It has all gone rather quiet after the political declarations of green credentials pre-election but we still have relatively little news about the state of progress with the Tidal Lagoons in the Severn Estuary and particularly Bridgwater Bay. Any development will have a direct and significant effect on our bird life and we must all stay alert to opportunities to contribute to the discussion.
Somerset Birding News
We have already mentioned elsewhere the loss of Bruce Taylor from the Committee. In his place we are delighted to welcome Dave Dawe. Dave is Somerset born and lives in Milverton. While Exmoor is his favourite area, his main passion is seawatching, mainly at Hurlstone Point in the company of another avid seawatcher, Brian Gibbs. Dave confesses that he now eats, sleeps and talks birds, but occasionally stops for a glass of cider. We are sure Dave's enthusiasm will be an asset to the Committee.
You may already have heard about the second breeding record of Avocets in Somerset. This year it occurred at the new WWT reserve at Steart, where a pair hatched four chicks. The birds were last seen in late July when both adults and three well-developed juveniles were present. This is a great result for the reserve, which is already proving to be a superb benefit to Somerset birding.
The lifeblood of birding and other wildlife organisations is sustained by a regular supply of young people with an interest in nature. Both Avalon and Carymoor are leading organisations in helping to awaken and nurture that interest and it is a concern that both establishments have had to revisit their ideas for redevelopment funding with Viridor Credits. Viridor have, in the past, been champions of green issues such as these and so we will be watching closely how the respective ‘second rounds’ progress.
The departure of arguably one of Somerset’s most dedicated and competent naturalists, Bruce Taylor, will leave a huge bird recording hole in the east of the county. From Frome through Stourhead, Torr quarries, Bruton and Castle Cary, Bruce has been a lynchpin with his accurate and detailed daily observations. Our concern is whether we have sufficient birders in the region to fill Bruce’s boots after August. Barra’s gain is definitely Somerset’s loss.