Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Monday, 22 August 2011

Ham Wall & Shapwick Heath 17th August 2011

Glastonbury Tor from Ham Wall

I had not been to the Somerset Levels before, so decided on a visit even though it was not the "best time to visit"! Local birders advised "come back in the autumn/winter when its most productive! However, we were nearby, so nothing to lose. The walk along the old railway line from the car park that forms Ham Wall gave good views across the marshes, but it was not long before the rain started. The rain, dullness and distance of the birds did not bode well for photography, so I apologise for the poor quality of these images.

The first channel produced a Bittern on the reed edges.

A second Bittern was seen in flight over the reeds near to the tea shop at the end of the track (great place to shelter from the rain and some superb wildlife photographs to admire!). My first Marsh Harriers of the year reluctantly hunted across the marshes and a female Merlin scattered the Reed Buntings and Reed Warblers.

A short walk from the car park in the opposite direction brought us to Shapwick Heath and Meare Pool. Ringed Plovers, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper and Black Tailed Godwits fed in the low water levels. Eight Little Egrets stood as guards of honour to the Great White Egret on the far side of the pool.

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