Birds in the Severn Hams on 17 March

Water levels continuing to drop slowly in the meadows; not a lot of indication of summer visitors yet, apart from singing Chiffchaff and Blackcap – no sign of Sand Martins yet at the colonies in the banks of the Severn; but more song from resident birds.

Coombe Hill GWT reserve: Still 171 grazing  Wigeon, 9 Shelducks (several paired), 40 Teal, 21 Shoveler, 15 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Oystercatchers (apparently a pair), 16 Lapwings (lots of display, apparently preparing to breed), 4 Curlews, 1 Redshank, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming, 3 Skylarks singing, 1 Treecreeper singing, at least eight Reed Buntings singing, 1 Yellowhammer singing.

Haw Bridge: one Blackcap singing.

Ashleworth Ham GWT reserve: 98 Wigeon, 38 Teal, 2 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, 1 Peregrine, 1 Snipe, 1 Chiffchaff singing.

Lower Lode Brickpits; as many as 35 Cormorants, both adults and immatures, loafing on trees round the water, with a chorus of grunts and squawks – this seems to have become
the favourite resting area for Cormorants along our stretch of the Severn.  One Grey Heron, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 11 Coot, 10 Teal, three Tufted Ducks.  And one Nuthatch calling in parkland round nearby Forthampton Court – a species rarely found near the Severn banks – only on slightly higher ground with mature trees.

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