SEVERNSIDE BIRDS























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March is a slightly better month than February, with a total of 157 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 by mid month 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 (2003), Bearded Tit (2004) and Great Grey Shrike (2004).
March 2005
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March 31st
A foggy morning, only clearing a little by the afternoon. A male Merlin, 36 Black-tailed Godwits, 33 Redshank, 4 Shoveler, single Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit were seen at Northwick Warth. An adult Yellow-legged Gull, 6 Swallows and a Willow Warbler were present at Severn Beach. There were 2 singing Blackcaps at Old Passage.

March 30th
A cold North West wind with less rain today. A brief visit to Severn Beach produced  just 3 singing Chiffchaffs, 30 Turnstone and 12 Dunlin. There were 34 Black-tailed Godwits, 130 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 60 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 21 Redshank, 10 Turnstone and a Grey Plover at Northwick Warth. A Sand Martin was seen flying North at New Passage.

March 29th
A cold North  East wind and non stop rain produced dismal birding conditions. A  brief  visit to Severn Beach produced 3 singing Chiffchaffs, a male Blackcap, 10 Sand martins and 2 Swallows. There were 70 Shelduck, 90 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 2 Shoveler and 2 Gadwall at Northwick Warth. The only other sighting involved 2  Siskins heading West over New Passage.

March 28th
Another murky morning but this time there were more bird watchers than birds! There were 2 Swallows and 2 Sand Martins at Severn Beach. Another Swallow, a Wheatear, 32 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 25 Redshank, 20 Dunlin, 60 Turnstone and a Grey Plover were seen at Northwick Warth. Only a small number of Meadow Pipits and Goldfinches seen moving into the North East wind.

March 27th
Murky mornings with a North East wind in the spring often produce a good bird. Today was no exception when an Osprey flew inland, low over Severn Beach. Other birds seen here included 2 Canada Geese, 8 Swallows, a female Blackcap, single Sand Martin and Wheatear. Another 3 Wheatears and 4 Sand Martins were seen at Northwick Warth , along with 37 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 100 Turnstones, 35 Redshank and 150 Wigeon. Hundreds of Meadow Pipits were seen moving overhead into the wind.

March 26th
Another warm sunny day with a light North East wind. There was a slight improvement in visible migration; 4 Wheatears, 40 Meadow pipits, single Lesser Redpoll and Blackcap were seen at Severn Beach, 2 Shovelers were present nearby at the Orchard Pools The usual 31 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 30 Dunlin, 170 Wigeon, a  Common Snipe, another Wheatear and 3 Sand Martins were seen at Northwick Warth.

March 25th
A warm sunny day, following a night of southerly wind and rain, produced very few migrants. A visit to Northwick Warth produced 2 singing Willow Warblers, a Sand Martin and at least 6 Chiffchaffs. The flock of 31 Black-tailed Godwits remained offshore with at least 80 Oystercatchers, 100 Wigeon, 70 Teal and a Bar-tailed Godwit. A Green Sandpiper and a Common Snipe were seen at  the Seabank Pools, Chittening Warth. There were 4 Ringed Plovers at Severn Beach on the evening high tide.

March 24th
An adult Yellow-legged Gull and 2 male Wheatears were seen from the foreshore at Severn Beach, a female Pochard and 2 Tufted Ducks were present nearby at the Orchard Pools. The usual 25 Black-tailed Godwits, 88 Oystercatchers, 20 Dunlin and a Bar-tailed Godwit remained at Northwick Warth. There were 2 Willow Warblers at New Passage and Chiffchaffs singing everywhere.

March 23rd
The first 2 Willow Warblers of the year were found singing at New Passage and the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach this morning. There were 25 Black-tailed Godwits, just 45 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, 85 Oystercatchers and a Bar-tailed Godwit on the foreshore at Northwick Warth. There were at least 5 Chiffchaffs and a party of Long-tailed Tits in the hedgerows around the Grebe Pond here.
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Long-tailed Tit
Northwick Warth
23.3.5
March 22nd
It was still quiet with  a male Merlin, just 20 Black-tailed Godwits, 81 0ystercatchers, 60 Redshank and 18 Dunlin at Northwick Warth. A Green Sandpiper was seen at Sea Bank pools, Chittening Warth. At least 9 singing Chiffchaffs were heard throughout the area today.

March 21st
After yesterdays excitement, it was back to normal today. There were 42 Black-tailed Godwits, 65 Redshank and just 35 Dunlin at Northwick Warth. A first summer Mediterranean Gull and a Kingfisher were seen at New Passage. A male and a female Wheatear were found at Severn Beach and there were 124 Shelduck in the area today.

