I was surprised there were so few people on the Somerset Levels on a hot sunny Bank Holiday Monday. There’s always plenty to see and, although we only had a few hours there in the afternoon, we were not disappointed.
There were good views of chaser dragonflies in the pond near the car park and even a grass snake swimming away from us.
Four-spotted chaser and a grass snake in the pond near the car park
At the first platform there was a great white egret skulking through the reeds.
From the Tor View hide we saw a distant bittern fly past; they could be heard booming all around.
There were pochard and tufted ducks but the most interesting were the the great crested grebe with their black and white striped chicks and a grey heron which flew quite close.
En route to the Avalon hide we saw a Reed Bunting and on the way back (what I thought was) a sedge warbler.
Male reed bunting
Female reed bunting
We also heard a cuckoo and saw it fly by.
At the Avalon hide there was a pair of mute swans with their cygnets and a pair of great crested grebe preparing for family life.
We had a glimpse of a marsh harrier.
There were common blue damselflies everywhere.
We saw great white egrets everywhere but not very close up.
RSPB Ham Wall is a wonderful site (and much improved with its new car park, visitors’ centre and toilets) and just across the road there is Shapwick Heath with some very good hides. Round the corner is Westhay Moor and not so far away the bijou (but still one of my favourites) RSPB Greylake. But all of that was for another day.
Click below for a gallery of this afternoon’s photos: