SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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January is a slightly better month than December, the daylight hours slowly lengthen resulting in a monthly total of 150 species. 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 Cory’s Shearwater (2004), Storm Petrel, Leach’s Petrel, Little Auk, Red-throated Diver  (1991,1993) and Grey Phalarope. Other January birds include; Great Grey Shrike (2004) and Shorelark (2004), the only Waxwing (1958), two Common Cranes that flew over Severn Beach (2000) and a few rare sightings of Hen Harrier.
January 2005
January 31st
The month finished quietly with much of the same. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was seen again at Severn Beach. Other birds present here included a Water Pipit with 7 Rock Pipits, 6 Stonechats, 2 Common Snipe, 30 Turnstone and a “flyover” Siskin. There were 20 Grey Plover, 52 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1000 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 20 Redshank, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 130 Teal, 80 Wigeon and 23 Pied Wagtails at Northwick Warth. Another 2 Stonechats and 150 Wigeon were seen at Aust Warth.
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Rock Pipit
Severn Beach
31.1.5
January 30th
A male Merlin, a Little Owl, 700 Dunlin, 400 Lapwing, 8 Grey Plover and the dark-bellied Brent Goose were seen on Northwick Warth this morning.  There were 51 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 105 Redshank, 80 Oystercatchers, 60 Turnstone, 4 Stonechats and 5 Rock Pipits at Severn Beach. A Ruddy Shelduck and at least 3 Chiffchaffs were present at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

January 29th
A visit to Severn Beach produced an adult Yellow-legged Gull,  6 Stonechats, a Peregrine, 2 Rock Pipits and 3 Common Snipe. There were 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Black-tailed Godwits and a Green Sandpiper at Chittening Warth. An additional 45 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Grey Plover, the dark-bellied Brent Goose, 1000 Dunlin, 500 Lapwings, 90 Curlew and 30 Redshank  were seen at Northwick Warth in a cold North East wind. A Peregrine and 50 Redwings were present at Aust Warth.

January 28th
A  Peregrine was seen on Northwick Warth along with 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 800 Dunlin and the dark-bellied Brent Goose. The only birds worth a mention at Severn Beach were 4 Stonechats, 70 Redshank, 200 Lapwings and a male Blackcap.

January 27th
A repeat of yesterday with 2000 Dunlin, 800 Lapwings, 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 12 Grey Plover, 40 Redshank and the dark-bellied Brent Goose at Northwick Warth. There were 50 Turnstones and 2 Stonechats at Severn Beach. It can only get better!

January 26th
There were 2000 Dunlin, 800 Lapwing, 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Grey Plover, 3 Knot and the dark-bellied Brent Goose, 400 Teal and 200 Wigeon at Northwick Warth. There were still 4 Stonechats, 40 Redshank and a Rock Pipit at Severn Beach.

January 25th
A Water Pipit was seen again at Severn Beach where 4 Rock Pipits, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and 6 Stonechats  were also present. There were 36 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1000 Dunlin, 500 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, the dark-bellied Brent Goose and 3 Pintail at Northwick Warth on another cold day.

January 24th
Another cold day with a North wind. The dark-bellied Brent Goose remained on Northwick Warth with 44 Shelduck, 500 Dunlin, 250 Lapwing and 35 Black-tailed Godwits. A Green Sandpiper and 2 Lesser Redpolls were seen at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach.

January 23rd
A change in the weather; overnight frost and sleet, followed by bright sunshine with a cold North East wind. There was still no change in the birds with the usual dark-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Shoveler, 120 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 30 Redshank, 2500 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing and 3 Golden Plover at Northwick Warth. Severn Beach produced just 50 Turnstone, 70 Oystercatcher and 40 Redshank. There were still 2 Stonechats on Aust Warth.  A thorough search for Waxwings failed, even the Redwings and Fieldfares are now feeding on the ground because there are very few berries left in the area.

January 22nd
A dismal grey day, both high tides were in the dark and there was little improvement in the variety of birds. The best find of the day was a Water Pipit with at least 9 Rock Pipits at Severn Beach. Other birds seen here included a pair of Stonechats and 2 Ravens. The dark-bellied Brent Goose remained on Northwick Warth 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2500 Dunlin, 250 Lapwing, 120 Teal, 140 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall and a pair of Pintail. The same or another 2 Ravens flew over New Passage.

