February 2016 Bird Summary
Some windier days early on produced a few seabird records.
Swans, Geese & Ducks
A Brent Goose was at New Passage 1st-14th and there was a mobile flock of up to 16 Barnacle Goose at CVL/BL. Up to 2 Scaup at CVL and 7 Common Scoter were off Severn Beach (21st). Goldeneye max 43 at CVL, but very few Goosander seen here due to high water levels.
Exotics: 1 Red-breasted Goose at CVL 6th, 2 Bar-headed Goose at Backwell Lake 14th/19th, Egyptian Goose at CVL/BL and the Keynsham river Avon, up to 5 Muscovy Duck at Eastville Lake, 8 Mandarin Duck at Tortworth Lake and the long-staying Wood Duck at Winterbourne pond up to 21st.
3 Black-necked Grebe at Blagdon all month and Great Crested Grebe were widely displaying at CVL by the end of the month.
Herons & Allies
1 Bittern at CVL on 4 dates, 1 at BL on 10th, 1 Great White Egret at Uphill (18th) – this species abandoned the lakes with the rising water levels.
Notable Little Egret counts: up 21 at Backwell Lake, up to 19 at CVL and 20 at Littleton Warth.
3 flyover Crane at Severn Beach/Oldbury on 23rd.
2 Red Kite at Hawkesbury Upton (27th), 1 at Hambrook (27th) and 1 at Easter Compton (28th). 1 Marsh Harrier at Worle (16th). Merlin at Portbury Wharf (4th), New Passage (12th), Sand Bay (19th) and Marshfield (23rd/24th).
Up to 3 Short-eared Owl were at Uphill, often giving superb views.
5 Avocet were at Clevedon coast (12th), up to 8 Purple Sandpiper resident at Portishead and a noteworthy 248 Snipe at Oldbury. Other common wader numbers were ordinary.
2 Little Gull at Severn Beach (8th), up to 8 Mediterranean Gull in the CVL roost, 300 Kittiwake at Oldbury (1st) and smaller flocks at Severnside on later dates.
1 Fulmar off Severn Beach (8th), 1 Storm Petrel at Oldbury (8th), 1 Gannet at New Passage (1st), 4 Great Skua at Severn Beach (8th), 1 at Oldbury (8th).
Warblers & Crests
Up to 2 Firecrest showed at Eastville on many dates, singles at Sand Pt (11th) and Hengrove (22nd).The wintering Siberian Chiffchaff was reported at CVL 9th/12th/20th, usually around the BH hide area. 2 Dartford Warbler remained at Sand Bay, but 3 here on 18th.
Numbers very low, 150 Fieldfare, and 110 Redwing were the best single counts recorded.
Sparrow & Black Redstart
Up to 2 Black Redstart at Oldbury Power Station, 1 at St Werburgh’s on 13th.
1 Tree Sparrow in a Chew Magna garden on 26th.
Wagtail & Pipit
Up to 5 Water Pipit were regular at Northwick Warth, smaller numbers reported from Littleton Warth, Sand Bay and CVL.
Finches & Buntings
Finch numbers generally poor, especially Brambling which has been very scarce this winter, just a few noted at Portishead, Blagdon and Burnett.
1 Mealy Redpoll seen at Portbury Wharf 4th/9th, 1 flyover Crossbill at Clevedon (23rd). 800 Linnet and 300 Yellowhammer at Marshfield, but hardly any Corn Bunting reported, perhaps they are too numerous.