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.
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.