January 21st
The dark-bellied Brent Goose, 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 500 Dunlin, 200 Lapwings and 45 Turnstones were seen at Northwick Warth. A Water Rail, 2 Stonechats, 60 Oystercatchers and 50 Redshank were present at Severn Beach. A large number of Waxwings remain in Bristol. In the absence of one here, I photographed this bird at Brandon Hill.
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Waxwing
Bristol
21.1.5
January 20th
A strong West wind produced 50 Kittiwakes off Severn Beach where 5 Pintail, 3 Tufted Ducks, 140 Curlew, 70 Oystercatchers and a Stonechat were also seen. There were 50 Black-tailed Godwits and 4 Bar-tailed Godwits again at Northwick Warth. A first winter Yellow-legged Gull and 200 Lapwing were present at New Passage. There has been a major influx of Waxwings nationally and into the surrounding area. A flock of 150 in Easton (Bristol) and other flocks at Brandon Hill (Bristol), Portishead, Long Ashton and Nailsea were seen today in Avon. A flock of over 650 was seen across the Channel in Cardiff. Hopefully, it is just a matter of a few days before a welcome bird is found on Severnside.

January 19th
A visit to Northwick Warth produced 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 400 Dunlin, 200 Lapwing, a Peregrine and the dark-bellied Brent Goose amongst the Shelduck flock. There was little more to report from Severn Beach other than 4 Stonechats, 110 Oystercatchers, 60 Turnstone and 50 Redshank.

January 18th
The dark-bellied Brent Goose remained at Northwick Warth with 200 Dunlin, 200 Lapwing, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Black-tailed Godwit. There were 19 Kittiwakes, 50 Turnstones and 60 Oystercatchers at Severn Beach.

January 17th
A wet and windy day produced a Razorbill and 7 Kittiwakes off Severn Beach. Other birds seen here included 80 Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Stonechats and a male Merlin. The dark-bellied Brent Goose was still on Northwick Warth with 40 Shelduck, 100 Teal, 300 Lapwing, 500 Dunlin, 40 Turnstone, 30 Redshank, 10 Grey Plover and the male Merlin. A pair of Stonechats were present on Aust Warth.

January 16th
The 2 Whooper Swans were still on Northwick Warth until 12.30, when they were flushed and flew off high north over the old Severn Bridge, later appearing at Slimbridge WWT. The only other birds reported here today were the dark-bellied Brent Goose, 30 Black-tailed Godwits, 1000 Dunlin, 400 Lapwing, 50 Redshank and 42 Shelduck.

January 15th
The 2 Whooper Swans continued their stay on Northwick Warth along with 4500 Dunlin, 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 500 Lapwing, 5 Common Snipe and the dark-bellied Brent Goose. A male Merlin and 2 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth. A flock of 100 Redshank were present off Chittening Warth.

January 14th
The 2 Whooper Swans and the dark-bellied Brent Goose remained on Northwick Warth with 10 Grey Plover, 70 Redshank, 1000 Dunlin, 800 Lapwing, single Bar-tailed Godwit and a Peregrine. There were 50 Black-tailed Godwits at Chittening Warth and 3 Stonechats at Severn Beach.

January 13th
An excellent find on  Northwick Warth involved 2 Whooper Swans. These were only the second record, the other involved 5 flying birds in  November 1983. Other birds here included the dark-bellied Brent Goose, 1000 Dunlin, 20 Grey Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 300 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 30 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Snipe, 160 Teal, 70 Wigeon, single Pochard, Shoveler and 3 Ravens. A Stonechat was seen at Severn Beach and 80 Redshank were present at Chittening Warth.
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Whooper  Swans
Northwick Warth
13.1.5
January 12th
The dark-bellied Brent Goose reappeared at Northwick Warth where  a Bar-tailed Godwit, 500 Dunlin,
45 Redshank and 30 Oystercatchers (including one colour ringed bird) were also present. The first 2 Tufted Ducks of the year were seen on the “motorway pool” at New Passage. A flock of 50 Turnstone were seen at Severn Beach. A Black Redstart was seen near the square incinerator pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works along with 6 Chiffchaffs.

January 11th
The quietest day for some time with  just 500 Dunlin and a Peregrine at Northwick Warth. The weather remained unsettled with strong wind and rain. Despite an official “flood warning” being issued by the Environment Agency, the 13.3 metre tide thankfully did not even cover the Salt Marsh at Severn Beach.

