Scaup, Portbury Wharf

All yesterday looking for C++ jobs and with conditions outside not exactly inviting (will this be the wettest year ever? Probably not given the winter drought), I was nevertheless going a little stir crazy. The threatened heavy rain was holding off though, so I suited up and ventured out without any clear direction. Habit propelled me towards the nature reserve.

Thus I drifted round the local transformer station and near the main pool before I even considered the reported 1st-winter female scaup. I could get over to the hide thanks to the new bridge I complained about a while back. Not so displeased with it yesterday then, was I?

Fellow BOC member Chris Stone was in attendance and had his scope trained on the bird so she fell into my lap. And fell onto my Portishead list, which now stands one shy of Edinburgh and Alviso, CA on my conurbation charts. Yes, I also keep lists for towns and cities (Bristol’s still looking a touch sparse on 84 compared with 119 now for Portishead).

Moreover, the scaup was a new car-free species. That doesn’t happen often – not since the spring’s grasshopper warbler, also on the Wharf. The way my finances are going though, this “green” list may become the sole mover. The motor’s getting to be an unacceptable expense, gobbling through tyres and with an MOT due. Anyone want a late 2007 Fiesta?

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