That seems to be the name – but what a grand one – for the stretch of coast between Sugar Loaf Beach and Redcliff Bay. I was returning from the latter when an oystercatcher and then a curlew started calling.
Birds’ alarm calls are always a cue to scan the heavens. Mostly, they remain empty but, often enough to make it worthwhile, they disclose a raptor. So it was midday today, although nothing was immediately apparent. The oystercatcher kept scolding and then a bulky falcon shape powered up from the shore. Binoculars at the ready, as such a situation demands, I locked on to a rather ill-defined peregrine – presumably a youngster.
Car-free species number 81 and quite unexpected in that spot. Royal Portbury Dock has been hosting a couple of birds of late, so perhaps this one was out on a lunchtime raid from there. It certainly provided the highlight of my walk.
Which was targeted at wheatears. This is their average date of arrival in the county and I figured that the Severn Estuary coast was the most likely place nearby to pick them up. Probably a long shot, especially in the face of persistent northerly winds over the last week, as indeed the attempt proved. Oh well, they’ll appear some time. I’ve only missed them once UK-wide in all the years I’ve been birding the country.
My outward route past Woodhill Bay provided a couple of other notes. One was about 70 or 80 crows, confounding the notion that so many corvids have to be rooks. God knows what they were finding to concentrate them at the edge of the marsh.
The second was a pipit that I took initially to be meadow, but it did look too dark and it had a very obvious, almost peachy, chin. It flew almost immediately but revealed no white outer tail feathers as it did so. This made it all rock pipit, after I had been entertaining notions of water pipit. They have been reported up and down the coast from Severn Beach to the Huntspill River. So why not here?
Not today, I think. So, here’s my first crappy attempt at trying to photograph a long-tailed tit. Too cute to miss, eh?