Saturday, 24 September 2016

Westhay Somerset Levels 21/9/16 - Beardies & Barnie etc

An early start at Westhay in the hope of spotting an Otter as there have been several reports recently. The weather was sunny and warm with just one prolonged shower at the end of our trail. We walked around the whole reserve which takes in London Drove and Daggs Lane Drove but alas no Otter. We did however get some great views of Bearded Reedling all over the reserve but mega views from the Island Hide Boardwalk. Over the moon as well to see a Barn Owl and watch it preening for a while until it spotted us!
Good views also of chasing Kingfishers and a Marsh Harrier, Bittern, Water Rail, and also a single late Hobby. A fantastic day and walk with 29 bird species seen and we also met some great people along the way. Good to see that the building of the new North Hide is underway.

   Preening Barn Owl in the Autumn sun

                  Beautiful wing detail

   Balancing act!


    We've been Spotted!

                   Bearded Reedling (male)


                   Female Beardies


   Strike a pose! Stunning little bird

Shapwick and Ham Wall 22/9/16 - Pectoral, Stint, Bittern, Ibis etc

Superb day spent at Shapwick and Ham Wall with a total of 57 birds seen. We started at the Scrape on the Shapwick side and the area didn't disappoint. From the new hide we had great views across the scrape into areas I can't always see from the path. 
Brilliant to see the Pectoral Sandpiper a stunning golden coloured wader and a lifer for us. Also on the Scrape were Little Stint, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Greenshank, Ruff, Black Tailed Godwits, Knot, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, L Egret, Great Egret, Lapwing, Kingfisher, etc.
As we walked from the hide we heard and saw a small group of Bearded Reedlings.
The afternoon took us to Ham Wall. Good to see that the reeds have now been cut by the first platform and that the Glossy Ibis pair were showing well.
From Tor View Hide there were good numbers of Gadwall and we also had a fantastic view of a Bittern for a minute or so until it took flight to the other side of the channel and deeper in the reeds. Still can't believe how the Bittern blends in so well with the reeds.
Other birds of note for the day were Water Rail, Shoveler, Teal, Sparrowhawk, Jay, Hobby, Linnet, Goldcrest, Raven.
Still a few butterflies to be seen, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Comma and Green veined White.

    Ringed Plover & Little Stint

                   Pectoral Sandpiper

    Little Stint

                  Pectoral Sandpiper

 Pectoral, Ringed Plover & Ruff

                   Pectoral Sandpiper - love that rich golden colour!

    Black tailed Godwits plus a single Knot and Dunlin

                 Linnet - one of a large flock



                   Off he goes! 

   Glossy Ibis pair


   Fingers crossed for this pair staying on the levels