Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday in Somerset

An early start on Sunday 13th Sept saw me meet up with Kevin in Cardiff and with Dan working and Wayne unavailable with family committments we were soon winging our way over the Severn Bridge to Somerset to catch up with the Spotted Crake which has been at the RSPB Greylake Reserve on the Somerset Levels for a few weeks.
Crakes are a big gap in my UK list and so I was keen to see this bird which has been showing well on what is quite a small pool on the reserve.
We arrived at about 08.30 and after a short walk we joined three other birders who were already on the bird.
The bird picked it's way around the pool sometimes dropping out of sight but when it did re-appear it gave me a good digi-scoping opportunity in quite bright sunlight.
A "lifer" in the bag and with little else around we decided to head for Meare Heath not that far away to pick up a couple of Little Stints that had arrived there the day before and anything else which may have turned up.
We soon arrived at the car park and after a walk along the path running beside the main drain we were soon on a couple of juvenile Little Stints in fresh plumage with the white back "braces" clearly visible feeding on the scrape,unfortunately they were too distant to photograph even at 60x on the scope.
A couple of juv Ruff were a little closer though and I managed a couple of snaps.
As we watched a single Spotted Redshank flew in and fed on the muddy scrape.
We walked to a few other areas of the reserve but it was generally quiet with little of real interest although the sightings book at Noah's Hide where we had seen the Whiskered Tern from a few years ago held notes of Osprey,Hobby and Marsh Harrier all in the same few hours just days earlier and also regular sightings of Otters,unfortunately we saw nothing that made us want to pick up the pen.
With mission accomplished and a "lifer" for me under my belt and little else around in close proximity not even at Slimbridge we decided to head for home.

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