When we set off this morning it was very foggy but by the time I dropped Wendy off for a Textile Art Workshop at Midsomer Quilters in the Mendip Hills it was very sunny. However, to my disappointment as I dropped back down on to the Somerset Levels the fog returned and stayed with me until midday when, fortunately, the sun burnt through the mist.
I was lucky to get a photo of this dunnock as it was really misty – the magic of editing.
RSPB Ham Wall and Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve (which are adjacent to each other but run by different bodies) are usually abundant with birds and are my favourite local birding areas; but it was much quieter today. Surprisingly there weren’t many people around either.
Great crested grebe
Great crested grebe
However, I did manage to see a blackcap, which the Nature Notes in today’s Times newspaper described as “the king of the warblers” and which are coming back in to the country in their hundreds of thousands: the article stated that there are over a million nesting pairs in Britain. This one certainly lived up to its reputation with a very cheerful and loud song.
A very melodious blackcap
I was so dazzled by the pinkness of this bird’s breast that I couldn’t work out if it was a bullfinch or a chaffinch but sure it’s a chaffinch
I was surprised how much pink there was in this wood pigeon too
I saw several butterflies but only managed a photo of this one – a Green-Veined White
The other highlight of the day was seeing great crested grebes courting, although I didn’t manage to see them dancing!
These two great crested grebes started the courting in the open and then coyly disappeared behind the reeds
Another joy was hearing bitterns booming across the reserves; they didn’t show their faces though.
There were plenty of sightings of great white egrets but I only saw one little egret.
Great white egret at RSPB Ham Wall
Great white egret and little egret at RSPB Ham Wall
This great white egret flew overhead at Shapwick Heath as I walked back to the car
From Noah’s Hide at Shapwick Heath I could just make out in the distance my first swallows of the year; but I didn’t manage to see the glossy ibis that had been reported.