Friday, May 31, 2019

Somerset Levels : Visit 2

Having enjoyed my first visit last Sunday I decided to make another visit to RSPB Ham Wall hoping to connect with a Bittern on this occasion and was not to be disappointed.
I followed the same format as my previous visit ending up at the Avalon Hide which was 'fit to bursting' but eventually thinned out enabling me to get a good position at one of the windows.
A Bittern showed briefly at the edge of the reedbed and a few flybys gave me the opportunity of some flight shots...…..

There was a family party of Great Crested Grebes present with the male working hard to feed the 'humbug' youngsters whilst mum guarded them from predators such as passing crows and gulls who fancied their chances...….

A few Hobbys were present on both my visits but were flying above the hide and impossible to get on to.
I had a fabulous week in the West Country and will certainly have to make another visit before the end of the summer.

Somerset Levels : Visit 1

A week off work for Whitsun and a break with Teresa, my youngest grandson Lucas and granddaughter Holly at a lovely holiday park in Cheddar allowed me a couple of visits to one of my favourite places the wonderful Somerset Levels which was only a 25 minute drive away.
I've seen Black-winged Stilt a few times in the UK and the pair that had shown up at Catcott Lows NR were an opportunity not to be missed.
I therefore set off last Sunday morning 26th May from Cheddar and arrived at the reserve mid-morning, I quickly got on to the birds although they were always a little too distant for anything more than 'record' shots...….

There were also several Cattle Egrets present with 15 reported of the 100 or so that now call the levels home...…..

After deciding that the stilts were not going to come any closer to the hide I decided to move on to RSPB Ham Wall where after a spell at Watchpoint 1 I moved on to the fairly new Avalon Hide which has become one of my favourite bird hides with it's elevated views across the open water and reedbeds.
Marsh Harriers were ever present hunting over the reedbeds with flybys of Great White Egrets now and again and one gave a great photo opportunity when it landed in front of the hide.
Bitterns were in short supply and I only managed a rubbish shot of one as it flew away into the distance...……

Although disappointed not to get a good shot of a Bittern I had enjoyed a fabulous day and hoped for better luck on another visit later in the week.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

'Spotted Flycatcher'........

A couple of good 'togger' friends of mine gave me a tip off of a pair of Spotted Flycatchers only a 15 minute drive from my home and I caught up with both my friends and the birds yesterday morning.
The nest was found and it appears that the female is sitting on eggs, the male was coming back and fore to feed her and I managed a few shots as he posed briefly a couple of times...…

I'll visit again in a week or so when hopefully both birds may be feeding young, also present was a Dipper in his territory that was a little distant for really good shots...….

Monday, May 20, 2019

'A weekend in the valley'.........

I decided last weekend that I would bird locally with a visit to Darren Woods, Llangynwyd on Saturday where I found four singing male Wood Warblers holding territories and amongst other a pair of Coal Tits tending a nest in an old moss covered stone wall.
It's great to see Wood Warblers back in good numbers the species having disappeared from the wood for a several years due to poor woodland management.
On Sunday morning I visited Maesteg golf course hoping for a Cuckoo, one was heard but not seen, as compensation a Grasshopper Warbler showed nicely in brambles adjacent the 17th tee.
Here are some images from the weekend...…..