Bird News: January 2023

The Kenn Moor Reserve Snipe count on the 2nd produced 28 Snipe with a few Meadow Pipits, a pair of Stonechats and an overflying Little Egret. On the same day a mixed flock of 200 Redwings and Fieldfares was by the Gang Wall.

Snipe on the Congresbury Yeo (16 December 2022) by Mark Savage

Three days later Congresbury Moor Reserve held nine Snipe and one of our Barn Owls put in an appearance. A Kingfisher was by the Strawberry Line and another on the Little River. The mild weather encouraged Cetti’s Warblers and a Song Thrush to sing along the Strawberry Line. The soggy fields by the River Yeo and just over the motorway hosted over 1000 Herring Gulls and 500 Black headed gulls. Flocks of 25 Skylarks and 20 Lapwings there were more welcome sights.

Song Thrush by Emily Lomas

There were few winter thrushes but a few Song Thrushes were reported and a Kingfisher was seen by three observers on separate occasions on Wemberham Rhyne and shortly afterwards by myself. The heavy rain and muddy Rhynes and rivers will not have made survival easy for them. Barn Owls too will have found the rain and wind challenging but two were seen from cars (in darkness) at Kingston Bridge and Claverham Drove.

A pair of Rooks visited our Chairman’s garden, a highly unusual occurrence in a suburban area and then I discovered that a Rook had been recorded in a garden during the Christmas bird survey. Perhaps Rooks are beginning to become attuned to living more closely alongside humans.

The cold spell mid month brought seven Teal to Blackditch by Kenn Moor Road and a Great White Egret was fishing there. No less than 24 Little Egrets were by the Little River (22nd). Three Little Grebes and seven Snipe were on Kenn Moor (Claverham Drove area) and nine Cormorants were on the pylon near Nailsea Wall. More Teal were on New Rhyne viewable from the Strawberry Line. A good range of woodland species were on Cadbury Hill, including three Marsh Tits, a Siskin and a Song Thrush hammering a snail on its ‘anvil’ then eating the contents of the shell.

Marsh Tit on Cadbury Hill, Yatton (18 January 2023) by Mark Savage

The Strawberry Line at Congresbury produced a mixed flock of around 100 Fieldfares and Redwings as well as calling Water Rail, two Little Owls and Bullfinches. The Yatton Peregrine was notable by his absence (perhaps disturbed by the Hinkley Connect work) until 27th. when I saw him from Wemberham Lane then my Kingston Seymour correspondent saw him with large prey on the former Raven nest pylon.

Six Goosanders were on the river at Congresbury with a couple of Little Egrets nearby on the 28th. And a Spoonbill was touring our local moors and (mostly) coastal areas towards the end of the month.

Spoonbill on the Clevedon Yeo (26 January 2023) – Mark Savage

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