Bird News: November 2023

Two flocks of Woodpigeons totalling 2,000 birds were reported heading south over Kingston Seymour on the 3rd. A pair of Ravens were mutual preening to strengthen their pair bond on a nearby pylon.

a close up of a Redwing bird perched amongst thorned and berried bushes holds a large red berry in its beak.
Redwing seen on the Strawberry Line Yatton 29 November 2023 by Mark Savage

A Green Sandpiper was at Phipps (Bridge) Sluice with 18 Skylarks and a Green Woodpecker nearby. Around 60 Redwings and half a dozen Fieldfares were seen in the same general area. On the 8th a flock of Jackdaws estimated at 500 birds was heading into Yatton at dawn from the Kingston Seymour direction.

The first sunny calm morning for a while (11th) saw a Kingfisher, Kestrel, two Green Sandpipers and several Meadow Pipits by the Little River. More exciting was a party of 15 Goosander flying over – it’s quite early in the winter for them. There were half a dozen Redwings on the Congresbury section of the Strawberry Line with Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and two calling Skylarks from Wemberham Lane. The next day flocks of Redwings and Fieldfares were in Ham Lane, Yatton and a Kingfisher flew from a small ditch there. Another Kingfisher was seen from the Strawberry Line south of Congresbury.

a close up photo of an imposing looking Great Black Backed Gull
Great Black Backed Gull. Note the large size and grey legs which distinguish it from Lesser Black Backed Gull. Picture by Jon Thobroe

Heavy rain on the morning of the 14th produced more splash flooding on Kenn Moor and this attracted a flock of 2,000 Starlings with 500 each of Black Headed and Herring Gulls. A few Fieldfares were present probably going to roost. A day or two afterwards Kingfishers were seen at Wemberham Lane and on Congresbury Moor by the YACWAG fields.

A small female bird called a Stonechat is perched on the top of a plant
Female Stonechat. Picture by Emily Lomas

A Little Egret by the Strawberry Line near Congresbury on the 20th was the first recorded by the observer for some time and there were seven viewable from the Yatton section a couple of days later. Two Song Thrushes were singing at the Yatton end of the line, there were small numbers of Redwings and Fieldfares around and a Blackcap was singing its quiet winter song on Congresbury Moor. An unusual record was of a Woodcock flying over the road by Cadbury Garden Center as dusk (22nd) – the most unusual aspect being the observer driving past at the exact time the bird flew out to feed.

a small bird called a Song Thrush standing in muddy water on Cadbury Hill
Bath time Song Thrush at Cadbury Hill 27 November 2023 by Mark Savage

After two sunny days the 26th was cold, dull and damp so I was surprised and delighted in equal measure to see a Peregrine perched on one of the new T pylons, the first record of this locally. He was back the next day! Further along Wemberham Lane a Redwing sang very quietly, another first for me. A walk on Cadbury Hill in advance of the winter bird walk produced an encouraging number of singing Song Thrushes and a fly by flock of Siskins. Snipe and Jack Snipe were present on our Kenn Moor Reserve.

Two birds, a Jack Snipe & a Common Snipe are side by side standing on muddy puddled ground. Their brown and grey colourings make them blend into the scenery
Jack Snipe (left) & Common Snipe (right), Summerleys, 21 October 2023. Picture by Mark Savage

At the month end the cold snap brought lots of Redwings and Fieldfares. Just two Snipe were recorded on Congresbury Moor, but Kingfisher, Kestrel and Barn Owl were present (29th). Hundreds of winter thrushes were on Kenn Moor as well as two Kingfishers and a Short Eared Owl, the first recorded there for several years.

Your sightings are always very welcome at

Trevor Riddle