Barn Owl, Portbury Wharf

What can I say? More than five years since my last one, in Northumberland. A great 172nd year bird. And he (sorry, girls, I’m going to call him “he”) was completely oblivious to me as he hunted to within twenty feet of where I stood.

Then he twigged, wheeled away and moments later dived to come up with… God knows, a vole probably. Anyway, I wanted to believe that my presence was as much good luck for him as was his for me.

Luck that I may need because I am launching a self-guided bird tour business – a second red-letter event. The worst fear about this sort of thing is that it may actually succeed, which would change my life utterly. I could no longer cling to the old excuses. Unlikely, but it’s always a risk.

Back to the Wharf, an earlier sedge warbler means that my car-free list is now 103. The place just keeps on delivering. It doesn’t seem to matter which bit I go to. I reckon that a walk from the car park on Sheepway, by the old railway bridge, up to the sea wall, then along to the sewage works (which was on fine form) and down Sheepway Lane (yes, it’s distinct from plain old Sheepway) covers most of the bases.

Try it some time.

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