Friday, 1 January 2016

Highlights - December 2015

Wildfowl & Grebe: Duck numbers pretty average at both the coast and lakes.
Egret & Allies: 2 Great White Egret still lingering at the lakes. Good numbers of pre-roost Little Egret at Clevedon early on. Bittern at CVL.
Raptors: 3 unseasonal Red Kite, 1 Marsh Harrier. Short-eared Owl erratic at Aust Warth.
Waders: Purple Sandpiper look settled at Portishead, 1 noteworthy count of Black-tailed Godwit at Severnside.  Whimbrel at Severnside and Spotted Redshank at Yeo Est unusual.
Seabirds: Red-throated Diver at CVL, Black-throated Diver, 1 Pomarine Skua at Severnside.
Pipit & Wagtail: Water Pipit at Severnside and CVL.
Small birds: Bearded Tit at CVL, 3 Firecrest and up to 2 Siberian Chiffchaff reported. Black Redstart still at OPS. Finch numbers modest.

Bewick's Swan: 3 birds at BL up to 3rd, then none.
Brent Goose: 2 dark-bellied birds lingered at Severnside all month, mostly along the Northwick Warth stretch.
Barnacle Goose: Up to 15 at CVL/BL 11th-23rd.
Egyptian Goose: Noted only at BL, up to 4 birds.
Shelduck: Best coastal count was 220 at Clevedon, best CVL count was 15 birds.
Fulvous Whistling Duck: last month's bird seen at CVL on 3rd.
Wigeon: Mild weather so no spectacular numbers. Up to 700 at New Passage-Northwick all month.
Pintail: Modest numbers, 21 at the Yeo Est on 28th noteworthy for the Avon coast.
Red-crested Pochard: Single at Blagdon on 5 dates.
Scaup: Up to 3 birds at CVL, female + 2 drakes.
Lesser Scaup: The drake reported at CVL 8th-31st, on the East Shore.
Common Scoter: 1 female type at the Yeo Est on 28th.
Goldeneye: CVL max.26, BL max.14, Barrow Tanks 1.
Red-breasted Merganser: A 'redhead' type at the Pilning wetland 10th-12th, a good record for Severnside, most are fly-by sightings. At CVL, Mervyn the veteran present all month, but a pair here on 12th.
Goosander: Max.25 at CVL. Elsewhere, 3 at Backwell Lake, 10 at Newton St Loe and odd birds along the river Avon stretch at Keynsham.
Red-throated Diver: 1 at CVL up to 9th, the November bird.
Black-throated Diver: 1 fly-past at Aust Warth on 6th during stormy weather.
Grey Partridge: 4 at Kingston Seymour on 18th. We tried to trash this record, unfortunately, the observer sent in a photo to trump us.
Bittern: 1 at CVL on 13th, a Moreton fly-past.
Little Egret: 2 areas with some very good counts. Max.60 in fields at Kingston Seymour on 7th, evening roost gathering with these birds dispersing during the day. At CVL, mostly up to 20 birds and a max.27 on 27th, birds to roost at Denny.
Great White Egret: Up to 2 birds at CVL/BL, sometimes bunking off between these sites.
Black-necked Grebe: 3 long-stayers at BL still plus 1 reported at Newton St Loe Lake on 28th.
Red Kite: Single flyovers noted at St George (17th), Littleton Warth (19th) and Wraxall (29th). Not so long ago, these would have been excellent Spring numbers!
Marsh Harrier: Singles at OPS (12th) and CVL (29th).
Sparrowhawk: Well reported this month, noted from 20+ sites.
Merlin: Recorded at Marshfield, OPS, Severnside, Kenn, Clevedon coast and CVL.
Peregrine: Plenty of coastal reports plus the usual sightings of the city birds. 3 at St Phillips on 22nd.
Water Rail: Lots of reports in the wet weather, especially from Severnside.
Oystercatcher: All coastal reports. Max.140 at New Passage-Northwick on 17th.
Ringed Plover: All coastal again, best count was 35 at RPD on 14th.
Golden Plover: Max.230 at Marshfield (10th), 46 at Lulsgate airport (3rd) noteworthy.
Grey Plover: A good showing at Clevedon all month, max.34 on 13th.
Lapwing: Many groups reported, best counts from Clevedon where 2,000 on 15th. Elsewhere, New Passage-Northwick 400 and Axe Est 747. Modest numbers at the lakes.
Knot: Noted only at Clevedon, 25 on 14th best.
Purple Sandpiper: Up to 8 at Portishead all month. Regular Battery Pt birds.
Dunlin: Coastal maxima: OPS 4,000 (19th), New Passage 1,500 (13th), Portbury Wharf 2,000 (14th), Clevedon 5,000 (28th).
Jack Snipe: 7 at Aust Warth on 5th noteworthy. Other reports from Yate, OPS, Clevedon and Weston STW.
Snipe: No very large counts as is the norm these days. 30 at Clevedon coast and 30 at CVL (Stratford after reed cutting) were best counts.
Woodcock: Noted at East Stanley Wood, Lawrence Weston, Kenn Moor and BL.