March 20th
The first Severnside record of Red Kite flew over my house in Severn Beach just after midday. I managed to dash downstairs, retrieve my camera from the car and quickly take some shots as it slowly drifted off North East. Another rarity was found at Severn Beach; 3 Red-breasted Mergansers (2 drakes)  on the afternoon high tide along with 4 Tufted Ducks. A Wheatear and a female Blackcap were also seen here. A small arrival of 6 Chiffchaffs  occurred at Northwick Warth along with hundreds of Meadow Pipits, 25 Sand Martins, at least 50 flyover Pied Wagtails, a small number of Reed Buntings, Goldfinches and Chaffinches. The Merlin, single Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Common Snipe were still present here. There were 60 Redshank, 80 Wigeon and 50 Teal at New Passage. Another 2 Chiffchaffs were found at Sea Bank pools, Chittening Warth and 2 Ravens flew North East over Aust Warth.
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Red Kite
Severn Beach
20.3.5
March 19th
Dense fog cleared by early afternoon to bright sunshine and a temperature of 17°C. A Stonechat was seen in a garden at New Passage. The only notable birds at Northwick Warth were just 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 60 Redshank, 3 Common Snipe, single Merlin and Wheatear. Another 2 Wheatears, 3 Sand Martins and a Stonechat were present at Severn Beach, a Water Rail and 3 Wheatears were seen at Chittening Warth. There was a steady passage of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails heading north for most of the day. Other wildlife seen at Severn Beach included a Weasel and a Brimstone Butterfly.

March 18th
A warm day with the temperature reaching 15°C. An exceptional record involved a party of 70 dark-bellied Brent Geese at Severn Beach. The first Wheatear of the year was found here on driftwood. Another 2 Wheatears were found later on Northwick Warth  where 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Turnstones, 70 Redshank, 2 Grey Plover and just 30 Dunlin were also present. A Kingfisher was seen again in the Pill at New Passage and 2 Stonechats were present in the sheep fields here.
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Wheatear
Severn Beach
18.3.5
March 17th
The first 2 Sand Martins of the year were seen today, flying south into the wind. A male Merlin joined the usual 300 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 55 Black-tailed Godwits, 60 Oystercatchers, 35 Redshank, just 50 Dunlin
and 2 Grey Plover at Northwick Warth. Severn Beach was virtually bird free with only 50 Wigeon of note on the estuary and 2 male Stonechats at the Orchard Pools.

March 16th
A warm day with a southerly wind and rain showers. A search of the Severn Beach salt marsh produced 2 male Stonechats, single Common Snipe, Water Rail, Water Pipit and Rock Pipit. A female Blackcap was seen in a garden here. There were at least 40 Black-tailed Godwits, just 200 Dunlin, 30 Redshank, 250 Wigeon and 40 Teal off Northwick Warth, 3 Pochard were seen here on the Grebe Pond. A Stoat was a rare sight on the sea wall south of Severn Beach. The drake Ring-necked Duck was seen on the  square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 15th
The usual 57 Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Grey Plover, 70 Turnstone, 30 Redshank, 500 Dunlin, 300 Wigeon, 50 Teal and a Shoveler were seen at Northwick Warth. There were 2 “new” male Stonechats at Severn Beach on the foreshore and 3 Tufted Ducks at the Orchard Pools. A total of 112 Shelduck were counted today. The drake Ring-necked Duck was back on the  square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works  today.

March 14th
A morning visit to Severn Beach produced 2 Greylag Geese flying south west, at least 30 Kittiwakes on the falling tide, just 2 Rock Pipits and a Stonechat in the salt marsh. There were at least 300 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 700 Dunlin, 60 Oystercatchers, 44 Black-tailed Godwits, 11 Grey Plover, 40 Redshank and 2 Common Snipe at Northwick Warth. A flock of at least 50 Redwings were seen at New Passage. There were at least 100 Shelduck in the area today.
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Wigeon
Northwick Warth
14.3.5
March 13th
The first Ruff of the year was found on Northwick Warth. Other birds present here included a Merlin, 55 Black-tailed Godwits, 700 Dunlin, 100 Lapwing, 30 Redshank. 240 Wigeon and 70 Teal. An adult Yellow-legged Gull, 100 Turnstones, 500 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 2 Stonechats, 4 Rock Pipits and a Water Pipit were seen at Severn Beach. The drake Ring-necked Duck was on the  square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works again today.
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Ring-necked Duck
Avonmouth Sewage Works
13.3.5
March 12th
A disappointing and uneventful day despite fine weather. The 14.3 metre high tide forced many Short-tailed Voles out of the salt marsh south of Severn Beach and were caught by Magpies, Carrion Crows, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls. There were 50 Turnstones, 40 Shelduck, single Stonechat and Rock Pipit at Severn Beach. Northwick Warth produced 2000 Dunlin and at least 45 Black-tailed Godwits. The drake Ring-necked Duck spent most of the day asleep on the square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 11th
The strong West/North-West winds reduced the variety of birds today. The usual 57 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1500 Dunlin, 200 Wigeon and 12 Turnstones were seen at Northwick Warth. An early morning visit to Severn Beach produced a flighty  party of at least 25 dark-bellied Brent Geese. Other birds seen here this morning included 2 Stonechats and just 30 Dunlin. The drake Ring-necked Duck was still present on the Honda Pools.

