SEVERNSIDE BIRDS
























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May is the equal 3rd most productive month of the year with at least one individual of 194 species being seen. The summer migrants continue to move through including Garganey, Hobby, Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, more Terns and Skuas with the chance of Pomarine. “Small” wader numbers should rise during the month with Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Sanderling and the chance of a Curlew Sandpiper or Little Stint. Rarer records include Subalpine Warbler (2004), Golden Oriole (2016), Bee-eater (2007), Spoonbills (1998,2015,2017), Honey Buzzard (1991,2011), Montagu’s Harrier (2015), Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Kentish Plover (2004), Buff-breasted Sandpiper (1990), Temminck’s Stint (2004,2016), Broad-billed Sandpiper (1988), Dotterel (2011),Black-winged Stilt (2017), Franklin’s Gull (1984), Laughing Gull (2012), Long-tailed Skua, Sabine’s Gull, Roseate Tern (1990) and White-winged Black Tern (1990).                                     


May 2018




31st May
A humid day with torrential rain showers in the afternoon. Twelve Sanderling, 6 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, a Grey Wagtail and 4 Black-headed Gulls were seen at Severn Beach this morning. Another 7 Sanderling, 5 Grey Plover,  a Whimbrel, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 26 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, 6 Lapwing, a drake Teal, 5 Greylag Geese, 18 Shelduck ducklings, a Raven and a Spotted Flycatcher were seen in the Northwick Warth/Pining Wetland/New Passage area. A late migrant Short-eared Owl was reported on Northwick Warth this evening.

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                                                                            Spotted Flycatcher, New Passage 31.5.18

30th May
A wet day. An early morning high tide visit to Severn Beach produced 7 Sanderling, 70 Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin. Another 29 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin and 5 Lapwing were seen on Pilning Wetland with single drake Teal and Shoveler. Nearby 2 Grey Plover, a Sanderling, a Curlew, 45+ Oystercatchers, 21 Canada Geese, 35+ Shelduck, single Kestrel and Black-headed Gull were seen on Northwick Warth.

29th May
At least 22 Sanderling, 195 Ringed Plover and 60 Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach this morning. Sightings from Northwick Warth included a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, 3 Black-headed Gulls, single Hobby and Raven.

28th May
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area involved an Avocet, 4 Little Ringed Plover, 5 Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, a drake Teal, 5 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Yellow Wagtails. At least 190 Ringed Plover, 80 Dunlin, 30 Sanderling, a Turnstone and 3 Black-headed Gulls were seen at Severn Beach.

27th May
A morning with thunder and heavy rain showers, turning to hazy sunshine in the afternoon. Five Black-tailed Godwits, 5+ Little Ringed Plover, 8 Grey Plover, 3 Sanderling, 10 Ringed Plover, 11 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 6 Lapwing, 52 Oystercatchers, a Little Egret, 80+ Shelduck plus a brood of 18, 20+ Tufted Duck, 24 Gadwall, a drake Shoveler, a drake Teal and 13 Black-headed Gulls were seen in the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. At least 210 Ringed Plover, 55 Dunlin, 30 Sanderling and a female Wheatear were reported at Severn Beach this morning.

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                                                                              Black-tailed Godwits, Pilning Wetland 27.5.18

26th May
A murky damp morning followed by a sunny afternoon. A moderate strength East wind continued to produce a few overdue migrants. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included a flock of 5 Red Kites (low over North East at 11.45), single Hobby (early morning), Kestrel, Redshank and drake Teal, 8+ Little Ringed Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 23 Gadwall, 2 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Siskins. Nine Grey Plover, 3 red Knot, 14 Sanderling, 2 Turnstones, a mixed flock of 180+ Ringed Plover/Dunlin, a Black-headed Gull and a Hobby were seen from Severn Beach over the afternoon high tide.

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                                                                                     Red Kites, Pilning Wetland 26.5.18

25th May
A wet day. Combined visits to Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland produced 2 Avocets, single Greenshank and Grey Plover, 11 Little Ringed Plover, 6 Lapwing, 2 Redshank, a Little Egret, 18 Canada Geese, drake Shoveler and Teal, 4 Black-headed Gulls, a female Yellow Wagtail, 2 flyover Tree Pipits, single Raven and Kestrel. The evening high tide produced 200+ Ringed Plover, 37+ Dunlin, 12 Sanderling, a Grey Plover and Peregrine at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                           Avocets, Pilning Wetland 25.5.18

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                                                                                          Sanderling, Severn Beach 25.5.18

24th May
The North East wind continued on a cloudy day. A male Blue-headed Wagtail, 2 Whimbrel, 9 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Redshank, a Little Egret, 4 Black-headed Gulls, a drake Teal, 2 drake Shoveler, 26 Gadwall and a flyover Tree Pipit were seen in the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. An afternoon high tide visit to the Severn Beach shore produced 2 Black Terns, 4+ Sanderling, a Grey Plover, 75 Ringed Plover, 76 Dunlin, 8 Black-headed Gulls and a male Yellow Wagtail. There was a notable passage of  hundreds of Swifts heading into the wind most of the day.

