Aylburton Warth

Aylburton is a village on the North side of the Severn estuary, between Lydney and Chepstow, so it is in England, just. The Warth is the bit down by sea, I do not know what warth means but it is what I would call the saltings.aylburton-warth10

The morning was fairly grey and the tide was out, never a good thing when you are birding as the waders are miles away and just dots on the horizon. I had binoculars but not my scope.

On the way down I saw stonechats, and a nice group of goldfinches.aylburton-warth1

There are large areas of teasels which no doubt attracts them.aylburton-warth15

Once onto the flat grassy area it was fairly devoid of birds, there were a few Meadow pipits and vast numbers of crows along with a few gulls. I am not much into gulls, I think they were mainly of the Herring species.aylburton-warth2

Initially I headed up stream/inland and this area is known as Lydney New Groundsaylburton-warth8

Apart from the huge numbers of Crows, into the thousands I would say, I did see Shell duck, Curlew, Teal, and what must have been Red legged partridge, but I was surprised that they were in amongst the large rocks which act as a sea defence. When disturbed they flew off low and fast, typical of partridge, but I never got a good view of them.aylburton-warth3

I turned back after about a mile in that direction and headed back in the westerly direction. This takes you out onto a mini peninsula. Out there I thought I could see an Egret in the distance. aylburton-warth6

So I adopted a technique I used to use when living in Norfolk and dropped down out of sight behind the sea bank and approached unseen. When I guessed I was about level with the bird I slowly climbed the bank and photographed it.aylburton-warth7

I expect this has happened to you at some time in the past. As I said this area is quite reminiscent of the Norfolk coast, and I felt quite at home, you could ignore the hills a few miles inland as it was quite misty and concentrate on the plants, all quite familiar, like this Buckshorn Plantain and Scurvy grass.aylburton-warth11

I also spotted some Sea Aster ( that’s what they have in Spain in the afternoon) I expect in summer this might be worth a visit to get some samphire…..which I do like.aylburton-warth9

Towards the end of the peninsula were a large number of peculiar metal baskets, presumably something to do with fishing, mussel culture, but I am not sure what.aylburton-warth12

I returned back along the dyke bringing water into the Severn from the village, presumably it also functions as method to rid the village of sewage??? Maybe this item had just got washed up there?aylburton-warth13

The sun did make a few brief appearances which produced some nice effects across the estuary.aylburton-warth5

And to round off my Norfolk nostalgia there were quite a few areas of Phragmites which is common in Norfolk where they call it Norfolk reed, but everywhere else it is called common reed.  No Bearded tits though.aylburton-warth14

I also saw Grey Heron, Oystercatcher, Song Thrush, Dunock, Robin, Blackbird, Blue tit, Wren… but nothing very spectacular.

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