Saturday 03 April – Portbury Wharf Leader: Giles Morris

The statutory six members met up on Sheepway for this walk around the Portbury reserve which had been rescheduled from March. I was concerned that we might now be too late for any of the winter wildfowl and a bit early for many incoming migrants. Having sorted the mix of singing species around the Sheepway gardens, we set off down towards the sewage works. Sheepway Lane was relatively quiet, but we heard Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Song Thrush and Greenfinch as well as Long-tailed Tit. Reaching the wetter areas near the seawall we heard our first outburst from a Cetti’s Warbler and picked out Teal and Curlew on the saltmarsh. The shelter of the Tower hide was very welcome and a scan of the North Pool quickly revealed an unexpected male Marsh Harrier, which gave us good views before dropping into the reeds. Closer inspection of the island turned up a lone Common Sandpiper and the tell-tale pink legs of a Great Black-backed Gull amongst the many Lessers. The Wigeon had indeed all left for the north, but there were Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Little Grebe and Shelduck on the pools. On the walk back up Wharf Lane a passing Swallow reminded us that spring was creeping in, despite the cold. 41 species in all and an enjoyable morning in pleasant company. (Thanks to Giles for leading, Ed). Giles Morris