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Winter Waders, Avon Gorge

Paradise Bottom, Leigh Woods

Slightly downstream from the Gorge proper, both a greenshank and three common sandpipers popped up on the North Somerset side of the river. Or did they?

I’ve noted that the Bristol boundary lies along the high tide line and these birds were foraging in the mud, which must be below the highest of those lines. Worse, on closer examination the border actually runs a little inland. Let’s not fuss about that. Keep it simple: Leigh Woods side, Somerset; Sea Mills, Bristol; anything down the middle, up for grabs by either.

So the greenshank, which should be on its way in from Africa, was new for me in North Somerset. It later flew to the other bank to add to my Bristol list, which also grew by the common sandpipers. They’d been over that side initially instead of flying, also from Africa or maybe southern Europe. The BOC’s sightings page reports that all these individuals have been around all winter. And the winter before… and… global warming?

My visit to the Paradise Bottom end of the Woods was my first and, as you can see, it’s a magical spot. Even more so for the seven-plus buzzards that thermalled over as I parked the car. Then two ravens cronked by. It was clearly going to be a productive afternoon.

1 comment to Winter Waders, Avon Gorge

  • Andy Gibb

    Oops! The greenshanks that I saw at Blagdon last year were of course my first North Somerset record.

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