More accurately, the stretch of Woodspring Bay that runs south of this Somerset resort. I thought twice about using that word but it has hotels, B&Bs, a pier – all those seaside-y accoutrements. Anyway, I’m talking the bit of the Severn Estuary that the Bristol Ornithological Club refers to as Dowlais (Farm), presumably because that’s near where one parks to walk in.
And it is a mercifully short walk so lugging a scope is no problem. It was double merciful yesterday in this biting northeaster that seems to have settled. It imposed a time limit of about an hour to get down to Kingston Pill and back before losing fingers and toes.
There wasn’t much reward after an early kestrel – just a few dozen shelduck – until a large flock of shorebirds took off. I’m going to assume they were dunlin but I was struggling against distance, the wind and the light. Afternoon is not a great time to be working a west-facing coast.
What put the birds up? Maybe just spooked. Maybe not because five minutes later a peregrine powered away from the mudflats where the flock had been.