SEVERNSIDE BIRDS
























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March is a slightly better month than February with a total of 177 species recorded during this month. As each day passes the expectation of an early spring migrant increases, Wheatears usually being seen by mid month along with Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins and possibly Little Ringed Plovers. Rarities have included Black Kite (2010), Green-winged Teal (2014), Avocets, Cattle Egret (2017), Crane (2015, 2017), Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Hen Harrier and Bearded Tit (2004), Great Grey Shrike (2004), Mandarin (2006) and Siberian Chiffchaff (2007).




March 2018



31st March
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included a Little Egret, 15 Canada Geese, 40 Shelduck, 12 Tufted Duck, 5 Lapwing, a Peregrine, 2 Chiffchaff and the first Swallow of the year. A male Blackcap remained in Severn Beach. A Short-eared Owl and a Merlin were reported at Aust Warth.

30th March
A very wet day. Just 30 Dunlin, 70 Redshank and 70 Shelduck were reported from the Northwick Warth area. A male Blackcap remained on feeders in a Severn Beach garden.

29th March
A grey and wet day. No sign of no new migrants today with just a Little Egret, 3 Grey Heron, 8 Canada Geese, 70 Shelduck, 13 Tufted Duck, 12 Shoveler, 50 Teal, 100+ Redshank, 2 Water Pipits and a Coal Tit being reported from the Northwick Warth/ New Passage/Pilning Wetland area. Another 40 Shelduck were seen from Severn Beach.

28th March
A breezy day with sunshine and heavy rain and hail showers. Reports from the New Passage/Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included a Greylag Goose, 16 Canada Geese, 60 Teal, 13 Tufted Duck, 90+ Shelduck, 6 Little Grebes, a Little Egret, 60 Redshank, 4 Lapwing, 40 Curlew, a Kestrel, 2 Water Pipits, 25+ Pied Wagtails and 3 Chiffchaffs. Another 50 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                  Water Pipit, New Passage 28.3.18

27th March
Another quiet day. A brief visit to Pilning Wetland produced a Little Egret, 5 Snipe, 7 Lapwing, 6 Canada Geese, 16 Tufted Duck, 12 Gadwall, 12 Shoveler and 20 Teal.

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                                                                           Snipe and Lapwing, Pilning Wetland 27.3.18

26th March
Another dry and sunny day. Combined reports from the Northwick/New passage area included 14 Canada Geese, 4 Mute Swans, 8 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, 16 Tufted Duck, a Little Egret , 7 Snipe, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Lapwing, 60 Redshank, 51 Turnstones, a Water Pipit and 6+ Sand Martins. Another 3 Sand Martins and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach. Two Short-eared Owls, single Raven, Kestrel, Peregrine and male Sparrowhawk were seen at Aust Warth. A dead Barn Owl with a BTO ring was found in Severn Beach.

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                                                                          Black-tailed Godwits, Pilning Wetland 26.3.18

25th March
A fine sunny day. Sightings from Severn Beach on the afternoon high tide included 22 Kittiwakes, 50+ Shelduck, a drake Tufted Duck, 6 Shoveler, 30 Teal and 60 Wigeon. A Barn Owl, 2 Short-eared Owls and 2 Wheatears were seen at Aust Warth.

24th March
A quiet day. A Little Egret, 18 Tufted Duck, single Peregrine and Sparrowhawk were reported from Northwick Warth. Two Wheatears and 4 Chiffchaff were reported at Severn Beach. Two Short-eared Owls, a Wheatear and a calling Cetti’s Warbler were reported at Aust Warth.

23rd March
A mainly dry and breezy day. A flock of 57 Kittiwakes (52 adults & 5 first summer) lingered off Severn Beach mid morning where other sightings included 50+ Shelduck, 3 Gadwall and 5 Ringed Plover. Two Water Pipits were seen together in Chestle Pill at New Passage. Other reports from here and Northwick Warth involved 9 Canada Geese, 110 Shelduck, 110 Redshank, 19 Dunlin and 10 Redwing. Three Short-eared Owls, single Barn Owl, male Merlin and Kestrel remained at Aust Warth.
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                                                                                       Kittiwakes, Severn Beach 23.3.18

22nd March
Sightings from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included an Avocet, 47 Curlew, 53 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, 100 Shelduck, 12 Shoveler, 10+ Tufted Duck, a Tufted Duck/Ring-necked Duck hybrid (first seen here last year), single Water Pipit (with partial breeding plumage), male Merlin, Short-eared Owl, Kestrel and Raven. Seven Wheatears (6 males), a male Blackcap, 54 Shelduck and at least 200 Black-headed Gulls were seen at Severn Beach. A Red Kite, a Barn Owl, 3 Short-eared Owls and 2 Kestrels were reported at Aust Warth and another 2 male Wheatears were seen below Aust Cliff.