January 10th
There were 15 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 700 Dunlin, 350 Lapwing and 50 Redshank at Northwick Warth. Another 40 Redshank and 7 Rock Pipits were seen at Severn Beach.

January 9th
A Short-eared Owl, Peregrine, 2 Stonechats, 2 Rock Pipits, 50 Linnets and a Common Snipe were seen at Aust Warth this morning. The dark-bellied Brent Goose was still at Northwick Warth along with 17 Black-tailed Godwits, 700 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 60 Turnstone and a Bar-tailed Godwit on the foreshore. The grebe pond here produced; 2 Pochard, 4 Gadwall, a Shoveler and a mixed flock of 100 Redwing and Fieldfare. A Green Sandpiper was seen at the Sea Bank Pools, Chittening Warth. Another 2 Shoveler, 3 Rock Pipits and 60 Oystercatcher were present at Severn Beach.

January 8th
A night of severe gales caused damage to a number of rooftops in Severn Beach. The only seabirds seen on the falling tide this morning were 3 Kittiwakes. The dark-bellied Brent Goose remained on Northwick Warth and a flock of 35 Black-tailed Godwits reappeared at New Passage along with the 2 Bar-tailed Godwits.  A visit to Severn Beach this afternoon produced 90 Turnstone, 2 Rock Pipits, 4 Ringed Plover and the 2 Ravens still feeding on the Beach.
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Raven
Severn Beach
8.1.5
January 7th
The South West wind remained strong all day but only produced 6 Kittiwakes on the afternoon high tide at Severn Beach. Other birds seen here included  2 Ravens feeding on a  Sheep carcass and 60 Turnstone. There were 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, a male Merlin, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 20 Redshank, just 25 Dunlin and 30 Teal at Northwick Warth.
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Kittiwake
Severn Beach
7.1.5
January 6th
The dark-bellied Brent Goose was relocated on Northwick Warth where a Bar-tailed Godwit, 40 Oystercatchers, 30 Redshank, 60 Dunlin and 250 Lapwing were also present. Another 120 Redshank, 100 Oystercatchers, 60 Turnstone and 4 Stonechats were seen at Severn Beach. There are  gale force winds forecast for the Bristol Channel tonight and tomorrow that might produce some seabirds

January 5th
Another breezy day. A dark-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Ravens, 100 Redshank, 90 Oystercatchers and a Stonechat were seen at Severn Beach. Northwick Warth remained quiet with 200 Dunlin and 200 Lapwings present and at least 60 Black-tailed Godwits remained at Chittening Warth.

January 4th
A quiet day with 12 Kittiwakes, 85 Black-tailed Godwits, 13 Ringed Plover and a Knot at Severn Beach. There were 200 Dunlin and 120 Lapwing off Northwick Warth.

January 3rd
A morning visit to Chittening Warth produced a male Merlin, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, at least 75 Black-tailed Godwits, 180 Redshank, 60 Turnstone, 100 Curlew, 4 Stonechats, 5 Rock Pipits and a Chiffchaff. Another Merlin was seen in Severn Beach where a Bar-tailed Godwit, 50 Oystercatchers, 40 Shelduck,  an adult Kittiwake and another 3 Stonechats were present. There were 8 Waxwings  in Lawrence Weston today.

January 2nd
Following a night of  Westerly gales it was disappointing to have no Seabirds this morning. A few birds of interest were seen though today including an adult Mediterranean Gull at Severn Beach along with 2 Stonechats, 100 Dunlin, 60 Turmstone and 50 Oystercatchers. There were 52 Black-tailed Godwits again at Chittening Warth with 100 Redshank. Aust Warth produced a Short-eared Owl, a Jack Snipe, 3 Common Snipe, 2 Ravens, 4 Stonechats, 6 Rock Pipits and a flock of 50 Linnets. Another 9 Black-tailed Godwits were seen off Northwick Warth and 2 Little Owls were seen in the fields here.
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Waxwings
Lawrence Weston
2.1.5
January 1st  
A dry start to the day, turning wet and windy by mid afternoon. There were 52 Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Oystercatchers and 70 Redshank, at Chittening Warth. Nearby there were 30 Turnstone, 2 Stonechats and 2 Rock Pipits at Severn Beach. A visit to Northwick Warth produced another 53 Black-tailed Godwits, 500 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 40 Redshank, a Peregrine and 3 Rock Pipits.
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