Another marvellous day out on the Somerset Levels: this time with Allan Chard, another birder from my local patch in Bristol. He took me for my first visit to RSPB Greylake, where I was hoping to see Sedge or Reed Warblers.
There were glimpses of Lapwig, Little Egret and Sand Martin before all the excitement started. I’m afraid my hearing let me down as Allan announced something of interest and starting shooting away and, whilst I was looking for Warblers at the top of the reeds, he was taking great shots of a stoat on the path in front of us. Before I had worked out what was going on the stoat was almost standing on our toes and my feeble efforts to get a shot were all out of focus. But I was not disappointed as within seconds, on seeing two other photographers snapping away, we soon realised that there was a Sparrowhawk on the far side of a pool and I got some good shots (which were a first for me).
After Greylake we went on to RSPB Ham Wall. The highlights here were Great White Egrets, a brief glimpse of Marsh Harriers, Glossy Ibis, a Great Crested Grebe chick, Shovelers and Pochard.
After a quick bite to eat (thanks Allan for sharing your lunch) we crossed the road to Shapwick Heath. Here we had good views of Hobbies, Cattle Egret (11 in all), Little Egret, Great White Egret, Black-tailed Godwits, Greylag Geese and goslings, House Martins, a Buzzard and amazingly close views of a Marsh Harrier. Plenty of butterflies around too.
It was quite cold but bright throughout the day and, although I have probably forgotten many of the species we saw, we had a fantastic day’s birding. And as well as Bitterns booming we heard our first Cuckoos,
3 galleries of today’s photos