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                                                                           Water Pipit, New Passage 22.3.18  © Aravind Ramesh

21st March
An Avocet was reported at Northwick Warth. A Jack Snipe, at least 9 Wheatears (8 males), 2 Chiffchaff and the first Pheasant of the year were seen at Severn Beach. Three Short-eared Owls, 2 Barn Owls, single Kestrel and Raven were seen at Aust Warth and another 3 Wheatears were seen below Aust Cliff.

20th March
An excellent raptor day. Sightings from Aust Warth included 3 Short-eared Owls, 2 Barn Owls, single male Merlin, Peregrine and Kestrel. A visit to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetand produced presumably the same male Merlin, 105 Shelduck, 7 Canada Geese, 100+ Teal, 120 Wigeon, 11 Tufted Duck, 8 Gadwall, 12 Shoveler, a Little Egret, 40 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, 50 Oystercatchers and 21 Lapwing. Six Wheatears were reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                             Barn Owl, Aust Warth 20.3.18  © Dan White

19th March
A day of thaw following more overnight snow. Two male Wheatears were found sheltering from the cold North East wind around parked cars in Severn Beach. Two Barn Owls, a female Merlin and a Raven was seen at Aust Warth. A female Blackcap was seen at New Passage.

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                                                                                         Wheatear, Severn Beach 19.3.18

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                                                                               Barn Owl, Aust Warth 19.3.18  © Vic Savery

18th March
A cold day following several inches of overnight snow. Little was reported from a snow covered Northwick Warth other than 7 Canada Geese, 3 Snipe, a Golden Plover, 40 Meadow Pipits and a Wheatear. A Barn Owl, 2 Short-eared Owls, a Kestrel, 1000+ Fieldfares (heading East) and 40+ Meadow Pipits were reported at Aust Warth

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                                                                                   Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 18.3.18

17th March
A cloudy day with snow flurries and a biting East wind. A brief visit to New Passage produced 95 Shelduck, 7 Canada Geese and 120 Wigeon. A Jack Snipe was reported at Aust Warth. A female Blackcap was on garden feeders in Severn Beach.

16th March
A sunny day with rain showers. Six Avocets were the star find on Pilning Wetland and later seen on the shore at New Passage. Other sightings from the Northwick Warth area involved a Little Egret, 200+ Wigeon, 18 Tufted Duck, 50 Shelduck, 51 Turnstones, 60 Curlew, 70+ Redshank, 50 Dunlin and 3 Chiffchaffs. Three Short-eared Owls, a Barn Owl and a Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth late afternoon. A male Wheatear and 2 Stonechats were reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                          Avocets, New Passage 16.3.18

15th March
A brief visit to New Passage/Pilning Wetland this morning produced 46 Shelduck, 160 Wigeon, 12 Tufted Duck, 60 Dunlin, 6 Lapwing, a Water Rail, 3 Chiffchaff and a Coal Tit. Reports from Severn Beach included 78 Shelduck, a singing Chiffchaff and a male Blackcap. Four Short-eared Owls and a Barn Owl were reported at Aust Warth.

14th March
A breezy South East wind day. A Barn Owl and Merlin were seen early morning (06.40) at Aust Warth. At least 190 Wigeon, 17 Shoveler, 27 Tufted Duck, 8 Little Grebes and a Water Rail were reported from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland. Two Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe and a Cetti’s Warbler were reported from Chittening Warth.

13th March
A fine sunny day. Highlights from the New Passage/Northwick Warth area were 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Golden Plover, 50 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 9 Canada Geese, 90+ Shelduck and a Chiffchaff. Another 40 Shelduck, 40 Oystercatchers, 3 Grey Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit were seen at Severn Beach. Three Short-eared Owls, a Barn Owl and a Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth. The Tawny Owl was reported again in Severn Beach near Ableton Lane.

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                                                                 Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit, Severn Beach 13.3.18

12th March
A grey and wet day. The first Wheatear of the year was found at Chittening Warth this afternoon. A migrant Short-eared Owl flew North and across the estuary from New Passage this afternoon. Other sightings from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included 13 Canada Geese, 95+ Shelduck, 350 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 25 Tufted Duck, 22 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, a drake Pochard, 6 Little Grebes, a Little Egret, 60 Dunlin, 60 Redshank, a Snipe, 30 Lapwing and a striking plumaged; white headed and white bodied Buzzard. A male Blackcap was seen again in a Severn Beach garden and a Tawny Owl was present near the School.

11th March
A grey day with an East breeze and occasional rain showers. Two Ring-necked Parakeets were seen briefly in the Glen at New Passage and nearby 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 18 Tufted Duck, a drake Pochard and 15 fly over Siskins were reported in the Northwick Warth area. Reports from Severn Beach included 61 Shelduck, 14 Wigeon, 50 Oystercatchers, 2 Snipe, 30 Dunlin, 22 Redshank and a male Blackcap. Three Short-eared Owls remained at Aust Warth.

