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Sunday, 6 September 2020

August tours information and sightings.

August saw the resumption of ours tours at the Cotswold Water Park.

See report below.

Walking up to our first lake we could hear Chiffchaffs all around us along with Blackcaps, the Lakes are attracting more Water birds now as we move nearer Autumn.

The sight of three Common Cranes circling above us was a highlight but they soon dropped down out of sight.
A single Hobby was seen along with Kestrel two Sparrowhawks and a couple of Buzzard high up on the thermals.

Checking from the side of the lake we soon saw a large flock of Lapwing along with a couple of Dunlin and a Redshank flying around, out on the lake we found 50+ Red Crested Pochard and around 25 Tufted Duck along with 40 Coots and 8 Common Pochard. Around the lake edge both Little and Great White Egrets were found.

Several Swallows and House Martins were flying low over the water with the odd Sand Martin mixed in with them.

Both Green and Great spotted Woodpeckers were heard along with two Cettis Warblers.

On the walk back we found Robin, Wren, Common Tern, Grey Heron, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler and a small tit flock which included Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits.

Still nice to see several species of butterfly on the wing including two migrant Painted Ladies.

A nice way to get back to running our tours again.DT

Saturday, 20 June 2020

COVID 19 UPDATE

Regarding the current Covid 19 pandemic we would just like to let our customers know where we are regarding our tours.

We are looking at resuming our half day tours at The Cotswold Water Park around July/August time.

Our full days tour are still an issue for us as a lot of the venues we use are still not fully up and running regarding the toilets facilities and bird hides, also some are asking that you book a time slot to visit, so with this in mind we do not feel we can put a date on it at the moment.

Obviously the government guidelines are changing week by week so we may be able to start tours sooner if things change.

Please contact us if you have a voucher and would like to discuss options.

Kind regards

Darren & Nick.

Friday, 28 February 2020

Tour Dates



Somerset Levels Tour Dates   

Dates available throughout the spring and summer months call for details.




Cotswold Water Park Winter Duck Tour

Dates available throughout the winter months call for details.


Please call us as we may be able to arrange tours at short notice at this time of year.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Otmoor in February


Today we visited Oxfordshire and the RSPB Reserve of Otmoor.

Weather conditions at the start of the day very wet but this some turned into wonderful sunshine although a stiff breeze persisted all day.

A walk to the first hide produced Coal tit, Great spotted woodpecker and a Green woodpecker flew from the tree tops ahead of us. Plenty of Fieldfare were sat in the trees and a few Redwing flew over.

Looking out over the first area we found 2 common cranes flying low at the back of the trees some to disappear out of sight, latter we would have some fantastic views of these birds on the ground.

Heading out towards big Otmoor we saw several large groups of Lapwing and Golden plover well over 5000 birds, as we watched them we saw all the Lapwing and plovers take to the air and soon found out why as a female Hen harrier heading towards them, we watched the bird move through them as it heading away out over the surrounding countryside.  A magical sight to see on this lovely winters morning.

At the hide around 100 small birds were feeding on the grain that is being put out for the birds over the winter months these included 30 Reed buntings, 30 Linnets, 10 Goldfich, 25 Chaffinch all feeding on the ground great to see so many birds taking advantage of the food.

Moving off to the first screen we had close views of Teal, Wigeon, Pochard and Tufted duck out on the water along with several Moorhen.

Several large groups of duck flew over us giving some time for duck ID in flight, the Pintail are easy to pick out with their long bodies, also several Wigeon flew over.

Here we had our first view of Marsh harrier along with a single Kestrel sat on the telephone wires with several Red kites drifting around.


Out side the hide a Muntjack deer gave a close view as it walk right passed the window also a Chinese water deer ran off down the path and keeping with the mammal theme a hare was found out on the marsh imitating a mould of earth!.

On our way back to the car park we saw a Redwing drop into the bush in front of us.

Buzzards were seen briefly out over the reserve.

Latter in the day a fly by Bittern put in an appearance very briefly.

Another good day out in the field with some wonderful birds seen in some interesting weather conditions. Total species seen 56.DT

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Winter in The Cotswold Water Park

Winter tours.

Our first tours this year have seen us at The Cotswold Water Park, with all the recent rain the rivers and lakes are at bursting point with some areas under water and impassable even with wellies.

Two contrasting days one with strong winds and rain the other beautiful sunshine all day, but still several good sightings of all the species on offer. A few fly by Kingfishers with one sat in a small bush just above the Thames waiting for a fish. Large number of duck are around the park at the moment with Wigeon, Teal, Pochard, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted duck, Shoveler, Pintail, Goldeneye, Goosander and Red Crested Pochard all seen in good numbers. Smaller birds are harder to find but several sightings of Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Firecrest make scanning the tit flocks worthwhile.

Several birds of prey are about with Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Red kite and Marsh Harrier all seen along with groups of Lapwing.

Woodpeckers can be heard calling and drumming always nice to hear them, along with groups of Redwing and Fieldfare feeding on the berry trees.

There are a few rarer species about with a Black necked Grebe and Scaup out on the Lakes.

With the large number of birds around the winter can be one of the best times to visit the Water Park there can be over 25,000 birds out on the Lakes!.

A good start to the year and looking forward to the coming seasons, just get out there and enjoy our countryside. DT.


Friday, 22 November 2019

Somerset Levels Starlings.

Starlings galore today!!

An early start to see the Starlings lift off which did not disappoint, getting on for 100,000 birds coming out in quick succession is a wonderful sight and sound and all to myself too.

The main path itself can provide lots of interest. 3 bullfinch, treecreeper, 7 goldcrest, 10 chiffchaff, 50+ goldfinch and 6 reed buntings (from the old rail bridge) all recorded. Stop off at the 1st viewing platform (VP1) to see the lovely groups of black tailed godwits and Lapwings using the area. 


A Bittern dropped into the reeds in front of VP1 Also in Loxtons,kingfishers spotted from the screen, plenty of little grebes both here and around the reserve, a great crested grebe also seen from the screen and the usual group of cormorants sitting on the raft.
Great white egrets are usually fairly easy to spot around the Avalon Marshes. we found several fishing in front of the Avalon hide giving close views. You may also see the odd little egret. Bizarrely, unlike most sites, these are harder to come by at Ham Wall than great white or cattle egret and perhaps even bittern these days.
Wildfowl numbers are building slowly but as many as 270 teal were counted in front of VP1 and VP2. Look out also for wigeon, shoveler, mallard, gadwall, tufted duck, pochard and shoveler. 
Other winter visitors include the Redwing and Fieldfare. As many as 100 redwing were seen in the car park trees and we had numerous sightings of both redwing and fieldfare throughout the reserve. 
We found Stonechats in front of VP1, Grey wagtail, Sparrowhawk seen from the car park and the Avalon Hide, kestrel seen hovering beyond the bottom of the car park.
Marsh harriers have been really easy to spot today up to 5 have been seen using all parts of the reserve. They are particularly evident after the starling roost has left. They quarter over the roost site looking for any dead starlings for a nice easy meal.
On Shapwick Heath 2 Whopper swans on Noah's lake along with a group on 20 Pintail and several water rail calling, duck numbers are starting to build up also.
We finished off watching the Starlings coming back into roost for the evening, this is a great way to end a goods days Birdwatching on the Somerset levels. No doubt we will be back a few more times before the winter ends.DT.f