Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Westhay & Greylake 15/11 Beardies to Merlin
The weather forecast wasn't good, dull and overcast with possible rain afternoon. So once again we left in the dark to travel across the Somerset Levels to arrive at Westhay at 07:30. Our main aim was to try and see Otters so we set ourselves up at the Island Hide as we had heard that they had been seen in this area. Unfortunately after a couple of hours we saw no Otters however being based at the Island hide the area didn't disappoint. Bearded Reedlings once again appeared on the boardwalk for their grit, their 'pinging' alerting us to their arrival. From the hide itself we had great views of a Snipe, Water Rail, a couple of Grey Wagtails, Gadwall, Teal, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Reed Bunting.
We took a walk to both the Virador and Tower Hides and there was absolutely nothing to be seen. The reeds need to be cut back to form islands and we were surprised to see that they had not been cut.
Next stop Greylake and the cloud was even thicker! Good to see the area start to flood and bringing in more duck species. The highlights had to be spotting a Merlin and watching it 'zoom' across the reeds, a Peregrine hunt and eat its kill, not forgetting the female Marsh Harrier sat still on its post the whole time.
All in all not a bad mornings birding despite the heavy cloud, not too good for photography but the memory of a Merlin whizzing over the reed tops will live with us forever.
Gadwall - female
My good side!
Peregrine on the hunt - later observed eating its kill on a post