From our Victorian Picture Library (www.victorianpicturelibrary.com)
Lists of birds can seem dull when they’re not your own. What they never convey is the huge enjoyment you experience at each sighting. Nor can they reveal the excitement of a dawn walk along a Quantock combe when you are startled by a wood warbler flitting silently among the leaves; the surprise, sudden glimpse of a red kite sailing unobtrusively high overhead; the excitement as you hurry towards the hide at Steart hoping the spoonbills and avocets will be feeding in the scrapes; or, after six years regular patrolling of Hodder’s Combe, at last seeing the reported resident dipper.
Anyway, here are my lists for what they’re worth. I’ve probably forgotten a few birds. They cover the year from July 2017 to July 2018. At least the exercise has forced me to work through a heap of unruly notes and turn the sightings into some sort of order.
Stolford, Steart, Wall Common, Lilstock
Little egret, swift, great spotted woodpecker, lark, martin, swallow, kestrel, golden plover, lapwing, heron, dunlin, ringed plover, little grebe, spoonbill, shoveller, redshank, knot, bar-tailed godwit, reed bunting, reed warbler, wigeon, snipe, brambling, grey plover, curlew, shelduck, green woodpecker, peregrine, siskin, avocet, pintail, brent goose, reed bunting, marsh warbler, linnet, turnstone, redwing, fieldfare, sand martin, meadow pipit, hen harrier, merlin, oystercatcher, turnstone
Quantock combes and ridges
Whitethroat, green woodpecker, wheatear, raven, stonechat, buzzard, willow warbler, wood warbler, yellowhammer, rock pipit, chiffchaff, spotted flycatcher, red kite, jay, peregrine, redwing, fieldfare, missel thrush, meadow pipit, grey wagtail, wood warbler, blackcap, pied flycatcher, whitethroat, linnet, sparrowhawk
Great white egret, glossy ibis, marsh harrier, water rail, Canada goose, cettis warbler, bittern, wigeon, teal, pochard, gadwall, tufted duck, coot, shoveller, merlin, greylag goose, great spotted woodpecker, snipe, goldcrest, great crested grebe, reed bunting, reed warbler, black-tailed godwit, common sandpiper