A Hit, a Miss and Two No Shows

After a morning of shopping in Swindon town centre with my teenage daughter I decided to treat myself to an afternoon on Severnside with the two Twite as the target birds. So one o,clock saw Pete and I heading west on the M4. Arriving at Old Passage we soon worked out where the Twite were likely to be and, along with a handful of other birders settled down for what we hoped would not be a long wait. Whilst waiting, a scanning session turned up a Brambling amongst the commoner birds that were around. Pulses quickened when a couple of birds flew into the trees that we were watching but it was a false alarm as they were Reed Buntings. A short while later another bird arrived closely followed by a second. This time it was what we were waiting for, and the birds proceeded to show really well, allowing plenty of time to absorb the key id features. They had not yet lost the winter Yellow beaks and a touch of pink was visible on the rump of one of the birds.  They were also quite vocal, allowing the call to be studied also. P1170340 (1024x757)      With my third life tick of the year sorted we headed off to New Passage and a walk along towards the new Severn Bridge. Here we saw plenty of Teal, Wigeon and Shelduck along with a few Curlew. A flock of small waders, probably all Dunlin was flying around. Not much else was seen along as far as the bridge and so we then carried on towards Severn Beach. With only Meadow Pipit and House Sparrow added to the list we decided at around four o’clock to head back to the car. Next it was back to Aust to look for Owls. As it happened a bad move as we missed out on a Snow Bunting that was showing well right alongside the path. Also, despite hanging around until half-five neither Barn or Short-eared Owl was seen. So another successful trip with the target bird in the bag.

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