Tuesday 07 December – Portishead Leader: Geoff Harris

We started in rain but finished, thankfully, without rain. The lake was only marginally wetter – it did however contain the usual mix of Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, Tufted Duck and Black-headed Gull. They were all nicely concentrated around a local lady, who arrived on a red mobility scooter with what looked like the contents of a bakery. Up past the lido and down to Battery Point where another local pointed out the stars of the walk – five Purple Sandpipers – lovely looking birds. Even with the weak light the yellow of the legs was quite striking, except in one individual where they looked ‘dirty’ grey. The fresh wind chilled us, so were glad to climb into East Wood and find a mixed flock of Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits with a couple of Blackbird alarm calling. Down to the Life Boat Station, where in its lee, a cup of coffee staved off the cold. Walking on around the marina we spied three Dunlins, one Shelduck, 25 Mallards all on the newly exposed mud and two Cormorants fishing the shallow end of the dock. Up past some grand houses and back to the park above the boating lake, where there was an abundance of Goldfinches, Carrion Crows, a hedge full of House Sparrows and a call from a Dunnock. Eight walkers and 28 species – which just about covered our costs!! Our thanks must go to Geoff for turning out and leading. Nick Hawkridge