Tuesday, 18 October 2016
A beautiful sunny but cool day on the Somerset Levels that saw us start with the Ham Wall side at around 08:30. On route to the Avalon hide we had great views of a Stonechat family feeding along the channel edge and a Bittern flew across our path. Quite a few duck species are now gathering at the first platform and the water at the Avalon hide, winter is on the way!
We had the Avalon hide to ourselves where we spent a brilliant 2 hours watching Marsh Harriers, Kingfishers, Bittern, Great White Egrets, Shoveler, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal etc come and go. Bearded Reedlings were seen and heard pinging, I wonder if they will ever use the grit table put up to attract them? What a superb way to relax but sometimes a little tense when trying to get that shot! Also had our first view of a Redwing for the winter season.
Not much was seen from the second platform as the reeds still need to be cut back. As always along the path back to the carpark we saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker in its favourite tree. Surprising to still see a few butterflies catching the very last of the Suns warmth Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Comma and a Small Copper.
On to the Scrape on the Shapwick side where we got caught in a shower! From the Tower Hide there was still a single Green Sandpiper, a few Ruff, Snipe, the Glossy Ibis pair, Lapwing and increasing numbers of Ducks.
Noah's Lake has hundreds of Coots on it at the moment and we were amazed to witness them all gather together in a 'raft' when something spooked them. Quite a sight.
All in all another great day out on the Levels - 47 bird species seen and 5 species of butterflies.
Stonechat family seen in the reeds
Can you see me?
Thursday, 13 October 2016
An early start on the levels and a first call to Westhay hoping to try and get a shot of the Bearded Reedlings on reeds! Arrived to the Island hide boardwalk with 3 other birders / photographers present and already 'Beardies' on the boardwalk. We never tire of this striking bird but being a bit breezy the birds were not climbing to the tops of the reeds.
From Westhay we ventured on to Shapwick and the scrape. From the new hide we had some good views of Black tailed Godwits, a few Knot with the Godwits, Ruff, Greenshank, Little Stint, Green Sandpiper, Great Egret, Marsh Harrier, Bittern etc. There are also increasing duck numbers here now. The two Glossy Ibis flew over the hide in the direction of Noah's lake.
From Noah's lake we watched for sometime at least 3 Kingfishers chase and hunt up and down the channels. Huge numbers of Coot on the lake the most We've ever seen here.
Boardwalk Bearded Reedling