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Little Owl, Portbury Wharf

Little Owl

Seen by some on Bristol Ornithological Club’s last visit to the Wharf, the bird finally showed for me yesterday to push the car-free list on to 97. It was perched on a nest box, maybe letting dinner come to it – smart guy.

Look for owls in your Collins Bird Guide and they come between cuckoos and nightjars, just as they do in the IOC taxonomy. The only real difference seems to be that the barn owls now get their own family ahead of the main order. Taking of which, someone keeps reporting a barnie over Portbury Wharf early mornings. I’m gonna have to get up for that one.

The only other species of note on yesterday’s walk was a white wagtail, the nominate race of our pied wagtail. The whites pass through on their migration from Africa to Northern Europe.

The landlord at Gibb Towers, Chris (yes, it should be Jones Towers), got his copy of Somerset Life the other day and I tentatively identified the cover bird as a chiffchaff. When Chris finally opened the magazine though the picture was credited as a willow warbler. Oh well, I thought, the photographer presumably knew what he was shooting.

I went on to read the article, about Somerset’s birds, complete with more pictures, including a very obvious swallow, captioned as a swift. Right, I thought again, the cover bird is definitely a chiffchaff in that case. Ah, we all do it: I still remember the yellow-legged gull

Earth Day is forty years old. I’d never even heard of it – maybe because it’s primarily American – but, hey, I spent five years living over there. It only came to my notice this year thanks to the Disney Store up at Cribbs Causeway. Anyway, this blog rather supports the Endangered Species campaign as being close to its heart and the campaign gets its own extra special day on May 21.

You’re supposed to be able to pledge something on Earth Day’s website but I couldn’t navigate to it, so here’s my pledge all the same, on the Endangered Species theme: let’s put an end to the pet trade.

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