Saturday, 21 January 2017

Ham Wall 19/1/17 - Bearded Reedlings, Starlings, Bittern, Somerset Levels

We arrived at Ham Wall to a stunning frosty dawn and sunrise. The sun had not quite come up over the horizon but there was still a colour to the sky and the jaw dropping spectacle of 1000's of Starlings taking to the sky and heading to the fields for the day. Wow! What a moment of magic, one that will live with us forever. The sight, sound and colours of Starlings at dawn - ain't nature grand!
The day transformed into a beautiful sunny cold and frosty one which produced many sightings for us.
Our first stop was the Avalon Hide from where we watched a Marsh Harrier hunting over the reeds, a group of Bearded Tits seen and heard 'pinging' plus a quick view of a Bittern and Wigeon, Shoveler etc on the water. On towards the 2nd platform and then Loxtons and we noticed large numbers of Reed Buntings all over the reserve. Around Loxtons were both Great and Little Egrets, Grey Herons and a Bittern came into join them. Must be some rich pickings in one of the channels! As we walked around Loxtons in with some Reed Buntings we spotted a male and female Bearded Reedling which we were able to watch for about 5 minutes. Superb to get such a great view of them.
Our walk then led on to Waltons and a good walk around the track returning to the Tor View Hide and screens. From this area we saw Teal, Shoveler, Tufted,  Snipe, a Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Great Crested Grebes and a Kingfisher
48 species for the day and well worth the early start. Can't wait to do it all again. 

    Starling dawn, 1000's rising up from the reeds to start the day


  The sound of the Starlings flying overhead was amazing

                    Nature at her finest a sky full of colours

    Geese at sunrise



   Somerset Levels

                   Spot the Reedling - quite a large group from the Avalon hide

   Marsh Harrier nearly always seen from the Avalon Hide and all over the Levels


   Great at twisting and turning over the reeds


    Eye on the prey


   Marsh Harrier - brilliant to watch at work!


   Great Egret - great success story across the Levels

                   Bittern came into view and quickly disappeared into reeds nearby


    Buzzard whizzing by

                   Reed Bunting - good numbers seen all over the reserve today

                  Female Bearded Reedling

   So pleased to get a shot of these beautiful birds on reeds and not on a path

                    Male Beardies


   We watched this pair of Reedlings for a good 5 minutes along the Loxtons path


    What a stunning little bird! 

                   Long tailed Tit

                   Off we go .... The wings look quite small

   Distant Kingfisher

                   Snipe, one of a group of 10 on the island

                   Teal - Mr & Mrs

   Cettis Warbler - the elusive one!


   Wigeon from Noah's hide


   Shoveler flock


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