Thursday 18 August 2016

A day on the Somerset Levels

A summer visit to Somerset

With the sun already out we know today would be a very hot one.

First stop at Shapwick Heath was Noah's lake where an Osprey had turned up a few days ago, the birds was soon found sat on its favourite perch.

After watching the bird for around ten minutes it took off and flew high over the lake then turned and flew back towards us stopped and hovered then dived for a fish, no fish this time but after two more dives you could see a fish in its talons and it was off to its favourite perch. Brilliant to see an Osprey fishing at such a close range.

Just before moving off we noticed a black mammal running down the path in front of us and as it got closer we could see that it was a large Mink, it soon crossed the canel to the disapproval of the Swans on the water but it soon disappeared into the vegetation on the far bank.

Next stop meare Heath hide to look for Marsh harriers, two birds could be seen hunting in the distance but soon dropped down into the reed beds.

Moving on to our next stop to look over a wetter area we found several ducks moulting out a mix of  both Gadwall and Mallard, a closer look found two Garganey mixed in with them before we moved on a Bittern flew out of the reeds given a close fly past.

Moving on to Ham Wall two Great white egrets were seen flying over the reeds along with Grey heron and Little egrets.

With the sun getting to us we headed for one of the hides to cool down. Here we had much closer views of Marsh harriers as they drifted over the reeds, also another Bittern landed in the reeds just in front of the hide. Before leaving a Hobby appeared hunting high over the marsh.

After we had cooled down we moved on this time looking over the wader scrape, a quick look found a Glossy ibis and a Common sandpiper moving down the path to obtain a better view we started scanning again.

This time we found two Glossy ibis along with both Green and Common sandpipers and several lapwing. A group of  Black tailed Godwits flew over but did not land.

Not many smaller birds around today due to the heat but we did hear a Cetti's warbler and both Willow warbler and Chiffchaff.

Later in the day a brief look back at Noah's saw the Osprey fishing again always returning to its favourite tree to eat its prize.

Another great day of wildlife all be a little hot!!DT.

Thursday 11 August 2016

Morning at the Cotswold Water Park

Today started with a Badger crossing the road in front of me as I entered the water park a good start.

Small birds were hard to find today so we put all our efforts into scanning the lakes to look for water birds.

On the largest lake several groups of Great crested Grebes were seen and when counted up we managed a total of 35 birds, there was also a large group of Mute swans totalling 29 birds.

Moving on down the lake several Little Egrets flow over along with a couple of Grey Herons with about 20 Mallard on the water.

A small group of Red crested Pochard passed by along with several Tufted ducks.

On the path back two Jays flew along calling as they went giving away their location.

Several groups of both Sand and House Martins flew over the lake along with a few Swallows and just a single Swift.

On our route back to the car park our star bird turned up gliding slowly over the lake it was a fine Osprey.

Not everyday you see them in the water park just goes to show that anything can turn up if you are out there looking.

An enjoyable couple of hours spent in the morning sunshine. DT