Wednesday, 26 November 2014

9 November 2014: Aust Warth and New Passage, Gloucestershire, hoping for Short Eared Owl.

I took an early astart with a frined and we went to Aust Warth and New Passage on the Severn Estuary - between the two Severn Bridges. It was going to be one of the highest tides for a while and we hoped the saltmarsh might flood, driving the small mammals out and hopefully any Short Eared Owls that might be about. Unfortunately it was a very still day so there was no wind to help push the tide up so it didn't rise to expectations. First bird of the day as we were waiting was this female Stonechat.
Out on the estuary, a Little Egret stalked as the tide rose.
We were visited on our watching place by a Pied Wagtail

There was a host of Meadow Pipit on the meadow

and Wigeon alternating between water and grassland.
A flock of Curlew kept to the river's edge

and a flock of Canada Geese flew in  with a solitary Greylag.
Oystercatchers flew by downstream
and a flock of Wigeon and Shoveler flew upstream.
Out near the water's edge was a large flock of Dunlin
and they kept lifting off, though we never saw any Birds of Prey over the estuary that may have put them up.

Another sluice gate and another Pied Wagtail
At one point we were overflown by a Sparrowhawk but it was so close to us that none of the birds went up.

One of a large Starling flock.
Goldfinch resting from feeding on Thistle heads
More meadow Pipit
Lapwing flock over

Grey Heron
Yet another Meadow Pipit
Curlew flying by

A pair of mallard
Among the Canada Geese we spot a solitary Brent Goose

Two Dunlin starting to feed on the estuary as the tide has started to ebb.
Wigeon and Redshank.

Black Headed Gull

Juvenile Gull - not sure which.
Grey Heron over

and down onto the estuary bank.
Out onto the estuary went the Canada Geese and the Brent.
A couple of Turnstone.
A lesser Black Backed Gull
Dunlin again
More Curlew

and the Heron moves on
One of the Oystercatcher feeding.
So, noOwls but a good day in good light.

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