Apart from All the Drama

Porlock Marsh

The WordPress problems of the last couple of weeks haven’t stopped my birding.

Since last I wrote, I did carry on to Exmoor: Bossington Hill, on the Holnicote Estate for wheatears; overnight at Porlock for my first Somerset dipper and a most excellent lamb and venison pie at the Castle Hotel. The next day saw a yellowhammer just beyond Webbers Post at Luccombe Hill, and then another back in the Quantocks at Crowcombe Park Gate. In between I passed a red-legged partridge, neither here nor there.

This brought my Somerset list up to 160. I tried to improve that yesterday with the nightingales that are supposed to be in the south of the county (I’d already dismissed those alleged at Hinkley Point). Langford Heathfield, just north of Wellington, was my first stop. Such glorious woodland. With an elusive garden warbler, some very obvious marsh tits and the grand finale of a hobby. No way was I complaining about that.

The Blackdown Hills could have also held the birds. But it was getting on in June and I was there after midday, so the odds weren’t good. I managed more marsh tits and a raven, then carried on to RSPB Swell Wood. I was actually looking for West Sedgemoor but that seems to be an indeterminate area, hard to work.

I ended the day at Greylake, back in what I call the Somerset Levels, although the Polden Hills do separate them. Reed and sedge warblers galore, and a calling cuckoo, and that was it for the trip.

So, what else? The highlight has been my second UK red-necked phalarope at Upton Warren – scene of my first UK sighting. The same day saw a possible corn bunting in the fields by Chaddesley Woods. It seriously didn’t look like anything else but its legs didn’t dangle and it had white outer tail feathers. How could that be?

I’ve discovered an interesting Bristol site at Sneyd Park. And that’s been the birding. The guys at Birdstack have pushed out a questionnaire, so they seem to be alive and well, and the world is good. Even this blog appears to be working (with a few glitches still).

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