Tuesday 22 February – Uphill Leader: Colin Hawkins

Nine of us met on a cold, windy morning, thinking that maybe a lie in followed by a leisurely breakfast would have been a better idea. We watched a group of Oystercatchers sheltering from the wind, whilst we thought about the best course of action. The sight of a woman in just a bathing costume (and gloves!) splashing around in the churning brown surf of the Severn Estuary made us think that we’d probably be okay to do a bit of birding, and so we bravely ventured onwards. We headed towards the Bleadon Levels, across exposed fields, being grateful for any shelter provided by the mature hedgerows. Most birds were keeping their heads down, but a good variety of common species were seen. When we reached the Bleadon Levels Nature Reserve, the highlight from the hide was a solitary Mute Swan, so we headed back towards Uphill along the path overlooking the saltmarsh. This yielded Redshank, Dunlin, Curlew, Teal and we had fantastic views of numerous Skylarks in full song. As we returned to Uphill, the sun came out and I’m happy to report that there were still nine (happy) birders. A very respectable total of 34 species were seen. Thanks to Colin for kindly stepping in as walk leader. Tim Fell