February on the Wharf

Where to Watch Birds in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire

And a jolly nice day too for another spin round Portbury’s new hides. The action started before I reached them with Avon’s only stonechat still knocking round the marsh close to Port Marine. (I probably exaggerate: I seem to be the only birder reporting the species.) Thirty or so meadow pipits also commuted twixt ground and saplings.

The first hide down Wharf Lane looks out over the new pools, where another shoveler lurked and a little grebe. Several curlews completed the roster – good to see them somewhere other than the spartina. The second hide gives on to the new pool with its flattened lapwing-friendly island. A couple more shovelers dabbled on the margins.

It occurred to me that a feeding station would be a fine distraction, like at Upton Warren. How’s about that for an idea, Bernie? That’s the new warden. I got a shock when Inside Out West interviewed Bernie. She’s a girl! I should know Bernie’s can be girls: a school friend of mine in Winchester was a girl Bernie.

Then on to the hide that also gives views of the Bristol Channel towards Severn Beach. My thoughts there involved seabirds. The Beach gets them after south-westerly gales. Why wouldn’t setting up a scope in this hide also pick out pelagic species? I bet it would: there just hasn’t been the opportunity until now. I’m gonna give it a go although this weekend’s winds are only forecast to be gusty. Come on, you gales!

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