Northwick Warth; 500 Dunlin, 200 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 55 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Grey Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

December 23rd
There were 2 Water Rails at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach. The usual 55 Black-tailed Godwits, 300 Dunlin, 200 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 50 Turnstone, 68 Oystercatchers, single Bar-tailed Godwit, Wigeon and Teal flocks remained off Northwick Warth. Hundreds of Fieldfares, Redwings and Blackbirds remained active throughout the area.

December 22nd
The birds remained much the same as yesterday with 52 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 300 Dunlin, 200 Lapwing, 60 Oystercatchers with the usual Wigeon and Teal flock off Northwick Warth. Once again there were many Redwings and Fieldfares throughout the area,  rapidly stripping the bushes of berries, including a mixed flock of 300 along the Severn Beach railway track. An adult Mediterranean Gull was found on the square roadside pool next to Avonmouth Sewage works.
Fieldfare, Severn Beach 22.12.4
Redwing, Severn Beach 22.12.4
December 21st
At Northwick Warth, there were 52 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 250 Dunlin, 350 Lapwing, 3 Shoveler, at least 200 Teal and 500 Wigeon. Another 200 Dunlin, 120 Redshank and a Common Snipe were seen at Severn Beach. There were many Redwings and Fieldfares on Hawthorn berries throughout the area.

December 20th
After an overnight frost there were 41 Black-tailed Godwits at Northwick Warth along with a male Merlin, 200 Lapwing and just 200 Dunlin. There were 2 Stonechats, 110 Oystercatchers, 70 Turnstone, 60 Redshank and 30 Shelduck at Severn Beach.

December 19th
Overnight heavy rain, sleet and a Northerly wind seemed to have moved most birds away. There was just 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 500 Dunlin and 200 Lapwing at Northwick Warth. Another Black-tailed Godwit was present at Severn Beach. There were still many Redwings, Blackbirds and a few Fieldfares devouring  berries. Three White-fronted Geese reported flying up river at Chittening Warth, were the first of the year.

December 18th
At Northwick Warth, there were 74 Black-tailed Godwits, 1500 Dunlin, 350 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 60 Turnstone, 5 Common Snipe and 400 Wigeon. Another 2 Black-tailed Godwits were seen at Severn Beach where 20 Shelduck, 100 Lapwing, 70 Curlew, at least 6 Stonechats and 3 Rock Pipits were also present. Many Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds were feeding on Hawthorn berries throughout the area.

December 17th
A morning of heavy rain followed by a strong and cold North West wind in the afternoon. There were at least 61 Black-tailed Godwits, a male Merlin, the usual 2000 Dunlin, 600 Lapwing, 600 Wigeon, 30 Redshank and 60 Turnstone at Northwick Warth.
Black-tailed Godwits, Northwick Warth 17.12.4
December 16th
Some interesting birds were reported today in a gusty South West wind. An adult Kittiwake, 50 Bar-tailed Godwits (flying north), a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 38 Redshank and a total of 6 Stonechats were all seen at Severn Beach. Birds seen at Northwick Warth included 2000 Dunlin, 500 Lapwing, 75 Black-tailed Godwits, 10 Grey Plover a Common Snipe and 700 Wigeon.

December 15th  
The birds remained much the same at Northwick Warth, with 75 Black-tailed Godwits, 3000 Dunlin, 600 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 30 Turnstone and 700 Wigeon present. There were 4 Stonechats, 3 Rock Pipits and a Little Egret at Severn Beach.

December 14th
An adult Mediterranean Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were seen at Severn Beach along with a Peregrine and 4 Stonechats. At Northwick Warth, wader numbers remained high with 3000 Dunlin, 74 Black-tailed Godwits, 600 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 40 Turnstone, 21 Golden Plover and a Knot. A Kingfisher remained in the Pill at New Passage. Another 2 Stonechats were seen again on Aust Warth.

December 13th
The cold grey weather continued. The large flock of 3000 Dunlin remained off Northwick Warth with 72 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Knot, 2 Golden Plover, 70 Redshank, 500 Lapwing and 300 Wigeon. A Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail were seen in the Pill at New Passage. At Severn Beach there were 2 Knot, 150 Lapwing, 50 Redshank, a Ringed Plover, at least 3 Stonechats, 4 Rock Pipits and a Chiffchaff. A Little Egret was seen from a train at Chittening Warth this morning.

