New Cut, Bristol

I’ve been plying this artificial branch of the River Avon for a year and a half, so it’s interesting to see what’s been ever present. No surprises for herring and lesser black-backed gulls, mallard, feral pigeon, wood pigeon, magpie, crow and wren. With one absence come collared dove (October), blackbird (August), goldfinch (September) and house sparrow. Other mainly common species comprise starling, robin, jackdaw, cormorant and dunnock.

Rarities, at one record apiece, are Continue reading

Mediterranean Gull, Upton Warren

My usual spring visit for avocet and little ringed plover produced scads of the former and four of the latter at the Flashes. On the way in, common terns also skimmed the surface of the sailing pool. Hoping for sedge warbler on my return walk, I then checked the Bittern and Hen Brook Hides; just one reed warbler showed but showed very well, which is unusual.

There was plenty of time to continue to the Moors, so I strolled through the Education Reserve and flushed a Continue reading

Merlin, Bristol

It’s happened again, for the third time actually since I didn’t report on the second at Bedminster station. On Friday morning I swished back my Southville curtains and checked out the usual herring gulls nesting on the roof opposite.

They were fine as a medium-size dark bird flew towards me. The standard for this description in Bristol is one morph of feral pigeon. I’m used to dismissing them and am not in the habit of thinking Continue reading