Sunday, 8 January 2017

2017 & first trip to the Somerset Levels

Date: 05/01/2017
Location: Somerset Levels
Weather: Cold with blue skies
Other Species: 
Great White Egret, Water Rail, Bearded Tit, Chiffchaff, Marsh Harriers, Buzzard, Kingfisher

A cold morning -2 on leaving home but blue skies always good, i headed to the Somerset levels with Robert to see what was about. First stop was Westhay and a Chiffchaff ! 
Seemed to be a few around mixed with Blue and Great tits. Also had some good views of a Water Rail which i saw fly in and then continued to rummage in undergrowth.

On seeing not much else thought we'd wander back to the Island hide where a single Bearded Tit was gritting ! could hear a few more but only saw this one. But a good start to the year tick list !

Left there and a visit to Catcott with Marsh Harrier, Pintails, Shovelers and Snipe showing well. Perfect light almost mirror like.

This Kingfisher put a brief appearance in also .

Just before leaving a Male Chaffinch posed, never forget the common birds. 
Stunning !

Arrived at Ham Wall  and 2 Chiffchaffs in the car park looking lovely in the wintery sunny conditions.

On to Shapwick and Meare Heath Scrape was Frozen solid with no birds present so on to Noahs. Saw Kingfishers, 2 Great White Egrets and even a distance Bittern making a dash into far reeds. 
Mute swans but couldn't see the reported Whooper Swans despite looking for some time. On walk back a Goldcrest Party feeding in trees..

A quick cuppa soup and into Hamwall 14 more Great white Egrets present from vp1, carried on to look for Glossy Ibis but couldn't locate, looped round to VP2 and the sun now descending.

These the departing GWE going to roost.

Waited for Starling's to go to roost and at around 4:20 it started. About 150 people were present to see the event.

Seemed to be a split roost with 3/4 groups going down in different reedbeds.

 No birds of prey spotted so i suppose no threat for the starlings. 

After a few small murmurations it was over. But still filled the skies above Ham Wall and the Noise was amazing !

Walked back ahead of the crowds with the sunset reflecting nicely ! 
Ended the day on 73 species seen this year so far.

Thanks For Looking ! 
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