December 12th
A return to cold, grey weather and a North East wind. The morning high tide roost at Northwick Warth produced 3000 Dunlin, 600 Lapwing, 80 Oystercatchers, 70 Redshank, 40 Curlew, 65 Black-tailed Godwits, single Knot, Golden Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, 500 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 3 Gadwall and a Peregrine. At Aust Warth, there was a large flock of at least 300 Fieldfares and 100 Redwings feeding on Hawthorn berries, a Rock Pipit and 2 Stonechats were present in the salt marsh here,  a male Blackcap and a Raven were seen at Aust cliff. A Little Egret and a Kingfisher were present at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach and another Peregrine was seen at the Sea Bank pools, Chittening Warth.

December 11th
The first day with a blue sky for more than a week. An impressive flock of 1000 Wigeon were present off Northwick Warth with several hundred Teal, 2000 Dunlin, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Oystercatchers, 60 Redshank, 500 Lapwing, 40 Turnstones,  single Golden Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit. Regrettably, there was much disturbance here today; 2 Sea anglers decided to fish on the low tide line and a Helicopter pilot had some fun flying  just a few metres above the salt marsh. There was a flock of 150 Fieldfares and 4 Common Snipe near the Grebe Pond here. A visit to the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth, produced 2 Ravens and a Chiffchaff. There were at least 5 Stonechats  and 6 Rock Pipits at Severn Beach.
Raven, Chittening Warth 11.12.4
December 10th
There were still 78 Black-tailed Godwits at Northwick Warth along with 4 Golden Plover, 2 Grey Plover, 75 Redshank, at least 500 Lapwing, 2000 Dunlin, many Wigeon and Teal, single Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit. A Kingfisher was present at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach. There were still 2 Stonechats at Aust Warth.

December 9th
Another cold grey day with an East wind. The number of Black-tailed Godwits at Northwick Warth increased to 81. Other birds here included 2000 Dunlin, 350 Lapwing, 35 Redshank, single Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Knot and Golden Plover. A Blackcap was seen at New Passage. Severn Beach produced 60 Turnstone, 55 Redshank, 2 Stonechats near the sea wall and another 2 at the Orchard Pools.

December 8th
An increase in the numbers of birds today. There were 53 Black-tailed Godwits, 2000 Dunlin, 350 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a male Merlin and at least 800 Wigeon at Northwick Warth. A Chiffchaff was found at New Passage. The highlight at Severn Beach was an adult Yellow-legged Gull on the shingle island. Other birds at Severn Beach included 60 Turnstone and 4 Stonechats. A visit to Chittening Warth produced 2 more Stonechats, a Knot, 120 Redshank and 16 Shoveler.

December 7th
Another mild, cloudy day. There were 30 Black-tailed Godwits, 2000 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, 53 Common Gulls and a Bar-tailed Godwit at Northwick Warth. A Kingfisher was seen again at New Passage. Another 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 100 Redshank, 95 Oystercatcher, a Knot, 4 Stonechats and 6 Rock Pipits at Severn Beach. There were still 2 Stonechats at Aust Warth.

December 6th
At Severn Beach, a Jack Snipe gave excellent views out in the open, “bobbing”  on the shingle spit. Other birds here included 200 Dunlin, 80 Turnstone, 70 Oystercatchers, 60 Redshank, 2 Knot, 4 Stonechats and 7 Rock Pipits. There were 24 Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Redshank, 1000 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing and a Bar-tailed Godwit at Northwick Warth. Another 4 Stonechats were present again at Chittening Warth.

December 5th
A mild, grey morning produced 21 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 1000 Dunlin off Northwick Warth. Nearby there were 3 Rock Pipits at New Passage. A visit to Severn Beach produced 120 Redshank, 7 Knot, 70 Oystercatcher, 80 Turnstone, 500 Dunlin, 5 Common Snipe, 40 Shelduck, 17 Shoveler, at least 4 Stonechats and 10 Rock Pipits. The large flock of  400 Wigeon and 2 Stonechats remained at Aust Warth. This afternoon, several Gadwall, many Redwings and another 2 Stonechats were seen at the Orchard Pools.
Stonechat, Severn Beach 5.12.4