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                                                                            Blue-headed Wagtail, Pilning Wetland 24.5.18

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                                                                                 Blue-headed Wagtail, Pilning Wetland 24.5.18

23rd May
Another day with a fresh North East breeze. Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area included 9 Little Ringed Plover, a Grey Plover, 2 Redshank, 4 Black-headed Gulls, a Little Egret, 2 Ravens and the first brood of 8 Shelduck ducklings.

22nd May
A dry and sunny day with moderate strength North East breeze. A morning visit to the Northwick Warth area produced 4 Little Ringed Plover, single Common Sandpiper and Dunlin, 25 Oystercatchers, 6 Lapwing, 9 Black-headed Gulls and 80+ Shelduck. Four Ringed Plover, single Dunlin, Whimbrel and Little Egret were seen at Severn Beach.

21st May
No sign of any Avocets again today but a pair of Garganey, 2 Little Ringed Plover, single Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 2 Grey Heron, a Little Egret, 14 Canada Geese, 49 Shelduck and 18 Black-headed Gulls were seen in the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. Just a single Whimbrel and Black-headed Gull were reported at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                Garganey drake, Pilning Wetland 21.5.18

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                                                                                  Garganey female, Pilning Wetland 21.5.18

20th May
Another warm and sunny day. Three Avocets, a Whimbrel, 7 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 38 Oystercatchers, a Curlew, 8 Ringed Plover and 4 Dunlin were reported from Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland. Two summer plumage Grey Plover, 2 Black-headed Gulls and 20 Shelduck were seen at Severn Beach.

19th May
A Cuckoo was heard calling at New Passage this morning. The Avocets have abandoned their breeding attempt on Pilning Wetland and were not seen today but sightings in the Northwick Warth area involved 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 2+ Little Ringed Plover, 40 Oystercatchers, a mobile flock of 35 Ringed Plover/Dunlin, 6 Lapwing, 3 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Heron, single female Teal, Raven and Kestrel. Just 2 Dunlin, 2 Peregrines and 3 Black-headed Gulls were reported from the Severn Beach shore and nearby a Spotted Flycatcher was found at the Orchard Pools.

18th May
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth area involved 2 Avocets, 2+ Little Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Lapwing, a mixed flighty flock of 20 Ringed Plover/Dunlin, a Little Egret, 9 Black-headed Gulls, 14 Canada Geese and 60+ Shelduck.

17th May
Another sunny day with a cool North East breeze. A Whimbrel was present at Severn Beach early morning. Two Avocets were seen mating and one bird spent most of the time settled on a “nest” (the first breeding attempt in South Gloucestershire), 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, single Redshank and Little Egret, 65 Shelduck, 3 Black-headed Gulls single Raven, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were reported from Northwick Warth.

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                                                                                            Avocets, Pilning Wetland 17.5.18

16th May
A sunny day with a North East breeze. Reports from the Northwick Warth area included 3 Avocets, 20 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 12 Dunlin, 35 Oystercatchers, 58 Shelduck, single Redshank, Black-headed Gull and Siskin.

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                                                                                          Avocet, Pilning Wetland 16.5.18

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                                                                                        Avocets, Pilning Wetland 16.5.18

15th May
Another warm and sunny day but little improvement in number or variety of birds. Combined reports from Northwick Warth included 2 Avocets, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 12 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 35 Oystercatchers, 2 Redshank, 7 Lapwing, a Little Egret, a female Teal, 30 Shelduck, 20 Gadwall and 20+ Tufted Ducks.

14th May
A warm and sunny day. Reports from the Northwick Warth/New Passage area involved 3 Little Ringed Plover, 8 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, single Sanderling, Common Sandpiper and Redshank, 7 Lapwing, 46 Oystercatchers, 20 Shelduck, 10 Canada Geese and 3 Little Egrets. Two Common Sandpipers and a Dunlin were seen at Severn Beach on the evening high tide.

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                                                                            Little Ringed Plover, New Passage 14.5.18

13th May
Just 3 Little Ringed Plover, 12 Ringed Plover, a Sanderling, 44 Dunlin, 5 Lapwing, a Redshank, 23 Oystercatchers, 12 Canada Geese and 40+ Shelduck were reported from the Northwick Warth area, Another 80 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover and a Curlew were reported from Severn Beach.

12th May
Combined reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included 2 Great Crested Grebes drifting down river, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 8 Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlin, 28 Tufted Duck, 12+ Gadwall, a female Teal, 12 Canada Geese, 6 Mute Swans, a Little Egret, 2+ Black-headed Gulls, single Grey Wagtail and White Wagtail. A summer plumaged Grey Plover, 3 Whimbrel and a mixed flock of 70 Dunlin and 35 Ringed Plovers were seen at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                      Grey Plover, Severn Beach  12.5.18

11th May
A quiet day with just a singing Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Black-headed Gulls, single Little Egret, Yellow Wagtail and White Wagtail reported from the Northwick Warth area. An afternoon high tide visit to Severn Beach produced just 7 Dunlin and 5 Ringed Plover. Just a few miles South of Severnside, a fine summer plumaged Spotted Sandpiper was found on Portbury Wharf nature reserve. This would be a welcome addition to the Severnside list.

