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Woodcocks & Goldcrest, Weston Big Wood

© Cj Hughson

Plural, indeed. I yomped my way across to the other side of town, navigated round Fore Hill and somehow found the right alley to give me access to the eastern end of the reserve. Then things went pear-shaped. Or should I say: mud-swamped? I managed to choose a route up to the Wood that about a million horses had just churned through. I had to pick my way over tree-stumps and under brambles on the most solid ground I could find. And I don’t bend so easy these days.

My reward came half way up the quagmire with a whirring of wings that alerted me to an unmistakable long-billed bat profile exploding out of the undergrowth. Magic. And a hundred yards later, which took about ten minutes, a second, even closer, woodcock – 111 species for the year.

In addition, goldcrest, great spotted woodpecker, pheasant, sparrowhawk and mistle thrush took my car-free list up to 57. They just keep on coming. And I’m still missing great and lesser black-backed gull, jay, rook and kestrel, which must all be common near Portishead. In fact, I don’t even have jay for the year yet.

Anyone else got any major blockers?

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