March 10th
A few more birds of interest today, the best being 3 Avocets at Severn Beach where a “Scandinavian” Rock Pipit was seen again with a Water Pipit, 3 Rock Pipits, 2 Stonechats, 60 Shelduck and 50 Oystercatchers near the salt marsh. The usual 57 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 300 Lapwing, 2 Grey Plover, 1500 Dunlin and 50 Redshank were seen at Northwick Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained on the Honda Pools.
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Avocet
Severn Beach
10.3.5
March 9th
An adult Yellow-legged Gull, 35 Oystercatchers, 9 Ringed Plover, a flock of 17 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Shoveler and 2 Stonechats were seen at Severn Beach. The flock of Black-tailed Godwits at Northwick Warth increased to 57. Other birds  seen here included 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 8 Grey Plover, 280 Lapwing, 60 Redshank and 1500 Dunlin. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained settled on the Honda Pools, east of Chittening Warth.

March 8th
There were 3 Stonechats, 40 Redshank, 6 Ringed Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits at Severn Beach with a few signs of early spring migration there this evening involving flocks of 120 Kittiwake and 28 Shoveler floating on the flat, calm high tide. The party of 5 Tufted Ducks remained nearby at the Orchard Pools. A visit to Northwick Warth produced 53 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1500 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 200 Lapwings and 2 drake Pintail. A Kingfisher was seen in the pill at New Passage. The drake Ring-necked Duck returned to the Honda Pools just east of Chittening Warth (approx.grid reference ST528808).

March 7th
The usual 53 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Grey Plover, 1000 Dunlin and 50 Redshank remained at Northwick Warth.. A visit to Severn Beach produced an adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Rock Pipits and 40 Redshank on the foreshore and 2 Lesser Redpolls at the Orchard Pools. The drake Ring-necked Duck returned to the square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works to join the escaped Ruddy Shelduck.

March 6th
A day with blue sky and bright sunshine. Northwick Warth produced 54 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Grey Plover and a Peregrine. There were 2 Water Pipits, 2 Rock Pipits and 800 Dunlin at Chittening Warth. At least one Water Pipit, a Rock Pipit, a Scandinavian Rock Pipit and 2 Stonechats remained on the foreshore at Severn Beach and a female Blackcap was seen in a garden here. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained on the Honda Pools  just east of Chittening Warth and the escaped Ruddy Shelduck was seen again at Avonmouth Sewage Works.
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Scandinavian Rock Pipit
Severn Beach
6.3.5
March 5th
Another cold day with a moderate North West wind. The salt marsh at Severn Beach produced at least 3 Water Pipits and 5 Rock Pipits including a “Scandinavian” Rock Pipit. Other birds at Severn Beach included 2 Stonechats, 8 Gadwall, 50 Oystercatchers, 50 Shelduck, hundreds of Black-headed Gulls, 20 Common Gulls and 2 Great Black-backed Gulls on the foreshore, 5 Tufted Ducks at the Orchard Pools. Another Water Pipit and 3 Rock Pipits were seen at Chittening Warth  along with a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 1000 Dunlin, 100 Redshank, 2 Ravens, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Peregrine. The usual 50 plus Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 1000 Dunlin remained at Northwick Warth. A red ringed Ruddy Shelduck was seen at Avonmouth Sewage Works and the Ring-necked Duck had moved to the Honda pools, just east of Chittening Warth.
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Brent Goose
Chittening Warth
5.3.5
March 4th
A flock of 53 Black-tailed Godwits remained with 3 Bar-tailed Godwits and 500 Dunlin at Northwick Warth. A flock of 10 Pintail (9 drakes) were seen off Severn Beach, where 8 Ringed Plover, 60 Oystercatchers, 80 Redshank, 500 Dunlin and 2 Stonechats were also present. A Raven flew inland over Chittening Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained a popular attraction at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 3rd
There were 500 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 60 Oystercatchers, 40 Turnstone, 12 Ringed Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Stonechats and 2 Rock Pipits at Severn Beach. The flock of 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits and 1000 Dunlin were seen at Northwick Warth. A total of 82 Shelduck were seen in the area today. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 2nd
A cold day with flurries of sleet and snow produced very little. There were 800 Dunlin, 60 Oystercatchers, 40 Turnstones, 5 Ringed Plovers and 2 Stonechats at Severn Beach, with 4 Tufted Ducks nearby at the Orchard Pools. A flock of 40 Black-tailed Godwits at Chittening Warth and another 15 at Northwick Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck remained at Avonmouth Sewage Works.

March 1st
A visit to Northwick Warth produced 1500 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 47 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 11 Grey Plover, at least 200 Wigeon and 100 Teal. The only other birds worth a mention were  4 Tufted Ducks at the Orchard Pools, Severn Beach and a Peregrine at Aust Warth. The drake Ring-necked Duck showed well at the square roadside pool at Avonmouth Sewage Works.