Thursday, 16 November 2017

Somerset Levels & Patch Walk

Date: 16/11/2017 + 17/11/2017
Somerset Levels & Patch
Grey, Misty (Wednesday) 
Starting Blue, Turning Grey (Thursday)
Species Highlights: 
Peregrine, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Lapwing, Bittern, Yellowhammer, Starling

Wednesday morning headed down to the Somerset Levels, Ham Wall with the aim of getting there for sun up and a bit of Starling action, unfortunately a journey that normally takes me 50 mins ended up taking me 120 mins! 
Slow traffic and all sorts of hold ups so when i pulled into Ham Wall there was no hope of seeing a murmuration, but headed off round anyway VP1 Great White Egrets and Lapwing were up swirling around almost murmuration on the Lapwing front. 

Plenty of birds around. 

Headed onto Avalon hide and a couple of Bitterns flew by always a good spot for them.

Left hide and this Cettis posed and then disappeared.

A distant Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Marsh Harrier were hunting across the reserve, and still I hadn't even seen a Starling! 
Liked this poor shot with backdrop of Glastonbury Tor.

Leaving Ham Wall, I headed off to Greylake in the hope of seeing a few more species as at that moment I was on 39 species.
4.6 miles later and Greylake car park was full plus reed cutting was going on but went around to the hides anyway, not much from hides although a few Snipe were doing what they do so well!

A Peregrine Falcon came whizzing over the flocks off Wigeon and Teal putting everything up briefly, A Marsh Harrier also hunting. The Falcon returned to distant pylons without a kill.

Returned to car park a Sparrowhawk coasted overhead.

The Feeders were full, here's a bit of the action, although high ISO and slow shutter resulted in not my best pictures.

Starling such feisty little things and great to watch.

In fields opposite car park Lapwing, Starling and Ruff were feeding and getting spooked by something, I couldn't tell what.

Newton St Loe.

On way home had a message from Anthony a birder from Bath asking to go round patch Thursday, always happy to have some company so started patch walk around 10:30 Thursday.
At least 10 Blackbirds and 15 Redwing feeding on Dog Walk, bottom fields fairly quiet, met Tony just before Pennyquick and soon spotted 5 Yellowhammer, Bullfinch, Linnet and a Sparrowhawk around Seven Acre. Into Village and normal stuff around, towards the Duchy's offices spotted this male Kestrel looking fantastic in the now sunshine.

 The sunshine was soon to turn to much greyness.

Sad news or maybe good news from Lakes, Billy the long staying single male Swan was gone hopefully he'll find a mate and return, top lake still not many ducks, no Teal, 3 Mute still present.
The woodland surrounding is looking great with the Autumn colours.

50+  Redwing overhead and surrounding trees.

Left Tony back in Village and carried on, the Stonechat popped up in front of me, Tony saw M/F on on Seven Acre fields as I was meeting him earlier, although I'm sure there is just one pair.

Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Goldfinch, House Sparrow in good numbers were in last Oak tree before I turned down Lanes to home, and apart from overhead Gulls were the last spots of the day. Ended walk on 40 species.

Thanks For Looking! 
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