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On the 2nd February:


A day out birding with Roy Smith and Tim Cleeves, our first stop was Cheddar Reservoir where there were

8 Goldeneye, 22 Great Crested Grebes, 980 Coot, a Black-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Divers, 200 Pochard, 50+ Tufted Ducks, 12 Cormorants, a male Kestrel and a dead Kittiwake.

From there we drove to Durleigh Reservoir were we saw 3 Goldeneye, a male and female Gadwall, 50 Tufted Ducks, 160 Pochard, 10+ Shoveler, 17 Teal and 20 Lapwing.

We continued to Hawkridge Reservoir were there was a Dipper and a great surprise of a Daubenton's Bat flying around in daylight, a new British mammal for us.

Then we visited the fish pools at Huntworth, which in those days was a series of large lakes with extensive reedbeds, and we saw our first Bittern.

Once a regular site for Bitterns, since the pillars for the motorway bridge across the River Parrott were put in the middle of the site, as far as I know, there have been no further sightings.

Tim and the dead Kittiwake at Cheddar Reservoir.


A cold, cloudy day and we were back at Radipole lake where we had good views of the Pied-billed Grebe, we also saw a Cetti's Warbler and heard 2 others and there were 4 Ruddy Ducks.

From there we went to Chiswell Bay where the Ivory Gull was still showing well, then visited each end of Portland Harbour, seeing 2 female Eider, 11 Slavonian Grebes, 3 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Red-necked Grebes, 4 Great Crested Grebes, a Black-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Divers, around 30 Red-breasted Mergansers and a female Goldeneye.


In Tanzania, not such an early start today, as we headed back to the plains of the Serengeti to vist Olduvai Gorge. No new birds or mammals today, but an interesting day out.











Photo: Olduvai Gorge.


A walk along the seabank south of Clevedon towards the River Yeo, seeing 5 Short-eared Owls, 10+ Skylarks, a Hare, 3 Ravens, around 500 Dunlin, 12 Grey Plovers, 30+ Redshank, Shelducks, a few Wigeon and Teal, and 10 Little Egrets.


At home in Portishead where there were 2 Song Thrushes feeding on the lawn, the first a normal rich brown backed bird with an orangy-brown wash on its chest and flanks. The other was slightly smaller, with noticeably greyer upperparts, the only colour being a browner cap on its head. The underparts were well marked with heavier dense spotting and a paler ground colour, only the slightest buff wash, mainly along its flanks. 

A probable continental race bird, sub-species philomelos. Although close at times, neither bird associated with the other, in fact, the paler bird seemed wary of the darker bird.


The morning started with a male and female Blackcap in the garden in Portishead. Then after viewing a new place to live in Cam, I made a brief visit to nearby Frampton Court Lake where there were lots of Mute Swans and the long staying Whooper Swan, I also saw a Goldeneye in with the Tufted Duck flock.

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