Sunday 20 September – Severn Beach and Pilning Wetlands Leader: Lois Pryce

Four members met at New Passage on a very high tide with strong winds, after passing a couple of Swallows, and a Turnstone below the esplanade on the way from Severn Beach. On a flooded area of salt marsh we tried to turn a juvenile/cryptic Teal into the juvenile Garganey that had been there – the Teal hiding its green flash with its wing feathers; and later we saw more of the season’s new crop of Teal and Wigeon. Shelduck, Oystercatcher and Curlew rimmed the shore edge as the waters rose, with larger numbers of Canada Geese and Black-headed Gulls. Ringed Plover and Dunlin were settled on the salt marsh with a Sanderling, and Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail and large flocks of Linnet – 150 or more – but no Yellow Wagtail today. We were lucky enough to see five elegant Ruffs together on the first Pilning pool and appreciate the size difference between males and females; but looking past some Lapwings we couldn’t find the reported Pectoral Sandpiper, or Curlew Sandpiper on the marsh. However, with a Kestrel hunting above, the whole area hummed with life and enough excitement for our group! (Thanks to Lois for leading.) Lois Pryce