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                                                                  Spotted Sandpiper, Portbury Wharf, North Somerset 11.5.18

10th May
A sunny day with a moderate strength South West wind.Just 4 Whimbrel, a Little Egret, 5 Black-headed Gulls, a Wheatear and at least 6 Swifts were reported in the Northwick Warth area. An afternoon high tide visit to Severn Beach produced a flock of at least 15 Kittiwakes, 24 Dunlin and 22 Ringed Plover.

9th May
A Ruff, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 8 Dunlin, 6 Lapwing, 3 Black-headed Gulls, single Water Rail, drake Shoveler, drake Teal, Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear were reported in the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area. A Hobby and 2 Wheatears were seen at Severn Beach.

8th May
A foggy dawn followed by a cooler and breezy day. Combined reports from the Pilning Wetland/Northwick Warh area involved single Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Snipe and Redshank, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, 8 Dunlin, 7 Lapwing, 3 Whimbrel, 14 Black-headed Gulls, 19 Shelduck, 12 Canada Geese, an influx of Swifts, a Yellow Wagtail and at least one Spotted Flycatcher. A flock of at least 60 Kittiwakes, a Black-headed Gull, 14 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 10 Dunlin, 2 Turnstones, single Yellow Wagtail and Siskin were seen from Severn Beach. Click on the images below for Wood Sandpiper and Kittiwake Youtube videos.

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                                                                                    Wood Sandpiper, Pilning Wetland 8.5.18

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                                                                                          Kittiwakes, Severn Beach 8.5.18

7th May
A hot and sunny day (25°C). The Wood Sandpiper remained on Pilning Wetland with a Ruff, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 18 Dunlin and 2 Common Sandpipers. An Arctic Tern was reported here in the evening. Other reports from Northwick Warth involved 3 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Wheatears and a Yellow Wagtail. A Whimbrel, 9 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin and a Turnstone were seen at Severn Beach.

6th May
A warm day. A Wood Sandpiper was found on Pilning Wetland. Other reports from here and Northwick Warth included 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 5 Lapwing, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew, 17 Dunlin, 30 Black-headed Gulls and a Yellow Wagtail. A distant Swan thought to be a Whooper Swan, a Little Egret, 10 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover and 4 Turnstones were seen at Severn Beach. A Kestrel and a Whinchat were seen at Aust Warth.

5th May
A warm and sunny day. The only reports from the Northwick Warth area were of a Barnacle Goose, a Whimbrel, 31 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, a Shoveler and 2 Yellow Wagtails. A mixed flock of 30 Dunlin/Ringed Plover, a Curlew and 4 Black-headed Gulls were seen at Severn Beach.

4th May
Much of the same was reported from the Northwick Warth area including the Ruff, 7 Whimbrel, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Curlew, 47 Oystercatchers, 31 Dunlin, single Snipe and Common Sandpiper, 2+ Wheatears and 4 White Wagtails. Another 25 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 3 singing Lesser Whitethroats, a Wheatear and a male Sparrowhawk were present at Severn Beach.

3rd May
A Ruff, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 16 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover, 4 Redshank, 5 Lapwing, single Common Sandpiper and Snipe, 2 drake Teal, 2 Wheatears, 4 White Wagtails and a Lesser Whitethroat were seen in the Northwick Warth area. Five Whimbrel and 2 Lesser Whitethroats were reported at Severn Beach. Two Wheatears and a Kestrel were present at Aust Warth.

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                                                                                         Ruff, Pilning Wetland 3.5.18

2nd May
A wet dawn finally becoming sunny and breezy. A Ruff, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 16 Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Whimbrel, 3 Redshank, single Snipe and Little Egret, 42 Shelduck, a drake Teal, 14+ Gadwall, 16+ Tufted Duck, a Great Crested Grebe, 8 Little Grebes, 6 Wheatears, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 White Wagtails, 3 Swift and a Sparrowhawk were seen in the Northwick Warth area. Another 2 Whimbrel, 4 Turnstones, a Whinchat and a Wheatear were seen at Severn Beach.

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                                                                                 Great Crested Grebe, New Passage 2.5.18

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                                                                                        Whimbrel, Severn Beach 1.5.18

1st May
Reports from the Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland area included Black-tailed Godwit, Little Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, 6 Dunlin, White Wagtail, Wheatear and the first Garden Warbler of the year. A Red Kite, 10 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 12 Whimbrel, a pair of Common Scoter, a Yellow Wagtail, 5 Whitethroats, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a cock Pheasant and 2 Jays were seen at Severn Beach. A Whinchat, Whitethroat and Kestrel were seen at Aust Warth.