Somerset & Bristol Bird Lists

Blagdon Lake yesterday added grey phalarope and arctic tern to the former, which lost Slavonian grebe to the latter because I’m getting fussy about county borders again. The new rule, to match the Bristol West & Portishead OS Explorer map, is that Bristol owns the mud off Portbury Wharf and by Portishead Marina lock gates.

This means the Port Marine list has really taken a hammering while Bristol races up from 73 to 79. Portbury Wharf hasn’t suffered much damage since most birds venture at least over the spartina. This sits above the mean high water that defines the boundary. The rocks at Battery Point also get a let-off for their high-tide turnstones and purple sandpipers.

I’m aiming to have all this right in preparation for the first leg of my Lundy Island cruise from Clevedon to Penarth. That will immediately sail into Bristol waters until it enters Wales about a third of the way across the Severn Estuary. Wouldn’t it be strange to add shearwaters to a city list? Fingers crossed.

I’ll delay to the next post my sightings (and more border musings) at Blagdon because of a depressing footnote to yesterday. The speed limit rises to 50 on the road past Herriotts Bridge at Chew Valley Lake. Why? There are forever birds commuting across it between pool and nature reserve. Not to mention those flying close to come to bread. And we let cars speed up, way beyond 50 as it happens. Drivers treat it as their overtaking right.
Black-Headed Gull

So a black-headed gull came a cropper with broken wing and broken leg. Ill-equipped though I was, I managed to pick him up and then crawl all the way through 30 and 40 mile an hour speed limits to Secret World and… who can say? Maybe because I didn’t have the right gear, he was dead on arrival.

Would it really cost so much to keep the limit at 40, or less, as it is for long stretches of the A368? And certainly to enforce no overtaking at Herriotts. Enough people park there and wander from one layby to the other that they are in danger from idiots speeding down the wrong side of the road. It’s only a matter of time for them too…

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