Sunday 13 February 2022

BIKING BIRDER VI 2022 Go South Young Man! Long-tailed Duck and two other Year Ticks

 7th February 2022

Barrow Gurney & Blagdon Lake, Somerset

          On the road again, the route takes me downhill for mile after mile into Bristol City Centre. A quick look around the ships at harbour include the defunct Britannia.

          The cycle path suggested by Siri takes me eventually to the three large basins at Barrow Gurney. I search the first two, seeing a good number of Cormorants at number 2 . . . 

          . . . but no sign of the reported Long-tailed Duck*. To basin number 3 and there it is! What a lovely surprise, it is a superb male. Bird number 107 on the BIGBY bird list.

          Two fishermen tell me that it has been here for years. Whilst chatting with them about thier fishing concerns, particularly their feelings over the number of Cormorants.

          Moving on, two Peregrines chase each other in front of me, with one of them landing on a nearby tree.

          Reaching a village called Winford, Somerset and after buying a sandwich and a drink from the Community shop there, run by volunteers apparently, a Red Kite* flies over. Bird number 108. I didn't know that Red Kites were in the area so I am extremely pleased to see this one.

          Ten miles or so later another Red Kite, or maybe the same one, flies past.

          To Blagdon Lake, in the murk and gloom of a drizzly, misty afternoon I can't find a reported Black-necked Grebe but I do find a wintering Common Sandpiper*. Bird number 109.

          To The Craigs, Chris & Helena for curry and chat and a bed for the night. One of the best couples I know, it is always fabulous to see them both, although rather strange that Birdgirl, Mya-Rose Craig isn't here. Grown up now, the precocious seven year old I met when on my first Biking Birder adventure in 2010, is away at Cambridge University.    


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