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Golden Plovers, Westhay Moor

Bird Sculpture

Now, species number 152 for Somerset! Two of them in a field of lapwings right at the end of very quiet first time round this Wildlife Trust reserve. It completes the set of what I consider to be the Avalon Marshes. I like that idea of having an Avalon list: ‘Yeah, I was out birding with Merlin yesterday afternoon.’ How appropriate.

Also right at the end an egretty thing flapped over to the south, distant enough to be as far away as Meare. That, plus the size of the bird, its languid flight and the way its legs seemed to stick out further than its head made it tentatively a great egret. There are four in the area, almost more numerous than little egrets.

The evening’s meeting of the RSPB’s Weston-super-Mare group furnished this information. The boss at Ham Wall was talking about its management, successes and problems. One of these is the damage caused by the huge starling roost, with which I finished yesterday’s visit. I did think at the time that that great black mass of birds must be flattening the reeds and it turns out that they do. But it’s a cost worth paying and the birds do return nutrients to the reedbed. You can imagine how.

I had a go at digiscoping: well, sticking my mobile phone camera at my scope’s eyepiece. Not too successful. I must be missing something. Also not so successful lately has been the import to Birdstack. It’s stopped because I can’t see a way to delete a batch of sightings and restart it – critical as I try to fix up species names in my source database.

Technology, eh?

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