Sunday, 31 January 2016

Early Spring & an Ibis - Ham Wall & Shapwick 30/1/16

It felt almost Spring like on our trip to the Levels this morning. A bit cloudy and dull at times but it seemed all the birds were singing and active. We started at Ham Wall side and a walk along the muddy track (the bridge is still closed) to the new Avalon Hide. Along our way we are pretty sure we had our first glimpse of a Water Vole, it was just too quick to get a clear ID.  From the Avalon Hide we walked onwards towards the second platform bridge where I suddenly caught a glimpse of a Glossy Ibis overhead. We watched as it sailed into the lagoon, take off and circle and then finally settle out of view! Wow what a view and tick! Great Egrets are quite active flying from reed bed to reed bed and we had some great views. Surprised to hear our first booming Bittern the boom being a little half hearted! A pair of Great Crested Grebes were seen displaying and they even dived for weed but no dance! Still some good numbers of ducks to be seen including a few Pochard on the Scrape Shapwick side. 
A total of 39 species seen today including Marsh Harrier, Shoveller, Teal, Wigeon, Tufted, Gadwall, Bittern, Kingfisher, Cettis, Reed Bunting, Snipe & Great Spotted Woodpecker. 
Spring was definitely in the air! 

    Glossy Ibis

                   Restless Ibis

   Off again

                    Great Egret - the green breeding 'lores' can now be seen

   Great Egret - potential nest site?

                  Little Grebe

   Great Crested Grebes pairing up and displaying

                   A good display but no dance

   Marsh Harrier and yes ..... Blue sky

                   On the hunt

    Marsh Harrier a female or juvenile 

                   Long tailed Tit 

Monday, 18 January 2016

First visit to the Levels - Shapwick 16/1/16

A cold and frosty sunny blue sky start to our visit to Shapwick. We spent 3 hours here strolling the paths carefully watching and seeking out anything that moved! In total we saw 40 birds in quite a relatively small area. These included some great views of Marsh Harrier, Pintail, Goldcrest, Jay, Water Rail, Bullfinch, Chiffchaffs and Stonechat. A great way to spend a few hours!

A squadron of Teal 'put up' by a Marsh Harrier

                    Stonechat and Chiffchaff. Plenty of Chiffchaff overwintering on the levels

   The majestic Grey Heron

                    Heron - top of his tree!

   Flock of Pintail - very restless and flighty over Noah's Lake

                   The beautiful Jay - in the woods on the path to Mere hide

   Goldcrest - also very flighty and constantly on the move!

                   Water Rail - always heard at Shapwick but seldom seen

   Treecreeper  - more tree than creeper! Will have to try harder.