Black-tailed Godwit: Good numbers at New Passage-Northwick early on, an impressive max.280 on 13th then a mass exodus from here. 10 at Clevedon coast on 16th.
Whimbrel: 6 at New Passage-Northwick on 12th. We have had isolated winter records of this summer visitor before...but never a flock.
Curlew: Coastal maxima: Littleton Warth 110, New Passage-Northwick 200, Clevedon 265.
Common Sandpiper: Odd birds regularly reported from the river Avon Sea Mills stretch and CVL/BL plus Barrow tanks and Axe Est.
Spotted Redshank: 1 at the Yeo Est on 31st.
Greenshank: The resident bird seen on 3 dates along the Sea Mills river Avon.
Green Sandpiper: Up to 3 regular at CVL, mostly the Moreton track wet bits.
Redshank: Coastal maxima: Littleton Warth 48, New Passage 80, Avonmouth Docks 179 and Clevedon 425.
Turnstone: Severnside 100, Avonmouth Dock 37, Clevedon 90.
Pomarine Skua: 1 downriver off Severn Beach on 1st.
Kittiwake: A few groups off Severn Beach on the windier days, best was 65 on 8th. 1 at CVL on 13th.
Little Gull: 1 at CVL on 15th.
Mediterranean Gull: 1 at New Passage-Northwick (4 dates), up to 2 at CVL (6 dates). 1 flyover at Westbury-on-Trym on 10th.
Yellow-legged Gull: 2 at Longwell Green on 11th noteworthy. Other reports, Severn Beach (2nd), Yeo Est (31st), CVL (17th/31st).
Great Black-backed Gull: Most records from CVL, max.6 birds.
Barn Owl: Noted at Congresbury, Yeo Est, CVL and BL.
Tawny Owl: Regular in woodlands at Abbots Leigh, up to 2 birds calling at night.
Short-eared Owl: Single birds reported from OPS, Aust Warth and Uphill. Not a Short-eared Owl winter yet....
Green Woodpecker: Widely reported in ones/twos. Overcourt Wood at Warmley recorded up to 20 birds on 2 dates.
Great Spotted Woodpecker: as Green, widely reported. 3 birds at Warmley Forest Park and Newton St Loe were the best single counts.
Jay: Many widespread records. 6 at CVL on 27th best.
Jackdaw: 1,500 at OPS (28th), 1,000+ to roost at CVL (31st).
Raven: Widely reported in ones/twos. 11 at Marshfield (6th) and 9 at Clevedon (14th) best.
Goldcrest: Lots of birds reported. One exceptional count: 30 birds at Snuff Mills on 2nd.
Firecrest: In date order, Banwell (6th), Worle (11th/16th), Clevedon (30th).
Marsh Tit: OPS 5th, Abbots Pool 7th/13th and Bath Spa 7th.
Bearded Tit: 2 at CVL Stratford on 3rd.
Skylark: Best counts: Marshfield 200, Clevedon coast 62 and Paulton 33.
Cetti's Warbler: Mainly reported from the coast and CVL. Best single count was 4 at Portbury Wharf on 7th.
Chiffchaff: Best count was 10 at CVL on 10th.
Siberian Chiffchaff: Up to 2 birds reported at CVL 1st-23rd, mostly along the Bittern trail.
Blackcap: Mostly garden records. Best was 5 at Stoke Bishop on 16th.
Nuthatch: Widely reported in woodlands, 4 at Snuff Mills and Newton St Loe best.
Treecreeper: Noted at 12 sites.
Starling: No massive numbers reported. Up to 2,000 at the Clevedon coast on various dates and 3,000 at W-s-M on 31st.
Blackbird: Best groups were 40 at Warmley Forest Park, 40 at OPS, 20 at Stockwood and 20 at Willsbridge Mill.
Fieldfare: Lots of small parties reported but weather probably too mild to trigger any major influx of birds. 500 at Kenn Moor was the best single count.
Redwing: As Fieldfare. best count was 350 at CVL.
Black Redstart: Up to 2 birds at OPS 6th-30th.
Stonechat: Widely reported. 8 at Kenn Moor (9th) best.
Pied Wagtail: 200 at Bath, Southgate was the only major roost reported.
Rock Pipit: All coastal, best was 8 at Yeo Est on 28th.
Water Pipit: Regular at New Passage-Northwick all month, 5 on 27th. 2nd sentry box area a good place to look. Up to 2 birds at CVL, Moreton on 3 dates.
Brambling: Noted at New Passage, Worle, CVL and BL, all single birds.
Greenfinch: 170 at Yeo Est scrub on 2nd...a favourite spot apparently but some recent work has destroyed the habitat so future counts may be much lower.
Siskin: A few winter flocks appearing about the area, 150 at CVL on 14th noteworthy. Other decent groups at Huntingford and Warmley Forest Park.
Linnet: 200 at Huntingford, Little River Avon was the only large count received.
Redpoll: Up to 5 birds at Warmley Forest Park, Portishead, Weston Moor, Kenn Moor, Paulton and CVL.
Bullfinch: 9 birds at Sand Pt on 4th was the best count.
Yellowhammer: Marshfield 30, Easton-in-Gordano 5, Bath Spa 1 and Paulton 10. Any records away from the Marshfield stronghold would be much appreciated.