Sunday, 20 April 2014
Arrived for the dawn chorus at 05:30 am to a glowing moon and the deafening sound of bird song. It seemed every bird was in full song even booming Bitterns and at least 2 Cuckoos joined in! No amount of words can describe natures orchestra - talk about lifting the spirits!
Our path took us to one of the hides at Ham Wall where we watched the sunrise as well as getting great views of Little Egret, Great Crested Grebes, Pochard, Reed Buntings, Coots, and a Water Rail.
A total of 7 hours was spent between the two reserves of Shapwick and Ham Wall and our walk round produced sightings of a Bittern, male Garganey, Kingfisher, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Godwits, Cettis Warbler, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warbler, Great White Egret, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a few Marsh Harriers as well as all the usual suspects. However the highlight of the day was seeing and listening to a Nightingale a first for us in th UK. So good to hear and see all the summer migrants return though.
A few butterflies were seen Brimstone, Small Tortoishell, Peacock, Green Veined White and plenty of Orange Tips which proved very flighty and difficult to photograph.
The early morning start was fantastic and well worth it so much so we will doing another dawn chorus visit in a few weeks time!
Lunar View greets us to the levels
Sunrise on the levels
We spent 4 wonderful sunny days walking the coast path around the Lizard and wow the area did not disappoint for scenery, flora and fauna. Every step taken and every corner we turned was stunning!
Plenty of Summer migrants arriving including Swallows, Martins and Wheatears. Rock Pipits, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were plentyfull and seen all along the coast path. The scrub and trees around the area was a great place to see Linnets, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps etc. Out to sea it was great to watch the diving of Gannets and the fly past of Fulmars. We were very lucky as well when a female Peregrine landed quite close by on the cliffs. From Lizard Point to Kaynance Cove we were fortunate to watch Choughs many times.
The wildflowers are just beginning to grace the paths and sea cliffs with their presence. Thrift, Sea Campion, Bluebells and Squill adding to the colourful drama.
From Lizard point on the last morning of our visit as well as seeing a group of Choughs we watched a Grey Seal for some time between the rocks and also a small group of Porpoises feeding out to sea.
The Lizard - quite remarkably a walkers and wild life paradise .... We will be back!
Sea Campion - seen everywhere along the cliffs
Fresh Water river leading down to the sea, alas no dippers
Squill - lovely little flower growing on the grassy cliff edges
Female Peregrine which shortly flew of with a male. Great to see them on the sea cliffs
One of the many Skylarks seen along the path. So good to hear their song
Sunday, 6 April 2014
A blustery overcast start to a walk around Brean Down hoping to spot a few Wheatears and maybe a Ring Ouzel!
The steep path up revealed Chiffchaff and Blackcap singing their hearts out. Overhead we spotted a passing Peregrine and the usual Jackdaws, Magpies and Ravens.
Everywhere there are Cowslips their bright yellow seemed to glow on this dull day. The Blackthorn is in full flower and the Hawthorn in places in full leaf, this scrubland providing great cover for the Chiffchaffs etc. Male and female Stonechats were seen in a few areas perching on top of the scrub.
Looking out to sea we had the occasional views of Shelduck, Oystercatchers, Mallards and Cormorants.
At the fort we had some good views of Rock Pipits but unfortunately no Wheatears or Ring Ouzels.
Along the path we had a glimpse of our first Swallow fighting the strong breeze, just the one!
As we took a seat before our climb back down to the lower path a Willow Warbler started singing and we were actually able to see it perched in a Hawthorn, now we know it's Spring, just love the sound of the Willow Warbler!
At the bottom of the down we saw more Stonechats and the rocky beach area revealed a pair of Rock Pipits as well as small areas of White Rock Rose and White Campion growing high on the rock face.
Another great morning out with nature!
Cowslip - seen everywhere over the down
Blackthorn and Hawthorn the scrub bursting into life. Great area for Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps etc
Stonechat - several pairs seen around Brean Down
White Campion ( I think) - high up on the rock face
White Rock Rose again high up on the rock face. Surprised to see it in flower