Sunday, 20 April 2014

Dawn Chorus - Somerset Levels 18/4/14

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

Little Egret at sunrise

Water Rail - nice surprise to get a good view, must have been the early start!

Great Creasted Grebe - great crest and colours at this time of year

Marsh Harrier - quite a few seen today. Just love the way they glide and hunt over the reeds.

Green Veined White with lovely fresh markings

Sedge Warbler - quite a few calling and some great views from time to time

Cowslip seen in a few areas of the grassy verges.  A great signal of Spring.

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