All Quiet on the Wharfern Front


OK, I made that word up to fit the title but Portbury has settled into its late June torpor. The swan family boasts eight cygnets; more juvenile wagtails abound; three buzzards soared after a strange absence since the beginning of April.

Locally the goldfinches are busy with young, the starlings next door must be about ready to fledge and gulls commute between warehouse roofs and the Severn Estuary. The odd swift scythes through the air, which reminds me that this time last year the RSPB ran a survey to assess how badly the species was doing. Indeed the same survey runs this year, so the midsummer lull may be a good opportunity to submit sightings. You can even do it via the RSPB’s online swift inventory.

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