Saturday, 27 February 2016
Westhay - Somerset Levels 24-2 , Redpoll & Barn Owl
Our first walk around Westhay for a few months and indeed all winter! A lovely cold and sunny frosty start to our walk all around the Westhay reserve. Not too much to see from the Virador hide but for some Snipe, Gadwall and Mallards. Walking to the 'tall' hide we had a lovely view of a male Bullfinch and plenty of squeals from the Water Rails hiding in the reeds. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was busy 'drumming' and later seen. The screen area was full of activity. Great & Little Egrets, Herons, Goosander & Tufted duck. A Kingfisher landed in a Willow right next to us for 2 seconds but what a view! Then a Bittern took flight from a reed area in front of us - is was all happening!
Out on the track high up in the Alders we spotted both Siskin and Redpoll and got a sighting of a lovely Fieldfare. At the end of the track where it joins the road and Mudgley farm we met some other birders who had caught sight of the Cattle Egret amongst a group of Little Egrets and cows. Unfortunately the Cattle Egret was a little too distant for a shot, still we saw it that's the important thing.
On the drove road back we had a glimpse of a Barn Owl, now that really took us by surprise. We had always suspected that there would be Owls in the area but to see one was a jaw dropping moment.
No sign of a Marsh Harrier today though. A superb walk in beautiful part of the Somerset Levels with stunning scenery and wildlife.
Birds of note for the day Bittern, Kingfisher, Goosander, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Redpoll, Siskin, Barn Owl, Reed Bunting, Great Crested Grebe, Chiffchaff and Snipe etc
Little Egret, Great Egret & Heron - all in their own space!
Goosander - still a few present but never near for a good shot
Fieldfare - these will be heading back east soon
Barn Owl just coming into land on the ledge
Barn Owl with catch
The face at the window!
Reed Bunting - looking in the mirror