Monday, 19 August 2013

Shapwick Great Whites

Spent a wonderful few sunny hours at Shapwick and Ham Wall on the Somerset Levels.  Plenty of dragonflies skimming over brambles etc for smaller insects, it's amazing and mesmerising to watch them and their acrobatic skills in insect catching.  Almost like watching an air show at times!
A fantastic sight awaited us on the scrape, 9 Great White Egrets and about 20 little Egrets.  Also seen here were 2 Greenshanks, 3 Green Sandpipers, the usual Godwits etc.  A Marsh Harrier was also seen often hunting over the reeds.
Walking towards Ham Wall side there were still plenty of butterflies to be seen mainly Tortoiseshell, and Peacocks plus a few Red Admirals.  All of these were feeding on the Hemp - agrimony plants dotted along the way. A Silver washed Fritillary was seen a couple of times in 2 areas. 
A nice find of the day was a Spotted Flycatcher.  Great to observe catching insects and returning to it's perch.

Great Spotted Woodpecker seen often on the Levels

Grey Heron - common everywhere but still great to see

7 of the 9 Great White Egrets on the 'Scrape'. Have never seen this many together before.

Spotted Flycatcher seen at Ham Wall

Common Darter

Little Egret and Willow Herb.  Love these elegant birds

Little Grebe with Coot

Great White Egret now a familiar sight on the Levels

Black Tailed Skimmer 

Female Common Darter

Hemp - agrimony a great food plant for butterflies

Brown Hawker 

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