Saturday, 16 January 2021

Green woodpecker, yaffling, Fernhill

During the recent lockdowns my birding has been largely around the Western Cleddau south of H'west. Not very inspiring, lots of road walking in wellies ain't great and the marshes are hard slog, the creeks are steep so any waders and duck can go undetected, so it can appear birdless but it is what it is. Today brought home just why it's better to be out though. High tide had filled the channels revealing 60-70 Teal on the marsh opposite the Frolic and a Kingfisher fishing in a creek near Alderwicks was a good start. Down at Fern Hill Point there were a surprising 1000+ gulls, mostly BH gulls with a few Herring gulls, they would drift in from the west to bathe and feed on the falling tide. With the channels full waders were more obvious, nothing like the numbers that have been reported further down river, but 30 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 2 Common sandpiper and single Curlew would do. A pair of Red Kite were swooping low over fields near Boulston. The beech wood at Black Hill is a place I always hope for a Brambling but a couple of calling Marsh tits was really nice, (haven't seen any for years so chuffed with these) and then to put the icing on the cake the almost unbelievable yaffling of a Green Woodpecker broke out, it set me into a panic trying to pin it down but couldn't locate it before it fell silent. What a perfect morning. Note: back in May 2012 I had fleeting views of a Green Woodpecker in the same woods and with other recent sightings around the Cleddau hopefully there's a few birds just about hanging on.