I had only a brief walk today, at the pools just to the east of Wells, where I saw most of the usual suspects, and got good views of a female marsh harrier. I also saw a barn owl quartering the area: I watched it in the distance and then saw it coming closer before losing track of it behind the hedge I was walking along. Then – a minute or so later – it came up silently over the top of the hedge about five feet away from me, saw me and sped off! I see quite a lot of barn owls, but I never tire of them, and seeing one so close – even if very briefly – was magical.
Some of you – all of you I hope – will be aware of avian influenza, or bird flu. I have been seeing more bird corpses than I ever have before, including a gull today, and it is all part of this massive epidemic. Not only is the disease decimating thriving seabird populations, it’s also having a potentially catastrophic effect on species that were already in sharp decline. If you’d like to find out more then this article on the Natural History Museum website is perhaps a good starting point:
No new bird species today, so I’m still at 99 and wondering what my 100th species of 2023 will be….
No new species for January 20th.
TOTALS TO DATE:
Birds = 99
Moths = 0
Wildflowers = 11