Portbury Wharf, Portishead

Portbury Wharf

The local birders, and hence the Bristol Ornithological Club, and the Ordnance Survey have this as the area bound by the Port Marine housing development, Sheepway Road and Royal Portbury Dock. So, I can’t think there’s much appetite for calling it Ashlands as I wrote a while ago.

What’s in a name? Does a parcel of land care what it’s called? Does a shoveler? Not the one I saw as soon as I got to a good vantage point over the reserve. Nor the female goosander that appeared next. Not even three little grebes that I counted on my way round. And finally how could a Cetti’s warbler worry about who Cetti was? (Who was he anyway? The Drinking Bird has touched on this business of honorific names, which we thankfully have to suffer less than the Americans.)

I mention these species because they took my year’s car-free list up to 80 and left purple sandpiper and grey wagtail as the only real blockers before migration gets under way. That should speed me past Upton Warren’s old record of 88 species in the following order: wheatear, if I’m lucky; sand martin; chiffchaff; swallow; willow warbler; house martin; common tern; and so on.

Only a couple of weeks to go before the procession starts…

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