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Friday, 5 June 2015

Somerset Levels Tour

A recent tour on The Somerset Levels with our aim of seeing Bittern and Marsh Harrier.

Well the day did not disappoint, within the first few hours we had sightings of at least ten Bittern, with the highlight of three birds chasing each other around which gave good views on the size comparisons of the different sexes. The male is much larger than the female and the birds in the air showed that a single male bird was chasing two smaller females.

Next we waited for the Marsh Harriers to show to see if we would be lucky enough to see a food pass, this is performed when the male bird comes in with prey and passes it to the female in mid air. We soon noticed a bird coming in from our left hand side and on closer inspection it was a male bird, as it came closer you could see that it was carry a prey item in his talons so we hoped this would be the time. As the bird came closer it called and the female came up out of the reedbed and followed the male for a short distance before they both rose upwards with the female bird below the male, with expert precision the male let go of the food and the female caught it in mid air. Wow what a sight and so lucky to see it so close how wonderful to see how aerobatic these birds are. Over the course of the day we were lucky enough to see a further two food passes.

Some other highlights included a fine male Kingfisher sat fishing from a low branch, Fifty Black-tailed Godwit some showing their fine summer plumage and Two male Garganey on one of the small pools.

A truly wonderful experience with the local wildlife. DT

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