Thursday, 25 February 2016

Shapwick & Ham Wall - Ibis, Egrets & nesting Herons 23/2

A mixture of sunny spells and cloud for our visit to the Levels today with still a hint of Spring in the air! We started our walk on the Shapwick side taking in both hides and nearly walking as far as the first Owl box. Duck species are decreasing now but there is still a few Wigeon, Shovelers and Teal to be seen plus a single Pintail on Noah's Lake. Most birds are now in fine colours looking more vibrant in the trees. Even the humble Chaffinch and Blue Tit look almost 'tropical' with their Spring coats.
The highlight of the visit had to be walking into the Tor Hide at Ham Wall and seeing a Glossy Ibis in front of us. Wow! What a view. We watched the Ibis for about 20 minutes before it flew away. At the same time we were also watching the nesting Herons bring in very large twigs to their nests. Fantastic to watch the sculptured shapes of the Herons as they glided into the reeds to their nests. Also fascinating to watch the Herons steal twigs from their neighbours nest. 
We stayed at Ham Wall to witness the Starling murmuration but although it was a beautiful clear sky evening the Starlings once again went straight into the reeds with no twisting and turning! I wonder why?
Once again a good number of birds seen including Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Gadwall, Pochard, Wigeon, Shoveler, Pintail, Goldcrest, Bullfinch, G C Grebe, Little Grebe, Great Egret, Little Egret, Stonechat, Chiffchaff, Lapwing, Snipe, Glossy Ibis etc

Gadwall flight

                   Great Egret

   Great Egret - check out those claws!

                   Great Crested Grebe - fine colours of Spring plumage

   Great Crested Grebe

                   Glossy Ibis from the Tor hide - stunning!

    Preening Glossy - the beak reaching far places!

                   You put your right leg in! .......

   Glossy in flight
                   Heron with nesting material 


                   A gift for the 'wife'!

   Just dropping in....

                 A graceful spin!

    Buzzard on the hunt, this one very pale looking


    Pochard - female

                  Starlings in their thousands but no twisting shapes!

                 Huge flock of Starlings at the back of Ham Wall

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