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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Somerset Levels

A full day on the Somerset levels

Lovely sunshine to start our day on the Somerset Levels.

Today we started at 07:00 to make the most of the good weather.

Lots of birds noise today all around with Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Song and Mistle Thrush, several Cetti's warblers and Bitterns booming from almost every area of the reserve.

At our first stop we soon found a fine male Marsh harrier quartering the reed beds in front of us giving some very close views as he drifted past. We continued watching from here and saw another 2 males and 2 females again giving fantastic views. After an hour or so we moved onto our next viewpoint.

Scanning a wetter marshy area several waders could be seen and looking at them through the telescope 5 Greenshank, 50 Black tailed godwit, 2 Common sandpiper, 3 Little ringed plover, 3 Dunlin, a Whimbrel, Redshank and Glossy ibis were found.

Moving onto a higher viewpoint both Great white and Little Egret were seen flying in and out of the area.

Checking on the ducks we found Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler, Pochard a pair of Pintail and 4 Gargany, also seen here were Grey heron and 2 Bittern.

With time moving on we headed back to the car for a lunch break, this proved to be a good move as we could here trumpeting coming form over our heads and looking up saw 6 Common cranes circling over us great to see these birds so low giving good views.

After lunch we headed out looking at a different area in the hope of finding more Marsh harriers and another 3 birds were found again giving very close views as they drifted past.

Moving to a larger area of open water we had an excellent view of a pair of Great crested grebes performing their courtship dance always nice to see this at close range.

Other birds seen here included Buzzard, Swift, House and Sand martins, Reed warbler, Sedge warbler, Willow warbler and Chiffchaff.

We then headed back to our first location for the final part of the day, here we saw 4 Hobbies hunting the many tiny flies that were on the wing today, also a Cuckoo called and flew past.

Here again we had good views of 4 Bitterns that flew in and out of the reed beds.

In total 58 bird species were seen along with 5 different butterflies Orange tip, Green veined white, Large white, Peacock and Brimstone.

I do really enjoy this area when the suns out its an amazing place to be.DT

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