Bird News: February 2022

Firstly an amazing record of a male Hen Harrier by the Little River last October. Thanks to Emily Lomas for this video. I have never seen a male locally and I’m pretty sure none has been reported in the last 40 years! Emily couldn’t identify the bird and therefore wasn’t aware of the significance of her sighting and film. I’m always very pleased to see pictures so if you have anything unusual or would like identification please do send them to the email address at the end of this piece.

As well as the usual resident species, 15 Siskins were at Cadbury Hill at the beginning of the month as was a Muntjac deer. Down the hill in Claverham a Green Woodpecker was bullied off feeding on an anthill by a Magpie. Also in Claverham a fine male Brambling arrived in a members garden on the 6th. A Red Kite by the river in the Wemberham area was a surprise, they are unusual in winter.

Over at Kingston Seymour the Ravens were pairing up and may well nest on their favoured pylon. A work party at the new Cobthorn Reserve turned up a small pile of Woodcock feathers, a sad but very interesting find.

Storm Eunice brought a few Kittiwakes up the Severn Estuary but David Lumkin tells me that it did not dislodge a single twig from the Raven’s nest on the pylon in Kingston Seymour. The Ravens are later this year but at the month end it looked as if they were settling to nest.

Snipe by Jon Thobroe

The Snipe count at Kenn Moor Reserve (27th) turned up 17 Snipe, one Jack Snipe and very surprisingly a Curlew – the first record here and probably the first record on a YACWAG Reserve. Three Green Woodpeckers were present on the cricket field at Congresbury, a most unusual gathering.

Thanks to all who have sent me reports of sightings and to Emily for the video and Jon for the photo. Please send sightings to

Trevor Riddle