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25th September 2022 – Severn Estuary

Our trip for a stroll along the coast of the Severn Estuary, near the two Severn Bridges, started well with a view of a merlin and a sparrow hawk perched on the same dead tree on Northwick Warth.

Prince of Wales Bridge, Severn Estuary

As well as big flocks of linnets and starlings there were lots of waders, mainly godwits and redshank, but really too far out to get decent photos. However, we could also make out oystercatchers, curlews, grey herons and a little egret.

Curlew

We always seem to see pied wagtails in this same spot at New Passage

Grey heron and little egret

The red legs of the redshank stand out on the mud flats

Starlings on the Prince of Wales Bridge (will it now be The King Charles III Bridge?)

The oystercatchers stand out amongst the godwits

Wigeon making their way up the Bristol Channel

Redshank

Slideshow of this morning’s photos:

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20th September 2022 – Chew Valley lake, North Somerset

I spent a very pleasant day birdwatching at Chew Valley lake. The water is very low (as in most parts of the country) and so most of the birds of interest were at quite some distance. Fortunately, I had my telescope with me and particularly enjoyed watching an osprey and a pectoral sandpiper.

I gather the marsh harrier I saw, with a tag VJ, is a Norfolk bird.

At the end of the day I managed to photograph two different water rails (generally very secretive birds).

Osprey
Marsh harrier

Pectoral sandpiper

Great spotted woodpecker

Little egret

Cattle egret

Water rail

Slideshow of today’s photos:

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16th September 2022 – NT Tyntesfield, North Somerset

Just one bird (a nuthatch) at the end of our walk around the National Trust property of Tyntesfield in North Somerset has prompted me to write a blog. We always see robins here (and often buzzards) but the nuthatch was a first for me here. I have taken the liberty of adding (as a slideshow) a few of my non-nature photos too to be able to show what a fabulous place this is.

Robin

Speckled wood butterfly

Nuthatch

Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield

In the walled garden

The orangerie

Slideshow of visit to Tyntesfield:

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11th September 2022 – Severn Estuary

The beginning of our walk from New Passage to Severn Beach reminded me of childhood visits to this area when the sun never seemed to shine and there was endless mud. We could see lots of curlews and oystercatchers on the warth and godwits on the waterline but everything was too distant for decent photographs other than a gull capturing, and eventually swallowing, an eel. However, as we reached Severn Beach the sun came out briefly and we had decent views of common ringed plovers and dunlin.

Quite a mucky job

Common ringed plover

Dunlin

Dunlin in flight