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Not Such a Night Bird

I had to get out. Weeks of fixing websites were driving me crazy. Just a walk round the perimeter of Portishead would do. A walk, a lottery ticket and a lolly. I didn’t expect much else. It’s starting in on that quiet time of the year.

I didn’t get much until the Marina when I heard a rock pipit and finally located it. That’s the first local one for a couple of months and evidence that the species breeds here.

Round the corner a reed warbler was warbling and further on, into Portbury Wharf, several were actually visible. Feeding fledged youngsters seems to bring them out into the open. Then I latched on to a biggish white bird flapping away over the reeds. Little egret, I immediately thought.

Even the initial binocular view didn’t dissuade me of this until I discerned light brown patches. Nay, lad, it were a barn owl. In the middle of the afternoon. With prey. It flew a long way inland, slightly harassed by a gull on the way but not that bothered by it.

A year and a week since the last one and that also in full daylight. Youngsters are the reason here too. The time may be getting quiet but the birds are still busy.

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