Tuesday 03 November – Portbury

A very dull day greeted the 21 participants for the annual hike around Portbury reserve. The future of the reserve was in people’s minds as it ceases to be managed by AWT and passes to North Somerset council. However, back to the birds. Sadly, the Little Owls are no longer in the ruined barn at the top of Wharf Lane. From the track that leads to the first hide a fox was sighted and from the hide Gadwall and Coot were on the scrapes. The second hide always provides the best viewing. Wigeon were plentiful along with Teal, Little Grebe and Shoveler, and on the island Lapwing, Cormorant and a lone Snipe (very hard to see as it was having a nap, head under its wing). In the track side bushes were flocks of Long-tailed Tits, Redwing and Goldfinch and from the Tower hide Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew were along the shore line. It was from the Tower hide that one of our keen eyed observers got a brief glimpse of a Yellow-browed Warbler. Definitely the star tick of the day. Skylark were seen from the sea bank and a Treecreeper in some willow trees, and in the field hedgerows Bullfinch and Goldcrest brought a good morning’s birding to an end with an excellent total of 50 species. (Thanks for leading, Roger.)  Roger Hawley