10th March
A Hawfinch was seen to fly into Severnside air space over Aust Warth early this morning (from Aust cliff) where at least 5 Short-eared Owls were also seen. Three Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Knot, 40+ Redshank, 135 Dunlin, a Little Egret, 340 Wigeon, 90+ Shelduck, 8 Gadwall, 15 Shoveler, 30 Teal, 12 Tufted Duck, 5 Stonechats and a Kestrel were reported from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. A singing Chiffchaff was present at the Orchard Pools in Severn Beach.

9th March
A cool day with rain showers. At least 80 Shelduck, 12 Canada Geese, 18 Shoveler, 14 Gadwall, 50 Teal, 14 Tufted Duck, 180 Wigeon, 160 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, a Water Rail, a Water Pipit and a Treecreeper. Another 30 Redshank, 30 Turnstones, 80 Dunlin, 6 Shelduck, 40 Wigeon and a Stonechat were seen at Severn Beach. Four Short-eared Owls, a Barn Owl and 2 Kestrels remained at Aust Warth.

8th March
Combined reports from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland included 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Grey Plover, 80 Lapwing, 500 Dunlin, 40 Curlew, 30 Turnstones, 50 Redshank, 10 Canada Geese, 95 Shelduck, 10 Shoveler, 190 Wigeon and 8 Tufted Duck.

7th March
A fine and mainly sunny day. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area involved 90+ Shelduck, 6 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans, 7 Tufted Duck, 24 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 6 Little Grebes, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Snipe, 13 Turnstones, 100 Lapwing, 80 Redshank, 700 Dunlin, a Little Egret and a Raven. A pair of Goosander floated up river past Severn Beach on the morning tide where other sightings included a Ring-necked Parakeet flying North along the sea wall at 08.30 (8th Severnside record) and the male Blackcap remained in a garden feeding on Crab Apples.

6th March
At least 97 Shelduck, 350 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 1000 Dunlin, 60 Curlew, 60 Oystercatchers, 100 Lapwing, 6 Black-tailed Godwits,40 Turnstones  and a Grey Plover were seen in the Northwick Warth area. At least 4 Short-eared Owls,  2 Kestrels, a Raven, 300 Dunlin and 6 Stonechats were seen from Aust Warth. A male Blackcap was still present in a Severn Beach garden.

5th March
At least 62 Shelduck, 26 Shoveler, 8 Tufted Duck, 10 Canada Geese, a Ruff, 100 Lapwing, 1000 Dunlin, 2 Water Rails, 2 Water Pipits and Stonechat were reported in the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area (many Otter tracks were seen on the Wetland). A Short-eared Owl, a male Merlin, 2 Kestrels and 4 Stonechats were seen at Aust Warth. A male Blackcap remained in a Severn Beach garden.

4th March
The thaw continued and the occasional heavy rain shower. A sunny morning and 14.1 metre spring tide produced 7 Short-eared Owls at Aust Warth where other sightings involved 200 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 200 Dunlin, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, a Golden Plover, 23 Lapwing, 2 Yellowhammers, 2 Kestrels, single male Merlin, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Raven. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included 57 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 200 Wigeon, 8 Tufted Duck, 40 Teal, 117 Oystercatchers, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 2000 Dunlin, a Golden Plover, 2+ Grey Plover, 25 Redshank and a Stonechat. Another Golden Plover and a Stonechat were seen at Severn Beach.

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                                                                        Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 4.3.18  © Matt Hobbs

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                                                                       Short-eared Owl, Aust Warth 4.3.18  © Matt Hobbs

3rd March
No snowfall today and the start of a thaw. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included 350 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebes, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Golden Plover, 60 Lapwing (unfortunately several dead), 2 Peregrines, a male Merlin, a Kestrel and 2+ Yellowhammers. A male Blackcap and a Stonechat were seen at Severn Beach. Another Stonechat and a Kestrel were present at Aust Warth.

2nd March
Another freezing day with lots of snow. Another Golden Plover and at least 70 Lapwing flew South over Severn Beach. There was an influx of Fieldfares, Redwings and Song Thrushes struggling to find food in gardens and even on the salt Marsh. Other sightings here involved 2 Stonechats, a Kestrel and a Snipe.

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                                                                                               Fieldfare, Severn Beach 2.3.18

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                                                                                      Severn Beach in the snow, 2.3.18

1st March
The cold spell continued with temperatures remaining below freezing with a strong North East breeze and snow for most of the day. At least 10 Golden Plover and 120 Lapwing flew South over Severn Beach this morning and at least 100 Wigeon, 37 Shelduck and 120 Dunlin were seen on the frozen shore late afternoon.