Woodpeckers & Water

I’ve lived in Port Marine for two and a half years and reckon it long enough to have seen the common birds, especially as I’ve walked its length and breadth. Imagine my surprise when a juvenile great spotted woodpecker perched openly on a sapling in the middle of the estate for the 70th species on my patch list.

Imagine my double surprise five minutes later with a male on a peanut feeder.

What’s not a surprise is the rain now. The few days of hot sunshine have receded into the past and we’re back to the wettest spring and summer I can recall (barring Edinburgh in 1985). The rhyne through Portishead was as full as it gets at the start of this morning’s bird walk but a good foot lower by the end. It’s not tidal, I’m sure, so rain must be draining fast off the Gordano Valley. I expect it’s as drenched as Cotswold Water Park a fortnight past, or Stock Hill, near Priddy, on Monday.

Games vs Life

This resonates with a game in Game (oddly) called Oil Rush, which depicts a version of Waterworld. That rather amused me. I’m not really in the market for computer games: I’ve too much to do and too little life available; but I am tempted with the ostrich act of disappearing into Civilization IV, say, and hang the rest of the world. Europa Universalis also looks interesting.

Back to water: a sea duck became my 183rd Somerset species when a common scoter surfaced at Barrow Gurney a couple of weekends ago. That put it in Avon as well for 182. The home counties are keeping pace!

On the whole though the weather and writing has still confined me to barracks.

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